Dean Mason, chairman of Dads in Distress Support Services, whose book, Daddy's OK, will be launched tomorrow. Photo: Jason South
When Tim's* marriage ended more than a decade ago, the Melbourne teacher who was living alone in his small workshop, thought about throwing himself under his power saw - more than once.
"There was a time when I just couldn't get the thought out of my head," he says now. "I came very close a couple of times."
The only thing that stopped him, he says, was the memory of a troubled student he had taught years earlier, whose father had taken his life following the breakdown of his own marriage. That boy's father also happened to be one of Tim's oldest friends.
"He couldn't handle being separated from his kids … but I saw what my mate's death did to that boy and I knew I couldn't do that to my children."
Tim's story of despair is one Dean Mason, a fellow divorcee and chairman of Dads in Distress Support Services - for separated men - has heard many times before.