August 17, 2007 § 6 Comments

I talked to my father today.  It had been eight months since we last spoke, and after a series of  unanswered emails, I gave up hoping for a response.

He was, for a long time, the only member of my family I could count on.  As immigrants, there were no aunts and uncles to go to, no grandparents, no cousins, and with two of our four stricken with schizophrenia, we were the only ones left. 

Because of it, we were close, in a way that fathers and daughters generally aren’t.  We were friends, and, in my better moments, I accepted this as fair trade for the family I didn’t get.  As we became estranged, I thought, “he avoids the things that disappoint him.”  I know him that well.

Last night, I wrote the email I’d been putting off for weeks.  I said a lot of things, which together comprised an ultimatum: in my life or out of it, but not in between.  He made his choice and called, but now the hard part begins.  The part where things are different than before.

In the meantime, I am taking stock of this strange, solitary summer and wondering what kind of fall it will be.


§ 6 Responses to Emersion

  • Heather says:

    This sounds like tough stuff, Vila, and I wish you luck.

  • Siobhan Curious says:

    My experience is that these kinds of rifts are cyclical, and that if we are given the time and we put in the effort (and you’re clearly putting in the effort), they heal themselves. At the very least, the effort itself is healing to us. I wish you luck with this.

  • Caron says:

    I have struggled similarly with family, albeit more extended family. It’s hard to live in the grey and not keep things so black and white (in or out). Is it really healthier to just accept what one can (or will) offer to a relationship? You’ve called his bluff though and now it is his turn to step it up… you just have or be prepared for the “or what?” Or you really do have him out of your life. Sending positive thoughts your way…

    As for the strange, solitary summer – amen. Perhaps it’s the calm before a storm of goodness?!

  • Vila H. says:

    Thanks, all, for the kind thoughts. Siobhan, you’re right: it is the effort that is healing, quite apart from the outcome. There is also something enormously cathartic about drawing a line in the sand and insisting that one deserves better. And, even more so, believing it.

  • […] we spoke last August, he said that he’d call again towards the end of the month, around the time of my birthday.  […]

  • […] has been a year since my father and I last spoke.  I’ve felt the shadow of this particular anniversary for […]

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