My mother is addicted to Farmville & my family and I are worried - please help!

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lizwool
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My mother is addicted to Farmville & my family and I are worried - please help!

Post by lilybelle1955 with all of the replies.  This would not convert when we upgraded to the new website, so I am posting it here. 1/31/2015 Liz W.
Posted on: Sat, 08/27/2011 - 2:06pm
Posts: 1
Joined: 2011-08-27

IP: 96.247.108.156

Ok, so a little background: I am a young adult (hopefully moving out in the not-too-distant future) living with my parents. We have a lot of real-life animals at home who we love and deserve tons of TLC. My mother is used to being at home by herself a lot, as my father had a very hectic work schedule and we never knew when he would be home, and I was at school and doing extra-curriculars and hanging out with friends.

My mother had to have surgery for something, and as a result, could not go upstairs into our Computer Room to do any of her computer things-it was just a little too much for her at the time. So, she set up one of her laptops initially on our dining room/kitchen table, which was already a mess of paperwork that was her makeshift office. My mother hasn't been employed since just a little bit before I was born, but has acted as my father's secretary at home for his work and just taken care of all of the bills and paperwork for us. Eventually, my mother set up a very nice computer at the table (she had gotten back into photography and would go shoot all day at least once a week and then go to her computer to do post work on her photos).

My father, unfortunately, was out of work one day, and that lasted for about a whole year. This shook up the family dynamic, as we did not know how to interact with each other this way, so it led to some serious arguing and head-butting. I believe around this time or a little before is when my mother started playing Farmville-she always seemed to brighten when she talked about it or was playing with it. It seemed funny at the time, as we really have a farm in our own backyard. I was playing a different facebook game at the time-I was urging her to play that one because of the exotic animals it had-but she showed me Farmville and eventually I relented and joined so I could play with her. She eventually joined the other game I had been playing as well. My dad found work after the year was through, and everything seemed to be fine.

I soon discovered that it was WAY too much work to play both the other game, Farmville and another Zynga game that I barely even touched at the same time, so I stopped playing the game I had gotten my mother into. I suggested that she do that same, but by that point my mother had found a bunch of other players on facebook to become friends with (in fact, they were writing and sharing with each other in a daily thread, which is still happening now-of course, we have never met these people) and she felt that if she stopped playing she would hurt their feelings. I was brought into the daily thread too so that I could get some rare items, but I learned pretty fast that if I actually had a life going on with things to do, it was next to impossible to keep up, and I would let them fall by the wayside and just go out and spend time with my real-life friends.

Then my father was out of work again, but this time, he was fired. Both of my parents went through a depression; my father had already lost several of his brothers to cancer and one of our dearly beloved pets was murdered viscously by a raccoon, so he had already been having a rough year, and my mother, well...she had less money to spend and more to worry about the stability of our finances. My mother stopped going out to take photographs-she never felt up to it.

I have had relatives fly out from the other side of the world to see us, and my mother is attached to the computer. It had already frustrated me (if I try talking to her, she rarely actually LOOKS at me or uses her brain to compute anything that I've said, and the moment I try to walk out of the kitchen and am at the door she begins to say, "Uhhhhh..." - really, really makes me want to bang my head against a wall), but my relatives were just as upset because they had come all this way to spend time with her and she sat like a vegetable in front of the computer.

Soon, my mother started getting hostile (and not just regarding the computer, mind you, but for a lot of other things in general-she once screamed at me at an upscale resort at the pool in front of everyone, a generally really calm place-if she had given me a chance to explain, she would have found out there was no reason to freak out, but the damage was done and I have never been so mortified or embarrassed in all my life-and of course, she never apologized for it, either). If anyone ever wanted her to get away from the computer and stop playing Farmville, they were a horrible, horrible human being. The one time when I got up the courage to really try to talk to her about it and get it to stop, she lashed out at me, and the worst thing she said was, "Why do you want to take away the ONE THING that makes me happy?" I just couldn't believe my ears. My father, myself, our family, our animals, her photography, and any other thing she liked to do suddenly was...well, worthless to her, apparently. I backed off, realizing that I did not have the power to do anything about her addiction. I hoped that it would pass-maybe, maybe my father would find another stable job and she would be happier to focus on other things.

But the economy being what it is, my father never found more stable work, and is retiring soon. My parents have mostly come out of their depressions, but my mother is still on the computer and playing Farmville for hours on end, not wanting to get out of the house and DO something with herself-it has to be a forced thing, like a visit to the doctor (every now and again she trains one of the animals, but I'm not sure how long or consistently that will happen). I barely touch Farmville anymore as I've grown mostly fed up with the game and I honestly have much better things to do with my time. My family is still concerned and fed up with her behavior. My father was finally able to go out on vacation with us for the first time in many long years, and he really enjoyed himself, and I think he wants to have more family time and has seen that it is in fact possible but does not know how to go about having it. A few days ago, he finally snapped at her and screamed at her that he's fed up with her always on the computer playing Farmville and forbid her from playing for 24 hours. Usually around here, my father's word is law and he is the only person my mother will not question, but she only respected his wishes for an hour. He hasn't been perfect either, as he sits in front of the t.v. or reads every now and again, away from us, but if he wants to do something, he DOES it, gets out of the house to play golf, or cooks up something new after being inspired from a cooking show. I can see that he wants to spend more time with my mother, but does not know how to get her out of this.

I have graduated college now, and once I have a steady, reliable income and have some money saved up, I want to move out and live with my boyfriend and start living like an adult. But I'm terrified to leave, for both of my parents' sakes - how will they function together? I have been the mediator, the buffer, for a good while now. There is so much that needs to be done before I'm convinced they will be able to be alone and happy together. I worry for them, for their mental health, for the sake of their marriage (even though I'm convinced neither of them would leave the other ever), for the sake of the animals, and for the sake of the house.

