Learning to Understand Himself

Couple piggy back

Aviva receives approximately 4000 calls for support a year. Recently, we received a call that was a little different. A woman called just to say thank you, not for herself, but for her partner who received support through Aviva’s ReachOut service. After just a couple of months, she said he had completely changed.

Trent* came to Aviva after his partner recommended it to him. “We were going through some troubles and realised we needed some help with things,” he explains. Trent had been through three anger management courses and supervision prior to coming to Aviva. “But this guy here,” he says, indicating his support worker Nicky, “out of all the professional help I’ve received, this guy is the best!” Trent elaborates, “He talked and listened. That’s the most important thing. And I knew he was listening because he gave me the right answers!”

Trent has struggled with anger and needing to prove himself right for years. Through his past courses, Trent built up a toolbox of communication skills and tactics for removing himself from situations where he described himself as “quite scary.” The tools were helpful, but he continued to find himself struggling with relationships. When he came to Aviva, he finally began to understand the “why” behind his anger and work through his past trauma. “[Nicky has helped me] to be able to allow myself to grieve. Allow myself to feel happiness not as a foreign feeling. He’s very naturally pin-pointed key points to the puzzle that I’ve been looking for, for quite a few years.” Trent recalls how he was treated as a child for his ADHD and how he has seen those experiences reflected in his own children after they were given the same diagnosis. “ADHD kids were always seen as naughty and punished for it,” he explains.

Having already put in years of work to learn the right tools for controlling his anger, Aviva and Nicky may have just been there at the right time and with the right listening ear; but the improvement Trent has made is undeniable. Trent describes his current relationship with his partner as, “Fantastic!” but what he says has changed the most is other people’s response toward him.

Trent now uses what he has learned every day. Whether it is being a better partner, helping his children avoid the same challenges his ADHD gave him, or his interactions with others, Trent says, “I just like people to be happy and good. I don’t like to see people unhappy.”

As Trent continues to work on himself and his understanding, we hope he and the people in his life have a future full of love and happiness.

*Not his real name