Today is my birthday, which gave me the idea for something to write about. Well, ok, technically I’m writing this before my birthday to publish on the day so I can take that day off.. lol But anyway..
So many of us adult children of narcissistic parents hate our birthdays. I’ve been battling this myself for many years, since my seventeenth birthday when my mother ruined my day & spent a good part of it screaming at me. My eighteenth, when she gave me a gift she said she didn’t even know why she was giving me anything since she didn’t even like me. There have been plenty of other lousy birthdays over the years, too, that weren’t related to my mother. These bad times set the stage for me to start dreading my birthday once the month of April begins.
A few years ago, a friend of mine messaged me on facebook shortly before my birthday & asked what I was going to do for my birthday. I said nothing. At the time, my father had started chemo & wasn’t feeling well- I felt I should be available in case my parents needed me. My friend proceeded to chew me out. Gently but still.. lol Birthdays are very important to him, he said, & pretty much ordered me to do something nice for myself that day, even if it was only picking up lunch from my favorite restaurant. Something in me clicked. I realized he was right. Since then, each year my husband & I have gone to our favorite restaurant on the water not far from home with a few friends. We share a meal & some laughs in a cute little place with a scenic view. It’s always a lot of fun.
In my experiences of meeting many other adult children of narcissistic parents, I’ve realized that I am hardly alone. Many others dread their birthday because of bad memories their mothers attached to the date. If that describes you, Dear Reader, please reconsider your feelings. Your birthday is a special day- it’s the day you made your grand entrance into this world. It is the day God assigned for you to bless the world with your presence! That makes it a very special day. And, you are a very special person! In spite of what your narcissistic mother most likely told you, you are a wonderful person, & your birthday is a day that should be acknowledged & celebrated! Why don’t you decide today to start doing just that?
When I first started to try to celebrate & enjoy my birthday, it felt so strange. I even felt guilty, like I was doing something bad & wrong. But, as time has worn on, I’ve gotten better at it. In fact, I’ve even looked forward to my birthday a few times. Admittedly, I’m still struggling in this area, but at least I’ve made progress. Progress is so much better than cringing every single time the month of April begins! It may take you a little time & practice as it has me to start consistently looking forward to your birthday, but it is worth it!
To start, you don’t have to start big, like with a huge party, if you aren’t comfortable with that. Just do a little something nice for yourself. Like my friend said, get your favorite lunch from your favorite restaurant. Bake yourself a cake or buy a slice from a nice restaurant. Buy yourself a nice gift- it doesn’t need to be extravagant if you don’t want it to be or can’t afford it. A new book would suffice. Go out for coffee with your best friend(s). Buy yourself some fresh flowers or plant a pretty garden in your yard. The point is to do something special just for you, to celebrate the wonderful day that you were born. xoxo