Alan Duffell

Alan Duffell

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Why have I chosen to support survive?

Like the 90 plus other service users they support they have kindly and compassionately supported me to cope with some difficult feelings, emotions and behaviours. When I was a very young child I was sexually abused on several occasions by a neighbour. Although I told my parents at the time,it was in the late 1970's-early 80's, a time much different to the one we live in today, a time where child abuse was unheard of and let alone not spoken of.

For decades, what happened was kept to myself until 1996 when i was again being overwhelmed by self-destructive feelings and behaviours. That autumn I found myself collapsed on the floor of my family gp confessing my feelings and that my neighbour had abused me almost 20 years earlier. For the next 10 years it rumbled in the back ground ocasionally and very superficially mentioned in therapies during recurring bouts of depression and self-destructive behaviours.

Things started to come to a head again, when in 2006 a friend claimed he'd been abused by the same neighbour. It was claimed that I shared my secret and led him to what followed. It wasn't until the following Easter, whilst visiting my parents I saw the perpetrator of my abuse in the company of an equally seedy looking character and a young boy. When I returned to York I summoned up all the strength I could to visit the police station and made a detailed statement about everything that happened all those years ago. I thought that would be it, and to a point it did silence my demons for a couple of years.

In 2009 whilst visiting my parents (again for Easter) my appendix burst, the recovery was complex and kept me either in hospital there or at my parents with the neighbour still close by. I did everything I could to ignore the trauma and pain resurfacing and foccused on my physical health. Things came to a head last year when the revelations about Jimmy Saville hit the headlines. The next few months I was unravelling within, not showing to those around me, until I imploded around februrary and started to seek help.

It wasn't until May 2013 that I sought the help from Survive, but since then haven't looked back. For the first time I hadn't "claimed to have been abused" it was acknowledged I was abused. Unlike any mental health service i was ableto put names to certain symptoms or behaviours. My support worker wrote to my GP asking him to consider specific therapies to deal with my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder. Annie kindly loaned me a book and arranged a meeting with one of the other support workers to work on some strategies to cope better with disassociation and behaviours as a result of being disassociation. Currently my support worker is helping me to find ways to see if the original police investigation can be re-opened to ensure children of that area are safe from this person. I honestly can't see myself having survived these last few months without their support.

It is for this reason I chose to do what I can to support them and ask for your kind support to help keep such an invaluable service going.

Thank you Alan Duffell 

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