Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Families of Compulsive Gamblers

When I first started writing this blog I sort of expected to take some heat for it.

I wasn't sure how I was going to deal with it (emotionally) because I was pretty fragile...and I've always been sensitive to criticism of any kind.

But there's a lot of people in 12 step programs that believe if a person isn't working the steps and attending meetings and blah blah blah, that they don't have any sort of 'real' recovery....and it's inevitable that you'll relapse (most of the people who work the steps and attend meetings also relapse)...anyway....I sort of anticipated that some of those folks would disagree loudly.

To my surprise, I have never gotten the backlash I expected.

But one day last week someone did leave an anonymous comment on one of my blog entries...it was an old entry....and to save you the trouble of searching for the comment, (and since it was posted publicly) I'll re-post it here...

The comment was made on my post entitled "Rushing/Worrying": "then why don't you worry about the money you spend on those casino machines and the money you won't have when youu need to put in gas to take your kid to school again so you can get all pissed off and spend more money you need . "

My initial response was to recoil.
I'm being reprimanded.
I don't like to get in trouble...I don't like to disappoint.

but that reaction only lasted for a few seconds....and I read the comment again....and again.

This person knows me....
but this person knows me in an entirely different way than most of you do.
this person has obviously been on the OTHER side of someone's gambling addiction.

I've heard from family members of gamblers in the past...people who are hurting or have been hurt by gamblers....but in the past, those people find me....and wonder how THEIR loved one can be 'ok'.....

this person is angry.

my heart breaks for them. "the money you won't have when you need to put gas in to take your kid to school".

It must be difficult to love us.

Especially because in many cases we are very lovable people when we aren't in action.... but at any time we can turn into someone you don't know and destroy your world...spend your grocery money...or the mortgage...or your retirement fund...everything you have.

Funny that I've been thinking about this blog entry for a few days, and just this morning I received an email from a friend who said "I have been reading the wrong stuff. Reading about gamblers and their self obsessed life has helped but now what is eye opening to me is reading about families of gamblers and their experiences. Sons, daughters and wives of gamblers. The damage done to relationships. The pain we cause. Well I don't have to be like that. I can step out of it. I can do this now."

You can.

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Note to the person who sent me an email last night.....

Is it possible that you could go to yahoo or hotmail or google mail and set up an email account that no one would know about, so it would be private and we could correspond?

But first....(and I mean this literally)...take a deep breath.
really. stop reading for a minute, close your eyes and take a long deep breath.

I will send you my cell number if you'd like to speak, and/or if you could set up an email account we could write....
or....I could write to you here, like this, if it works for you..... 'the world' won't know who you are, but they will 'hear' everything I say to you.

whatever you're comfortable with.

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