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So boring story short, I'm a 52 year old male who should really have my crap together by now but don't. My earliest memories include my parents going their seperate ways with my mother going overseas, my father going I don't know where and me going to my mother's parents' place to live. When my mother returned to Australia she went off somewhere for a time and then one day I was taken to live with her and her new boyfriend. It was there at around five years of age I was sexually assaulted by the nextdoor neighbour a number of times. And no I never said anything about it, I didn't know it was wrong at the time and never said much about anything to anyone anyway. Childhood years then followed with the usual quiet kid with dyslexia who did poorly at school and kept to himself story. Then early adulthood with alcohol fuelled self destructive decisions, self harm and failed relationships the norm. I got older and disappeared into 10+ hour work days in order to avoid life followed by driving home at night and drinking myself to sleep. No relationships, no personal activities, just increasing levels of time spent at work followed by alcohol nights and self harming. I could describe what I can remember of some of those nights but I don't think moderators would allow it. After almost taking my own life I got on the antidepressants and after some failures with the meds and a very dark twelve months the "right" antidepressant was found. It's not close to perfect but I'm not blackout drunk every night and even got married so that's a big plus. Due to such a late start I never had kids of my own but when I met my now wife she had a 12 year old daughter. I barely got to know daughter before she turned into a teenager so my introduction to parenting was interesting. I love my wife and daughter and wouldn't change a thing. Accept life has other ideas so I'm now unemployable, can barely take care of myself and am heading at an alarming rate towards the end of life from chronic heart failure. Me not working is causing financial stress and I can feel death closing in. This is not what I envisaged when I proposed.
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Community Member
I learnt today my father has had his breathing tube removed and the sedation stopped so I visited him in ICU. He is a man who has always done manual work and is/was very good with his hands. He also has mental health issues preventing him from leaving the small town he's lived in for many years. The last thing he remembers is feeling unwell at the dentist then waking up days later in the Royal with no feeling below the waist. Bleeding on the spine has permanently damaged nerves and he'll never walk again. He has bone cancer, a heart condition, a drain taking fluid buildup off his brain and now he's paralyzed too. I don't see how he's going to deal with it all. I'd swap places if it were possible, I'm used to crap happening.

Hello DeadInside, I am so sorry to hear about your father and it will be a great tragedy for him to know that he is unable to do what he was able to do, before this unfortunate injury, my absolute apologies are genuinely extended to him, and to answer your question, it's not going to be easy to communicate so he will understand what his condition entails.

I can only say this because my condition won't allow me to do what I was capable of doing and that frustrates me, so I certainly appreciate how your dad will be feeling.

Fortunately I have a son who is capable of doing what I once did, so for your father, it's going to require a social worker who he can feel comfortable in talking with, and may need for this to be ongoing until he can stabilise.

I wish him all the very best.


Hi DeadInside

The challenges your dad faces sound truly overwhelming. The fact you'd be willing to trade places with him says so much about you, as a son and as an unselfish and deeply caring person. I believe every situation holds the potential to reveal to us who we truly are - caring, loving, deeply emotional, thoughtful, a battler (who continues the good fight), someone who's perhaps lost for a time, someone who's an inspiration for others etc.

If your dad finds himself deeply depressed, he'll need someone in his life who understands depression and what it can do to a person in so many ways. He'll need someone who has truly felt it and knows its brutal dialogue, someone who'll encourage him to express himself in whichever way he needs to. The most important thing of all is...take care of your own well being first in preparing to help another, so that you can remain a healthy resource for them.