I hate my birthday. Every year I leave it off the family calendar, on purpose! I really do wish it would be blocked off, the whole damned day! It’s like the year saves up as much emotional garbage as it can to dump on me! It’s a conspiracy, though I don’t think it extends outside my family… maybe to some friends and lovers too…
*Shiftily looks all around, checking for sniper laser dots on my body*
So why was I surprised that this year was exactly the same as every other year? Because the attack was subversive. No one mentioned the day or date, I thought I was safe. Inside, I was building up a happy dance, for in the shower…where no one can see. A slight booty wiggle and toe tapping, with some hallelujah arm thrusts in the air…nothing elaborate. My shower is tiny, not like I can do a waltz in there! But I was excited that I might not have to suffer this year. I was so very wrong….
I’m not afraid of aging. I’ve earned every mark on my body. I’m really not so shallow that the fact I’m 38 is gonna bother me. I’ve been voting since my first election after my 18th birthday. I started drinking in high school, like everyone else I know. I never really cared about my age. After you’re legal to drink nothing else seems to matter. It’s not like everyone moves out at 17, or gets married at 20, or has kids and graduates college at 31! I mean I didn’t even get my own car until after I was married, so nothing before or after year 21 made any difference to me.
*Slathers on scar cream, moisturizers, and wrinkle reducers*
I felt the day creeping up, and tried to fill open spaces before, and after so it might sneak past anyone else. I didn’t mention the word birthday, nor did I drop useless hints about gifts (I don’t get any, anyway). For fuck’ s sake, birthday! What does a girl have to do to make you more stealthy???
All my efforts were in vain. This day was marked for all eternity, apparently! In fact it seems like the whole week was fairly rotten. The doom and gloom began the day before. H was running late getting home, with a very flimsy excuse. I had to be at work that night and as he could not give me an ETA, I had to call my mom to watch the kids. It’s a call I hate to make. I get guilt over it every time, and it always seems to be a huge imposition for her. She asks twenty questions, all of which I try to subvert. Then I have to hear the “you should think about your kids more” speech. It begins with “Why is he late, again?” And ends with “You two need to work together to make him happy!”
Honestly, I want to scream out at her when she lectures me on parenting, or relationships. She was divorced before I was 3, and none of her kids had disabilities. I’ve taken as much as anyone should be expected to take from her, and H. All I needed was, 40 minutes or less of her time. A safe place for my kids to stay so their parents could work.
Not to go all, “old lady” on anyone here, but I was 5 years old when I was home alone, cleaning house and doing my homework, while she and Dad were working, or gone out partying for the night. I really don’t see how this once in a blue moon event, is harming my kids in any way. They are taken care of, clean, and I had already handled dinner and homework for them. They had their tablets so it wasn’t like they required much in the way of entertainment, or nourishment. Just a responsible adult to make sure they were not getting hurt, for just a few minutes. That is all.
SO…I had to sit through a lecture, which put me further behind than I would have liked. And I still had to get the kids together and in the car, as well as get myself ready for work, stop and grab cash, dinner, and gas for me, and drop them off, listen to another lecture, and make it to work on time! If I had known sooner this time crunch would not have happened. H, conveniently forgot to call until the last possible second. The lying was irritating enough, but to add the stress on me, was just completely insensitive. He knows what happens when I need a sitter. I tell him.
Finally get the kids loaded, and H (magically) is getting off work and driving toward my parents place to get the kids. That means he would arrive there before I did. Great, make me look more incompetent! Like I don’t get enough criticism from her! So I told him to meet me elsewhere, and we could exchange the kids, but he had to call mom to cancel. Begrudgingly, he agreed. All the running around and fixing I had to do was making me late, and so was finding a place to meet. But, we managed it. I didn’t say a word to him. After fighting with the kids over the fact they weren’t visiting my mom, I was worn out! I didn’t want to say anything hurtful, so I chose not to say anything. Which he promptly took as a sign of aggression, cuz that’s what silence is all about…ugh! I drove off and refused to answer his texts after I got to work.
