Bill’s Story

I grew up in a quite well-off family. But whilst there was enough money, love was in short supply. My dad was violent and we all lived in fear of him.

After school I joined the army just to escape home life, where I learned even more aggression. A couple of close calls in Belfast left me with what is now called PTSD, although back then we were expected to ‘man up’ and get on with it. But I didn’t. I was horrible to be around. I started drinking to cope, but that made things worse. My marriage fell apart and I’d left the army.

At first I spent time on friend’s sofas but my drinking got too bad for them and for the first time I became homeless. Sleeping outdoors in all weathers wears you down and there’s nothing much to look forward to. Some people are kind, but others seem to be deliberately horrible. They say and do things without any thought. I’ve learned to grow a thick skin but some days are harder than others.

I don’t know what the future holds. I would love my own place; just somewhere small where I can feel safe, be warm and dry. I can’t see that ever happening.