I don't know what to do. I can't talk to my mother about this, as she will hate me and just stop talking to me. I'm afraid to talk to my father about this, as when I have tried in the past he has just said "It makes your mother happy, let's just let it be"-of course, that was all before his blow-up several days ago.

I have contemplated moving her computer back upstairs without telling her-unfortunately it would complicate the situation with the dogs, so it is really not do-able at this point. I have thought about moving the computer into another room downstairs, but I don't think that would solve the deeper issue here.

Please give me some advice! This whole situation is ruining my family and we need help. This has been going on for several years and I just can't take it anymore.

5660 reads

Posted on: Sat, 08/27/2011 - 6:45pm #1
ElizabethA
Posts: 655
Joined: 2011-04-02
[OLGA Member]

IP: 50.136.164.9

Dear Lily, 

First of all: Welcome to OLGA.  I hope that you find some support for your situation from the others who have faught a game addiction for themselves (as I have) or are the loved ones of addicted gamers (like you).  

Your post makes me think of a couple of things I hope you keep in mind in the days and weeks ahead.

First:  It sounds like your mother is using Farmville as a way to cope with depression and avoid her real life problems.  A lot of people do that--I think the difficult economy now has pushed a lot of people to hide in all manner of games.  Is that a good thing?  Probably not, but it is happening to many people who are striving to cope any way they can.  The best outcome for your mother and anyone addicted to gaming who is using it as a coping mechanism, is for all to recognize that gaming doesn't really work, and that there are other problems that must be resolved before depression can lift.   Moving your Mom's computer or having your Father yell at your Mom won't do much good.  Its going to have to be your Mother who recognizes her problem, and the its your Mother who must take steps to fix her life.  

Please remember the three "C"s about gaming addiction:  You didn't CAUSE your mother's addiction to gaming--even though you discovered the game together, you aren't addicted to it and she is.  You cannot CHANGE the way your mother feels about her life and how she copes with her problems.  And you cannot CURE your mother's addiction.  Yes, you can make sure she knows you love her.  Yes, you can let her know that the OLGA site is here and will welcome her if she needs friends to help her break free from the bondage that is game addiction.  

The second thing I hope you will consider is that you are not responsible to referee in your parents marriage.  As a young adult it is time for you to move on with your life--make your way in the world.  Launch.  That's your job.  Of course you should be aware of what is happening in your parent's lives, but they are grownups and they need to figure out how they will live for themselves.  No child should have to be an intermediary or go-between for their parents.  That's not fair nor is it right. 

I will pray that your mother finds a path out of the Farmville soon, and that you are able to move on with your life too.  Best of luck to you and your family, 

ElizA

____________________________________________

.Left the games behind Tuesday, March 28, 2011...I have a new left knee and a lot more appreciation for the word "recovery"....blessings come in the darndest forms!

Posted on: Sat, 05/19/2012 - 7:07am #2
KJ11
Posts: 1
Joined: 2012-05-19

IP: 109.151.241.207

Hello my name is KJ and I know exactly how you feel. My mum and sister are both addicted to Facebook and my mum is to gaming. I have tried to talk to them about it but nothing get's through. My advice is to take really hard action.

Firstly have you tried stealing the laptop when your mother is in bed? You could hide it or sell it if you wish. Doing this will make your mother do other things than play farmville.

Secondly use a pair of scissor's and cut through the laptop charger. So next time your mum goes to play on it she can't.

Thirsly get her into rehab. It's no joke if your mother's an addict.

I hope any of this is a help.

KJ

Posted on: Sat, 05/19/2012 - 11:52am #3
dan1
Posts: 2377
Joined: 2012-05-04
[OLGA Member]

IP: 67.190.12.93

Your mother is addicted to the game.  It is negatively impacting your family. But you have become co-dependent:  Your life has turned into an attempt to take care of your parents.  You are currently parenting them.  And you are trying to figure out what to do about your "teenaged" mom who has turned into a zombie.  I feel for you; it's a terrible situation.

First I think, you must figure out what is best for you.  You have a plan to move out; I think you should implement it.  Perhaps set a date for moving out (even if it's a few months away).  Have you sat down with your father to talk with him about the situation?  Does he understand that your mother is actually physically (chemically) addicted to gaming?  He should know you are planning to move out.  And if you want to take drastic action like taking your mother's computer away, won't you need his assistance to make it stick?  Maybe if you took it away, you could get her through the withdrawal before you move.  But he would have to support it.

You must decide these things.  But for sure, I think you should make a plan for disconnecting yourself from this situation relatively soon and follow it through.  You have your life to live.  You do not have to parent your parents. 

____________________________________________

I am a recovering computer game and gambling addict.

My recovery birthday: On May 6, 2012 I quit games and began working a program of recovery through OLGA

No computer games or slot games for me since December 12, 2012. No solitaire games with real cards since June 2013.

Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. ...Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death. --American Society of Addiction Medicine

Posted on: Sat, 05/19/2012 - 4:26pm #4
zoom
Posts: 303
Joined: 2012-03-06
[OLGA Member]

IP: 76.106.192.231

Hi Lily, 

I can't say it any better than ElizabethA....

