Like many adoptees out there, I have always hated my birthday.
I can think of past years that were drowned in tears, alcohol, or a combination of the two plus other unmentionables perhaps. (ahem...)
I can think of past years where I tried to ignore the date altogether - unsuccessfully.
I can think of a couple of birthdays I spent waiting by the phone that never rang, and waiting for the letter that never came. Thinking that today, of all days, maybe she would think about me and call me or write to me.
I can think of many years I spent angry, lashing out at my loved ones. They didn't understand WHY I was angry - only that I was. Responses varied from "What's wrong with you?" to just a flat-out, "Oh, get OVER it."
You know how it is.
Anyway, I decided this year would be a little different. If other people said I should be celebrating, who am I to refuse a day to let myself be pampered, taken care of, and loved? I figured it was a fruitless attempt to be "normal", but I had nothing to lose by giving it a shot.
By golly, it worked.
Somewhere in the middle of the massage that followed the facial, while this woman with amazing hands was working this awful knot out of my back, I let go of the tension that had been plaguing me for years. I mean, really let go of it. I finally decided I'd had enough. I want my life back. I want my mother to have her life back. I want my family and friends to have ME back. It became more important than hanging onto this THING that had been poisoning me for years on my birthday.
Sure, it was a typical day. My adoptive parents forgot my birthday - again. My aunt (the fuzzy rat's sister) forgot it also. Instead of agonizing, I chalked it up as typical. My aunt is as bad with a calendar as I am, and my adoptive parents - well, they have other things to think about. It's okay. Should it stop me from having a good time? Hell to the no.
I got spa treatments, let my husband treat me to an outrageously expensive dinner and the best bottle of wine I've ever had, ran around some casinos drunk off my ass and giggling the whole time, and enjoyed the time with my family. I felt special, and most importantly, I felt loved. I deserve it, dammit. THEY deserve it too, after putting up with hellacious fallout for far too many years.
I'm done. Done with it, done with it, done with it. Damn, it feels good.
Even better - my mother also seems to be done with it. She actually had a nice weekend. We managed to talk for a few minutes, and she sounded positive, upbeat, and looking forward to spending time with her husband and her friends. When I spoke to her a few days later, she still sounded great. No angst. Wow. What the hell happened???
I don't care, really. I don't care what happened, or how it happened. I wish I could articulate how I got to this point. I wish my mother could articulate how she got to feeling so happy (maybe she can...I certainly can't speak for her!)
It's almost like a second coming out of the fog. I was consumed with all this pain for so many years, and it had gotten positively hellish these last few months. I was constantly battling, letting it sap my energy. I'm not in denial. I will still have my moments. Hell, I'll still have my days, my weeks. I will continue to speak out and be there for my friends out there in adoption land. I will continue to educate myself about the atrocities that exist in the adoption industry and read blogs.
But my own birthday blues? Seeya. Done. I'm over it. That's my day, and I'm taking it back.