Happy Birthday to Me.

This entry does touch on childhood abuse.
Please read with caution of this is upsetting for you.

 

Twenty-five years ago… I was born. I’m a quarter of a century old. Half way to fifty. A real adult.

This isn’t how I envisioned turning twenty-five, although I never gave it a lot of thought. I didn’t know how it would happen, but I planned on getting my psychology degree, getting through supervision and becoming a registered psychologist… well before twenty-five. I might have a boyfriend, I might not… but I’d have my degree. I’d have a career.

That is one of the losses I feel the most as I get older. I suppose it’s not a loss, given that I’m still working at getting my degree. It’s just that it’s going to take much, much longer than the four years, full time, that it takes for many people. I’m determined. I know what I want to do. Psychology is a passion. People are a passion. I will get that degree one day. One day.

Back to the birthday thing though – I tend not to celebrate them. Low key works very well for me. There’s usually dinner with my brother, sister-in-law and nephew. They’re the only safe family I have locally. Some years I’ve had a meal with friends, maybe a coffee with someone. That’s about it. Big parties, lots of noise, lots of people… that doesn’t work well for me, for us.

It would seem that the rest of the world enjoy birthdays, love them, long for them, celebrate them. Often, for me, they’re dreaded. So many birthdays, from eighteen onwards, have come with suicide plans, overdoses and self-harm. It’s incredibly sad to think about it.

Why are birthdays so hard, so painful? I’m learning more about this as each year passes. Each year there are new flashbacks and body memories. Another piece is added to the puzzle. If I’m to trust the flashbacks it would seem that my birthday was a primary day for abuse from my father. A birthday, for a kid, means presents. I received the normal presents from my family, but also a “special present” from my father.Birthdays, growing up, meant sexual abuse.

I don’t want any of it to be true. I don’t want the flashbacks and body memories to be real. I don’t want alters and I don’t want what they’re sharing to be true. However… DID is caused by trauma at an early age… My treating team do not debate that diagnosis. Something happened to me as a child to cause this.

Anyhow, birthdays are hard. I’m trying to remember to breathe, to ground, to take care of myself and to medicate appropriately and when necessary.

 

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4 thoughts on “Happy Birthday to Me.

  1. You are the same age as me. I too thought I’d be so much further than I am in life by now. I thought I’d let you know as well that I did a psychology degree- it was supposed to b 3 years long, I did it in 6. I had to keep reminding myself life isn’t a race it’s about the journey.
    I’m sorry birthdays come with memories of what happened to you. But you are a survivor and for that reason I will say happy birthday- thank you for beig here with us xx

  2. hey, i’ve only just started my psychology degree and i’m in my forties so you are already one a head of me ;).
    I’m sorry birthdays arn’t a good time for you, they should be and i’m sorry that was taken away from you. even if you don’t celebrate fully, hope you still get to do something nice for you x

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