1.You didn't cause the probem

2. You cange the problem

3. You can't 1cure the problem

4. You are not responsible for their actions.

With that said my game of choice was ZooWorld. I had 4 different zoos I was building and I loved doing it. I loved all the animals, all the promotions, all my friends (nearly 3000) of them. I was even invited to be an assistant. Which gave me all kinds of tools where I could get more virtual money and special ways to get more animals than I could have ever imagined. I had over (I think)200 billion dollars to spend on buying animals. New animals came out every Tuesday. If only I was only allowed to purchase 2 or 3 animals then I would go to the special tool and purchase maybe 100 more just to give away in little posts I would do in a special room. Wow, was I ever into that game. 

A friend who was a member of OLGA asked me how I was doing with my game and I told him "Oh, you know. I'm OK." He then asked how much I was playing. I told him about a couple hours a day. When actually it was more like 8 to 12 hours a day. I even believed it was only a couple of hours until I decided I wanted 2 more zoos. To get those 2 zoos I had to get 2 more e-mail accounts and 2 more FB accounts. Then it dawned on me boy this is stupid. and I came to OLGA. That was 10 1/2 wks ago. 

Your mom will have to come to the same conclusion on her own there is nothing you can do to change that. 

Keep coming back here and talking with others and help yourself to cope with the situation. 

Posted on: Mon, 05/26/2014 - 5:18pm #5
medwards429
Posts: 4
Joined: 2014-05-26

IP: 71.22.150.0

My mother, I believe, is a gaming addict as well. She can be on the computer from the time she gets up until she goes to bed … and all she is doing is playing games; mainly Farmville 2. The only time she isn't, are the brief moments when she is doing her laundry (loading/unloading the washer and/or dryer, and folding her clothes), cooking (though she'd prefer me to cook everyday; she cooks on her days off though or tries to), doing the dishes (which are almost never completely "done). Sometimes her laundry sits in piles in her room for weeks on end before she puts it away.

Before the computer and internet access in our home – she was very fastidious about putting her clothes away, and she was even on me to do mine. It’s just been her and I since April 1980. And, no … she wasn’t always like this. In August 1990, I bought a Nintendo that only got played on her days off. Then at the end of 1993, we got a Super NES, again … only played on her days off. We managed to play board games, do laundry, the house look “respectable”, we even watched TV series and movies. Sometimes we’d take time to “write” either handwrite or take turns with the old/decrepit word processor we had.

So, we did have a life before a computer.

This “addiction” started back in April/May 2003. I had received a small settlement and bought our first computer. I did it with the idea of writing, working from home, and to have an email address (as so many places were requiring it). I also found a "free" gaming site – Pogo. It was nice and I'd play the games between my writing and research. They were never a “priority”, and I could go days without playing on them.

When my mom saw how much fun I was having with Pogo ... she asked to play on my account. Being that she was paying for the internet service, I said “yes”. She was instantly hooked and wanted her own account. I said she was welcome to play mine as I had a feeling what was about to happen (a curse more than a blessing) ... but, she wanted her own. I relented and set one up for her. After all, I paid 100% of the computer, printer, desk, and computer chair costs. All she did was pay the internet bill.

Soon she wanted to start “scheduling” times to be on MY computer. It got to the point where it was worked out that since I tended to sleep when she was at work (she worked 7a-7p at the time; three days a week) – I would have the computer at night and while she was at work. On her days off, we’d split the time. During December 2003, because of a problem with Pogo, I had to upgrade to a paid account. I was mainly on it because of a friend (“S”) I’d gotten close to. That was the only contact we had … for a while. I did more “talking” than playing. I would often chat with “S” while she was in the game room while I crocheted. We then started to talk via Yahoo IM, so that worked out a bit better.

In May 2004, after getting frustrated of sharing my computer with me – my mother got her own computer and signed up for Pogo’s “Club Pogo”. I think that is when the gaming addiction truly began. Often, I would have to compete with the computer to get her time – time to just talk, watch a movie, or even play a board game. Movies were relegated to “holidays” only. We had cable, but never watched much of it. At least my mom didn’t.

It was just the two of us, and often I’d found myself regretting buying my computer. At the time we had no car so I wasn’t able to go to many places to get out of the house.

In 2005, I got a job, but that complicated things even more.

In 2008, while we were still on MySpace – they had a few farm games (one of them Farmville) and a “garden” app called “GreenSpot”. I convinced my mom that the games were starting to slow our computers down and affect the performance. There were rumors (I wasn’t going to take the chance they were real) … that GreenSpot was a Trojan/virus carrying app. My mother gave up her MySpace account, and the games – though she turned exclusively to Farmville on Facebook.

By August 2010, we had laptops and they went everywhere with us, even upstairs to our bedroom so she could “check on the crops”. Like some people, my mother decided to get another Facebook account to help her main one. I said a secondary one was ok, as I have one for business and research purposes. She secretly added a third account to boost her progress. She said she wasn’t actively playing it – only used it for part requests. She would write down the times everything was due over all the apps – she would delay going to bed so she could get them, or set her alarm to be up. Sometimes bedtimes were dictated by when the crops would be due.

Then, Farmville got too be too much, and she moved over to Farmville 2. Again, so she’d have more time to help me around the house (and to have more of her time face to face), I asked her to stop “actively” playing on her second and third accounts. She said “ok”. I thought that was “ok, I’ll stop”. It was more or less “ok, I hear you … but I’ll do what I want”. 

She then asked me what I meant by “actively” playing – I replied with “tending crops, animals, trees, doing the quests”. She said she wasn’t “actively” playing the third. I could log in and see she was, not only that – her postings indicated she was. Though she deactivated the third account, she re-activated it and is again … playing on all three as of this past weekend.

