Better than the alternative

Its my birthday and I’ll cry if I want to. Actually, I really have nothing to cry about today and not just because I have a bunch of drugs flattening my emotions.  I am content in my work, home and relationships. Things aren’t perfect anywhere and they aren’t a catastrophe anywhere. I’m especially proud of my husbands recent accomplishments and love watching all the milestones and obstacles all the young adults conquer.  

I really don’t even like celebrating my birthday – I appreciate when others help me celebrate but . . . A book entitled the “primal wound” expounds on the tragedy of children separated from parents and how it affects them, even when they are adopted straight from birth into the best of circumstances.  In a perfect world children would stay with their parents of origin and be loved and care for. Such was not the case with me and with millions of others – I was orphaned, institutionalized, adopted, abandoned, and finally adopted by parents who were less than fit to raise me. I think the idea of being unwanted started from birth and was just reinforced along the way. My birthday reinforces the thought that as my mother anticipated my arrival she also presumably was anticipating goodbye.

But three years ago on my birthday all I could do was cry. All day I felt bereft and alone. I didn’t understand how I could celebrate in a psych hospital, away from my children and in treatment for the the 7th week of a six week program. But  friends and practitioners sang to me, I had some gifts and watched the hours tick until the day passed.

In hindsight I wished I would have enjoyed that birthday more.  Why? Celebrated that birthday would have been appropriate because the knowledge I was gaining in that place had the potential to help me enjoy, participate and appreciate all the birthdays yet to come. Celebrate that! But I didn’t. I cried openly for my loss of connection to family and freedom and a life that used to be.

Will I grow out of this unwanted feeling? I’m not sure. I’m not sure that I will ever truly enjoy my birthday, as much as I try. But today my focus is to enjoy the people who surround me.  That makes me happy whether the date itself does or not!

You know what they say about having birthdays. It’s better than the alternative!