Eternal guilt of single parents.

I think the most important job I have and will ever have is being a Dad.

I don’t understand how any parent can ever walk away from their kids without suffering the most devastating heartache imaginable. Maybe there are occasional good reasons for it but I just love my son so much I can’t imagine what one might be. It completely escapes me, unless he needed a vital organ that I could supply.

I remember being so hedonistic and self-centred before I had a child. I remember then catching my baby boy as he was born in a water birth, holding him close and staring into his eyes before anybody else, and then putting him where he needed to be on his mum’s breast.

In that moment, I knew, quite suddenly, that there was someone more important than me in this world. Someone I truly would throw myself in front of a bus to save.

I still feel that way today, 13 years later. Except I played my part in allowing our marriage to fail, and in turn causing immense pain to my son, probably forever.

I think my ex and I were both to blame, and while we get along well enough now it’s mostly because she has remarried, and when we split up we agreed to put our son first in everything we did and so avoided a lot of conflict. As time has gone by I am sure she has come to believe that she was not to blame, but I usually let it slide…..usually.

So I was wondering. How do people cope with the guilt and pain of having caused pain and loss in the ones we love most - our kids?

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