Joseph, Gambler from Croatia
It s not easy for me to start this story, but my feeling is good because someone is listening to me and it may help someone to never start feeling what I feel right now.
I’ve been recently approached via my facebook page and asked to share the story you will read below. This is very personal and devastating story of a young man from Croatia who has been kicked out from home in his early age. When he finally came back home his father died and he was forced to take over his family business.
Joseph’s gambling addiction almost ruined the business, but there were people who wanted to help him out, so he made a deal with them not knowing that he is dealing with local mafia.
Joseph: I need help with gambling problems you can talk with me…
Me: Hi. Yes. I’m an ex-gambler. How can I help you?
Joseph: I was looking for someone who wants to talk about my gambling problem. I sent a lot of messages to people as I really wanted to talk with someone about gambling, but had no replies. Sorry on my english… I am from Croatia.
Me: I’ll be happy to talk to you. I quit gambling over 7 years ago and created this website to help people with gambling problem. How re you doing Today?
Joseph: I am fighting with myself every day and I am not feeling good..
Me: It takes time but is worth to wait and stay gambling free. Have you already tried to stop gambling? What makes you gamble?
Joseph: I’ve tried to stop gambling several times, but it usually last for a few weeks and get to the point where I can’t control myself. I like sports betting. You know what, I’m not feeling good when I place a bet, I always put all money in almost never win.
After i lose all money … I don’t know how to explain… I don’t feel this craziness in my head. I feel angry, but relieved. Do you understand what I’m saying?
Me: I understand you very well. What do you think makes so difficult for you to stop gambling?
Joseph: You must understand the place where i live. Lot’s of gambling machines, clubs, casinos. There are fruit machines in every cafe in every corner. It is sad, very sad. I lost all my friends, my family look at me like if I was crazy, they don’t trust me. I only feel good with people like me, with people who lost everything. I asked to talk to you, because I wanted to talk to someone I don’t know.
Me: You seem to be in big trouble. Tell me how it all started.
Joseph: It’s not easy for me to start this story, but my feeling is good because someone is listening to me and it may help someone to never start feeling what I feel right now.
I was born in family without any financial problems. We had a good family business – a restaurant. Business was doing well and my father bought one more restaurant. On the financial part my life was good.
When I was 7 years old my father took me to the tennis court as he really wanted me to become a professional tennis player. I didn’t like that game. I trained for 10 years only because my father wanted me to do. It wasn’t the nicest part of my life, I remember myself crying in my room all the time.
Me: Sorry to hear about this. Did he know that you hate tennis?
Joseph: Yes. If i didn’t win he was beating me up. I was being beaten a lot by him. When I was getting older I started to change. I don’t know how to explain, but I was looking at my family differently – I didn’t like myself and I didn’t like my family too. I felt anger towards them. It was like not having a family at all. All I had was school and tennis. No friends, nothing…
Me: What was it like when you grew up? Did you tell him that you hate tennis and that you want to do other things in life?
Joseph: When I got older my father wanted me to go to college. I didn’t want to go only because he told me to go. I started turning into a rebel.
I said that I’m not going to college, but I’m going to find a job. He replied that the only place I can work at is our restaurant and if I don’t like it I can get out of the house.
And I left the house.
To be continued..