- May 22, 2019 at 12:00 pm #843879
My mum has always been into gambling from when I was young and I’m 33. It seems to just be getting worse.
Whenever she has any money she goes of to the Bingo and plays with the slot machines. It’s so bad that her bills aren’t getting paid and she’s a pensioner. She borrows money from everyone. She lies about her having to pay this bill and that bill but it’s basically all going on gambling. We all help her with paying bills wenever she says she needs the help but weve now started to realise that her money isn’t going on bills it’s going on Slot machines. Then she gets frantic and starts staying that no one helps her with anything and she even tells her friends that we don’t help her and that all the housing bills are on her. Even though she only pays for two bills that are really low. Then when we’ve realised. Those bills are also not getting paid and it’s just increasing. She only seems to panic when she gets red letters saying final warning. It’s become such a nightmare in dealing with her. Weve tried taking control of the finances but she gets so stressed out and angry it’s impossible to talk to her. She obviously doesn’t admit and will never admit to her problem but it’s tiring us all out and the guilt she puts on us is driving us mad. But what’s worse is she’ll go and ask random people she knows if we decline her request and also she gets pensioners benefits so shes could be alot better in every way if she only could control herself. She also seems to be getting worse as shes getting older. Super confused hereMay 22, 2019 at 12:18 pm #843881
Do you want to take a hard line and tell her you’re done giving her any money until her gambling addiction is under control? Are you able/ willing to pay some of her bills directly? I would absolutely stop giving her cash and make your help, if you want to give any, in the form of writing out a check and sending it along with her bill directly to the utility company, buying physical bags of groceries, etc.
There are therapists who specialize in addiction, and I think it would help you and any family willing to go with you to go for a few sessions and iron out your path forward. An addiction counselor will be able to help you find rehab and recovery resources available to your mom, help you decide what kind and how much help you are willing to give, give you scripts for the conversation you need to have with your mom, and teach you how to keep the boundaries you set. Gamblers anonymous also has a website and free hotline you can call, it may be a good place to start gathering informationMay 22, 2019 at 1:15 pm #843894
The only thing you and your family can do, assuming she has capacity to make her own decisions, is stop enabling her and getting her out of her troubles. Therapy is a great idea for her and the family but she has to be willing. You said she has allowed you access to managing her finances but it sounds like she doesnt let you have total control. Were you paying her bills first and then giving her the left over amounts? Or did she freak out and took whatever she pleased causing a hopeless situation? The reality of thos situation is your mom might end up homeless on the streets and thats the bed she made for herself.May 22, 2019 at 5:50 pm #843919
Yes at one point she told me to help her with her bills so that they would be organised and paid on time. Which I did. But then she started saying no it’s fine I’ll pay it myself cancel this bill etc. But she’s literally been going out in the morning then coming home once her money is finished which isn’t much. So she stops as soon as there isn’t anymore money and as soon as she’s made a few phone calls for someone to lend her some. The whole family helps with bills and the house was bought many years ago so she doesn’t even have to pay rent yet she’s constantly saying she needs money which is because of her problem. Taking her to therapy is a definite no. All of us would be willing to go but she would never accept it. She would just start shouting and goimg on a mad one. Which none of us are able to handleMay 22, 2019 at 6:50 pm #843925
Who owns the house? I’d be very careful about letting her take care of all this herself, gamblers are generally REALLY shady about finances and you need to watch what happens with the property. If you want to go hardline offer to pay bills directly ONLY if she goes to therapy. Yes she’ll cry and scream and manipulate but that’s what addicts do, you need to push past it.May 22, 2019 at 7:27 pm #843927
To be clear, I was not suggesting taking your mom to a therapist. I was suggesting you and any other family members who may want to go because they are in a similiar spot meet with someone who specializes in addiction. It seems like you feel the current situation is untenable (understandably), and need to make some decisions about how you want to move forward, how much contact you want to have etc. Talking this out with someone experienced with addiction can help you forge a path forward to be happier and more at peace, whether your mom changes or notMay 22, 2019 at 7:40 pm #843930
First thing you’ll have to do is train YOURSELF not to cave just because she yells and flips out. So she yells, so what? She’s using that rage to manipulate everyone; it’s a textbook move for an addict. A counselor would help YOU see right through that.
I second the recommendation to check out Gamblers Anonymous to get help — again, for yourself.May 23, 2019 at 6:22 pm #844011
Giving her money is not helping, it’s enabling. I agree that if you want to pay bills, pay them directly. If she makes it so it’s not feasible to pay them, then don’t. Any addict has to decide for themselves to get help, and when their loved ones make everything easier and remove the consequences, they have no real reason to want to get help.