Tag Archives: celebrate

An Idea For Enjoying Birthdays

As I mentioned recently, my birthday just passed.  It’s not a happy day for me.  I’ve had many miserable birthdays.  More bad than good.  Thinking about many of them still makes me cringe.  As a result, I dread the day every year.  For years off & on, I tried to make good birthday memories but nothing helped me shake the yukky feelings attached to my birthday.

 

One of my lovely readers knows how I feel, & told me about something I could do.  I read about it & found it fascinating.

 

Queen Elizabeth & I share the same birthday (well, different years..).  Cool, but not the fascinating part.  The fascinating part is there is a royal custom regarding birthdays.  The queen’s birthday isn’t celebrated publicly on April 21st, but on the second Saturday in June.

 

My reader’s suggestion was to follow the Queen’s example with a little change.  Celebrate my birthday on a different day with a chosen few people only, thus making my birthday something to look forward to for a change.

 

The reason I’m sharing this, Dear Reader, is because so many adult children of narcissistic parents or those who were married to narcissists, share my experiences- many lousy birthdays, thanks to the narcissists in their life, have made them bitter about their own birthdays.  Hopefully those of you on this same boat will give the Queen’s idea a try.

 

Besides, it’s simply not fair!  Narcissists have stolen so very much from us, & that’s just wrong.  They have taken way too much.  It’s only right we take back something from them, anything.

 

Thinking about it now, I’m considering creating my new birthday in the fall.  It’s my favorite time of year- the weather is beautiful, the leaves are so colorful & the days are short as I like.  I’ve never been overly fond of the spring, so changing my birthday celebration to autumn sounds like a lovely idea.

 

What about you Dear Reader?  When would you like your new birthday celebration to be?

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It’s Hubby’s Birthday!

Today is Eric’s birthday!!  Like many other adult children of narcissists, it’s a day he’s just as soon forget.  But, I’m hoping we can do something to make it a special day.  He certainly deserves to enjoy his birthday!  Feel free to wish him a happy birthday in the comments if you like- I’ll be sure to share with him.  🙂

Keeping along with the birthday theme, I thought I’d take a moment to remind you, Dear Reader, to remember something.  Your birthday is just that- YOURS.  When it comes up, you need to celebrate it however you see fit.  Please don’t treat the day as your narcissistic mother did.  So many made their child’s birthday miserable in some way, & if you experienced that, don’t continue that pattern!  It’s your day- enjoy it however you see fit!

If you can, do something special for yourself on your birthday.  Even if it’s just grabbing a bouquet of flowers for yourself or taking a bubble bath.  It doesn’t have to be on the exact day either- if you can’t take off work, then do something special the following day or over the weekend.

If you’re like my husband & I & prefer to forget your birthday, please know you’re not alone.  I tried for a while to enjoy it, but it didn’t last long.  My birthday last April was awful.  It was just one of many bad ones, & now I’d just as soon forget my birthday completely.  While I’d like to encourage you to at least try to enjoy your day somehow, I understand sometimes that just isn’t going to happen.  Rather than feeling bad about that, try to keep in mind that at least your birthday is still done on your terms.  Ok, admittedly it’d be a lot more fun to do something special for your birthday, but if you don’t feel you can, at least you still are doing your birthday your way.  After all, it is your day, so you are allowed to treat it however you like.  Nothing says you have to have a big celebration for your birthday or even acknowledge it if you aren’t inclined to do so.  You are free to do whatever you want, & that includes doing nothing.

However you wish to handle your birthday, I would like to encourage you to do one thing- refuse to take any phone call or see your narcissistic mother.  Make sure you take this one day for yourself, minus drama, minus snide criticisms, minus guilt trips about how being pregnant with you made her incredibly sick for nine months… give yourself that one day a year without all of that nonsense.  You truly deserve that.

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Rejoicing In Yourself

I was watching Jesse Duplantis on tv last night.  He’s my favorite tv preacher- so educational, down to earth & funny.  He mentioned a Scripture in his sermon that I never really thought about before:

Galatians 6:4 “But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.”  (NKJV)

He said exactly what I was thinking after reading it- “How often do you rejoice in yourself?”  And, I answered the question with a resounding not all that often.

This made me a little sad since not all that long ago I wrote about celebrating your victories in this post.  I really tried to do it, & do it more than I ever have.  Still though, not all that often.  Since I’m not a hypocrite writing what you should do without doing them myself, I’m going to use this as a reminder to celebrate the little things more often.

