Posts tagged Gambling

Family Situation

So far this blog as been all about me. Normally, I don’t like to share my or my family’s personal business. However, since this is anonymous & for learning & reflect purposes, I will share some of our situation. My family’s situation extends into more then just my own personal debt. My parents have been married for 20+ years & it wasn’t until the end of last year that the rest of us found out that my father had a gambling problem. No one had a clue. Yes we knew that dad liked to go to the casino once in awhile, but he didn’t go all the time. For awhile, he would maybe go once a week. Then there were years where he didn’t go at all. Little did we know that even though he didn’t go frequently, he was losing large amounts of money most of the time he was there. What’s even worse is that he was using credit cards to gamble, losing the money, then using the credit cards to pay our bills. A VERY BAD No-No. My mom always wondered why didn’t have money to go on vacation & we didn’t live an extraggant lifestyle. My parents are self-employed & for a long time the only days they didn’t work were Thanksgiving & Christmas day. Dad was always the one who handled the money. Anytime mom asked questions, dad would just get mad & yell at her. That should have been an indicator to my mom. That one single thing should have put up a big red flag letting her know something was wrong. But my mom never really pushed the subject very hard. They’d argue about money & then she’d let it go. I think subconsciously she didn’t want to know.

We didn’t find out about dad’s problem in nearly enough time to stop it. And the only reason we found out at all is because of me. I’m the type to push the envelope with things & after finding out that dad had ran up the bill on a credit card in both my parents’ names, I got curious. Where was the money going? Why didn’t we have a better home life? Why wouldn’t my dad fill out the financial aid form when I first went to college? So I did something that technically would be considered illegal. I looked up his credit score online. I know I know, it wasn’t my business to get into, but this hasn’t only hurt my dad. This has affected my whole family. My mother has a lot of health problems & she can’t work. Although she can’t work, she also can’t collect disability. So the only income my parents’ have is the business my dad runs. If something were to happen to my dad, his life insurance would just barely cover the debt he’s in. I’m scared that something will happen to my dad & leave our family broke. Another fear I have is that something happens to my mom & then my dad ends up blowing what little life insurance she has. I’m scared for my whole family. This is the main reason I work so hard & have 2 jobs to support myself & pay some of the bills at my parents house. This is the main reason I haven’t moved out of my parents’ house. They need the extra help. My brother & sister are a little younger & still live in the land of denial. They don’t fully understand or accept the consequences of my dad’s actions.

Now don’t get me wrong. I LOVE my dad. I ALWAYS will. And I know that he loves us. I personally believe that gambling addiction is a disease. His father had it & he has it & by the Grace of God neither me, my brother or sister will end up with it. He always thought that he’d be able to get the money back, but couldn’t. I know it may have been wrong to find out the way I did, but Thank God I did. I don’t regret what I did at all. We needed to know so we could all make an effort. Thankfully we at least found out about it now rather than later. We’ve all been trying to work toward getting the payments current & lowering the debt so my parents’ can work with a consolidation company to get things under control. We were turned down once before, but that’s been 6-month ago. We’re going to try again this week & hopefully this time it will work.

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