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I need to get stronger
My emotions are way off any normal chart today. The part of me that can step outside my emotions and watch myself understands that I am overreacting and that my emotions don´t respond in a normal way. But then when I am back in my emotions they hurt so much.

The emotions are a mixture of shame, disappointment, being lonely and misunderstood and perhaps mostly being unfairly judged by people who don´t understand anything about me. The strongest feeling though is shame.

I know that I can`t be angry with anyone, because I know that the reason I am here right now is only because of myself and my compulsion. I have to try and clear out my emotions and that is why I feel the need to write and tell someone. If you after reading this can help me further I truly appreciate it.

To explain it briefly. When I crashed for about seven months agoe I came to the insight finally that I am a compulsive

I didnt want to confide in my mother, since I didn´t want to hurt her and worry her. She has enough with her own emotinal problems. Also my mother has problems with setting boundaries around herself, so earlier when I have confided in her she couldn´t carry it on her own, but had to tell everyone to seek out support for herself. This is one of the issues I worked with in therapy, trying to build a healthier relationship with my mother and setting boundaries towards her.

This time though, when at rockbottom, my mother noticed something was wrong and kept asking me to tell her. I tried several times to explain that I was going to work everything out myself and that she needn´t worry, but she just kept asking questions. Finally I asked if she could promise to not tell anyone else. And she did. I asked several times explaining that it was crucial for me, I didn´t want my other relatives to know, and she promised.

Of course I shouldn´t have asked this of her in the first place, since I know she can´t help talking about things not to implode herself. Anyway I decided that this is a new start and I am going to trust her.

My mother told my sister and my sister phoned me up and told me how she had talked with my mother, and a therapeupt for advice. The therapeupt had told her that addicts can not be trusted, they just lie and manipulate and abuse everyone around them.

Since me being an addict, my sister said, she gave me the chance to tell everyone, all my relatives, and if i didn´t in the near future, my sister would tell them for me. I tried to explain to my sister who I am, where I was, and about how I had started to open up and tell people around me. People who I felt were close to me; my boyfriend, my daughter, my best friends, my daughters father, my mother, and that I didnt want to tell anyone else since I didnt think they needed to know my darkest secret, the most shameful thing about me. I just didnt want EVERYONE to know. And I thought I was entitled to make that descision, who were close to me or not.

I also know that some people will never understand what I am about, what my compulsion is about, and why then should they know, only to judge me or pity me. I tried to explain to her that I don´t feel that my other relatives are that close to me, and I wasn´t going to tell them until I felt like that was the right thing to do, if ever. She said that she was still going to tell them, and I asked her desperately, because I was overwhelmed with fear and pain, to think it through carefully trying to understand me and my situation.

My mother didn´t want to get involved when I tried to talk to her about what my sister wanted to do. But she said that she didn´t think my sister should tell our relatives either. But what happened now was between my sister and me and had nothing to do with her, she said. Perhaps if I had been able to tell my sister myself she would´ve understanded me and where I was better, I said. But my mother refused to talk to my sister on my behalf, even if she did hope for my sake that my sister wouldn´t tell. At the same time she told me that I was overreacting and that there were no reason for my pain and fear. And if I felt strong emotions it had nothing to do with neither her nor my sister telling everyone, I just felt this way because I am an addict.

I have met my sister several times since this but I haven´t spoken to her about my gambling at all, and she hasn´t said anything either.

Yesterday I told her about my progress and GA, the step one that I finally embraced, my online meeting thursday (Thank you all who were there. It meant so much for me to listen to your stories and for you to listen to what I had say!) I told her about the paymentsplaned I have made on my debts and that I am going to be debtfree not too far into the future. She got very happy for me, and after a while she asked me if I still was angry about her telling everyone...

Stupid me... I really thought that she hadn´t told anyone. Or I had hoped so strong that she hadn´t. Because the thought of her telling was too painful for me. I thought that she reconsidered when I asked her to, and that she had understood why this wouldn´t help me. That she would understand that my other relatives aren´t that close to me.

I know she did it of love, and therefore I can´t be angry with her, and I told her this, even if i think she was wrong. Then I had to withdraw and run away within myself because all of the pain and hurt that I couldn´t talk to her about. I couldn´t look her into her eyes anymore. I couldn´t sit infront of her. And I couldn´t stop my tears from running.

