**I happen to come across this post that was left on a website I post some of my Recovery Blog posts to, and it broke my *HEART*…….I could FEEL the Pain, Hurt, and Sadness in the writers words. I right away thought of my own Husband, of whom I hurt so badly when I was still active in my own gambling addiction!
So, I thought I’d share this so many can get a different take on this addiction, other then my own was as the Addicted Person. I did post an answer to this person, and gave them some good websites for them to take a look out for additional help and support for her father.****
“The Cruelest Lies Are Often Told In Silence” By: Robert Louis Stevenson
I hope it’s okay for me to post here just to see if anyone has any words of wisdom. Maybe some other problem gamblers can help me see it from that perspective. Anyway, my dad just admitted to this compulsion/addiction?/problem…
And now I can’t really believe how long I allowed myself to not see the truth. My dad is 65 and I’m 36. I haven’t lived at home since I was 18, which is about the same time gambling became legal in my home state and also the same time my dad started gambling.
He retired from a pretty good job about 10 years ago in his mid-50s. He got a lump-sum payout at that time – hundreds of thousands of dollars. This was supposed to be my parents’ retirement fund. Five years later, it was all gone. But he said that he lost it when the stock market crashed about that time, and I believed him.
So he went back to work. Long story short, he stole money from his employer and eventually was convicted of a felony. He did not serve any jail time and was put on probation. He told me this was all a big misunderstanding and I BELIEVED HIM.
My parents were out of money and their house (which should have been paid off by this time) was mortgaged to the tune of 350,00 dollars. They were able to sell it for just over this amount. Meanwhile, my husband and I had a home in the neighboring state that we could not sell (though I had gotten a job in a faraway state). My parents moved into my house about a year ago. They told me they “couldn’t” sign a lease or set up a direct deposit of their rent into my checking account because they wanted to maintain residency in their home state for the purposes of bankruptcy AND I BELIEVED THEM.
About a week ago I got a call from my mother. She had given my dad a huge check (thousands of dollars) to mail to me to pre-pay their rent, so that when they file for bankruptcy it would look like they had less money than they actually do. (I did not know to expect this check). Instead, he took it and spent it at one of the casinos (there are about 5 pretty near to my house/where they live now).
When I type this all out I feel very, very foolish for not having recognized earlier that my dad had a problem with gambling. I knew he went to the slot machines a lot back when my parents had money, but I thought they had stopped years ago. Now I learn that he’s been going recently – and, what seems even crazier to me, my mother actually took him a few times!
My dad seems pretty committed to recovery right now – he’s going to as many Gamblers Anonymous meetings as are available in his area (a lot, since there are so many casinos around). I feel very relieved to know he is at least being honest.
I am (and I understand this is irrational) right now more upset with my mom than my dad. I feel like my dad has at least admitted he has a problem and is seeking help. On the other hand, my mom seems to be unwilling to be honest with herself or me. She went gambling with my dad A LOT, and she played along with a series of lies they told me for years and years, including about financial matters that directly impact me (since they are renting my house from me and my husband). Now she says that she feels my father has “abused” her. But she played a role too!
On the other hand I recognize that my perception of all this is a bit skewed right now. It really doesn’t make any more sense for me to react with blame to my mom than toward my dad. Maybe I actually blame myself for a lot, even though that also doesn’t make any sense. Looking back I see that I wanted so BADLY to have the happy family that I thought I was visiting every few months, that I kept bailing my parents out and also refusing to see the truth.
Thank you for allowing me to post this and I am sorry it is so long. I would like to go to a Gam Anon meeting but the nearest one is almost two hours away. Still, maybe I can go pretty soon. For now it’s just a relief to post this so some random internet people can read it!
TLDR: My dad is addicted to gambling. He squandered my parents’ life savings, stole from his employer and family members, and has put my finances at risk. This went on for years but he just admitted it and now I am simultaneously relieved to hear the truth but frustrated with myself and my mom for not admitting it to ourselves earlier.