Today is my Birthday Boxing Day. I had an unexpectedly nice day yesterday. Thanks to all of you who sent me messages – emails, cards, etc. Thank you, I guess, for ignoring my desire to go unnoticed for the day.
In the past I’ve always hated my birthday. It’s always been a time to fear. I’m not really sure why, perhaps it’s that birthdays are a time to reflect on life and how it seems to be passing. Also that it’s been a time to fear being noticed – and, even worse, not being noticed. As silly as this sounds, my birthday has always been a time to worry that those close to me would forget me; that all my fears of being a hideous and unlovable ghoul would be proven correct.
So, what made this year different? For one thing my mother seems to be really trying. In previous years she’d send me a text message for my birthday, or ring me the day before… this year, I got a card (with a picture that’s meaningful to both of us) and a phone call on the day. For all her faults, she really is trying.
But I think the real difference this year was something far more intangible – it’s something inside me that doesn’t mind being noticed anymore (by those I know and like and trust, at least); something that can appreciate the good wishes of friends without worrying that they really hate me and are just doing it out of ‘obligation’. Perhaps it’s a greater comfort in being me, and a lessening of the fear that others will find out who I really am and run for their lives.
I guess that’s another notch in the belt of therapeutic progress. 🙂