Ben Mitchell has had a very painful year on EastEnders, but as actor Max Bowden reveals, he is going to find strength in an unexpected place.
Ben was astonished to find that Lewis Butler, who had raped him the previous year, had been detained and accused of a second rape almost a full year later.
At the same time, he was finding it difficult to accept that Lola Pearce (Danielle Harold), although receiving treatment in an effort to extend her life, was dying of a brain tumour.
Ben was greatly affected by these horrific events, which led to the quick development of bulimia, which he has been silently battling ever since.
Actor Max Bowden said, “I think there’s a level of isolation to Ben’s demeanour right now.
“He tends to be a bit of a lone wolf, a bit of an insular human being, and this is something that he does to try and take control of the situation,” the author writes. “I think for him right now it’s a question of dealing with everything on the outside by attacking himself on the inside.”
Following Jay Brown’s (Jamie Borthwick) parental hearing and Honey Mitchell’s (Emma Barton) fears that he has an eating issue, Ben is left in a horrible situation in upcoming scenes as demands keep piling up.
Mex said, “Ben’s self-loathing is at a real high right now.”
He feels guilty about not getting home in time to say goodbye to Lola, about making himself sick as a result of his bulimia, and about the many positive traits Jay possesses that he wishes he had.
Ben always defends himself when he feels like he is in a vulnerable position since his default mode is to defend.
Due to her own experience with an eating disorder, Honey is able to recognise Ben’s struggles right away. They have also gone through a period of bonding as the family has come together since Lola’s passing, but Ben is forced to distance himself from everyone because of the internal harm he is holding onto.
Despite showing some signs of development, his first instinct is to defend.
At the Boxing Den, Kat Slater (Jessie Wallace) is horrified by Ben’s behaviour as he vents his emotions on a punching bag.
When she discovers the source of his agitation, she gives some guidance from the viewpoint of a fellow rape survivor, cautioning him that failing to seek help may cause him and his family to fall apart.
It’s a really unusual circumstance since, to my knowledge, no one has ever witnessed Ben confiding in Kat to the extent that he has and developing genuine ties with his future stepmother.
“Kat is a very fiery character, and Ben and Kat are very similar in many ways.” parts of trauma, aspects of ferocity, aspects of family issues, and I believe this surprises Ben.
“Ben finds strength within strength, and Kat is a very strong woman who also serves as his father’s most direct descendant,” says Ben. Phil simply doesn’t understand stuff like this, thus Ben is unable to communicate with him.
Ben grants Kat’s request to go with him to a support group after hearing her out.
Together, they travel to an evaluation, where Ben finally musters the courage to talk about his experience.