Nothing I do or say gets through to her. If I nag her about getting off of it to “clean up the house”, I get nasty looks and made out to be an “ingrate”. She doesn’t say it, but she acts as though I’m the meanie. I get accused of nagging, of expecting too much, not giving her time to do what she wants … she isn’t senile, she is sharp as a tack … but, we all know, or I’m learning – this is how the addict acts.

We also had to give up a storage unit in April 2010, and we were supposed to be going through the stuff. I’ll admit, a lot of it is mine, but I do need help. That NEVER happened. She says she doesn’t have the time, isn’t feeling like it, or doesn’t know where to start. Last weekend, because of some inconsiderate neighbors, I had to spend 1-2 hours cleaning the garage to put our trash and recycle bin in the garage to keep the neighbors from using ours when theirs overfills. We previously had them on the patio for convenience.

I was about three-quarters (3/4) of the way done when my mom (who assessed the situation, came in, got on Farmville 2 while I worked) asked “do you need any help?” I told her I didn’t, but yes … I would have appreciated it. That happens more often than not. She has accused me of finding work to do (yes, it needs to be done) to keep her off the computer.

She has point blank asked me “if I wasn’t playing on Farmville or Pogo, would you act like that” … the nagging that is.

I admitted that if she were doing what I did – blogging, writing, photo projects, writing research – that “no, I wouldn’t be this inconsiderate”. In November 2011, while in the middle of a college course, I embarked on NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). While I hit the goal the evening it ended, I could have gotten more done if I’d had help. Just this past NaNo (as it is called), I managed over 150,000 words, tripling the goal. Then again, I was not longer in college either.

It’s hard because I want her to relax, but I don’t want to feel like I have to stop what I’m doing to “tend” house. I do quite a bit as it is. Often she leaves her dirty dishes on the table after meals (though she is getting better at getting them in the kitchen, there is room for more improvement), and when I remove them (some 2-3 hours later); I get “I was getting to that”.

It has caused a LOT of tension, some strained moments, arguments, silent treatments … and we’re probably closer than most mothers and daughters our ages. She’s about to turn 63 and I turned 38.

While we do get along, it tends to hamper the household function. There have been months were I am spending 2-3 hours cleaning the cabinets and stove just so it looks presentable while she was “getting to it”. I recently spent 2-3 hours cleaning the downstairs bathroom. She did pick up stuff from the floor and clean the toilet. I did the mirror, counters, and floors – this is in addition to my own HUGE bathroom. I re-arranged the laundry room, the kitchen cabinets, and I even “Swiffer” the kitchen. I do my own laundry as well.

I am an aspiring writer and would love more time to pursue my craft. I am an avid blogger. I also worry about if I wanted to have my own family – husband and kids. My mom says she can take care of herself, but without me setting alarms, she has been known to forget to eat a meal here or there because she is wrapped up in the game and can’t pull herself away.

I occasionally play the games, but am finding I have more resentment than fun to them. Honestly, I wish they’d go away. There was one game I loved by Meteor Games called “Island Paradise”, but that had “limits” such as time, money, and “water”. When you were done – you were done.

At one point my mother was playing Farmville, Island Paradise, and even Treasure Island for not one – but all three of her accounts. Thankfully IP and TI were discontinued; otherwise … I think I’d be insane. She has even considered spending “real money” to advance on FV-2 and used to buy Farm Cash for FV. I asked her to stop as we were not having money for other things. Even $2/week adds up; worse if you want to do that for all accounts.

I recently spoke with my mother about me “stepping” away from Farmville 2. Lately when I play it, it drains my computer so bad – everything runs in slow-motion. I stopped playing them and my laptop returned to “normal” function. Also, my computer goes into hibernate mode if the temp gets too high. But, if I don’t play FV-2, it doesn’t.

I told my mom I was not going to play anymore. She said “don’t deactivate them”. I thought she was asking me to not deactivate my Facebook account. Of course not! That’s how I stay in contact with out-of-state and out-of-country relatives and friends. I only want to step away from the games before I get really resentful.

Turns out, she didn’t want me to deactivate my FV-2 game (or block it). Why? So she could sign into my account and even play mine. Yes! She wants to play my game as well, only on her computer that needs to be replaced.

I’ve tried offering her a 45-minute on/off time for the games. 45 minutes for them or a household activity; then 45 minutes with me – talking with me about anything, or playing a board game with me, or even watching an episode of TV on DVD (we have over 7 FULL series of canceled/discontinued series, and 2 series are still being aired but we have all the DVD releases to current). Sometimes, when the time goes off … I get “it’ll take a few more minutes”. Sometimes she’s been up of a morning for two hours, I get up and it is another 30minutes to 2 hours before we eat.

I don’t like eating in front of her, and if I eat before she does … she won’t as she doesn’t like eating alone.

She used to like writing, but no longer feels she can. Why? I’ll admit her grammar usage and mechanics needs work. But, her main reasons she stopped trying? “I can’t be on a timer and expect to write”, “I don’t have any time”, and “My computer is slow”. Yet, I’ve been expected to write on a timer, forgo sleep, and deal with an older computer. I know they’re excuses, and I love her a lot. She’s taking care of me as I can’t seem to find employment and moving out is NOT an option at this point. Also, I need to get my own health under control.

She used to LOVE crocheting, she even taught me. It seems though that she’ll do it for a while, and then get back on the game. She has to leave it during the nights she works as she works 12-hour days. But, her first day off? She HAS to get back on it.

Short of me changing the WI-FI modem/router password, or unplugging it – nothing is going to get her to stop. She says she can, she says when she retires from work in a few years (the games help her “cope”) … sadly, I don’t think I can see her changing. I want her to. I want my mother back. I’m planning a trip at the end of June and although nothing bad is going to happen, it’s my first flight since 1980, and first since 9/11. I have a SEVERE  phobia about planes as it is. But, this trip is too important to pass up. I also don’t want our last memories of each other to be about Farmville 2 and how we wish we’d had more time together.

