A few years after his son was born, Ed realised he needed to find some help. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be able to be a proper dad, the kind of dad he wanted to be.
He saw the number on an article about the Royal Commission. Sexual Assault Counselling Australia. He realised that the “abuse” stuff they were talking about on TV was what had happened to him, too. Every week, after Sunday school.
The memories made him hard to get to know. Relationships ended because he just couldn’t open up. Mostly, he just tried to avoid the nightmares. The booze helped with that.
The women on the phone were amazing. They said he could call them any time, 24 hours a day. No need to deal with the stress of a face-to-face counselling appointment until he was ready. Someone to talk to whenever he needed it.
No pressure, no blame. Just a listening ear and a chance to work it all out for himself.
It turned out finally telling someone about what had happened when he was a boy was the first step to feeling less alone, less confused. Chatting to the counsellors, Ed found out his drinking and his walking out of situations were normal ways to cope with trauma. There were plenty of blokes like him out there, going through the same kind of stuff. And plenty of ways to start dealing with it, now that he’d got the right support.
They’ve given him loads of useful information - things to look at online, and people he can chat to in his local area if he decides that’s what he wants to do. They’ve been talking about the practical stuff too - like his options around making a compensation claim, or a police report.
These days, Ed still calls the counsellors every couple of weeks. He’s not that scared little boy any more - and he’s on the way to being a good dad to his own boy, too.
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