The Life You Save May Be Your Own

DID, knitting, sci-fi, and strong opinions

Birthday May 31, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 5:44 am

Next week is my birthday.  I’m saying this mostly as a self-imposed therapy homework assignment.


I’ve been protesting against my birthday.  Team Leader offered to bake a cake (she’s a fantastic cook), and I rather vehemently refused and said  I didn’t want any birthday celebration.


The thing is, I do want it.  I want to be surrounded by friends and family that love me.  I want perfect gifts that are all about the relationships with these imaginary people.  I want the best cake in the world, candles, bad singing, and maybe even dumb little pointy hats.  I want a surprise party because then it would mean someone actually cared enough to think of me and plan it in advance.  I want the perfect birthday.


I can’t have it.  It’s an impossible ideal, and I know that.  Since I can’t have perfection, I want nothing at all, not even acknowledgement.  I am ashamed for wanting such childish things.  I’m going to be 26, and I just want to live in a childish fairy-tale land.  I should be growing up, but I feel like I’m getting younger.


When I was growing up, I never got to have a big, awesome party at the roller skating rink or Chuck E Cheese.  We didn’t have enough money, and I didn’t have enough friends.  The few friends I did have were usually at summer camp, so birthdays were always kind of a letdown.


This time four years ago, I was getting ready to go to Riggs.  I was force-feeding myself because I had to gain nearly 20 lbs to be eligible for admissions.  Between the ED and the dissociation, I was a total mess, numb all the time.  I didn’t feel anything and didn’t care about anything.  I just agreed to go to Riggs because I didn’t have anything better to do.


This time two years ago, the day after my birthday, my grandfather called to tell me he was yanking me out of Riggs, the only place that had ever helped me.  I had been doing well reassembling my life, was starting to make plans for some future.  Then that phone call came, and I seriously contemplated suicide.


This time last year, I had just been diagnosed with DID.  I was terrified and out of control, suicidal all the time and knocking myself out with a lot of Benadryl and Klonopin so I wouldn’t be conscious enough to make a suicide attempt.


So yeah, not all that great of a track record for birthdays.


But I feel like my extreme reactionary “NO FUCKING BIRTHDAY” stance isn’t the right way to deal with it.  It’s like I’m a kid who wants the entire gallon of ice cream but refuses to eat the one scoop her mother offers because it’s not the whole thing.  It’s a stupid, childish reaction to not getting a stupid, childish want.


But where and how do I find the middle ground?  I could call Sarah, Bob, and/or Susan and get dinner or something, but I have this internal resistance to it.  I know I’ll come home feeling emptier than if I’d been alone.  It would be too much contrast between what I want and what I have.  I feel sad just thinking and writing about it, like I might cry.  I could still ask Team Leader to make a cake, but see above for why I’m resistant.  I could go buy myself some nice yarn or something, but then I’d feel like (A) I don’t deserve it and (B) it’s completely pathetic to buy my own birthday present.


I guess the real question is how do I grow up and truly accept that my childish dreams won’t come true?  How do I learn to make what I do have feel like enough?  How do I fill the hole in my chest when it’s a black hole that swallows everything in its proximity and still feels empty?


4 Responses to “Birthday”

  1. mm172001 Says:

    I’m not a big birthday fan either. I don’t have many friends and always hope someone will surprise me. Sometimes family does surprise me but normally its with something they think I’d like that I don’t that proves even more how they don’t listen to me. I think people always want that childish dream and it’s okay to have it to some extent, hey it may come true one day just don’t rely too much on it. I can totally relate about the benadryl/klonopin comment to not be conscious to attempt suicide; I do Nyquil/Valium. It’s been suggested to me a few times I have DID, Most times they just dive me dissociative disorder NOS. I try to look at each birthday as an accomplishment that I made it through another year of hell. Hope something nice happens for your birthday, whether a cake or a wish or something. Happy Early Birthday.

  2. I did have a few birthdays at skating rinks and such. It was terrible, though, for a few reasons. First of all, I can’t (and couldn’t) skate, so all I could do was hold on to the wall. But that’s a minor issue. The biggest issue is that I really had no friends. Sure, I’d invite people, and a few would show up. But that was because my parents forced me to invite them. I guess I must’ve wanted the party, and I felt like I had to keep up a ruse. (As I also feel now.) I felt like I had to pretend I had friends so my parents wouldn’t think I was a loser. I still feel that way a lot of the time, and it makes me feel immature and pathetic.

    I also find birthdays triggering when I’m at my worst because . . . well, I don’t want to give you ideas. But take care, and I hope it’s enjoyable.

  3. Happy Birthday from a fellow birthday perfectionist/hater!

    (I always buy my own birthday present – and very nice they are too)

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