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How can there be no help?

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  • #2538
    dadda
    Participant

    HI, I am new here. My husband filed for divorce in October due to the discovery of an affair. Apparently, that has fizzled out but he is being hateful and doesn’t want to solve any problems or take responsbility for any destruction. After he filed, I had to go through our financial records. That’s when I learned more about the extent of his gambling-mostly lottery tickets but goes to the casino at times. Approximately $700 a month to $10,000 a year. I have just come to realilze the past week that "he" isn’t the one talking and snarling-it’s the addiction. He’s living next door and desperately trying to cover everything up by trying to get me out of here.
    He’s sent letters to the Court, saying that I’m abusing our children. We have two daughters, 18 & 19. They are aware that their father will buy 3 $20 lottery tickets like it’s nothing, but they don’t understand the addiction stuff and frankly, I’m about two steps behind. He’s now not paying bills. I had to get a restraining order againt him recently because of multiple incidents. The last one involved his coming into the house and destroying the dehumidifier in the basement when nobody was home. The basement recently flooded; I was running it to help dry it up. He smashed it up because it would run up the electric bill. Both of our children have had respiratory illnesses recently, but when I started coughing up blood the past week, I realized the mold thatr’s growing downstairs is being circulated throughout the house. He’s been calling me all week and sending me texts, pretending concern about my condition. When I finally sent a reply text, I simply told him that he is doing to our children what was done to him and his siblings and just got nasty responses back. So it’s back to ignoring him. I didn’t expect anything to  get through, but I told him LEAVE ME ALONE. YOU HAVE WHAT YOU WANT.
    Our daughters have been living here with me, but both of them are mad. I can’t talk about ANYTHING because it upsets them. They won’t follow rules, because he’s told them "it’s not her (my) house," and "she (I) won’t be here in a few months anyway. I only have three rules: do your chores, do your homework, don’t fight. They called the police on each other because they got i a fight over clothing and one had a big bump on her head, the other had scratches and bruises.
    I am going to counseling, keeping up with my doctor, I just found a support group I went to last week for abusive relationships and I found out about Gam-anon (which it will be a 40-50 mile drive one way to go to). I want to have a nervous breakdown. I called his work to see if there is a way to get him into the EAP. I’ve talked to the pastor and friends. There seems to be no help, and I am being forced to sit and watch while he throws away everything we worked for. I can’t save much money, despite working two jobs; our daughters have had to have numerous tests done because they’ve shown stress-related symptoms but other causes needed to be ruled out. I get to pay for all of that. I had to hire an attorney for protection. Like a true addict, he cares (!!) only about hiding his addiction. He demanded I leave the house and transfer $11,000 in bills into my name. This is our second marriage to each other. He did not abide by our agreement in the last divorce, so I am still paying off debts from then. I’ve been trying to keep my bills current and I can qualify for a modest mortgage, if and when I can get out of here, if my debts aren’t driven up. But I can hear the meter running every time I speak with my attorney and there is nothing for a settlement except equity in the house. Of course, the market sucks and I don’t know if he’s keeping current on the payments.
    I feel like a very stressed-out person. His denial and all of his "friends’" and relatives’ complicity in hiding his problem is just making everything worse. I don’t want to fight with our daughters, I am angry that they are getting mixed up and messed up by his problem. But I have to expect some level of cooperation here-the house has been a disaster laterly and I take care of 5 animals that don’t belong to me. I am calling to have 2 of the animals (dogs) removed Monday, but this is all hurting me. Nobody can or will do ANYTHING to make him stop. What, if anything, can I do to keep my sanity? What can I do to keep my kids from hating me? Just give in? That’s all I can think of, but then I end up doing everything and that’s setting them up and hurting me. Please help me know what I can do or just tell me, if it’s the truth, that I and our kids are going to have to hit rock bottom before this ever phases him-if ever it does. I pray and have a faith relationship with God, but I can’t understand why He is making me go through this. It hurts too much.
    By the way, he blames ME for every problem he has. It is my fault he gambles and my fault he had an affair. I know that’s not true. He is living next door to us, with his mother, who "never cut his apron strings," according to a letter he sent me after our first divorce. We moved here form California about 20 years ago for "support" (his parents gave him an ultimatum or what sounded like one to him). He "can’t break a promise to his parents", so we have been "stuck" here ’til both are dead. He is waiting for his inheritance. I understand that his problem revolves a lot around his family growing up and how relationships are done/maintained and "rewards" abused. Knowing some of that hasn’t helped.

