Not-So-Happy Birthday

It’s my birthday.  39th.  3 x 13.  I wrote this post last year about how I am birthday neutral after hating my birthday most of my life.  I was satisfied with being birthday neutral, and I hoped that it would continue.

Well, it hasn’t.  This year, the blues hit me hard over the weekend.  I also got my period on Saturday, so that’s probably part of it.  However, it’s mostly my birthday.  I am grateful and thankful for all my friends and all the well-wishes I have received.  I will be going out with two friends, separately, on Thursday, and I know that will be a blast (especially as Natasha and I are going to Smitten Kitten to buy something for someone she knows who is getting married.  I’m going to buy myself a new toy, methinks).

I have done things in this past year that I have wanted to do for awhile (blogging almost daily, for example).   I have learned some things about myself (that I do want to have some kind of romantic relationship at some point in the future), and I have faced the demons of my past (FB) and have lived to talk about it.  I have made new friends and strengthened old friendships.  I have a sense of what I want to do with my life.

So, why the fuck am I so down?  I have no idea.  First of all, this stupid dieting thing.  15 pounds and three inches off my waist.  Good, right?  Yeah, well, I’m starting to think crazy again, and it’s driving ME crazy.  I am disheartened that I can’t do this in a sane way.

Secondly, I am horny as hell.  Now, this isn’t that different than most days, but it’s intensified, and I have no one at hand to slake that desire.  I want to be fucked until I walk funny and my throat is raw from all the screaming (yes, I’m a screamer.  Not surprising, is it?).  I want to have that “I just got the fucking of my life” look, and you all know exactly what I mean.

Still, these are pretty de rigeur for me.  Nothing to see here, people, move along.  Those two things, in and of themselves, would not be enough to make me this depressed.

I can blather about loneliness and feelings of worthlessness, but there’s nothing new there, either.  And, quite frankly, I’m bored with all that shit, so I don’t want to write more about it.

Here’s the painful truth:  My birthday this year is stirring up my feelings of family and how it should be and how it isn’t.  My mom is coming for her yearly visit at the end of May (earlier by a month) and staying for roughly two months.  That’s a hell of a long-assed time.  I am already starting to adjust my behavior towards her (not compulsively answering her calls and/or emails), but I feel like my brain is fracturing.   In her last email, she talked about if I were to go back to Taiwan, she would take me to a sushi shop that she just knows I would love.

Are we living in alternate universes?  I went through hell while I was there.  I reverted to the young me, and it was not pretty.  I have a hard time reading the blog entries from that time because they are just so damn painful.  I will not go back as long as the family dysfunction is so steep.  But, that brings me smack-dab up against reality.  What to tell my mother?  I know her.  When she gets an idea in her head, she will not let it go.  You think I’m OCD?  I am an amateur compared to her.  I fobbed her off with a ‘we’ll see’ when she mentioned the five-year reunion as I left Taiwan.  However, that will only stall her for so long.  There is no way in hell I am going back to Taiwan as long as my father is alive/the dynamics of our family have not changed.  If I am to tell her this, I will have to tell her why.

I’ll tell her about how I don’t feel understood or even heard.  I’ll tell her how hard it is for me to be myself.  But, do I mention the gazillion-pound elephant standing in the room?  My father.  If I do, do I just stick to his temper, his moodiness (again, I’m an amateur compared to him), and his inappropriate humor (he tells sex jokes.  Yes, I know I tell them, too, but not to my family)?  Or, do I say, “Hey, Mom.  Dad molested me.  I don’t want to have anything to do with him.”?  Do I tell her the details of the flashbacks?

Or, do I equivocate?  I can’t put the shield back up, not all the way.  Something inside of me won’t let me.  I can’t be that person any longer.  It nearly killed me in Taiwan, and it didn’t do any fucking good, anyway.

In the same email, my mom told me that she was proud to have me as her daughter.  The sad thing is that I didn’t believe her.  Not only does she not know me, I can’t see any reason why she would be proud of me.  I feel like a total fucking failure as I flounder around, trying to force myself to do the things I need to do.

In the previous email, my mom wrote about how I was such a big baby, I gave her a backache while she was pregnant.  I cringe when she reminisces about my birth.  She does it every year.  I feel like she’s trying to connect to me, and I don’t feel the connection at all.  Then, I feel guilty because she’s my mother for fuck’s sake.  She carried me for nine months before giving birth to me.  Goddamn it, she loves me.  I know she loves me as much as she can.  Why the fuck am I so hard on her?  I’m madder at her than I am at my father right now, and that’s really not fair.

I’m emotionally-exhausted.  I took a two-hour nap, and now, I don’t want to go to bed at all.  I hate eating; I hate sleeping (too many bad dreams); I hate pretty much everything right now.

