Dadvengers Podcast Episode 17 – Gary Anderson
***Trigger Warning*** – This weeks episode covers topics such as suicide attempts, child loss, and child abuse. Listener discretion is advised.
If you are affected by any of the topics in this podcast please click here to find support services.
It’s Dadvengers Podcast Episode 17 – Gary Anderson. This weeks’ guest is a father, mental health advocate, counsellor and survivor. Gary has led an incredible life that was full of difficulties from a young age.
Gary talks to us about his upbringing, which included mental and physical abuse in the home. He also opens up about surviving sexual assault at a young age, and the lasting impact of these experiences on his life.
Gary then chats about meeting his wife, and starting to turn his life around. Finding love led Gary to start facing the difficulties of his past. With his wife’s support Gary started psychotherapy. Sadly, their lives were impacted further by the tragic loss of their first born daughters. Gary tells us all about Dana and Alana. We talk about the impact this loss had on Gary, and how he couldn’t talk about it for 14 years. How this led to him considering suicide and how he finally found the strength to talk about his losses and start healing.
Gary is an incredible man, who has lived through some of the most unimaginable circumstances. He is now a trained counsellor and dedicates his time to getting men talking about their mental health and wellbeing. He has also written a book about his daughters to help other parents cope with similar situations.
Gary – you are an amazing man, an inspiration, and a true Dadvenger. We can’t thank you enough for sharing your story with us.
Use the player above to listen to Dadvengers Podcast Episode 10
Episode Time Stamps
6:23 – “There was no love.” – Gary opens up about how his father was physically and emotionally abusive and the impact this had on his mental health.
12:30 – Gary talks about the incident that led to him running away from home at 2am in the middle of winter. – “I took some cake out the cupboard and started walking.”
15:18 – We discuss the sexual assaults Gary experienced as a child, how he survived these awful situations.
20:32 – “I changed then… I was constantly on self-destruct.” – Gary tells us about his home life changing again with no warning, and how this led him to using alcohol to cope.
26:06 – At 16, Gary attempted suicide for the first time. – “I didn’t give a stuff about myself, I just didn’t care.”
29:25– “She saved my life, she is my angel.” Gary on meeting his wife, Michelle, and how she helped him turn his life around.
32:16 – “It destroyed me.” – Gary starts his journey in therapy and dealing with his mental health.
35:16 – Gary tells us about Michelle becoming pregnant with twin girls, quickly finding out there were serious complications with the pregnancy.
38:42 – Gary discusses the unimaginable loss of their twin girls. Gary blamed himself for the loss, and how after 14 years, he wrote a book about his “Two Bears”.
43:38 – “We can sit in pubs and talk about football. But we are still not talking about mental health.” – Gary discusses how his book is a tool for talking, and how does everything for his two bears.
51:35 – Gary on becoming a parent again and coping with being a dad after losing the twins. “I have overprotected her.”
54:24 – Gary delves into how he parents after the lack of positive male role model in his childhood.
56:20 – Gary tells us the importance of having a community around you as a parent to do the best we can for our kids now.
1:00:11 – “It’s about asking for help.” – Gary’s advice to dad’s struggling with fatherhood, and how he got into being a counsellor.
1:05:02 – Parenting Superpower.
Also on Dadvengers…
If you enjoyed this episode of the Dadvengers Podcast don’t forget to check out some of the others. We have dads from all sorts of backgrounds and industries talking about their journey’s through fatherhood. And more are being added all the time.
Whether you are male, female, and parent or a parenting professional there’s lots to be learned by listening to men tell their stories. We also have a comments box below if you’d like to leave your thoughts.
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Another awesome guest that will hopefully inspire others to keep on learning as we parent. There is no one size fits all formula to being a dad we all have to adapt to whatever life throws at us.
If you want to hear more Dadvengers Podcast episodes the easiest way is to subscribe via your usual podcast provider. In addition you can always check back here on the website where all episodes are listed on the Podcast page.