EastEnders history to repeat itself as Ben Mitchell’s trauma leads to tragic decision?

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Ben (played by Max Bowden) has been hiding away since the targeted attack, insisting he and Callum (Tony Clay) hide their relationship. Sharon (Letitia Dean) opened up to him about moving on from trauma in Thursday’s episode of the BBC soap, and it seemed to convince him to try to get back to normal, especially when the EastEnders stalwart advised him to “fake it”. It seems he could have taken her words the wrong way though, as he later put on a brave face for Callum before slipping back into a fearful state once he was alone. Could he follow in the footsteps of his dad Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) and turn to alcohol to calm his fears?

Phil has battled alcoholism for a long time, and when he falls off the wagon again there are usually disastrous consequences.

As someone who doesn’t tend to open up about feelings, the Walford gangster has instilled the belief into his son that he shouldn’t seek help.

Since the attack on Callum, in which Ben froze in panic, he has felt weak for not stepping in despite the incident bringing back traumatic memories of his boyfriend Paul Coker’s (Jonny Labey) murder.

Trying to mask his pain, he began to push everyone away.

Relating to his troubles, Sharon decided to speak to Ben herself in the latest instalment of the soap.

“Your dad’s told me what you’re going through,” Sharon told Ben.

“Sharon, don’t waste your time,” he snapped back at her.

She replied: “Well, I wouldn’t be here if I was wasting my time.”

Ben fumed: “Okay, come on then. Do you want me to start you off? ‘Life’s tough but you’ve just got to get on with it’, yeah?”

“You don’t need me to tell you that,” Sharon responded.

“Life’s kicked you in the teeth nearly as much as it has me.”

She added: “Ben, you can’t let the memory of what happened to Paul stop you from being you.

“You’re not the only person who’s lost people.”

“This isn’t like Denny,” Ben yelled, assuming Sharon was talking about her late son.

“I’m not talking about Denny,” she clarified. “I’m talking about his dad.”

Sharon continued: “He was stabbed to death out there in the Square, he died in my arms.

“There was nothing I could do to help him.”

She went on: “What would Peggy say? I’ll tell you what she’d say, ‘fake it till you make it’.

“Take it from me, she did that day after day, painting on a smile with her makeup.

“Gritting her teeth, pushing down that clawing feeling in her gut that creeps up until it’s choking you.”

Later, Ben decided to join Callum in the party he was throwing as a statement that people couldn’t be silenced.

“I love you,” Callum told Ben as the pair smiled.

Despite appearing as though he was ready to celebrate, once Callum walked away from him Ben seemed tormented by his memories once again as the sound of the festivities around him faded.

Taking on Sharon’s advice to block out the feelings, could Ben end up making the pain through alcohol?

It seems family history could be about to repeat itself if Ben starts to rely on the bottle.

Refusing to speak to someone about his trauma, he may decide to put on a brave face and pretend everything is fine.

If he ends up partying with Callum again, things could take a sinister turn as he becomes dependent on alcohol.

Will Callum be able to help his husband before he ends up as bad as Phil once was?

EastEnders continues on Friday at 8pm on BBC One.

For support and advice on issues raise, visit https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/alcohol-support/.

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