    #2539
    dadda
    Participant

    Hi. First, thanks for moving the newer post. I guess it would be nice as a diary entry, from the first to what’s been going on.
    Second, I will have to read the reponses again in a bit. I just woke up. My sleep has been messed up from having to stay up all night twice the past week forworking and I have been sort of feverishly trying to get things done as a realtor is cheduled to come by. The Court ordered the house to be sold. I looked around quite a while ago and there are many small repairs and stuff that have needed to be done. Some I know how to or have attempted and others I’ve just hit up against frustration.
    Since the Court ordered the sale (which he previously has blocked and fought), there’s a chance I suppose, that I might be able to get some small chunk of money and be able to go. In a somewhat sensible fashion. I hope and I pray so. I will probably post more in  a little  bit, when I can think and type coherently. I just ran across this article http://www.cnsspectrums.com/aspx/articledetail.aspx?articleid=1162 recently and it is so true; I have ended up, with a bit of artful manipulation of facts, to look like the crazy one. Or a nag … not someone who actually is intelligent enough to know that what has been going on CAN’T work. Wasn’t sure where all th emoney was going for the longest time, but basic math and accounting, I am more than capable.
    The other things I read recently: a report on Indiana state spending a whopping $36.19 per problem gambler in FY 2009. What a return they are getting on "THEIR" money. In fact, I found out about a savings program that would have matched whatever funds I cold put in with some state and Federal funds, back when I was proactively trying to figure a way out of here. I haven’t had a $100extra to start that; the other day I had to transfer the last $100 (again) to my checking as I was overdrawn and needed gas … leaving me a grand total of $3 in savings. I’m feeling pretty betrayed, since it cost about $8.000 to "protect" me and our children over the last two years …. $450/month OVER my "normal expenses" (and most of those consisting of paying down previous divorce debt, etc). I’ve found some things the attorney COULD HAVE recommended that would have been much more cost effective to me … such as I could have requested to be his representative payee as well as my daughter’s (which was turned down, though I had custody, when he circumvented that and said, he was paying the bills and should have the money.) I guess I should have appealed the Social Security decision, as I trusted the attorney, and don’t know what I have "spent" but over two years later, I have yet to see a dime and it will come slowly, through garnishing his part time wages. The "legal system" doesn’t care and they OBVIOUSLY have NO understanding of FACTS. The state has NOTHING to offer other than "coping". I know how to COPE mostly, it involves distancing oneself from bad or dangerous situations. Not staying in them and performing mental gymnastics with the facts.
    But what I read besides was a story I found online, "Cinderblock walls" at  http://www.bookrix.com/library.html?submitted1=1&search=spencer. The character married a man who seemed alright at first. But he soon started putting "condition" on their relationship and soon admitted he had a large gambling debt that pre-dated their marriage. The wife was so hopeful, because he had "come clean" that it took me, as it took  the character, a while to realize the "perfect set-up". The character went to work on paying down the debt, moving back to  the state she’d practiced law in before. She only opted for a gym membership and something else (fairly trivial) besides the rental room she called "home". But eventually, it hit me that this guy wasn’t married; he’d merely found a patsy to provide him with money, giving up her own life and future to fix the problem he’d so "courageously" revealed. I guess it’s shaken me A LOT to know how well-hidden this gambling has been. And to have been negatively subjected to "authorities" who never seem to look at more than one fact at a time. To fit the FACTS into place myself and turn again … and the "authorities" still claim no responsibility and no suggestions. ANd seriously, the thing that bothers ME, THE MOST, id that another truly avoidable tragedy DUE TO out of control gambling WILL BE LOST, covered over in another "no fault divorce". 
    I can’t help but think of how much exposure there’s been, inthe past 15 years, to the mental/physical heath systems, legal (police and Court AS WELL AS two involuntary commitments of ME, one with judicial warrant) and so on … and then, the gambling … all activities regulated and permitted, even licensed through the state. However, the state is refusing to acknowledge or even look at the interactions and see how they have contributed to "the state of affairs" today. And their definition of harm: does not include financial devastation? This whole situation is crazy, where before I had almost accepted that it might really be me who was … that is sort of scary, like the story I read (and don’t know how much of that is drawn from truth) … I could be in a "loony bin" or sitting, taking ***** for a condition I don’t have, all because I crossed a pathological gambler whose pathology extends well into personality disorder territory, from what I can tell.
    There HAS TO be a means to get the truth "out there" but I have not found it … yet.
     

