Hello all - just need to talk a bit about something that's bothering me, and here I feel like maybe someone can understand offer the advice that comes from experience.

I'm feeling awful - just had an argument with my mother who is a recovering gambler. She has not gambled for about a month, and is in retirement, waiting for her pension money, hence the lack of income. The reason for the argument is that I lent her money to pay her rent and drove her to the rentals office. When she came back into the car, I looked at her receipt to see if she had paid it. Big mistake! She blew up and yelled I was treating her like a criminal, that she had never stole in her life (untrue), that she should be respected, and that I have control issues.
Actually I agree somewhat. Although I didn't appreciate the ranting and raving for 10 minutes. I thought I had come to terms with her gambling and keeping her problem at arms-length, but apparently not. I'm wondering, should I look for Gam-anon, or keep my distance from her? Was I in the wrong for looking at the receipt?
-Very Confused and Heartsick

In order to understand a

In order to understand a gambler's thinking, we must understand how a gambler thinks (if that makes any sense).

It seems to me that mom was upset because she was trying to do the right thing and she was questioned about it and that's part of the distorted thinking. She is probably having her own dealings with staying away from gambling and the anxiety at times can be overbearing and the person will snap at the smallest things. Generally, people are adept at catching others doing something wrong. In dealing with addicts we must be alert to catch them doing something right and commend them for it.

Don't distance yourself from mom, she needs you more now then ever. All gambler's have a common purpose, to feel acceptance. Whether it's at a casino, a bingo hall, or a back room card game, thats where they feel acceptance.

By best advice to you is to get the books "Addictive Personality" & "Addictive Thinking", both by Abraham Twerski (find them at Amazon). They're not large books and are easy reading, but they'll give you a lot better understanding of what goes on in the minds of compulsive gamblers and how to deal with them. Think you'll find a lot of useful information in both the books.

Hope this helps in some way....