Monday, November 26, 2012

1-800-Thanks-4-Nuthin'

Do you look at those slot machines and break out in a cold sweat? Does your heart start racin' and your palms start sweatin'? Well, I suppose if you are a die hard gambler all kinds of physical and emotional reactions go on in your body that most of us will probably never understand. Gambling is an addiction, just like drugs and alcohol. Believe me, I'm just sorta figurin' that out first hand. I know I've alluded to my dysfunctional parents in the past. Hell, they put the prefix "dys" in the word functional fo' sho!!! You might say they are a bunch of crazy 8's. Hence the reason I live 8 hours away. However, I learned a looooooong time ago, ya gotta play the hand you're dealt.

Long story short, my parents have a gambling problem amongst several other issues. The gambling, lies, denial, mental illness and a series of bad decisions have all led them to lose their house. They rolled snake eyes too many times and are now totally crapped out, living off a measly social security income, having wagered their entire retirement and second mortgage away in a matter of 2 years. Even though it was a long shot, Uncle Jeffy and I have given them untold amounts of money over the years. You can bet your bottom dollar that was a bad decision as we were just enablers. Unfortunately, I'm an only child, who has been more like a parent to my parental units for over a decade. Things have gotten so bad now that it's time to stage an intervention, and for me to travel to PA to do damage control.

So, Friday night I called the National hot line for Gambler's Anonymous to ask for assistance on how to set up such a come to Jesus meeting for my parents. I mean we are talkin' 70 year old folks who can barely afford to eat, but they gotta go all in to buy lottery tickets hopin' to hit the Mega Millions!!! No one answered so I left a message. Well, it's Monday and I'm still waitin' for my call back. Not one to be deterred, I called on Saturday morning and waited on hold only to hear the nice computer generated voice tell me, "don't worry, your call is crucial, and someone will be with you momentarily". After 10 minutes of that message, the computer told me, "so sorry, there is no volunteer available at this time to take your call, please try again later". Guess everybody decided to take off for the holiday weekend and be shopoholics instead. DAMN, I'm so glad I'm not the one with the gambling problem 'cause we all know those gamblers have the patience of Job. Seriously, can't ya just see that gambler who is holdin' the line waitin' for that support system to tell him not to pull the lever on that one armed bandit or make that call to his bookie. But, when no one is available, that poor dude risks it all, doubles down, and goes for broke.

Yeppers, thanks for nuthin' Gamblers Anonymous. Now I gotta go put on my best poker face and try to call my parents' bluff. Odds are they ain't gonna listen to me. But maybe I'll actually hit a wild card and be able to knock some sense into them. Anyone want to put a wager on that dark horse?

Anyway, please forgive me while I'm in PA dealing with this crap, not writing regularly, and being a bad blogging friend by not reading and commenting on your amazing posts. My chips may be down for awhile, but I haven't folded yet!!!

Images via Google Images

32 comments:

  1. I meant to toss off a funny comment, but nothing funny here. Geez, good luck. That can't be any fun.
    Plus, it's frikkin' COLD up here.

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  2. God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

    Dealt with addiction issues in my own family and beat my head against the wall trying to help for years. Didn't work. Just accepted and moved on. Hard but necessary to do.

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  3. I'm with Al on this one. Nothing funny to say, so I hope everything goes well. My grandpa on my dad's side (I've never actually met him) was a compulsive gambler and lost my grandma's wedding ring in a poker match. He left my dad when my dad was 4, but still called all the time for money. I just found out that he called within the past 5 years to ask for money, and was mad when my grandma didn't send him any... wtf, right?

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  4. Addictions are nothing to fool with, I had a gambling phase there a while back, won a bit and ran off never to return. Sounds like a lot of crap to deal with, good luck.

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  5. They got a casino not too far away from my house in southern NC. I really need to go there just for fun.

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  6. Oh Deb! dang! that is a problem. I hope you can be a "tough love" type of helper. If my parents were like that I would have to spank them. Blessedly my dear folks were very very sensible with their money. I am so GRATEFUL for that.

    I'll miss your nice words to me, but I completely understand! I sincerely get excited to read your comments each time. THANK YOU now get after those brats, find them and get real mad!!!! I hate gambling but I did love your writing with it's innuendos.

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  7. Deb - best of luck! We'll all be thinking about you and sending good vibes your way!

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  8. So many "funny" comments that just sound stupid next to what you're going through. Instead, I'll just say good luck in this most miserable situation.

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  9. I'm sorry to hear that you are carrying such a heavy burden.

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  10. WTH Gamblers Anonymous??? They suck.

    So sorry you have to run off to try to knock some sense into your parents. Hope it goes well for you.

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  11. that is so sad :( Being so immature at that age when you have kids and grandkids to whom you should leave something when you leave this world... just sad :(

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  12. We'll be here when you return! Good luck sweety pie and travel safe. I'm praying for you and your family.

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  13. Hang in there lady, hope you're able to slap some sense in them. Gambling is a helluva drug!

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  14. What a horrible situation for you to deal with. I wish you the best of luck with helping your parents. Be sure you don't let them damage YOU in the process.

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  15. Oh no - I sure hope you can get them straightened out. And what a stupid Gambler help line - not much help huh? geez.

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  16. Hello. Just wanted to stop by and let you know I tagged you for a Liebster Blog Award. You can check out the post at http://hyethymecafe.blogspot.com/2012/11/a-little-blog-love-came-my-way-liebster.html

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  17. Sorry to miss you...they be need'n a wise daughter, willing to help. That is tough. I sounds like uncle Jeffy is with you on this one, too. You rock!!

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  18. My late grandfather had a gambling problem so this post resonated with me. I wish you the best of luck!

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  19. wow, thats rough.

    gambling is thankfully one vice that ive never had. I enjoy doing it, but as soon as i lose anything more than 40 bucks i start thinking of the cool stuff i could have bought with that money...

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  20. Deb! i miss you! hope everything is ok. hope you are managing all that you need to and that you can be back on monday. (hug)

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