I don’t mind “occasional” or recreational game play. It’s kept her out of the casinos since 2004. But, it seems that the game play is first and then … the chores. I could always give up my writing to do all the cooking and dishes, go through all the storage stuff, and then find a part-time job as well. But, that leads me to giving up my life and any “hobbies” I have or my goals.

I can’t take her laptop (which the power cord has to be taped into the unit for it to work). She does check her emails with it and even does surveys for money. Besides, taking it won’t change the mindset – she says she’ll be ok if it totally dies. The first time the battery wouldn’t charge and the plug fell out of the unit – she almost had a meltdown. She says it was because she was stressed and/or tired. But, that “meltdown” happens almost every time I’ve had to manipulate the plug back in. I am fixing my purple laptop so I can contact her when I’m away on my trip. I don’t think she’ll play the games on it. It cost me $250 to fix and she doesn’t know how to delete the history either.

I pray some day she will see the addiction (she denies it, saying “I am not, I just have nothing else to do with my time”). And, I hope it will end … I just hope it’s not after something bad happens to either one of us.

Sorry this was SO long … but, as you can see … I’ve been dealing with this for 10+ years. I recently discovered this page, and I’m glad to see I’m not the only one with this problem.

Posted on: Mon, 05/26/2014 - 5:58pm #6
medwards429
Posts: 4
Joined: 2014-05-26

IP: 71.22.150.0

I also want to state that when I was working for a bit in 2009, I was also playing: 

1.) Farmville (I stopped after they added Mistletoe Lane. I didn't get the "mini" ones. Now, they've got 12-13 more and adding another one. GOOD GRIEF!!)

2.) Farm Town

3.) Cafe World (being discontinued July 2014)

4.) Mafia Wars

5.) Pet World (or Zynga’s “pet” game)

6.) Island Paradise (Discontinued)

7.) Treasure Isle (Discontinued)

8.) Treasure Madness (where you dug for artifacts and got fruits to continue)

9.) Mafia Wars 2 (Discontined)

10.) Fishville (Discontined)

11.) FishWrangler (awww … the LOVE CHUM; boat upgrades)

12.) Tiki Resort (island farming game by Playdom; funky tunes … volcano in backyard)

13.) YoVille (that was because of a friend who got me started, and then she stopped)

14.) FrontierVille (why, I do not even know)

15.) CarTown (took WAY too much time)

16.) Roller Coaster Kingdom (that might have killed a mediocre graphics card)

Anyway ... you get the idea. It got to be a NIGHTMARE with scheduling and knowing what the heck was going on.

I had a Windows Vista laptop, that if I used it for non-gaming purposes, it didn’t do too bad. Started “gaming” and it went out … fast. I got a Windows-7 laptop, but even it had problems keeping up. Discontinued some of the games before they ended, laptop’s performance improved and … I had more time to do what mattered.

When I had to resort to scheduling and not knowing what was going on … I realized I had a problem. I slowly pulled away from the games – not cold turkey but I would cut out two per month. I’d start with the really “HIGH” maintenance ones – Cafe World and Pet World were good. Fishville and Tiki Resort. I got it from 12 to 9 in a few months. Then I decided to go with Mafia Wars and Fish Wrangler off the list. Pretty soon, the “treasure” hunting games were gone. At one point all I had was Farmville and Island Paradise. When IP was discontinued, I had FV. But, I easily gave that up because of the lands I was being forced to work.

I thought FV2 would be different. Work it a little … move on. Nope!

Oh, one thing I HATED was the quests. Yes, they’re fun, but now? I’ve got about 2-4 on FV2. For someone who hates leaving work undone … this is annoying. Now, they’ve got the app for the phone (I only use that for extra water and sugar for the main account). But, the app has already crashed my phone four times. I’ll admit, I’ve had the Samsung GS3 since January 2013, but it was working fine until … you guessed it, the app was installed.

Anyway … I can say I know where some of the gamers are as I’ve been there. You don’t die. The crops aren’t real. These games CAN’T replace a living person that when they’re gone … you’re going to want more time with them and wished you’d have given up the game sooner.

Just my take.

Posted on: Tue, 05/27/2014 - 6:21am #7
Polga

Posts: 646
Joined: 2014-02-17
[OLG-Anon Member] [Site Administrator]

IP: 2.100.181.41

Hi Medwards

Welcome to Olg-anon. Sorry to hear that you are concerned about your mother's gaming habit

There is a lot of information on this site about how you can  start to cope with the effects of your mothers addiction on you.

There are many reasons why people start to game excessively. SOmetimes it's because they are trying to escape from something. If you take away the games, then there may still be a problem that has gotten worse in the meantime, which may also need to be addressed.

I have a son who has a gaming/internet addiction. WHile he was in our house we decided to stop enabling him to continue gaming. We found out that we could not cure him but as he was in our house, we could force him to quit and help him heal his brain.

If you are in your mother's house, you probably do not have the right to take away her gaming stuff, but you can decide that you will not help her with her addiction by letting her use your computer, or do anything that enables her to game more, such as cooking her meals etc.

Nagging her about her habit may make her more defensive and retreat further into the game; but if you speak kindly to her and have a heart to heart to say your piece about how you feel about it, you may sew some seeds in her brain about the damage it is doing which may make her think again.

