Real Housewives of Potomac’s Ashley Darby meets her dad for the first time in 30 years
Real Housewives of Potomac star Ashley Darby took a journey into her past on Sunday’s episode to confront her father, a man who she has never met in 30 years.
While you’ll have to wait until next week to see what Darby, 31, and her dad discussed, the episode was all about the journey of confronting the man who divorced her mom 30 years ago and left his family without much explanation.
Darby made the trek to Atlanta, Georgia to get answers of a past that have haunted her and to douse the burning desire to understand better why her father left when she was one-year-old PEOPLE reports.
Darby admits that five years ago, she tried to reach out to her dad on Facebook, but in pure Facebook fashion, he blocked her.
“It was really hurtful,” Darby recalled. “And yet even still, I have this nagging desire to find my dad.”
“When I sit with myself, I think about my life and who I am and all that. I think about my dad a lot,” she added. “I have never known my dad … I’m tired of thinking about it. I need it for myself. I need to close this chapter of my life to look to the future.”
She continued: “This is something I’ve been thinking about a long time, reconnecting with my other side of my family. So what’s stopping me? As I’m trying to embark on starting a family, I’m thinking about my kid and what my kid will ask. They will want to know about their grandparents and their aunts and uncles. I feel like it’s a responsibility of mine to foster those relationship[s].”
To help ease the tension of meeting her father for the first time as an adult, Darby brought along her dad’s brother-in-law Uncle Jim and his sister, Aunt Sheila, two relatives whom she has kept in phone contact with other years. Her mother, Sheila Matthews, also came along.
“When I put myself in my dad’s shoes, I think the shame of having abandoned me is too much for him to bear,” Darby said. “He can’t confront it. But I’m hoping that my dad will feel a little more comfortable having Uncle Jim and Aunt Sheila there. Maybe he’ll be more receptive to having a conversation?”
“Even if I haven’t been able to have a close relationship with my dad, the fact that my aunt and uncle still make an effort to want to talk to me and show me that they care about me? That warms my heart,” Darby said.
But there’s no promise that Aunt Sheila and Uncle Jim’s presence will ease the meeting, especially since they said they haven’t talked to Darby’s dad in eight years.
“I’ve attempted to try, but nothing has happened,” Sheila said. “Dad has not spoken to me since 2011. I really don’t know.” “
“I have mixed feelings about you going to see your dad,” Jim told Darby. “I think your mom did absolutely the right thing, keeping you away from him. Twenty years ago, he had a lot of demons running around inside of him. … I hope I’m 100 percent wrong.”
“My husband says the same thing. He does not think this is a good idea,” Darby said. “Honestly, what I’m just really looking for from this is just some sort of acknowledgment. Just to see his face.’ Cause everyone says, we have the same face shape.”
“At this point in my life, I feel like I owe it to myself to make that effort and see what kind of response I get,” she added, admitting that while she was “scared,” she felt empowered. “Before, what would hold me back is this fear that he will reject me. But it’s not so scary that I couldn’t get on the plane.
Darby’s mom just wants closure for her daughter.
“All I know is I am looking for my daughter to finally having some form of closure in my life,” Matthews said.
“Oh my god,” Matthews said in the preview. “There’s your father.”
You’ll have to wait until The Real Housewives of Potomac airs next Sunday (8 p.m. ET) on Bravo to find out what happens or if they get the door closed in their faces.