Letter to parents about dating

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No one could ever have imagined that vulnerable little boy could become the successful, content and confident man of today — something he attributes to the astounding kindness and empathy of his foster parents Jane, now 54, and Bill Aiton, 58, from Walsall, West Midlands.Standing in your hallway for the first time, you both smiling while Jane urged me to come into the sitting room, I remember feeling rooted to the spot; a little boy so broken that taking another step suddenly seemed beyond me.Dad was still in bed the next morning when I went to the police station.

On the way home I felt the first wave of relief — it was an emotion I’d only ever previously experienced when a beating came to an end.

It was only when Dad did that unspeakable thing with Mum’s remains that I realised I had nothing left to lose and went to the police.

It was my struggling to eat my tea that sent him over the edge. Dad hit me as I tried to force it down, angry that I kept gagging.

It was a fiver and the first money I’d had of my own. Back then I found words too hard to use — it felt safer to nod or shake my head and stick to one-word answers, because saying the wrong thing had led to me being hit in the past.

But I wanted you to know that for the first time in my life I felt hopeful.

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