As you cannot cotrol what she choses to do you need to then take care of you by accepting that you have no power over her addiction and practice some form of detachment where your happiness in your life is not affected by her actions. Some people go to co-dependancy group meetings like Al-anon, to learn to take care of themselves. There is a 12 step programme you can follow if you feel your life is adversly affected by your mother's and your own gaming. Some of the spouses on olg-anon are starting to follow the steps on Olg-anon members spouses forum.

I recommend you have a good read around this website

All the best xx

Posted on: Tue, 05/27/2014 - 10:33am #8
medwards429

Posts: 4
Joined: 2014-05-26

IP: 71.22.150.0

 

Thanks, Polga :) 

I have, almost repeatedly, pointed the issue out to her. And, again, I did so last night. I know a lot of it is work-related stress, and some “laziness”. We actually “share” the house (as it is in both of our names), but hers is the major income due to things beyond my control, and my health. Recently my own health has declined slightly, but I keep trudging forward. As I tell my friends “there’s only two of us here, if I don't get it done -- it doesn't get done”. 

I have often told her that once her computer “goes”, I won't allow her access to either of mine. My primary is six months older than hers, and falling apart, but I LOVE it so much. My secondary is currently in for repairs, but is fairly new despite having had it for three years. Of course, I feel like a bully and a meanie after saying that I won’t allow her to even check her emails on my computer should hers go out.

For the most part, we’re really close and I know just as I’d do anything for her ... she’d do anything for me – though getting her to stop gaming is a feat. It’s just getting her to “stop” thinking about “getting back on the game”. Even last night, after working 12 hours, she wanted to (after dinner of course), get back on the game. I’ll admit, I don’t need all her time, but it would be nice to watch a movie together like we used to. Maybe even crochet while playing the movie. It would also be nice if she could take more time to “help” around the house. If one task is too much, maybe offer to do another – fold my clothes in exchange for me cooking an extra 1-2 nights per week. Last night, after I had another “talk” about the “issue” as we call it, she relented and didn't get on the computer. Even when I try “gentle” talks about my concerns, I'm met with a polite but defensive attitude and being accused of “nagging” (no matter how nice or sweet I am about it, even if I joke about it). The defense I get is “well, I’m not on it ALL the time. I am off on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday nights” (ironically the days/nights she works; though she has been known to come home from work, sit at the computer and game while I cook dinner, and even after dinner right up until bedtime).  She also states that she does do other things in the middle of her game play – her laundry, most of the dishes, and sometimes her laundry (once a week). She’ll even occasionally clean up the counters and stoves (usually every 2 weeks). So, that to her isn't “always” playing.

We apparently have differing ideas as to what constitutes “always”.

 MY IDEA of “always” – spending the majority of her day (at least 9 hours off and on) spent at the computer gaming; occasionally even coming home from work and playing on it while I'm preparing/cooking dinner; sometimes even gaming after dinner right up to bedtime

HER idea of “always” – never moving up out of the chair, not doing anything (except going to the bathroom), and on it EVERY SINGLE DAY (including the work days) of the week.

Sometimes I'm met with “you’re always on your computer, how is that different”; “would it matter if it wasn’t Farmville, or would you have a problem with me writing”; “I don’t see the problem if you're doing your Heritage Makers stuff and I’m doing the game” ... stuff that makes me feel bad for my interests. She is right – if I am working my business or writing, why does it matter. [Note: Heritage Makers was my attempt at working from home, it's a scrapbook/photo business. I love it because I love photography.]

Quite often, I have to stop doing my stuff to take care of things such as cleaning (bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, etc), cooking, and running errands. There are times on her days off that she stays in her pajamas and if an errand needs to be run – it falls to me. I have to give up doing my stuff (that I think is important) so what has to get done, gets done so she can play the games. At one point she said I’d have more time for what I want if I wasn’t “always” on social media (even keeping the tab open is “always” on it to her).  

Yes, I am social media (Facebook and Twitter). I keep those tabs open as I often promote my business through a “business” Twitter account. I however am not “always” on them (as in constantly, “non-stop” posting and/or tweeting).

I’ve gone hours (6-12) without a post or tweet; sometimes days without a post or tweet (stuff that is EASILY verified by time dates/stamps). I glance and if something is interesting I comment/post, if not … close tab, move on. Yes, if someone wants to chat, I am there for them. However that is not EVERY single day of the week. I could end up going weeks without chatting with my friends.

I use Facebook to keep in contact with out-of-state (and country) family and friends; some of them are in the military so it is hard to catch up. I spend some time posting photos (for them to see and enjoy) and promoting my “business/writer” page. I’m trying to have a ready built fan-base for the “if and when” I publish a story. In addition, I have won “goodies” and money from Twitter contests. Stuff that I honestly couldn't afford (NASCAR autographed die-cast cars; souvenir shirts; etc), and have been able to take her out to dinner numerous times. I’ve won at least $40 from Applebee’s and even $20 from Chili’s. I even won a $50 VISA debit card from Discount Tire. I’ve nabbed samples, tickets for local experiences, and even concert tickets. Just because the tab is “up” on the browser, doesn’t mean I’m always working on it. I have my browser to open with certain tabs for each internet session. Saves time as opposed to opening tab after tab for what I need. If I don’t need it, I close it.

For my HM business, I have to have a browser page and tab open. There is no “offline” option to work on the photo projects (canvasses, photo books, brochures, calendars, business cards, etc). But, since her back is to me because of how our desks are, she only assumes I am constantly tweeting because she knows I have the tabs open. I remind her that if that were true, she wouldn’t have to “read” tweets to me to “have some conversation”; and again – the posts are time/date stamped.  We follow the same people on Twitter so I can see the tweets she’s (and have likely read them before her or am not interested). I give it a glance over, interact with some friends and move on.  Admittedly, a lot of my internet usage is for writing research (I can spend hours on end researching for my writing), as well as posting my blogs (I have several interests and blogs). I can’t do the research without a browser window/tab open, or post to Blogger either. 

