Emmerdale‘s Danny Miller tells Soaplife that the only way Aaron can deal with the hurt over Jackson’s death is to hurt himself!

Far from accepting he has to come to terms with Jackson’s death and his part in it, Aaron is filled with so much self-hatred the only thing that eases the pain is more pain…hitting a punchbag until his hands are bruised, scraping his knuckles on a gravestone until they bleed… “He’s so angry. Hurting himself is pretty scary, but it changes his mood…he’s almost happy when he’s hurt,” Danny tells Soaplife. Which means he’s not going to stop… until maybe he’s very hurt?

Aaron’s not coping with Jackson’s death, is he?
“He’s still very angry about everything. He thinks he and Hazel should have given Jackson longer to adapt to his altered life, although Jackson was pleading to die. Aaron loathes himself and he won’t let anyone in to help him. The self-harming is how he’s dealing with this.”

Wasn’t the recent car crash a wake-up call for him?
“With any normal person who’d come close to seriously hurting himself and his mum it would have been. But the only way Aaron can deal with everything right now is by taking things to the edge.”

Does visiting Jackson’s grave help?
“No, although he thought it might. Instead of it making him remember the good times, it just brings home to him what he did and makes him even more angry.”

What about the punchbag Zak sets up for him… Does that help?
“Zak and Cain think it’s better for Aaron to smack a punchbag than any person who happens to get in his way. And it works – mostly because he can hurt himself. He refuses to wear boxing gloves so he gets friction burns and his hands bleed. The injuries are a kind of release.”

But Chas is worried when she sees Aaron’s hurt hands…
“He spins her a story and she believes him – she has no reason not to. The punchbag is a great cover for his self-harming. When anyone asks why he has cuts and bruises he can make out it’s because of the boxing.”

Jackson wouldn’t have wanted Aaron to end up like this…
“It’s gone way beyond that. He doesn’t care what Jackson might have wanted. He’s so full of self-hatred nothing else matters. He won’t stop this until someone steps in. At the moment it’s his secret and he likes this.”

Have you researched self-harming for the storyline?
“I’ve spoken to someone who used to self-harm and now runs a charity to help people who want to stop. I’ve also done some research on the internet and gone to the website www.selfharm.co.uk. This storyline is a massive challenge. I love it.”