    #2540
    velvet
    Moderator

     
    Hi Dadda
    I’m afraid it is going to take a lot of shaking up of governments to get the ‘truth out there’ but my opinion is that while you are still in the middle of the maelstrom it is more important that you look after you than try and change the world at the moment.
    You could indeed be sitting in a loony bin or taking ***** for a condition you don’t have because your life included a gambling addict – I am exceedingly glad you are doing neither of those things. The emotional wreckage, I believe, is far greater than any financial loss and it is that which we address in this forum.
    Alcoholics fall over and **** addicts have their addiction showing in their spaced out eyes but the addicted gambler shows nothing.   We can walk past them, meet them at social gatherings and talk with them everyday of our lives and not know.   Yes it is scary but it does make it difficult, for those who are not aware, to understand.    
    The CG also is scared and does not understand why they are different – they fight their way through their turmoil using their addiction because that is the nature of the addiction – the pain they inflict is not done deliberately or meant personally.
    I can only deal with those who seek support, probably having been pulled down to a very dark place, long before they reach this forum.   I cannot give you the money you lost to the addiction – I can only help you understand the addiction and why you have found yourself in the situation you are in. In my way I am trying to get the truth out there because everyone who visits this forum can open their eyes and take themselves out of the abyss emotionally.  I know I will not change the world.
    When you are recovered, with your self-esteem and confidence returned, maybe you can do something to make a difference legally where you are – you obviously have the intelligence to do so and the hungriness to succeed. 
    You are talking to the converted here but I cannot tackle the courts or law-makers – I can only talk to you and help you understand that what has happened to you was not your fault or your husbands. I hope to help you understand that the greatest revenge on the addiction to gamble is for you to be happy because the most important weapon in the hands of an oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.  
    You are now divorced and there is a freedom in that but there is a greater freedom and that is to realise that you do not have the addiction.   Your ex-husband is not a free man – he is controlled – you are not.
    Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent so take the miserable experience you have had and turn it into something good – I believe you can but only when you have had time to build your strength up.   You are not a patsy – you are an intelligent woman who has experience something she did not know existed.   Now you are aware you can remove yourself from its shadow but please give yourself time.  
    You have used our Topic Forum and you have used it well. There is a topid called Wounded Healer.   It is my belief we can damage ourselves and others if we try to heal before we are healed. 
    Financial devastation is well known in this forum and in the CG forum but it is the emotional devastation that we can deal with and nobody can do it for us.   We are in to a New Year with new beginnings and you have a new beginning.   I hope you do benefit financially from the sale of your home but having read your posts I am sure you will go forward emotionally, knowing you are neither crazy nor a nag.   As you grow stronger, finding out about you and liking yourself maybe you can get some ‘truth out there’.
    Velvet
     
