TRIGGER WARNING: post features reading which some may find uncomfortable
So, tomorrow I turn the big 2 9.
Firstly, I can’t believe I’ve made it this far.
Secondly, I hope the day flies by in a blink of an eye.
Birthdays have never been a happy occasion and I dred them.
The gifts, the messages, the cards, the….having some sort of birthday party to show that a. You have friends and b. You have a life outside of work.
I suppose social media makes it worse although, they’ve always filled me with angst.
They feel like the worst New Years Eve party. I think about all the things I haven’t accomplished…I rent, I still haven’t joined the property ladder. I haven’t had a promotion in over a year. Half of my family treat me like the black sheep of the family. I have no relationship with my mum or dad. I’m not engaged (currently, the only one in my friendship group). The list goes on.
Growing up I had a very different childhood to the rest of my cousins.
I was the one from a broken home. I’d spend one birthday with mum, the following with my nan & grandad (my father is more of a DNA sample) & so it’ll alternate and I’d be passed around like a gift. The irony.
My cousins however had it all. Parties with friends and family; they’d spend close to half an hour or more opening gifts, my aunt would give everyone a ‘goody bag’…it was very much a scene from a movie.
Mine were a scene from Kidulthood.
Birthdays with mum were normally spent being shouted at or watching her being smacked about.
The police were well aware of number 8 Elizabeth House.
When I was 11, my aunt bought my cousins round and we were going to watch The Bean movie in Hammersmith.
My cousins bought me Hanson’s album on cassette (ah, the good old days) and what started off as a great day ended up with my mum being shunted to the floor and hit with a hoover.
My cousins rarely came to visit me after that.
My sweet 16 wasn’t any better.
Mum was in an awful mood and smacked me in front of 4 of Sixth Form friends…all over a cushion. That’s right, a cushion.
I mean, if you ever needed some perspective…
My friends didn’t really talk to me after that.
As for my 21st, I was sexually assaulted on the bus while I was on my way to tie up my student loan for my second year at uni.
The day was spent at a police station.
Now, don’t feel bad for me (I hate any form of pity). I managed to get my student loan thanks to the kind lady at the council. I placed a deposit on a bar and days later, I had a party.
Of course, no one knew what happened (told you I nailed the “I’m okay” smile) but that year, I won.
For once, I had birthday photos. No one smacked me or shouted at me (well, bar my mother who called me a “selfish bitch”) and my friends still spoke to me afterward.
I realise I’m dumping a lot of words here.
I realise I’ve not really given much away before this post other than I struggle with anxiety, depression and PTSD.
Fact is, my birthday is quite possibly the most loneliest day of my entire year.
I have the best friends in the world and I know they’ll message me, I know that my nan will tell me she loves me and I know that my boyfriend will try his best to get one size of clothing right.
But I can’t tell you the last time I had a card from my mum and dad.
The two people in the world who are meant to look after you & love you the most & yet, let me down every year.
I won’t be going into work tomorrow, which is a good thing. I pretty much spent the entire day crying at my desk last year.
Instead, I’ll spend it with my nan. She’s having a small hospital procedure and I said I’d go with her. Sounds rather depressing but I honestly don’t know what I would have done without this woman.
She is, hands down, the reason why I’m able to get up in the morning despite all the shit growing up.
So, while I might cry like a baby tomorrow and resent my parents, I know I’ll be in good hands.
I’m sure I’ll be quite active on social tomorrow but should that fail, have a bloody good hump-day.
Lots of love, from the almost old bird.