I'm brutally honest in this chapter, I had to be. I've heard of people with Brain Injury having similar problems to this but that doesn't make me feel any better.
Take yourself back to Chapter 6.........
I had a gambling problem and was using online bingo to escape and give me the thrill and excitement that I craved. I was spending a lot of money, money that was needed for bills etc but I didn't care, I was in my own little bingo world. I ended Chapter 6 having deleted my account and the gambling commission said I was barred from using sites affiliated to the site I was using. My Psychologist was giving me tips on how to use my time better and things to think of that would give me a thrill and escapism. Then, as I mentioned in previous chapters, my Psychologist left! So because my account was closed and I was barred, everyone was happy that I couldn't play bingo. What everyone failed to realise was that I had a gambling addiction- a real problem, it wasn't just going to go away! In the end, Terry knew I couldn't play so he didn't take over the finances, silly boy!
3-4 months after all of this, I found another bingo site that let me set up an account, happy days! I could get back what I was missing.
Everyone thought I'd stopped playing and even if I wanted to, I was barred, not realising that there were other sites I wasn't barred from. I didn't have a Psychologist to talk to, there was a long wait till a replacement was employed, so there was nothing stopping me. I just had to be more careful this time and not spend all the bill money. Challenge accepted!
I was still receiving PIP so I would use some of that, small amounts of Terry's wages here and there, I started working for Avon- I was in control of that so it was easy to lie about how much commission I'd earned, I could use a majority of it for Bingo. I would borrow £20 here and there from family members saying I was short for a household bill, they would pay it straight into my bank and it would go straight on Bingo. I would pay them back when Terry got paid on a Friday, its easy to make up an excuse on where £20 had gone. People were fine lending me the money as they always got it back quite quickly.
I've been sneaky, secretive and a liar but I couldn't care less. All I care about is when I can play Bingo next. There's things that you think about first thing in the morning and last thing at night- usually a loved one or something that matters to you, mine is Bingo. I wake up happy if I know there's money in my account and if I haven't got money, it's a miserable day. Some days, I would borrow money, spend it on Bingo so I would need more money, I couldn't possibly ask the same person twice in one day! Actually I could, so I did, using more lies and excuses. Before I got a text to say they'd transferred the money, I had already checked my internet banking, deposited the money and started playing, the consequences of this so far from my mind.
I cant describe the pain I feel if I cant play Bingo! That's why I needed to do anything I can to keep playing, I cant feel like that, its a horrible feeling. If I'm angry, frustrated, stressed, Bingo is the only thing that calms me down and makes me feel better, I rely on it a lot. I'm not doing it because I want to, I don't just feel like doing it, I need to and have to do it. So, I couldn't care less when I'm spending all this money, borrowing it, lying and sneaking around, I need to do it for me. I don't know how this person would be if she couldn't play Bingo any more, I doubt she would be a very nice person, I'm scared to find out what she's like and I don't want to find out. I'm convinced that if I stop playing, the Brain Injury will get worse, Bingo makes me better so I'll go backwards if I stop, plus I cant be held responsible for what kind of angry nutcase I'll be if I stop!
I have a new Psychologist now who is to replace my original one. She's very good, I confided in her about the gambling and she said its a very specific subject so she could help me to an extent, but she would get some outside information for me. At our next meeting she gave me printouts of organisations,websites and numbers to ring. I panicked so I told her that I didn't need this information any more as I had decided to stop playing Bingo, I'd had enough of it. Lies! I got home and threw the information in the bin, that was a close call! Now I was even lying to the person that I would always be honest with and the one who could help.
Anyway, a couple of months ago, the truth was once again revealed to everyone. I cant even remember how it came out, must have blocked that out! I'm not even sure they were that shocked, I think they were more angry and annoyed- they had been lending me money in good faith and all the time I was lying and using it to gamble. I'm still not sure anyone realises the severity of my problem and it is a problem, I admit that, I just don't care. I don't have Avon earnings or PIP any more so its increasingly difficult to get money. Terry warned my family that if I ask for money, don't give it to me, he got me to change all the direct debits from my account to his so I have no reason to have money in the bank. Terry called Gamcare and they told him I would have to ring up, talk to them and then they could decide the best way to help me, maybe get me a one to one session or support group. He told me that until I got help, he didn't expect me to stop playing completely so he would transfer me £7 a week which is £1 per day so I could use that for Bingo. £7 would last me about 15 minutes so certainly wouldn't last me a week!
The only problem with Terry is, he's very laid back, so nearly 2 months later, he's never sat me down with the number for Gamcare, he hasn't been consistent with transferring the £7, nor has he changed his internet banking passwords, which I've memorised. As soon as Terry gets paid now, I transfer money from his account to mine when he's at work (I do this on payday as he has had the sense to clear his account out quite quickly now). I've said a couple of little white lies like I've used it for petrol etc when I haven't but a majority of time, I tell him straight that I'm using it for Bingo. He doesn't say a word, still doesn't get me to ring Gamcare- that's not something I'm going to do on my own, he needs to sit me down and make me. Maybe he's scared of what I might be like without my fix, so he just lets me do it. Luckily over the past few weeks, I've had some good wins which means I can play for longer- the wins keep me going till Terry's payday on a Thursday.
Last Thursday, I transferred £30 to myself and he noticed on his banking app so text me asking if I'd transferred that for food shopping. I replied 'No, I'm using it for Bingo. You keep ignoring the fact that I've got a problem and I'll keep taking the money. It wont go away but you think it will.' He didn't text back and he still hasn't mentioned it to me.
Where I go from here, I don't know. I'll keep transferring money to myself when I can. Terry may just keep burying his head so I'll probably be coming back to this subject in a few chapters time, see if anything is resolved. Its Monday today, I haven't got any money in my account, didn't have a lucky weekend and there's a long wait till Thursday! I'm screwing! I feel like any little thing could trigger my anger at anytime, I'm miserable, I don't know what to do with myself, I'm writing this really fast, I cant relax. If I could just get hold of £5 to put onto my Bingo to play a few games, everything will be better, I will be better.
I am 3 people- me before Brain Injury, me with a Brain Injury and me without Bingo. Now, I'll have to be me without Bingo and I hate her more than her with a Brain Injury.
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