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An Open Letter To My Son's Father

There's so many things I want to say to you so I'm saying them now so then I can finally know that I needn't waste any more of my life stuck in this head space of needing to spill my guts. Here's Leo your son who's now 3 and a half years old, he hasn't had the easiest start in life although you have been absent from his life Leo also had tonnes more to deal with. Leo has a global development delay, communication disorder and social difficulties, he's now been placed onto the autism pathway. although he hasn't yet had a full diagnosis of autism he has many traits of an autistic child which makes our life so very different to what you'd typically believe it to me, its hard! But let's start right at the beginning...
At 18 I fell pregnant and because I had invested everything into our relationship at the time I had no friends, no family and no career or start of one. Don't get me wrong I was so happy to be pregnant, as a woman becoming pregnant is such a special feeling and knowing others struggle I felt privileged (if that's the right wording). But also I felt scared, anxious and worried at what my life will now be so I gave all my options a good thought but you told your family this in front of me and made me so bad and guilty when it was my right and my body, I wanted an adult conversation with you about having a child and all our options. I knew I wanted Leo, I was only questioning the time but I've learnt the time is never right and I'm glad I had the conversation with myself in the end. The whole nine months were extremely rocky and far from enjoyable but we pulled together just in time for his arrival...
The day had came and at 8:28pm on the 7th of September 2013 Leo was born weighing a healthy and handsome 7lb 9oz. Straight after he was born all your family came to visit which filled the room with love all round but for me it was just too soon, I was craving more time to recover and come to terms with now finally having my own family. We had completely lost connection and communication right from the start of Leo's life, we barely even looked at one another. For me I spent my days staring down at my world, I felt whole and finally felt loved. Life finally mattered for me but you spent most days craving 'freedom' and finding any reason not to be apart of life with us. All I ever wanted was for you to be the best dad I knew you could be, but your not around now and Leo doesn't know who you are.
You cheated. Met someone who you think is 'better' for you, took her on holiday abroad when in all reality you have no idea what it means to make sacrifices for someone other than yourself. You're ok to go abroad on holidays but refuse to give written permission for Leo who because he has your last name needs to have the chance to go out the country on holiday. How do I explain that to him when he sees his friends going to amazing places with family in the future? My entire world revolves around Leo.. I eat, sleep, shower and even use the toilet around his schedule and strict/obsessive daily routines. if any part of his day is to change he can struggle to the point of self harm or continuous pacing for self calming, this is just a small part of his autistic traits. I don't get to go out on weekends or go out on dates, even if I ever got the chance I have to be home early to make sure Leo wakes up to me and not a babysitter as that would completely put Leo into a confused and frustrated mood for at least a week but a slight trigger like that could last up to a month so I choose not to take the chance and put him through that. You don't know what it's like to love someone so much that you would give your life for him. I tried so hard to keep you around despite our failed relationship for Leo and tried to explain all this to you in person a very long time ago now but your once sweet personality turned into victimising every situation. But now you've lost everything while I gained it all and now I want to protect him from you. I never kept him from you, you chose not to know him...
Do you know Leo's favourite colour... favourite food or the first word he says in the morning? Did you know to him my name is Bubby because he struggles with his m's? I know just what he needs when he's feeling poorly do you? Leo has to have his crusts cut off his sandwiches, doesn't like to carry his own backpack to nursery but will never let go of my hand when doing the daily walk to and from there. do you know Leos favourite nursery rhymes, the ones he continuously sings in his own way every day? Did you know that when it's raining really fast he gets upset because he wants to go outside but doesn't like getting wet? If Leo has too many foods on his plate he wont eat so sometimes he has 2 plates to keep them separate, at 3 years old he still can't use cutlery (another struggle which frustrates him) but will only eat at his small table so I have to hunch down and feed him 3 times a day everyday whilst my food goes cold.  
You have missed out on so many milestones including birthdays, Christmas and even award days at nursery. whilst he's growing and trying so hard to catch up in his development you wont be there to teach him how to ride a bike or attend his first day of school this September, you wont be there to help him make friends or even how to pee standing up. You wont be around to show him how to be a man and I'm glad you're not because I will be teaching him everything your not. I am raising him alone and I will let him know to respect women so that he will never he in the position you are right now.
We've had no contact with you for well over a year now but I'm hoping this letter finds its way to you one day, if you're reading this far into the future then Leos life has probably changed so much but the past although kept in the past it will never change, because of the past I want to thank you.. Thank you for making the strong women I always admired to become, thank you for not only making me a mother but a father too and last of all thank you for the best gift ever! I know myself and Leo will never receive an apology but I want to let you know I forgive you anyway, I forgive you for me not for you because forgiveness brings freedom and we are now both free.

The woman you once knew, the mother of your child.

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