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  • My mum is addicted

    Is someone you care about experiencing issues with gambling? Come in here to discuss your concerns, connect, and get some helpful tips.
    Junior Member
    Posts: 3
    Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2017 12:54 pm

    My mum is addicted

    Fri Jun 30, 2017 1:11 pm

    Hi. This is my first time reaching out for help. I feel like my mum's addiction is getting worse and in the risk of tearing our family apart.

    My mum's addiction is with the pokies.
    She has a habit of spending hundreds in a night and not having any money to pay bills. For a while now she has asked my siblings and I for money to help her out, but it's growing out of control.
    We used to be able to talk to my dad about her problem but he's started backing her up lately so it's hard to get help.
    My brother and sister still live at home so they get asked to hand over money a lot. Mum has told them in the past that they can say no, but when they refuse her she gets angry and bullies them into handing the money over.
    The other day she complained about not having money for bills and wished my siblings would help. Then that night she asked my sister for the same figure as the bill, but to take out and spend on the pokies instead. My sister got pretty upset about it and wanted to refuse but knew mum would guilt her into doing it anyway. So she handed it over reluctantly and mum blew up anyway. She said that my sister was acting like a spoilt brat and that it's none of her business what happens with that money. She tried to confide in dad about the situation but he just went and blabbed to mum which just escalated the whole ordeal.
    My 18yr old brother has been giving quite a lot over since he got a full time job. He finds it hard because he just wants it to be over and doesn't like conflict. The one time he refused, my dad went and told him it would "get real" if he doesn't transfer the money asap.

    I'm finding it really hard to help them because I live 6hrs away.
    We feel like if we try and talk to mum about anything we will go off and it'll be all our fault.
    My sister wants to move out because she cops all the blame and anger, but we are both worried that if she was to move out my brother would just get hammered and lose a lot of money.

    I hope someone can help me please. I don't know what to do :(
    0 x
    Miette (facilitator)
    Posts: 59
    Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2016 11:11 am

    Re: My mum is addicted

    Fri Jun 30, 2017 4:09 pm

    Hi Meelybug29,

    Welcome to the forum. It sounds extremely challenging for you and your siblings at the moment. It is great that you are reaching out for support. It sounds like at the moment your focus is on supporting your siblings to manage what is happening at home with your mum, is that right?
    What I would suggest is calling Gamblers Helpline (either yourself or your siblings), here they can talk anonymously to a counsellor and be offered support and advice. This is a 24/7 service you can contact on 1800 858 858. This service is also available for your mum if it is something she would like support with.
    Another suggestion I would make is encouraging your sister and brother to set boundaries and stick to them. If they are happy to help out with bills, then perhaps offering to pay these directly, rather than handing over the money to your parents. It sounds like there is a lot of conflict at home which is not making it easy to say no to providing money, so perhaps discussing strategies between you all, that you could all support each other in managing. The difficult thing is that there is no way of controlling what your mum does, or how she responds to your brother and sister, however they do have control over what they do and how they respond. It sounds like a very challenging situation, and you don't have to do this alone. And it sounds like you are supporting your brother and sister, even being 6 hours away!

    I am wondering if there are family members on the Forum that can offer some advice and support to Meelybug29- what have you found helpful in situations with family members?

    All the best,
    Miette (GH)
    0 x
    Junior Member
    Posts: 3
    Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2017 12:54 pm

    Re: My mum is addicted

    Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:13 pm

    Thanks so much Miette.

    Yes at the moment I'm just trying to support my siblings so they know I'm on their side.
    It's just hard to get mum to listen to anything we say to her because she just turns it back on us.
    When we mentioned seeking advice from a counsellor she got angry saying that we are just trying to get her into trouble when really we just want to help her.

    It's hard to convey over forums but I just hope there's a way we can tell her she needs help without having it turned back on us.

    Thanks again!!
    0 x
    Senior Member
    Posts: 133
    Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2017 2:41 pm

    Re: My mum is addicted

    Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:31 pm

    Hi Meelybug,
    darling, I read your story few times and it moved me. I can really understand your situation. I have a 19yo daughter who is effected by my pokie gambling I'd been doing for last 5 years. She cried when it first begun as I was coming home broke, could barely buy food, sometimes had to get friends to buy me milk and bread. Over the years, my daughter has grown distant with me, she got a boyfriend 2 years ago and moved away. I could never convince her to move back in with me, she doesn't want to. We used to be so close, my only daughter, I also have 2 sons. I never burrowed large amounts from her but did from my eldest son, however I was careful never to bully them for it. Enough damage had already been done so I was careful not to make them feel bad for it. However, my partner has had the bullying from me, I have hurt him time and time again. I am so thankful that he is still with me. The pokies and running out of money puts the person in a very bad mood, they usually have the need to take it out on someone, it's so selfish but I know this from my experience. I accepted right from the start that I most likely had an addiction, it took me a few years to accept it fully and for this past year, I'm now fighting the addiction and on the road to quitting. What I see happening is that your mum has not accepted that she has an addiction problem. Until she does, nothing will change and in fact it gets worse. I wish I could talk to her, she needs to realise that she will lose you all if she continues. My daughter set boundaries for me, she will not burrow me any money for it and said she is distant with me because of my addiction. If I continue I will lose her wanting to know me, our relationship will be lost. What I suggest, is that you and your siblings need to set boundaries as my daughter did. Do not burrow her money. Tell her that she has an addiction problem and if she doesn't seek help by either: visiting this site, phoning or chatting to a councellor, or even emailing me for advice (suzanhundric@hotmail.com), tell her you will be distant from her (do not give in to her bullying). Speak to your other siblings and let them know to do the same. They must not feel sorry for her or not give in to her manipulation. Please trust me on this, set some boundaries for her so she can realise she has an addiction problem she needs to urgently fix. If my daughter and partner did not set boundaries for me, chances are I'd still be going. It works! I know I have to do this for my family or I will lose them. Perhaps talk to your dad too about all this, that you are now going to take action and set boundaries for mum to stop. Let her cry and cry. I did and it's worked. Of course if she needs milk and bread, buy it for her but do not give her money. Good luck darling, let us know about your progress. Keep posting or feel free to email me too for further advice, I can help
    0 x
    Junior Member
    Posts: 3
    Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2017 12:54 pm

    Re: My mum is addicted

    Tue Jul 04, 2017 12:38 pm

    Thanks so much for your advice Suzybeauty!

    Last week we were all just tense and I think things blew way out of proportion.
    Yes my mum still has a few issues to work out and we will always be here to help her, but we are slowly working out how best to do that as a family.
    I really appreciate everyone's advice so much! I'll definitely take it all on board to help her through this.

    Thanks again guys :)
    0 x

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