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2021-02-26 16:25:37 (UTC)

History and Presents

This year I did the introspective early. Today is a history lesson and present thoughts with the way things will change in the coming year. I’ll start with history of my birthday. Many that are quite close to me knows that for many years I despised my birthday. For those closest to me, they came to understand the reasons that this was the way it was. I do still despise it but I’m getting better about it and becoming more grateful for my tribe that surrounds me. It wasn’t always this way though.

My mother despised me for much of my life. That much has been established. My birthday to her was showing off any accomplishments that I had done the year before and took credit for being the one to cause those. Not that she did anything, but hey it was her story. My birthday became this convoluted mess of disaster and spite except for my father. Dad actually would do his best to rescue whatever disaster my mother made of it. Many times, him and my grandmother would team up to salvage things. As time passed and my parents divorced, and my grandmother became sicker that’s when the shit really hit the fan. You see anything my father sent me my mother intercepted and took. Either she would return gifts for the money or if money was sent, she kept it and threw out the cards. It would be some years before my father got wise to it and then did the unthinkable for my mother. Turned up at our house on my thirteenth birthday. I was quite impressed because I had never seen mother that flapped up before. Once more it was dad to the rescue to salvage my birthday each year and I always looked forwards to it.

When I got married (we’ve established the timeline a long time ago) to my ex-husband, things were pretty good the first couple of birthdays and as it would seem to become customary afterwards, it would be turned to shit. When I say this, it isn’t something so simple as stupidity. We’re talking outright shit. Like starting fights for the fun of it to do a “I’m Sorry” birthday gift later. Make it all about him. One particular birthday, my 21st to be exact, is the one that will forever stay in my mind. Why? Because there’s two sides to this. We’ll start with the one that set the bar. I was dating a really great guy and it was an amazing relationship. Granted it was an affair, but by this time my husband had worked up to double digit affairs. At least I went for longevity? Anyway, I’ve expounded that before. For this birthday in particular he had gotten with our friends to surprise me. It wasn’t anything fancy, but it would set the bar for the future and my husband’s version would become customary for me. So, the Strife Knight had gotten together with our friends, pooled their money, and got what they needed to pull this off. All the while I’m completely in the dark. So, they turn up at the door because we were planning a game night. They knocked on the door which to me was strange since usually they all just came right in. I open the door to this half circle around the door of friends with the Knight in the middle holding a cake and as I had opened the door the whole lot was singing happy birthday to me. I was bawling my eyes out at how much this meant to me from them. They had also gotten pizza and soda. They came in. We ate and gamed for a while before they all left for the night except for the Knight. We spent the night (as much as we could) cuddled up on the couch and watching movies. Talking and joking. It was the perfect birthday. To this day it has never been matched by anyone I have been with. It was simple, happy, and would always be appreciated. Fast forward three days. The hubby had the night off and we were supposed to go out and have a good time. Well first my mother was late to show up and the Ogre was in rare form. Starting a fight with me over that, he told me he would be back in half an hour. Well I waited. I ended up falling asleep on the couch, waiting. At about 2 or 3 in the morning he woke me up coming in the door drunk as hell and looking at me like I was the bad guy. Apparently, he had enjoyed my birthday for me. That was the sign of things to come. Of course, we know the story of what happened with the Knight and after 7 disappointing years with my husband we parted ways. That wasn’t the end of the disappointing birthdays either.

Move on to the Dragon. I thought things would be different and once more they were. He would attempt sweet things but there was always something that he would find to just fuck it all up. Maybe not on the day but either before or after within a few days. Again, nine years (off and on) of that. By this time, I was truly without a doubt despising my birthday. Hell, I was loathing it. My dad did try though to come through but even that was never enough. Friends and family attempted and eventually gave up because each year I was snarling and growling more and more.

Skip over the Hermit since that was the epitome of WOFT (Waste of Fucking Time). Then came the Lion. He was far worse than even my ex-husband. He would do something really great and then shit on it. He loved doing doozies after swearing each year that he was attempting to make my birthdays better. No matter what though he managed to get me really happy and thinking he did it, then shit on it. By this point in time I just basically wanted to crawl in a hole and die than participate in my birthday.

It got a little better with going to Ren Fest (pre-Covid) each year for my birthday with either my brother or one year with my oldest daughter and her husband. Now mind you the Knight was around and well basically did jack or shit for my birthday except for a text and nothing more. You would think it was the thought that counted but I mean really? The kids were more broke than him and managed to do things. Even my brother. It was the first birthday I was here for and after a rather disappointing conversation with the Knight, I told my brother on the way home from Ren Fest that I had had enough. It was time to change things.

I changed things up a bit. I stopped worrying about things and just let it all go. I began to appreciate the many friends and family that cared enough to either call, text, or post on my birthday. I appreciated my adoptive parents for sending small gifts to me and making me smile. I began to appreciate Papa’s visits. I enjoyed my trips to Ren Fest. I realized that I had been a right shit to my friends and family that had always did their best to make me smile even if I hated it. Not going to lie, I did smile. Now I smiled more because it was their way of saying they cared even if for some it’s only hearing from them once a year and then poof until next year.

This year though after a couple of disappointments it’s crazy to say that I’m getting the only thing I wanted for my birthday in the past. I’m getting ready to head back down to Tampa to stay there another night and day before finally coming back up to the real world. I have a lot going for and I’m forever grateful for the doors that are opening for me. I’m grateful for the tribe of people I call friends and family. They are my tribe after all and I have amazing folks in that tribe. I have finally come to liking my birthday. It’s not gifts or parties. They’re nice but that’s not it. It’s making a little time in the day for those that I love. And possibly tonight recapturing a bit of youth with the person who set the bar in the first place. Who knows? Maybe he’ll surpass himself this time. Raise that bar a little higher. Even if not, a nice dinner and watching what’s become our show will be more than enough to top off this happy day for me.

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