     

    #2541
    dadda
    Participant

    I keep asking myself how much more I can take. It’s not really like I have a choice, though. If I don’t somehow handle things, I’ll be the one going down in flames. I was reading thourgh things and one of the phrases, how it’s hard to "keep track" because of all that has gone on, struck me.
    I feel so tired. An attorney reviewed the divorce decree and pointed out something I wasn’t aware of. Since we have no assets other than the house, and I didn’t ask for as much in personal property, I have to wait til the house sells (and I come after the attorney portions) to be "equalized". This attorney pointed out that if the house "short sells" (for less than sufficient), my "judgment" for property equalization isn’t protected. At all. Meantime, I had found additional evidence of extensive gambling and it tied into previous Court cases (he had filed against me). In other words, when he was supposed to be in COurt, because he was trying to get me limited from our children, he was in a casino, out of state and preventing my exercising "first right of care" for our children. Under false pretenses, as he lost the first suit by default (being in the casino, though then that was not known to me or the Court). Second time, because I spent thousands on legal and he had no case …
    So the date of deadline for filing in this most recent divorce, I sat in the Court and wrote up a pro se motion for reconsideration, based upon ***** to the Court and extrinsic *****, as well as some other issues. My attorney stated she would not represent me in anything other than a bankruptcy proceeding. For some reason, she has not signed off (withdrawn) and there has been no action on my filing. It is like it "disappeared". I know that my ex also filed paperwork the same date, and his motion was "dismissed". I can’t think it takes so long to rule something on a motion, so it looks like I will have to find out what is going on. I am going to cry if someone is depriving me, again, of my rights.
    I’m also wiped out, emotionally and physically, from everything that has gone on and I am feeling now how "punitive" the decree feels. My husband has been seeking now for me to pay the mortgage and utilities on a place I don’t want to be in but can’t afford to leave, as he has refused to pay the previous judgement. A realtor is coming tomorrow, but there are dog pee stains in the carpet and numerous things that need to be done. Every time we have sold, I have had to do all the work. And again, I have to do all. I know that if I DO leave before the house sells, it is VERY UNLIKELY TO SELL AT ALL as long as he is alive and has something to say about it. If I can’t get some money together, I can’t get out of here. I already applied to a helping fund to try to get some of the needed repairs (that I CAN’T do and I have, by necessity, learned to do a lot) to my car done so I could get another job. My car is not reliable and have almost lost the one job I have left as a result. After going through all the app process, it was turned down – no funds. There are no resources other than "coping".
    I am just unsure how long I can last, "coping" while the last few resources I have seem to be dwindling away. I tried to get charges filed in regard to an incident where he came bounding into the house and stood up against my chest, threatening me and that in front of our teen-age daughter. The officer never sent it in for prosecutor review so the last few months, with the statute looming, I tried to get answers. I sent the prosecutor’s office a recording of the incident, but I think the deadline has passed. Turns out the officer’s report doesn’t reflect what happened at all. I was so distraught after husband left that I couldn’t even find my divorce papers and I told him how I’d been threatened, etc. I know that sometimes you can get restitution for criminal things and I have paid a lot, in counseling, including for illnesses I don’t have, as well as legal fees, for his lies that I abuse our children, etc. To have the police of all people, pick and choose and misrepresent is just killing me. I’m crying a lot because every avenue of hope seems to close off; all I am left with is more debt and I had no hope, if I didn’t legally try to protect myself. And even with that, I didn’t have much hope, it seems. I’m still a hostage, unless I want to go live in the street or shelter, and leave what is mine behind.
     

