I called my Dad in early to December to break the news- I was bringing a guy home for the holidays. He told me that was not acceptable to him, he was disappointed in me, and there was no way I was bringing Aaron over. A week later my dad sent me a text saying he was opting out of my life. Here I was in an interracial relationship living naively (I guess) to the world and even my own family. Maybe this had to do with his North Carolina upbringing, his time spent in the Marines, or something in his life pre-Ashley? I was emotionally drained and therefore emotionally unavailable and I think it became obvious I wasn’t being honest. My legs were shaking under the table and my teeth were chattering as I explained everything.
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How does he feel like the personification of why my Dad is not around? News reached my Dad that Aaron and I had broken up, and on the eve of my 29 birthday my Dad wrote me a lengthy email attempting to mend our relationship.
Though I was definitely willing to fight for him, I couldn’t pretend to understand what it’s like to be black or how he was interpreting any of this news. The email explained his feelings about black people as far as romantic relationships go and the culture differences from our own.
I politely responded saying that I appreciated the explanation, but that these were not terms and conditions I was willing to live by.
All of the key players in my life had very different reactions to me having a black boyfriend. My sister pulled away from me in a big way after this incident fearing also being exiled by my father.
I had a lot of attention growing up being the baby and all, but my main source of affection came from my Dad.
My mom began studying for her Bachelor’s degree when I was 2 so I spent most of my free time watching WWF and eating Doritos with my Dad for nearly a decade.
I grew up in a wonderful and loving home in Southern California.
I had an older brother and sister 12 and 15 years my senior respectively, parents who were happy together, and my aunt and cousins lived one street over.
The truth was that our relationship would never be the same so I thought it pointless to agree to live with racism, rules, and unhappiness just so that we could all spend Christmas together.