Celebrations don’t have to be big, fancy affairs either.  Stopping for a moment to bask in the feeling of a job well done is wonderful.  It helps to imprint the good feelings inside you.  I like prizes too- getting myself a small gift for accomplishing something.  I love pocketbooks, so sometimes it’ll be a new one or a random prize from the local thrift stores I like.  Maybe a little piece of costume jewelry from ebay or a new bottle of nail polish.

Doing little pampering things is also fun.  I love love LOVE manicure/pedicures.  Bubble baths are also nice.  Getting a cup of iced coffee or a snowball is a fun summer treat, or buying a new flavor of herbal teas to enjoy on a cold evening works in the winter.

And what you celebrate needn’t be anything huge.  I reward myself after doing housework.  It gives me something to look forward to after completing a task that I’m less than thrilled with doing.

Whatever you do, just be sure to do little things to celebrate yourself & do it often.   You deserve it!

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Birthdays For Children Of Narcissistic Parents

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

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Do You Celebrate Enough?

Do you celebrate the good things in your life?  Not necessarily throw a big party over every good thing, but at least revel in your joy for a few moments.

Life can be so hard & full of negative things, the good can get pushed aside.  It’s very easy to do.  However, I would like to encourage you today to start looking for more good things & celebrating them.  Focus more on what you have accomplished than what is still left to do.  Be proud of the fact you lost five pounds or finally painted your living room.  Think about how blessed you are that a good friend of yours brought you lunch when you were sick, or offered to take your child to school when you were unable.  Enjoy the fact your spouse took off work on your birthday to celebrate & spoil you.  Take a few moments just to think about those good things & feel good about them.  Bask in the good feelings for a few minutes.  Truly this will help you to feel good, & it will help to cement these positive experiences in your memory by attaching good emotions to them.  Experiences with emotions attached stick with us much better than those with little or no emotions.

I have stressed many times the importance of taking a break from emotional healing sometimes, as it can be very draining.  As much as you need to heal from narcissistic abuse, it can be very complex & deep, so periodic distracts are very important.  However, I think equally important is looking for & celebrating the good things.

Growing up with a narcissistic parent, accomplishments were always undermined.   We heard negative, critical, judgmental things our entire lives.  In fact, I think of my parents as the “could be a tumor” kid from the movie, “Kindergarten Cop.”  Do you remember that kid?  If not, here you go:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaTO8_KNcuo&list=FLyHVkrFotB51_ZKqh7BqAXg&index=27

These things our parents did became habits.  We learned to do them to ourselves.  We became highly critical & negative about ourselves, even trivializing the good things we’ve done.  Why continue the abuse that your parents started?  Stop it & stop it now!  You deserve so much better than that, & you deserve to be happy.  Start today by celebrating something good.  Take a few minutes to bask in the joy of the blessing or the event, whatever it is.  Focus on how good it feels to have received something or to have accomplished something.  Even if it’s simply cleaning your house- doesn’t it feel good to have that task completed?  Focus on that good feeling for a few minutes.  Thank God for the good things.  That’s all you have to do.

Now, try that celebration with other things, big & small.  Relish the enjoyment!  You’ll be a happier person for it!  xoxo

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November 5. 2012

Hello, Dear Readers!  I hope you’re doing well today on this lovely autumn day.

Yesterday it was 18 years since hubby & I went on our first date.  Time really flies.  It was a romantic date, & I remember it as if it was yesterday.  To celebrate, we didn’t recreate it, but we did spend some quality time together at our favorite bar/restaurant on the water.  We try to celebrate that day every year, & other special days, such as the day he proposed, the day we met, etc.  Little celebrations are a good thing- they bring some much needed positive into life.

I also wanted to let yall know that Thursday, Dr. Karyl McBride, author of “Will I Ever Be Good Enough?” will be on the Dr. Phil show to discuss maternal narcissism.  She is a lovely woman & her book is amazing.  Check your local listings or http://www.DrPhil.com to find out when the show will air in your area.  I’m looking forward to it myself.  Dr. McBride’s book describes my mother well, so I’ll be very interested in watching this show!  My parents watch the show daily, so I just pray they catch this one, & gain some insight.  

By the way, there is another storm, what sounds like a milder version of hurricane Sandy, moving into the Maryland region on Wednesday.  Be careful, my fellow Marylanders!

Have a great day!  🙂

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