“I watched a programme today that reminded me of my own childhood. It was about kids growing up in poverty and without a father figure. Most of them had gone off the rails, ended up in jail, involved in drugs and were unemployed.
My dad left my mum when I was 3, so I never really knew him. My mum did her best, but with 4 others kids we all had to fend for ourselves. I got in trouble, stole to make some cash. I’m 23 now and am holding down a job. It’s pretty dull and I’m on minimum wage, but I earn an honest living and I’m proud of that.
I always wanted to be different from my dad. I would never have left my mum like he did. She struggles with her mental health and I just wish he knew what he left behind when he walked out. I’m over being angry, it’s a waste of time. I just promise to myself and to my mum to be a better role model than he was.”
Anonymous, Bradford, UK