Welcome to our online peer support community - A supportive place for anyone making change in their gambling, as well as concerned friends and family.
  • Connect, be inspired, motivate others. Share your experience & strategies.
  • Safe. Confidential. Professionally moderated. Free of judgement.

    Before you can post or reply, join our online community today.

    On now:
  • Sunlight September challenge - getting outdoors to improve mental wellness.
  • Q&A - what's stopping you from seeking support? - ANSWERS NOW LIVE
  • Fathers gambling addiction is back

    Is someone you care about experiencing issues with gambling? Come in here to discuss your concerns, connect, and get some helpful tips.
    Daydreambeliever
    Junior Member
    Posts: 3
    Joined: Mon May 21, 2018 10:11 pm

    Fathers gambling addiction is back

    Mon May 21, 2018 10:25 pm

    Hi everyone

    I'm new here. I don't know what to do— my father just retired unexpectedly, he's a successful businessman, nearly 69 years of age. I live overseas and have been back the past few months to reapply for my next visa for where I live. Long story short, after some career disappointment, dad went back to his previous workplace to finish his career and unfortunately it wasn't a match, again. He spent most of his career there so this has been a huge letdown and confusing time for him. He used to tell me stories of when he was in his twenties before he met my mum saying he was a hopeless gambler. My parents are separated but still are friendly and have joint finances etc. On top of everything going on with my dad, he has anger issues. We've had some explosive arguments in the past weeks and he is planning to relocate somewhere else for retirement and keeps vowing to change and carry out his retirement plan as soon as he moves— my issue with that is “wherever you go, there you are”. I'm also going through a huge split myself and am away from the home I've spent the past five years building OS. Part of me wants to yell and scream and tell him how ashamed and disappointed I am in him. But I know I need to control myself and be compassionate, problem is, he doesn't listen or think he needs help even though he's admitted both to my mum and I separately on two occassions that he feels he is on the brink of a breakdown. This feels much bigger than anything I can handle and I've spent years doing therapy and reading self help books so anytime I try to gently offer life advice, he thinks I'm trying to therapize him. I probably am because I can't really sit back and let him deteriorate. Thinking of attending a support meeting and speaking with someone on the help line to figure out some gentle approaches. Grateful to have a place to talk about this.
    0 x
    Mona58
    Senior Member
    Posts: 1024
    Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:44 am

    Re: Fathers gambling addiction is back

    Tue May 22, 2018 6:27 am

    Hi Daydreambeliever,

    Sorry to hear about your dilemma. You are taking on a fair bit, having your own issues and trying to take care of your Dad. One thing I can say is that parents do resent having their child parenting them, it is natural. You need to take care of yourself first otherwise your own issues can distort the help you are trying to give your Dad.

    Do ring the gamb helpline 1800 858 858 and attending a support meeting would be benefical because it would / could put your mind at ease a bit,

    Wish you well on your journey.
    0 x
    A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.~Confucius
    Daydreambeliever
    Junior Member
    Posts: 3
    Joined: Mon May 21, 2018 10:11 pm

    Re: Fathers gambling addiction is back

    Tue May 22, 2018 8:18 am

    Thanks Mona, will do 🙂
    0 x
    Daydreambeliever
    Junior Member
    Posts: 3
    Joined: Mon May 21, 2018 10:11 pm

    Re: Fathers gambling addiction is back

    Tue Oct 30, 2018 7:47 am

    Bit of an update, since I posted the above there have been more and more times I thought "great this is it, this is the rock bottom". Since May we've had several conversations about gambling. A couple of months ago I was told it was "under control" and it's purely for entertainment and he is bored etc (which I knew was an excuse) however, we made an agreement-- whenever he went to a place where he could be tempted, he would hand over his cards to me. That felt like a step in the right direction-- until he broke said agreement just here and there. A couple of weeks ago he came home and relinquished all cards to me. Then last week I found out why, my mother saw a statement where large sums of money were being moved and withdrawn in one afternoon. I left my mother's on a mission to find my dad, he wasn't home, so I assumed he'd gone up to the pub. When I found him he was in his car outside and by that time, I had calmed down. We spoke and he tried to lie and say it was for credit card payments etc, then I googled the place where the withdrawal took place and he finally admitted that he has a problem. We had a calm, sad conversation-- I could see the shame and depression all over him. He admitted to the depression too, all of this felt like a positive step forward. We discussed going to meetings. He went as far to call the local GA meeting place and spoke with the organizer. All week it was happening, even yesterday when he was supposed to go, in the afternoon we spoke about the plan and what time to leave (I was going to drive him there). I got home from running some errands and he announced that he wasn't going. I asked why, and I could tell he was probably dreading it and had quickly convinced himself he can work this out and manage it on his own. He acted badly for a bit tried to get out of talking about it. I get that this is typical addict behavior, I get that the terror of facing yourself can be raw and terrifying. I've now got every single card and have requested to become power of attorney over his and my mother's accounts. He's agreed. What else can I do? Perhaps private counseling would be the way to go. I'm also planning on attending Gam-Anon meetings for myself and I told my father that. He is relieved that my mother and I now know and he thinks that that in itself is a big enough motivator for him to stop. I disagree, I think he needs professional guidance. He said that he wasn't saying he would never go, he just wasn't right "mentally" to go yesterday. I know these are all excuses, I know he must be feeling shame and I try to tell him that addiction does not reflect on intelligence or whether or not he is a failure (as he often says he feels). I'm not 'punishing' him either, i'm currently staying with him and I can just imagine how awful he feels every day. I don't want to be another contributing factor. I suppose i'd love any tips of what else I can do, any books I can read about this? When I feel the time is right again, I'll suggest he calls the helpline. I think talking helps my dad immensely. He's probably just terrified to do it in a public forum.
    0 x
    Calvin (facilitator)
    Senior Member
    Posts: 307
    Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2018 4:01 pm

    Re: Fathers gambling addiction is back

    Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:20 am

    Hi Daydreambeliever,

    I'm Calvin, one of the facilitators.

    Even though it sounds like your father has taken a while to get to where he is now, its great to hear that he is open to receiving help and that he has you and your mothers support.Being in charge of the accounts is a great barrier to put in place.
    Depending on the person, some people find GA meetings useful where as others prefer actual counselling on a one to one basis. If you're father would like to speak with a counsellor over the phone, you can encourage him to speak with our helpline for some immediate counselling and the counsellor can also provide a refferal to an agency. Other referral info can be found on the website.

    Kind regards,

    Calvin.
    0 x

    Return to “For Family and Friends”