Birthdays

I am 19 now. Today I’m going to talk about birthdays. I don’t mean it’s my birthday today: it’s not – that’s in May. I was just thinking about birthdays, specifically the last 5. On an unrelated note, as it’s not my birthday I guess it’s my “unbirthday” – a very merry unbirthday to you.

When I was 14 (and a half – ish), the ex and I were talking a lot. Rarely in person though. We liked each other but I was very very shy. We used to talk everyday on MSN for hours and hours. (This is relevant, I promise.) We argued (even then – I know, I should’ve seen the early signs that the relationship was doomed, but I didn’t at the time) and eventually he decided he had had enough of me. We stopped talking then. I tried to talk to him, but he ignored me.

15

I remember my 15th birthday. It was probably about a week (maybe less, maybe more I’m not really sure) after we had ceased communication. My birthday was a Saturday, I think, (it could’ve been a Sunday but I don’t think it was) and I remember logging onto my computer, signing into MSN in the morning. On my birthday we had to go to Oxford for a family event. It was one of my cousin’s 21st birthdays, so we drove up to Oxford.

I remember leaving my computer on until the last possible moment before we left. I remember seeing his name pop up in the corner of the screen when he had signed into MSN. I remember getting ready to go. I wore a black and white dress with a red belt that tied in a bow. I had matching red shoes and a red cardigan, and I borrowed a small white bag from my mum because I didn’t have a red or white bag. I remember standing in front of the mirror when I had put my dress on. This is the first time I remember looking in the mirror and crying. I cried because I wasn’t good enough. I cried because I wasn’t sure if the dress looked nice or not. I cried because it was my birthday but we were celebrating someone else’s, but most of all I cried because he didn’t speak to me. Not even on my birthday. Not even two words to say “Happy birthday”. It hurt, it really did. Because I was 15 and this was my first experience of how love hurts.

We drove to Oxford. We went to a fancy hotel for a lovely meal. It was really nice. I remember that my nanna got confused, she said “It’s not your birthday is it?” I know it’s not her fault. She is relatively old; she gets confused, and she has quite a few grandchildren to keep up with. Especially birthdays in May: there’s 3 of us within 2 weeks.

I had some friends round for a sleepover for my birthday party. I don’t really remember much of it. Except jumping on the trampoline with my friends. I don’t know why, but I remember what one of my friends was wearing; she was wearing a colourful skirt. She has since become someone I don’t speak to, because she betrayed my friendship. She’s just another one who’s hurt me.

My friends made me a book for my birthday. It was amazing. It meant a lot to me. Only one of my friends knew about ex, and she knew I was upset about the whole situation. In the book there are lots of quotes, pictures, photos and messages. I still have it; it cheers me up when I feel down. Or it would do, if it didn’t remind me of skirt girl and cheese girl (another ex friend). But it shows me that I have (had?) friends that care. But the relevant part of this is that on one of the pages of the book, there were the song lyrics to Made up love song #43, this reminded me so much of ex (who obviously wasn’t ex at the time, more like boyfriend-to-be) because of the lines.

The best things come from nowhere,

I love you, I don’t think you care.

Wow, I didn’t realise revisiting all of these memories would be so emotional. You learn something new everyday I guess.

16

My 16th birthday holds memories too. Sadly not happy ones. Birthdays are supposed to be happy. I remember that my aunt and cousin came to stay for my birthday (maybe my uncle and nannie were there too but I don’t know, I can’t remember) This meant that ex wasn’t allowed to stay over, (we weren’t allowed to sleep in the same room, and my aunt and cousin were sleeping in the spare room) so he came over in the morning. It was before he could drive (as he was 16 too at this point) so he got the train and the bus to come to my house. I got up early (ish?) and I remember opening my presents. I remember getting this elephant picture from my parents. I love it, and I’ve wanted to put it on my wall since but haven’t done it yet. (Last time I tried, it resulted in a hole in the wall – oops)

Elephant picture

Then I remember ex phoning me to say he was at the bus stop. I went to the door to meet him (the bus stop is not far at all – about 30 seconds from my house) Then I remember him being angry. I had opened my presents before he got there. He was angry; he was horrible to me. I apologised; I said I didn’t know he wanted to be there when I opened them. I thought (but didn’t say) that it was more of a family thing. He made me feel stupid and guilty; “I got up early so I could get here before you opened your presents”. I think there was some kind of confrontation with him and my aunt. He left the house. I went upstairs and cried in my room.

Not long afterwards, he came back. He came back panicking, I think maybe he was even crying. He found out that one of his friends had been stabbed and was in intensive care. He was going to be ok. I comforted him, he “forgave” me. He made the day about him. This sounds selfish because he was worried about a friend, but in retrospect he did make it about him (not me, or his friend). It was always about him.

