Happy Birthday to Me

I had not intended to write any more about my second ex-husband, but apparently I have some things I still need to work through.  So, absent a therapist, writing seems to be the most liberating way to rid my mind of these leftover pieces of him.  He is not so much on my mind because I miss or love him, but his replacement has so many qualities he lacked; I find myself living my life in reversing asking “why” on a daily basis.

Currently, I am staying with my sister for a few weeks, 6 if the truth be told, and well, I am telling the truth (small attempt at humor).  I actually do not know her well, so when I begin waxing philosophical about my past, expecting sympathy, I had no idea I was in the wrong house.  For each story I revealed about my life with my ex-spouse, my younger sister becomes less inspired by me, “It’s your own fault, you deserved it. You could have left.” She spouts her wisdom as I sit and stare at her blankly.  Interesting.

For the years I was married to him I had few people to talk to; my family was not speaking to me, or was it me not speaking to them?  Either way, there was no communication, so I had nobody to comfort me when I was down.  I did not really have any close friends; I had co-workers, but nobody who really cared to listen when things were really rough at home.

So, here I sit, fingers poised at the keyboard, my sounding board, my new best friend.

One year, after reuniting (we had previously been separated for three years) the prior year, I woke up the morning of my birthday and wondered if he might, at the very least, say happy birthday.  I thought back to his birthday just two months earlier; the girls and I bought balloons, streamers, and other decorations to transform the house so he would wake up to a festive mood.  We made a cake, complete with birthday candles, gave him a few gifts, and tried our best to show him he was loved.

His response was his usual low-key, monotone voiced, “Thank you,” but I knew he appreciated the effort.  He was not big on celebrating anything, but he always valued the kids doing anything for him.  The gifts were never right and we typically made a joke about him returning everything, but the thought and love was there.

The day of my birthday, I got up at 4:30 a.m. for my morning run, came back to the house for Pilates, got ready for work, and headed to the office for my normal routine.  After work was much the same; I went for a run, cooked dinner, cleaned up afterwards, and went out to the front porch to sit by myself.  He went up to his computers to play some video games.

I started crying to myself, softly, not sobbing, just little tears, at having been forgotten.  I knew there would be no celebration, no party, and no cake.  My children were not old enough to shop on their own or to bake by themselves; and it takes a mom to prompt them to do such things.  However, it does not take much to remind somebody to say the words “Happy birthday”.

Finally, he came outside and sat beside me for a minute, he noticed the tears, surprisingly, “What’s the matter with you?” he asked.

“Well,” I sighed deeply, almost afraid to answer, “Today was my birthday.”

“So, what’s the big deal?” he was incredulous, “It’s not like you’re nine.”

“It would have been nice if you had at least said happy birthday,” I replied.

He said the f-word and a few other things to me, making me feel worse, and walked away.

Happy birthday to me.

 

8 thoughts on “Happy Birthday to Me

  1. I wanted to comment here but I am not sure words could do justice. There is so much sadness in your words and life. It is hoped by some of us that you have some friends to at least relate to in times of sadness and uncertainty. I hope you can reach out when needed……. And again, their should be another button besides “like” that could more appropriately convey a persons response on this and all posts on websites…….

    • Thank you, Sir.

      No “friends” right now… as my life has been so unsettled for almost a year; but, I get to go home in a little over two weeks. Hopefully, I will settle in and become comfortable with being me again. I want to surround myself with people who want and love me; I know it is not family, relatives, or ex-husbands.

      Life is getting better… I am trying to rid myself of old thoughts, and writing about them helps. Thank you so much for you kind words.

      Always,
      Me

  2. Happy birthday to you, Ms., either today or belated.

    We here are a little forgetful sometimes. I remember my sister and how I forgot to send a card to her in Florida. We found the perfect joke card which read, “This card would have been on time, but it’s from us.” I did call her on time.

    Personally I’m not big on my own birthday and I guess I make it too hard for people to do anything but ignore me. I hate receiving gifts because no one seems to know me well enough to get me anything I could possibly want, except my wife. These wrong gifts are worse than no gift at all because it is a glaring proof that the person giving does not know me at all and yet pretends to care. That evidence is a slap in the face and worse than nothing at all.

    A simple, “I thought of you and it made me smile” is more than a good-enough gift for me. I can share that with you now. Every day I read one of your posts and likely two, one new and one old, and just seeing that you posted makes me smile because it is proof that you are out there sharing and helping me grow as I read your insights and experiences. And sometime during the day at least once in between I think of you, smile, and go on with what I’m doing.

    • Thank you, Sir… it was some months ago. I understand about not wanting gifts from people; especially those who do not know you well. One year, we did a gift exchange with my ex-husband’s family; his sister drew my name. She knew I loved to read, but she bought me a romance novel… it was awful. I read it because I could not stand to see a book just basically go to waste in my eyes…

      But, I see your point. However, that day, from my husband, I would have settled for a simple “happy birthday” maybe a “I’m happy you were born”. It never came.

      Oh well, so it goes… so it goes. One more memory I can now dismiss since I have let it flow through my fingers out onto the keyboard and into cyberspace…

      Always,
      Me

  3. I agree that there should be another button besides ‘like’.
    There are people out there who give us advice and tell us that they understand. They can never though, however hard they try and its not their fault too, its just the way we are. But the important thing is that they care, no matter what. I’m a bit like you. And I get hurt often.

    As for those who’ve hurt us, I suppose time is the best remedy, at least that is what they say. But they fail to mention the amount it’ll take to fully heal.
    I’m a kid and I can’t even begin to think of what you must of gone through. Kindly forgive me of any indiscretion.

    • They do say time heals all wounds… you are correct, they never say how much time; and, who are “they” to know? And, if we are healed, what would it look like?

      I try not to wear my heart on my sleeve and get hurt to quickly; but I don’t like the way that looks either. It makes me appear cold and aloof, which I am not. I am warm, loving, care deeply and am affected by the words of others…

      Life is a challenging journey; I guess it is our job to find those little pieces of beauty when we can, and growing from the difficult times. At least that is what I am trying to do. I hope you do as well.

      I am so happy you wrote. Thank you.

      Always,
      Me

  4. What a bastard your ex! What is the new guy like? I hope he is treating youbetter. If not find a good woman 😉 I thought your story was well written and obviously from the heart.

    • Thank you…

      Oh, he is wonderful… brilliant. Perfect. Unfortunately, I was not so much… we have had our rocky times; I screwed up, he forgave… but, we are still trying to get over “me”. We might make it, though.

      Always,
      Me

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