He spent a good portion of the night sending hateful texts. None of which I responded to, other than to let him know I arrived at work alive. He spent the whole night being mad at me, because I wouldn’t talk, and I had not given him a chance to unload about the lie he had worked out, to cover for his being late. I really was not in the mood to prolong his farce. Unfortunately, that meant, when I got home after work, he was fuming!
Beyond that, really. He was in a blind rage by the time I walked in the door! He began screaming at me, calling me names, and nearly spitting in my face, followed by kicks and punches to me and our bedroom door. He doesn’t remember any of it now, or at least that’s what he claims, but the holes in the door, the cuts on his knuckles, and the split in my lip are hard to deny. I still have no idea why he was mad. I was the one running around like a fire on a thatched roof trying to cover everything at once! I was the one he’d lied to. I was the one almost late for work. What exactly, had I done to him?
If his screaming rant was anything to read, apparently I’m a raging bitch. But he was the one yelling, cursing, and getting violent. I still had not said a word. He continued until his face was blood red, and he had tears coming out of his eyes. I still had not said anything. He washed his hands and face, grabbed his work gear, and left. I cleaned myself up, changed clothes, and got in bed hoping to sleep the day away, thank Gods the kids were in school for all of that!
Then the texts came in.
Mom: Happy birthday!
Me: thanks. Please tell the others I just want to sleep today. Luv u.
Mom: Why are you always so depressed? You have no idea how good you’ve got it! How good you’ve always had it! You need to be thankful you have your husband and kids.
Me: Not now. Please.
Mom: That’s it! I’m taking your kids away! You clearly don’t have any care or concern for them!
Me: my kids are fine. Leave us alone.
Mom: You are being a completely miserable person and I won’t let you hurt them!
Me: please just stop. The kids are fine and happy. Leave it alone!
Of course it continues…And before the end of it I was shaking and almost in tears. I had called the school to tell them the kids were riding the bus home. No one had my permission to take them anywhere. At least I knew they were safe. And once I got them home I’d feel better.
So why not check my email! Only good news there, right?! WRONG!
WB decided that was the day to start hitting me with his pain and anger over our breakup. He was the one who left me, so of course he was entitled to just layer on more hurt to my already fucked-to-hell-birthday! Why not, right?! So I let him. Why not? This day wasn’t getting any better! He unloaded on me, and I took every word, every emotion, every tear between the two of us, until it twisted a knot inside me.
I found a razor. 13 lines. And at the end I felt a slight relief. I was so taken in by everyone’s rage, I took pictures with my phone, and sent those to WB. I know it was a mistake. I know I shouldn’t have cut myself again. And I sure as hell did not need to include him in my pain. But I was hurting. I was reacting, instead of thinking. And I am still reeling from all the pain from that day.
And while I’m getting these emails, I get more texts. My grandmother had fallen in the night and was found unconscious, bleeding. She was rushed to the hospital, and placed in ICU. I got one message, then 20. Mass text messaging, I hate it. Love and prayers for grandma. I asked when I should come to visit, and was advised to stay away, as I am always making trouble. Truth is the second my mother is stressed, I become a target. If she isn’t threatening to cut me off, it’s taking my kids. And the really fucked up thing is, all it takes is me showing up, to bring the pain.
I have no idea what I did to my mother as an infant, but apparently my birth ruined her life, or that’s what she tells me. I find it hard to believe as she didn’t find and marry dad until I was 5 years old, and then had two more kids. Really, I’m not sure who should be more insulted in that claim, me, the boys, or Dad. I just don’t get it. But, she will inevitably attack me when she is stressed. All the family sees is that I upset her. Not that I only walked in the door and was told to leave, or that she tells me I have no right to be around her or the family. They just see her reaction to my presence, and assume I did something provoke it. If my existence provokes attacks like this, shouldn’t I be locked up for something heinous?!
Maybe I am crazy. I AM the one in therapy. But I’m in therapy for harming myself. I’m in therapy for anxiety issues, related to social stressors. I take meds to go to sleep, otherwise I stay up for days on end contemplating the ramifications of any action I may take, for any given reason. I’m the one who has nightmares about standing in line!
They get to act like lunatics, have fits, hurt me, and call me horrible names, but I have to be medicated?! There is something very wrong here.