My mother was also afraid for me when I told her I was playing poker, both of her brothers had a gambling problem so I completely understood her position.
This was back in 2008 well before Black Friday happened in America (which basically ended the dream, thanks US Government you bastards LOL)
As for Mom... she didn't criticize me for very long. You see, I had my biggest score ever back then, taking second place in a 3-dollar-rebuy tournament that ended up with a prize pool of over $73K (that's a LOT of 3-dollar pops!!!! I saved the screenshot of course, 6111 entries with 15,335 rebuys and 3051 addons LMAO)
With the proceeds of that score, I bought Mom a big-screen television that still hangs on her wall today, almost 13 years later. She's never criticized me once since then.
Today, in the so-called "Land of the Free", my main poker site is poker stars play chips... and I dabble with freeroll monies on a few other gray-market sites like ACR and BOL... but the glory days are long gone, there are no more HDTV purchases on my horizon. Oh well. It was fun while it lasted. And it sure didn't last long enough.
At first they complained and thought it was a waste of time and apart they looked at it as just another gambling game, but over the years they have realized that it is a fun sport to play in which you can make a good sum of money if you learn to play moderate then they no longer interfere with my game like they used to. Regards.
My daughter didn't like it when I played because I was nervous but she said it was because of the cigarette so I stopped smoking and now I'm winning more so my daughter is happier because when I win she earns $$$ too.
I don't abuse poker and it doesn't affect my family at all so they support me because they know that this game is recreational for me after a day of work, I don't play every day, a few times a week in the evening ..
They support it but literally no one understands it. My only frustration is them not wanting to try to understand it beyond "gambling".
I remember in 2003 I was 18 just graduated high school. The boom had just happened and everyone was playing all the time. A group of about 12 of us would play $5-$10 SNG for days on end. I got into an argument with my mom and moving out came up, she said "maybe your poker buddies will give you place to sleep" but she said it with the disgust and attitude you would say "your druggy loser friends". She doesn't know how deep that cut but Ill never forget that.