    #2542
    dadda
    Participant

    I feel a little better. The realtor came by today; that’s been a hurdle because of all the animals (2 dogs and 3 cats). Since I had come back years ago in the "one down" position, there was a lot I haven’t had much say in. Sort of hurts to realize how much that has been mine by right as well as having earned it has been usurped, but if I CAN get through this (I feel so burnt out and exhausted at *****) things will have to be better.
    I already know that "he knows" I CAN make it without him. Since I refused to obey his demand to "get out" when he first filed, I knew he was going to "punish" me. That is something I have learned; he thinks he has some God-given right to do so. Had that ever shown early on, there’d be none of this going on now.
    My therapist and people on another support forum have strong feelings (and I agree) that the addiction is complicated by personality disorder issues. I guess my biggest concern is getting money and getting out. I am more or less a hostage in a very rural area and my car is unreliable, which has made it difficult to pursue additional employment. After two years + of having attorney fees of about $450/month, my finances are ravaged. This month and last, I have finally gotten to the point where 3 of my bills are "too hard" to pay. I hoped for a better outcome, such as him paying the judgment he owed, which would have been sufficient for me TO leave. But he has refused and dragged that along, knowing it would cost me in attorney fees while he would feel no additional pain. His pay was recently garnished, but haven’t received any funds there, either.
    I had to get a protective order, because of his smashing things, threats and all. I know most of his actions are designed to intimidate me into caving in, but I am actually honestly anxious, as there is obviously no "sense" to his actions, considering that all I asked (having been through all with him before) was 6 months of peace to pay down my debts and save some money to move. He could have had the divorce much sooner and the whole equity, for all I cared. Nothing is worth this destruction.
    Since I have been proactive in protecting myself and responding to his wrong actions, I really don’t think the desire he has (to punish me) has gone away. I don’t know whether there is any good reference material to sort of get a feel of how he might try to play against me. But I would like to have some peace; this feeling of being on tenterhooks and always waiting for "something" to happen is very draining. Or maybe I’m over-anxious and shouldn’t be, that exposure will keep some actors at bay, if they care about the exposure possibly limiting their freedom or public image? I’m still sort of lost on all this and trying to fight back or rouse myself from the apathy, shock, being "burnt out" trying and making one step forward and his actions setting me back 3. He doesn’t want me, but he refuses to let me go on, especially with the prospect of being able to have some semblance of a rational life out of here. He honestly would have no problem with me being forced into a shelter or my car, and I want to avoid that. Without his interferences (misusing legal processes and ignoring Court orders), I would have been quite happily gone some time ago. I know he’s been enraged by my actions, but I haven’t done anything immoral, illegal or unethical, knowing that it was in my best interests to try to work amicably but without letting myself be thrown to the street.
    I just called a place that helps coordinate community help services; I met with the woman in one of the programs previously and explained how I am overwhelmed; rather than calling around piecemeal for help, hoping she can help me sort out this disaster a bit. But have scheduled an appointment for next week and going to try to make some other contacts.

    #2543
    sosad
    Participant

    Hi dadda,
    I have read your posts and am so glad that you are here and posting and that you are feeling a little bit better in your last post.  Your situation sounds challenging beyond belief AND you sound very strong and clear, despite the exhaustion. 
    Keep posting and receiving support!  I imagine that it must feel compelling to look to the big picture and try to find answers and solutions as to why the support isn’t as it should be for those ravaged by this addiction, and possibly, as you mention, other mental health issues.  I too often want to take on the world and solve the problem at its root, rather than just staying focused on myself.  If I have missed this entirely, and it is not true for you, please disregard.  If it is true, I too encourage you to stay focused, for now, on you and to continue seeking and getting the support you need to get strong and into a more stable financial position…then, when you are back on your feet you can decide whether/if and how to contribute to tackling the bigger issues at hand.  I hope I have not overstepped with my thoughts.
    A few years ago, with this addiction, I found myself having to untangle and business situation in order to stabilize my financial life.  I had come across some information on ‘high conflict people’ and a lawyer that wrote a fair bit about it – can’t remember the name at the moment, but you may find some helpful information if you google…it helped me to read as it acknowledged my situation and gave some ideas on how to deal with it.
    Thinking of you and sending you strength.  xx

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