Today is my birthday.
I believe I've written about this before, but usually the day after, because my birthday is usually a very emotionally stressful day.
I think it's okay to wish my parents and family wanted to celebrate my day each year, especially when I was a child and birthdays were a REALLY BIG DEAL.
I think it's okay that sometimes I felt hurt when they forgot, or when they remembered later and thought it was funny that my day was forgotten.
I think it's okay that I finally got to the point where I wouldn't talk about my birthday or tell anyone when it was.
I think it's okay that when I grew up I never celebrated my birthday, and that I tried to make believe that it was no big deal.
I think it's okay that one day, years later, I started believing that I deserved better, that it was okay for me be be upset with my parents for forgetting-- especially when I never forgot the birthday of a family member or friend. There was no mutual agreement that my birthday was meaningless and I wanted them to acknowledge me, to celebrate that I was born, to be glad that I was their daughter.
I think it's okay that little by little, I let people I trusted know about the day I was born. I think it's okay that I did so with no expectation that they would care. I think it's okay that I did it because I needed to talk about it and I knew they would let me.
I think it's okay that I blogged about all the reasons my birthday caused me distress. I needed to say those things. I needed to tell my parents that their behavior toward me was not okay or funny-- it was hurtful and disgraceful.
I think it's okay that today I can say, "It's my birthday," and I don't feel angry or sad. I think it's okay that Darrin and my children celebrate, and have celebrated with me for many years. I think it's okay that I have come to feel that my parents have truly missed out because they're very blessed that I'm in their lives. I'm a pretty great person; one who deserves a birthday celebration every year, just like everyone else.
I think it's okay that my children planned a birthday outing for me tonight, and that for the first time in my life, I felt I could (and should) go and participate.
I think it's okay that next year I will plan one myself and I will invite people. And it's okay if no one can come because the real triumph lies in the fact that I can finally do this. I've never been able to do it before.
And what this means is: I'm healing.
That's a pretty wonderful birthday gift.
Happy birthday to me.