27/08/18    02:10 pm
6. Staring out to Sea. This was me every day for well over a year. I had no idea what I would do when the holiday park closed over winter. A church group had provided me with a tent and offered to hold a prayer session for me, which I declined but thanked them, in tears again. A week before the park was due to close I had learnt that I was legally entitled to help getting housed as I was fleeing domestic abuse. I leant this from a housing charity, not the council. In law I had the same rights as a woman in my situation. I was not told this by the council and as a result of my challenging them on these grounds I was offered help, if I could get a rent guarantor. I asked my brother and he agreed. It was now days before the caravan park closed but the estate agent was saying they were unable to contact my brother. I couldn’t either. Eventually I did. He said he had changed his mind as it would affect his credit rating. Much later I discovered my family had secretly taken the side of my ex-wife. Now I thought seriously about just waking out into the sea as it felt like I was being driven into it anyway. I found the courage to ask a lifelong friend to sign the papers to get me housed and he agreed immediately. He literally saved my life. One of the symptoms of genuine Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, among the many is a fear of asking for help as the fear of rejection can seem as being too dreadful to contemplate. Although the painting is an incredibly accurate portrait of me at the time, the photographic source is borrowed from a MensAdviceLine poster, an organisation which tries to help men suffering from the effects domestic abuse and violence. There is a real need for many more such organisations if the hugely disproportionate rates of suicide amongst men is to be seriously addressed.