I didn’t want to write this letter; in fact it brings me great sorrow to do so. I wish there was another way, a way that was far less painful, a way to make you proud of me, but I can’t. What I am about to tell you will cause you much heartache, but to me it will cause more.
I have left Ireland, and I am going to live in South America, where soon I will be married to the man I truly love. It is frank the sailor that you forbade me to see. I am sorry for not obeying you, and deceiving your trust. I know you did not want Frank to be courting me, but he is the only man who has ever shown me signs of respect and gratitude to whom I am, he loves me for being me not for being something I’m not.
He has travelled many oceans, visited many exotic places, and he offers me a chance of excitement and adventure to which I couldn’t find at home. He cares a great deal for me and I know he will keep me safe.
I am so sorry papa; I just couldn’t go on as it was. I felt trapped, becoming a mother before my time, having to replace ma and living up to her high standards was just too much for me. I couldn’t cope. I couldn’t live. I felt locked away, unable to be free, unable to be a young girl, to fall in love and build a family of my own. I want to make mistakes and learn from them, not be punished for them.
I was too young to grow up, to take care of everything. And mostly to take ma’s place, when all I desperately wanted was to be a child myself. I prayed that mother would come home and look after me, to make everything go back to how it was. I didn’t ask for the responsibilities I was given, I know this sounds selfish but I couldn’t handle everything the way she did. I know I could never live up to her, and fill her shoes, and that I disappointed you.
I know she is looking down upon me with great sadness, and torment to know her only daughter could not keep her last promise, however it does not match the agony that I feel. Breaking this promise has been the hardest thing I have had to do, but she should never have made me promise. She should never have made me promise my heart and my life away. I am not blaming ma, believe me I’m not, for you kept me at home when I had the chance of a life. You stopped me, and tried to make me as miserable as you are, forcing your aggressive, violent behaviour upon me. I know ma’s passing has caused you great pain, and you miss her dearly but the family needed and needs you to be strong. To keep us together, but you didn’t and we fell apart. You wanted me to be my mother, and I couldn’t live up to your constant pressures to be what you wanted, and everything I did just seemed to make you unhappier and less in control of keeping yourself from slipping away.
Papa things were changing quickly, too quickly, including me. This is why I must go, to be with Frank who will treat me fairly.
I am sorry, this is the only way I could think of, if there were any other way I could find to stay, but I can’t. I am so sorry, please forgive me, as I will truly miss you all.