Your’s is the laughter I recall, the centre of all that was happening, endlessly curious and emphatically energised. From early on it was clear that you were going to be this way; inquisitive and forthright. They are qualities I hope you have retained and defined—they made you who you were.

I am so very sorry that I have not been part of your life, letting go of our relationship was, without a doubt, the single hardest choice I have ever had to make. At the time it felt that, for all of us, life was becoming even more difficult, and, from my perspective, there appeared no possibility of this improving. Indeed, I felt things were worsening without any sign of an end, especially for you and your siblings.

I was so moved and affected each and every time you would visit, it was clear how much strain the situation was putting upon you and how you were unable to channel the feelings you were experiencing. I also believe your understanding of the events was being misread and poorly received by those who should have been supporting you; I include myself in this failing.

Please be clear, and I am certain about this: you were in no way responsible for our (yours and mine) relationship’s breakdown and, neither your behaviour or actions, led to my decision to stop seeing you. You are not responsible and I would be devastated if you consider yourself to blame in any way.

I made the decision to stop seeing you on the basis that, from my point of view at least, there were no signs of improvement in terms of our collective lives, and, if anything, things were simply getting worse. Each time you visited us you seemed more troubled and apparently muddled, and, as such, the time felt more destructive to you. For my part, I saw no evidence that this would change with further assistance from any of the professionals involved. This being the case, I believed this action was the only thing I could do to help break the cycle we were all trapped within.

To say that the decision was devastating is an understatement and I cannot imagine how it will have effected you. I do hope though, and indeed this was my wish, that in doing so you will have been granted the much needed stability and consistency you needed to grow and thrive, free from the conflict you were unacceptably exposed to.

I very much hope this letter helps you and goes some way to answering any questions you have, and would wish to be part of your life again should you feel you wanted to.

It is my hope that you, as I do, will carry the memories of the many good times we have shared; our holiday to Spain, you seemed so happy there—what an adventure being your first holiday abroad. The time we took you to Bourton-on-the-Water, where we visited the wild life reserve and where you and Nathaniel splashed about wading in the river. I’ll also never forget your bedtime routine: counting sheep, which became a maths game that included a crazy coloured tractor each and every night! I have so many happy memories and hope that you carry these close as well.

Always remember that I love you to the moon, stars, around the universe, and back again.

Much love, always, Daddy xxx

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