I work with the following tabs open: primary email account (if I don’t monitor it, it can get out of hand; Twitter; Facebook; Blogger; Google (for research); writing reference pages; and Heritage Makers (though I usually close it before it loads). I have usually 3-4 WORD documents open as well.

As far as the “gaming talk”. We usually have that talk every few weeks, especially when something adverse happens (trash not making it out to the collection bin; leftovers from dinner left on the counter overnight; wrappers or drink ware left on the table overnight, etc) and I lose my patience, which I’ve tried not to do.

I mostly try to “shut up and deal with it”. With having no close friends and no other relatives here – it’s been difficult trying to cope, so my writing has been my coping mechanism (it’s produced some good blogs and stellar writing challenge word counts). It’s helped me work through a lot of issues and I’ve found better ways of communicating.

Honestly, I've given up ever having a normal life with the gaming deal. I’ve been trying to give up more of my stuff so I can fit in everything that NEEDS to be done. Either I do it, or it doesn’t get done. And, I can’t live like that. I haven’t worked on a photo project in four months, and my writing (during non-challenge months) often is hit or miss.

Thankfully, there is talk about her work schedule changing due to some layoffs (she was retained thankfully), and she might have to work five 8-hour shifts, which is better overall. She’s had a lot more success and less stress working Mon-Fri 8-hours. She won't be as tired and maybe it might help her deal with the work stress (that is the majority of the problem in the household). I gently added that it would at least curb the gaming issue as she wouldn't have time to do it because I couldn't be expected to completely take over all the household stuff (more cooking, all the cleaning, and all the payday stuff).

Her response was to DEDICATE an entire one of her two days off to do it (thus only giving us one day together to do “family” stuff). I even reminded her about what we USED to do before the computer came into our home, before social media, and before the “games”. She was silent, and I hope she was listening. I’m praying that tonight we can have dinner, relax, and watch a movie – I am dreading the “after dinner I’m going to do a little Farmville” line on the ride home from work. I’m hoping I am getting through to her. I think there are times I am, then ... a major relapse. I told her what the signs of the addiction were and just simply re-examine her behavior – compare her actions with the “signs”.

She always defends every issue I bring up (multiple accounts – she doesn’t see the problem; she’s not “always” on it; she does do a few things around the house, etc). I know, in my heart, she really doesn't believe she’s addicted. She had a gambling addiction (or a “problem” as she called it) in the late 80's/early 90's. But, after gambling away $100, which was something meant for me ... she quit. I never did get the item, but she felt bad. I've tried to remind her of that, but because there is no actual harm or monetary loss, it is different (at least to her).  

I also know that deep down; she is trying to do better. The problem is getting her to admit she has a problem and needs help. She agrees that the “signs” could indicate addiction, but as I stated before, she has an excuse for them. Some are VALID reasons, but I do feel she over-uses them. Yes, I know she’s almost 63. She has some health problems, but she does manage to sometimes work 42 hours per week (normal work week is 36/ 3-12’s; but she’ll work an extra six for more money). She complains about people younger than her using excuses or who can’t manage to work as well as she can. She’s as sharp as a tack.

But, I have noticed if I tell her something while she’s gaming – she has NO RECALL of what I said. We’ve had some arguments over it. I can even tell her what she was wearing, what time it was. Finally, after a 25 minute argument, she admits she wasn’t listening or misunderstood me and wants me to tell her again. By that time ... I'm ready for the funny farm! Now THAT would be a good game. Just kidding there :) She can care for herself (take her medication, and she is improving there; personal hygiene, etc) and she can cook (she’s the one who taught me). Though, during her nights to “cook”, I'm often met with a lot of questions about certain meals that she’s cooked before. She says it is to start conversation or to have something to talk about. I understand that … to a point. Some stuff is pre-packaged (like microwave meals, pre-cooked “heat and eat” foods) with temperature and instructions on it. She'll ask me while I'm in the middle of my business or writing – “what temperature does this go on”; “how long does it cook for”; “what kind of pan does it need” ... those things. She says it is for conversation since I accuse her of not “talking” to me. Though what I mean by that is telling me certain things or letting me know about things. Sometimes, if I am writing and have repeated distractions (the ones that require me to “stop and think” to answer) -- I can’t continue. My desk is in the living room, so I can’t always see what she’s cooking nor do I have all the instructions memorized. I have to repeatedly get up to check. That’s why it's easier for me to cook. Then, I get the “do you need any help” line. 

Because she also has diabetes, I can’t really stop cooking for her. She has to eat. Though I’ll admit, it is stressing for me. I just continue on. If I don’t do it – neither one of us gets fed. 

Since the internet is in my name, I could always change the password for access. But, I’d end up (as usual) feeling like a bully and a meanie. She has never called me those things, but seeing the disappointment in her face, and being given the “silent treatment” ... I feel like it, and I cave. I mean, she’s done so much for me, it’s the least I feel I can do. Though that is another reason why it’s hard for me to work outside the home – trying to manage a full-time or even a part-time job with everything at home.