17

I don’t really remember my 17th birthday. I had an exam the next day: spanish. I had to revise on my birthday so I didn’t really celebrate it much. Ex always used to get angry if I spent time revising instead of with him. I got driving lessons for my birthday from my parents; learning to drive was fun. I really don’t remember anything else about my 17th birthday, it was uneventful.

18

My 18th birthday was 16 days after ex split up with me. Needless to say, I wasn’t feeling great. We still went to the same college so I had to see him everyday. I don’t really remember the details but I remember us being in his car. I remember him being horrible to me; basically I remember that he ruined my birthday. I was going to have a proper party with quite a few people. Once we split up, I decided I only wanted my close friends. I invited about 12 people I think. Most of them didn’t come. I remember that less than half of the people I invited came. I think there were about 5 of us. It really hurt that my “best friends” couldn’t be bothered to come to my 18th birthday. Especially when they knew I had just split up with ex.

19

Finally, I’ve finished talking about rubbish birthdays – phew. My 19th birthday was approaching and I was reallly worried. The last 4 had been rubbish, and my depression was pretty bad at this point anyway. I was at uni for my birthday; it was the first birthday away from home – that was weird. My boyfriend came up to Lancaster for my birthday. I had planned a big party because that’s what everyone does at uni, and everyone else wanted me to have one. The days before I was terrified: what if no one turns up? What if it’s rubbish? What if everyone hates it and then they will hate me? I really didn’t want the party to go ahead, but it had to, I couldn’t let people down.

My birthday was on Thursday, and the party on Friday. I received a parcel in the post (mail) from my parents and brother. They sent me chocolate (Cadburys of course), sweets and some elephant related items. It was really nice! My boyfriend bought me an elephant shaped watering can. It’s bright pink – so cool! I will post a picture when I get it back (it’s in Lancaster, but I’m currently in London.) I spent most of the day with my boyfriend, and it was nice just relaxing and cuddling. I had a seminar (German grammar), and decided to go to it. When I arrived (slightly late,) someone was in the middle of their grammar presentation. However, he stopped his presentation to say happy birthday, followed by happy birthdays from most of the class. I blushed and hated it at the time – the attention makes me feel very uneasy, but I was glad too because it meant that people care. After that, my boyfriend and I went into town and went to the most LOVELY chinese restaurant. (Chinese is my favourite food) The inside was decorated in an oriental style (unsurprisingly), and there was a safe, intimate atmosphere. One of the waitresses (could’ve been the owner as she seemed to be telling others what to do) was dressed in traditional chinese clothing; made of silk and covered in beautiful embroidered patterns. It was a really nice evening, and the best birthday I had had in a long time!

My party had a theme, it was “Noahs Ark”. So people had to come in pairs dressed as the same animal as their partner. I REALLY wanted to be an elephant (obviously!!) but I couldn’t find a grey dress. (There were other options which would’ve resulted in an elephant costume, but I wanted to look GOOD on my birthday) I found a really nice dress while searching for grey dresses, and it had a feather design on it. So I bought it, and me and boyfriend went as owls. I got to do our face paint which was fun! I am happy to say that the party went really well; I had fun, and I think everyone else did too. I even managed to make boyfriend have a good time, and he normally hates clubbing.

*   –   *   –   *

If you have made it this far – wow thank you for being such a patient reader! I didn’t mean for this post to be so long, but once I started writing, I kept remembering more and more to put in.

Anyway, the reason I decided to write about birthdays is because I wanted to prove (to myself more than anyone else) that the reason my 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th birthdays were so rubbish isn’t because of me, it’s because of ex. He managed to ruin every single one of those birthdays, and most of the years in between. This post may seem like a whining moaning post, and I’m sorry for that, but small things like this set of reminders for other deeper, more painful memories which I’m not going to talk about here (yet anyway).

But ho hum, my 19th birthday was lovely, and one last thing to say on this post:

A very merry unbirthday to you! (Unless of course it happens to be your birthday, in which case: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!)

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10 thoughts on “Birthdays

  1. jthestudentnurse says:

    And a very merry unbirthday to you too! I enjoyed this post by the way, except for the part where you suggested it was whining and then apologized. I think it is actually showing empowerment and that you are embracing the good things in life or at least talking about things which is leading you on the road to positivity and a healthy dose of self esteem.

  2. soultherapist says:

    My birthday was last Sunday. I have had just one bday party on my life, and it was prepared to my for one of my friends and her mother. I have no great memories about birthdays, sadly.

  3. My Mental Stream says:

    This post is great because of the ending. You have shown progression and you are putting your past behind you and moving forward with people who care about you. As someone who is super critical of themselves (in one of my posts I went off on a tangent about how critical I was of myself right in the middle!) I get why you felt the way you did, but it wasn’t you, it was that idiot of an ex! Here’s to your 19th birthday, and many more in the same vein **raises glass**

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