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December 12, 2016
Hi, I'm an adult child (39) of a parent with a gambling addiction. My family and I have just found out that my dad has lost over $200k of his super after being made redundant a few years ago. Dad has always been mine and my sister's (now 36) hero. As kids, he was always there for us. As adults, he's always been there for us and our kids. To find out that he's not the unbreakable man we thought he is has been unbelievably hard. To see how much his actions have hurt our mum and destroyed 40-something years of love and trust is even harder. While it's commendable that he's admitted he has a problem and has unquestionably handed over all financial responsibility to our mum, my sister and I are totally lost. Where do we, as a family, go from here? How do mum and dad get through this? How can my sister and I support both of our parents? We are a very strong family unit and hope that we can continue to be, but right now it's not the easiest place to be.
February 13, 2014
Thanks for your post. I'm really glad you've reached out to us as it sounds like you're all really struggling at the moment, trying to process what has happened with your father. It sounds as if your view of him has been shattered and you are trying to understand how this has happened, and where to go from here.
I would definitely recommend that you access some counselling, if you reside in NSW it is a free service through Gamblers Help - if you call 1800 858 858 you can talk to a counsellor and get a referral for face to face. That sounds like it is the best option and your parents can be linked in with a counsellor to help to manage what has happened. They can 1) Give your dad advice and support about where to go for treatment and how best to manage his gambling problem and 2) Provide support to you, your sister and mum and assist in rebuilding trust in the relationship.
It will also be helpful for you to have a look at the rest of the Gambling Help website for information about gambling and the kinds of things to look out for. We run a blog, https://counsellorsam1.wordpress.com, that will be good for you and your sister to read to understand a bit more about gambling addiction and how to manage it.
Please do let us know how you go, and if you have any questions, post them on this forum and either myself or someone from the forum community will be able to help you out.
all the best,
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