A lovely surprise

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. 🙂

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9 thoughts on “A lovely surprise

  1. Good Effort!

    I am glad you got a lovely surprise.

    A belated Happy Birthday.

    My Birthday was Wednesday and I had a nice birthday also. To be clear my mom called me the day before and asked if I wanted her to cook or wanted to go out. No room to easily say I was not celebrating as I have not in years past. I accepted it and the free home cooked meal. Well not totally free I guess.

  2. Hi Kerro,

    I’m glad that you had a happy birthday. I’m glad that things are getting better around your birthday. You deserve to be noticed, loved, and to receive all the good attention you can handle. By the way if I hate someone they don’t think that we are friends and I don’t feel obligated to do anything for form’s sake. I only give to those that I love. And I love you. Good and healing thoughts to you.

    Kate

  3. I think this is a lovely shift. I also think it’s pretty common for trauma survivors not to like their birthdays when their lives are hurting and broken; it’s an unpleasant reminder that if you’d never been born, you wouldn’t be so f*ing miserable. So feeling better about your birthday is, I think, a really significant uptick in a good direction. I am so pleased to hear it.

    And, of course — Happy Birthday!

  4. @ David – thank you. You continue to be one of the sweetest, and certainly the most insightful, man I know.

    @ LSC – thanks. 🙂

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