She thinks she did the right thing. And if I would try to explain to her, and perhaps she acutally would understand, then it would inflict guilt on her, and she shouldn´t feel guilty for doing something out of love. And it is I who put myself in this situation in the first place, so therefore it can never be anyone elses fault. Therefore I had to turn away, until I could control and hold my feelings and tears within.

What hurts the most is two things. The first is that she, who is my sister, is the one person who knew me inside out. What we had was beautyful and precious. It´s my fault that we lost that. My sister went into a deep depression several years agoe, (before my gambling addiction took off) and I decided to stop confiding in her and talking to her about all my thoughts and feelings, since I didnt want to burden her anymore.

After me going through therapy this was enforced even more since I lost my words. And then my gamblingaddiction took off even more enforcing my distancing her. I allowed what we had to vanish.

My sister still loves me very much, and I her. But we don´t have that almost magic connection anymore. And it hurts that I to her became reduced to being an addict, a manipulating, lying, abusing addict who would pray on all my relatives if she didnt tell them and prevented that. Even if I never did do that. Even if I never would´ve done that. The relatives I did borrow money from, which I always did paid back with in one or two months, was my mother and my sister. And my boyfriend. And a close friend. But they all knew, since I wanted them to know, since I had come clean. Except for my sister... I hadn´t build up the strength to talk to her before my mother did.

The other thing that hurts is that my relatives, who have known about me being a compulsive gambler for several months now, haven´t said or showed in anyway that they have knowned. I have met them on familydinners and birthdays and nationalcelebrations, and I thought that my sister hadn´t told them. And now I find out that they have knowned all this time.

I just feel so full of shame. I am not angry with them either, because they had no options to act otherwise. We have never been that close and they don´t really know me, and I haven´t confided in them, and if they had tried to approach me, I probably would have been more hurt and felt all locked up in shame. I also know though how they feel and think about addicts, considering my father and grandfather were both alcoholics and there is so much hatred and bitterness against both of them even though they both have been dead for years and years. Addicts to them are weak, untrustworthy, despised, mean... and so on.

Still it´s like we have all been putting up a grand show these months. And I feel so ashamed and I dont ever want to face anyone of them anymore. I know they have been talking about me when I havent been present, because that is what they do. But when I were there it has just been business as usual. I want to disappear under ground, just vanish. But my daughters birthday is coming up which means I will have to invite everyone to celebrate her... and I don´t know how I am going to manage this... I don´t know how I should think or what I should do. I really dont want to see them, but my daughter.. I can´t hurt her anymore either. Please give me some strenght, because I need it now.

Yes I am a compulsive gambler, and have all the ugly sides that comes with addiction and compulsion. But I am other things to. I am still me at heart.

At the same time something almost unbelievable happened when I was on my way home from my sisters. For about ten minutes, for the first time in my life, I felt like a higher power was watching over me and I felt so much love coming through. And I didn´t doubt or question it but was sure it existed. It was just there. For about ten minutes.
I don´t know what this was, but in my mind I symbolised it in terms of guardian angels or ancestors watching over me. I was there, at step two and step three, and it felt so safe. Like if I just try my best, I don´t have to try to control things that I can´t control, but it will work out if I only let it. And then I lost it again, started to distrust what I had just felt.

I know on a rational level that I can´t allow other peoples acting, whether out of love, like in this case, or otherwise, interfere with my recovery. I have to stay strong and keep trying to take ministeps in the right direction. I try to tell myself that it is not about what other people say or do, it is about me. I have to learn how to manage my emotions.

It still hurts so much though. I don´t want it to hurt like this and I do want to grow, so please write a comment if you have something to share with me.

Love to all!
Thank you both for sharing. Thank you Jess for believing in me. And thank you Craig for sharing you thoughts and feelings that are so similar to mine.

It´s true I don´t really know what images my relatives have of me. And I have always felt a strong need to prove myself to them, being different and being the youngiest one with too many thoughts and feelings according to them. Somehow I have always strived for their acceptance, as if they had the power to give me the right to exist. But that power isn´t theirs. It is my responsibility to heal within so that I won´t be dependent on them in that way anymore.

About my sister. I truly love her so much and I believe that eventually, when I am stronger, I won´t be limited by
my own shame and guilt and my feelings of disappointment towards her, and then we will be able to find our way back to each other. On a healthier level, in openness and honesty.

Love to all!
Thank you Martin for your encouraging words and for sharing your warmth with me! You have a big heart.

I will see you in the chatroom, following your lead.

Prayers and good wishes to you too, my friend <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt="Smile" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile -->.

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