Today, I spoke to my father for the first time in over seven years. It’s safe to say that it’s been even longer since I’ve seen him in person, but it’s impossible to give an exact figure on when that last was. I don’t say this as an attempt to get pity from friends, acquaintances, or strangers; they are merely the facts of our relationship.
It’s important to note that I didn’t reach out to my father in an attempt to mend our relationship. After all, I’d done that numerous times when we still talked and it never went very well. Instead, I did so with the hope that we could have a civil conversation about matters relating to our family. Instead, I was told that I had to apologize to him for the life I’m currently leading. This was something I couldn’t abide.
Our relationship originally dissolved for reasons that aren’t worth getting into here, but to sum them up, it was a general lack of parental support coupled with spats of alcohol-fueled abuse. When he asked for an apology for the past seven years–the ones where I put myself through college, graduated from said college, played countless shows with numerous bands, etc.–I had to tell him no. I asked him for clarification, “So you want me to apologize to you for building a life and being happy?” I was hoping it would help him realize the petty nature of his request, but instead he asked for it again. Again, I declined. Then there was silence.
"Well, I guess our relationship is over," he said. And then he hung up the phone.
Until today, I hadn’t spoken to my father in over seven years. Tomorrow, I reset the clock.