I’m down to just Farmville 2 (which I’m phasing out); and myVegas Rewards (I’ve gotten a lot of freebies from there – Starbucks 2 for 1; buffets; experience tickets). The slot game I don’t mind. I haven’t played it in three weeks though. FV2? I’m about through with it. I’d like to block it, but my mom wants to sign into my account and play on it. I don’t have the heart to tell her “no”. I can’t block her from my Facebook account as she helps “admin” my writer page. Though I’ve been doing 100% of that, she still needs access in case of an emergency. I’ve let her use my secondary “private” account for FV2. Thankfully it is just for part requests and farmhand help. But, that technically gives her four accounts. I will be reading those 12-steps (I’ve started already). At the end of the day, all I can do is “pray” and continue on. It’s hard to read people online. But, most of my friends LOVE my mom – she’s a great lady. They don’t know about the gaming addiction (neither does the family). I keep it hid because I love her.  I know – that’s no excuse. I’m just so used to doing that and taking on more and more responsibility. I keep saying that’s all she has that makes her happy – what’s the harm? I know what the harm is; the hardest part for me is to stop enabling her.

Thanks for the words of encouragement. They’re so very welcome. 

Posted on: Wed, 05/28/2014 - 2:35am #9
Polga

Posts: 646
Joined: 2014-02-17
[OLG-Anon Member] [Site Administrator]

IP: 2.100.181.41

 

When you get on to her about her gaming it seems she is becoming defensive, which can make her feel bad and give her greater feelings of wanting to escape, (by gaming more perhaps)

If your current tack is not working then why not try something different. Make positive changes in your life. Find new past times, meet people outside the house, things that she could join in too if she wanted.

I don't think it is healthy for either of you that you become the "virtual" parent of your mother, telling her what she should do or not. It's natural you are concerned, but she has a right to live her life her own way.

If she sees a new you, that may give her inspiration. Members on the spouses forum say once they detatch from wanting the gamer to stop, and start making their own lives, then the gamer makes more of an effort.

All the best.

Posted on: Fri, 05/30/2014 - 12:05am #10
medwards429

Posts: 4
Joined: 2014-05-26

IP: 71.22.150.0

Thanks, Polga.

I have been doing a lot of new things since last year, and although she thinks they're interesting -- they don't interest her (her basic interest is Farmville 2, that and that alone). I joined a gym to get myself in shape, and I could always bring a guest, but she's been "too tired" to go. She says she's glad I have some new interests, but doesn't seem to want to "join" me in them. I do get tired of doing things alone, but I continue to do them if only to keep my "sanity". 

Since November 2012, I've been going to an indoor conservatory several times a year to "walk around" and photograph. It is free to explore, but she isn't interested in that. I have my photography and writing which keeps me busy when she's at work. Sometimes I do that when she's gaming. I'd love to go out more, but with only one income, we have to be conservative on money expenditures. We don't have much to "play around with". My health doesn't permit me to work even part-time. So, there are times I am stuck at home because we don't have the money for gas to go out (no public transit in my area either). My mom doesn't really like to leave the house much either. She has no friends outside of work and has no interest in making friends. Even when we "have" to do something, if I can do it (feeling good or not) -- it becomes my job to do it so she can stay home. 

I'm sort of an introvert and don't make friends easily, I have never been able to. My "real life" friends are either married, working, or have kids. Some friends have intentionally excluded me (even from some of the "shared" interests) and they've stopped talking to me after a relative died in August 2011. It was a sudden and tragic death. Since my mother didn't get along with my aunt (her sister-in-law), I had to grieve alone. I tried taking online college classes in hope of getting a degree, but the demands were too high, especially trying to hand a full-time classload and running the house. I was averaging 3-4 hours of sleep per day and my health went downhill (nosebleeds, headaches, gallbladder flare-ups). 

I am taking a solo trip at the end of June to sort of distance myself. It's a wonderful "trip of a lifetime", so I am looking forward to that. It's a short trip though (I leave early Thursday and get home late Sunday). 

Over the last 2-3 days, I've sort of given up and not mentioned the gaming. She's been happier since I stopped suggesting that we do stuff outside of Farmville 2; such as crocheting, watching a movie, etc. Our "old life" is gone, and I have to get used to that. I was forced to quit playing Farmville 2 because of a loading issue with a broswer. That I see as a blessing in disguise, at least for me. I haven't been on it in about a week and feel pretty good about that. I've gotten more blogging and household stuff done.

After coming on here and "airing it out", and having some time to "think" about it. I know two days doesn't seem like a lot, but after reading my posts, I realize that I've been selfish. She's under stress she can't deal with. This is her only coping mechanism. Unless she quits her job, it won't end, and quitting her job isn't realistic. I finally decided that I am not going to worry about it anymore. It is her life. All I can do is if something bothers me (trash on the table, dishes piling up, dirty stove, etc) -- just handle it -- just clean it up. If she can't be bothered to cook dinner -- nothing I need to do is that important, I can go ahead and cook dinner or handle the meals. 

I've got to start doing more around the house so that I am happier about my environment. If doing more around the house means saving my sanity, then I have to do more. My stuff can wait until later on in my life when things get better for my mom. 

Thank you very much. I wish everyone the best. 

Posted on: Fri, 05/30/2014 - 1:58am #11
Polga

Posts: 646
Joined: 2014-02-17
[OLG-Anon Member] [Site Administrator]

IP: 2.100.181.41

Hi again Medwards

Please come back if you need to let out your feelings about your situation because we understand what it's like.

Some of the anons (people who are affected by people with addiction) write a blog on this website about their journey and how they are coping, and their recovery

I can relate to you when you say you tend to being an introvert; so do I. Everyone needs to find their own path in life. I'm really glad you are thinking about what is good for you. And your posts show that you really care about your mother. Just because you are looking after you more, doesn't mean you care less about your mother.

Sorry to hear that your health is an issue. Hugs

All the best xx

Liz Woolley