The demons are having a gay old time in my head.  Oh yeah, migraines.  Been having those, too.  I feel more broken than I have in a long time, and it’s fucking discouraging.    There is no rational reason to feeling this way–oh yeah, wait.  Family.

I wrote awhile back about how the facade of the perfect family was crumbling and how I felt, wrongly or rightly, that it’s my fault.  I know, I know, I am only giving voice to the dysfunction that has polluted my family for my whole life.  I know that I am only refusing to play the game any longer, not that I am inflicting the actual damage on the family.  I know all that intellectually, but there is still that part of me that says, if only I could be what they want me to be–everything would be fine.

Yes, I know that’s bullshit.  My trip to Taiwan pretty much proved that.  I tried so damn fucking hard, and I couldn’t do it.  Even if I could, it wouldn’t have been enough.  I know all that; I really do.  I just don’t feel it in my heart.

I think the other problem is that the more I inch towards something resembling healthy, the demons redouble their efforts to drag me back into the abyss in which I stayed for fifteen years.  Every step forward means a step away from them, and, like my mother, they can’t deal with that.  And, also like my mother, they know exactly which buttons to press, though unlike my mother,  they did not birth me (I birthed them).   They know that the healthier I get, the less use I will have for them.

Forgive me.  This entry is disjointed and not very coherent.  I have a jumble of thoughts, and I just needed to get them down on paper, as it were.

6 Responses to Not-So-Happy Birthday

  1. No problem with the ‘jumble of thoughts’! Your mom wants to connect to her daughter. But we both know you are not that person, except in name. She’s doing it to support her fantasy family, at least right now.

    You don’t have to lay yourself bare for your mom. She doesn’t merit that level of vulnerability. But if you assert that you are an adult through your words and actions, it will go a long way. If she brings up her lies, address them as they come. And make sure to schedule some social activities with your real family while she’s in town. That’s one thing you couldn’t do while you were in Taiwan.

    Another point: There’s no shame in admitting that your ED makes it extremely difficult – if not impossible – to change your body in a healthy way without help. Therapy helped me see how much of an amateur I was at trying to overcome the pain of my abuse. Get someone on your team that can help you do this in a healthy way!

    Lastly, I also get gloomy on my birthday. All the thoughts about where I ‘should’ be in my life, my past hurts and mistakes, etc, etc; they all come to the forefront. Hugs to you, and I cannot put too fine a point on how glad I am that you were born! Love to you.

  2. Choolie, I have realized that I don’t have to show my mom the real me (not all of me), but I do want to stop being so damn artificial with her.

    ED: I know. However, it just galls me that I keep falling into the same trap over and over again. I should be better than that.

    Birthday: My therapist had a good point. The more steps I take, the more I realize how much I’ve been missing and how much more there is out there.

    Anyway, thanks. I’m glad you’re in my life. Love right back atcha.

  3. You can be real around your mom without having to put yourself in a vulnerable place. That’s what I mean.

    It’s OK to admit you cannot be a one-woman model of self-sufficiency about your ED. You’re only human. A good ED advisor will bring a real team spirit, strength, and focus to your efforts, and keep you on a healthy track.

  4. Choolie, I just have to find that medium of being with my mom without being completely false or without revealing everything.

    I am not only human! You take that back! It’s just discouraging that my brain and fearsome intelligence is not enough to keep me sane about my ED issues.

  5. “Birthday: My therapist had a good point. The more steps I take, the more I realize how much I’ve been missing and how much more there is out there.”

    You have missed a lot, this is true. But maybe your paradigm shift needs to be that last part. You have a genuine, loving, supportive family now. Look at the people who comment here; some may be casual observers, but you also have people who hold your hand, no matter what the distance, every day. You have three teenaged kids who are biting at the bit to get you into their lives in person. People who are ecstatic just to hang out on the couch with you and eat birthday cake and snark. You have some locals too, for anything immediate, and there are those of us who would be on the next plane to MSP if you called and said, “I need you.”

    You do not have a traditional family, this is true. And really? You never will. You will not have inside jokes with your parents, silly family portraits, holidays around the yule log drinking eggnog. So? Who says something has to be traditional to be amazing? You sure as hell aren’t traditional, but damn straight, you’re amazing.

    I, for one, am proud to be your twin, and am glad the you were born. I’m celebrating your birthday, then, even if you aren’t! =)


  6. Kel, part of my sadness is realizing I will not have the family I vaguely dreamed I would/should/did/will have. I think, in the end, it’s a good thing for this dream to end so I can be open to the actual people in my life who love me for me (like you and your brood). Right now, though, it just hurts. I am extremely grateful for all my friends near and far who are so damn meaningful in my life. You have shown me the ‘so much more’ that is out there.