Well, here I sit, 10 days away from yet another birthday. I can already feel the inner tension building. I hate my birthday.....I 'identify' more with the date of my adoption as a 'birthday' than the actual date of my birth.
Not once, past the age of--say, five-- can I ever remember enjoying my birthday. Growing up, it was always a bit of a double edged sword. Happy because people are celebrating me, Sad because there was a piece of me missing.
As I've gotten older--say, since my early 20's--I've not enjoyed a birthday at all. I'd just as soon climb under the covers and not come out for the day. Oddly, since finding my birthmother, I've come to hate my birthday with a vengeance. Rather than filling the 'sad spot' and having the happy part grow, finding my birthmom actually brought out and enhanced the negative feelings rather than the positive ones.
As I said, ten days til my birthday, and I'm already feeling pissy about it. I'm already dreading cards and phone calls. I'm already dreading having to put on a happy face for my children's sakes.
Do any other adoptees have negative feelings about their birthdays? Could you please share if you do? I'm feeling a little alone in this....
I try to get away with forgetting my birthday, havent had much success tho. In reality my birthday has never been much different than any other day. If anything it is just another day to remind me that I still dont know who I am. I have been trying to figure that out for 48 years without success. I guess when it comes to birthdays im about like many others and wish I could just skip the whole concept.
Interesting perspectives from all of you. :) I see similarities to my feelings and adoptive situation, and I see differences that I can't identify with. But from all of them, I am drawing much knowledge, and I thank you all for sharing.
For me, when I was younger (I'll be 33 next week), I guess it was a small shadow of sadness. I accepted then that it would always be there. I resolved the 'missing piece' feelings by taking a few private moments to wish a "happy birthday" up to the sky to my birthmom every year. I figured that it was her day too.
After meeting her, though, the negative feelings about the day seem to have multiplied to the point that I hate my birthday. This is the first year that I'm trying to examine the feelings and where they are coming from and why they've multiplied to this extent. Mostly, at this early stage, I'm thinking they are coming from her statements of how I came into existence--her refusal to accept any responsibilities for her own actions that led her to be pregnant to begin with.
Granted, I know I have/had no responsibility towards being born. I know I was given no choice. I know that I am the 'innocent' in this situation. Somehow, I seem to have allowed myself to buy into the thought that my birthday is a 'bad' day, and that the date of my adoption (6 weeks later) is the date that I began to exist.... Rationally, I know this is not true for me either.
So, it's time to make a "new peace" with this hatred for my birthday. I can't go back to the way I used to feel (only sad, not angry), but I can certainly begin to change my views towards my birthday given the newer parameters--and try to gain a new acceptance of them.
Okay, guess I'm rambling now, and I'm normally a quiet and reserved person. It just feels good to get it out and know that--finally--I can say what's on my mind and there are people that understand it. At the same time, I hope someone can draw something from my words as I have drawn from all of yours.
Lady Rose
It is really nice to finally find people who can truly undertstand our feelings. After years of having to keep it all inside it is nice to be able to let it out. It does tend to bring things rushing to the front that have been buried for a very long time and that in itself scares me in a way but I think it is good for us
Hi all ~ for 37 yrs., I've always had this fantasy my b.mother thought of me on my birth day ~ I talked to her the 1st time Feb. 14, '05 & just got a letter from her (4 in person visits since Feb.) and her answer is still the same, "no I didn't remember what day you were born. Just that it was hot out." (I was born in Aug.)
I know it wasn't because she didn't care, I know it was so she could go on with her life. ... I may think of it a bit differently this year - as I now know she never did remember "my day" ... but she says "I won't forget now!!" LOL.
I'm really glad to find this thread - and hear about others who don't like their birthdays. I'm an adoptee - and I HATE my birthday - I always have - and the older I get the more I hate it - not because I'm aging, I just am more aware than ever that it was the day I was taken away from a girl who carried me that I was part of.
But even before that, I've never been able to figure out why people got excited about their birthdays. I'm a teacher, and could never understand why the kids were so excited about their birthdays. Even as a kid, I know my parents had to wake me up every year (Christmas too). I always just felt like my parents were thinking, "well, we have to do this because Mary is here." Meaning, it just never felt sincere, that it was something they were forced to do. And it has always bothered me that my a-mom would celebrate this day when she would have no memory of giving birth to me and could tell me nothing about that day, who had no connection to that day.
It has taken me years to finally get them to stop celebrating it. Please don't get me wrong, my a-parents were/are wonderful people and couldn't have been more loving. But my birthday has NEVER felt right.
It's so hard to put it in words, but it's so good to know there are others out there who feel the same way I do.
And it has always bothered me that my a-mom would celebrate this day when she would have no memory of giving birth to me and could tell me nothing about that day, who had no connection to that day.
You know, that's EXACTLY how I've felt my whole life. It never made much sense to me to have my a-parents celebrate my birthday to a large degree, and my adoption day (six weeks later) to a smaller degree.
Granted, I am very blessed to have grown up having a 'celebration' for both days. I just feel a stronger connection to my a-parents on my adoption day because they could tell me the story of their wait, and how excited they were the day they brought me home.
Even now in my 30's, me and my a-dad send eachother cards to acknowledge the day. It means so much more to me...
I must say I am confused at the comment about the amom wanting to celebrate their child's birthday. Why would it bother you ( I have not chosen those words, that is what was written.) that your amom would want to celebrate your bday? Hello?!!! My mom wants to celebrate my birthday because she loves me and even though she didn't give birth to me she treasures my birth, had I not been born she would never have me. I do not feel that I was "taken" from my bmom, but was relinquished out of love for me. With that kind of thinking, then why would anyone celebrate your birthday with you other than your birthparents. Your husband wasn't there, your children weren't there. No these people can't tell you about your birth or the day you were born, but they love you are and so grateful that you were born!!!! I have always thought that this was why we celebrated birthdays. I don't mean to sound rude, I just can't understand what would bother you that your amother would want to show you love about the day you were born? Maybe I am misunderstanding what you are meaning when you say you are "bothered" by your amom celebrating that day. My mom is my mom, she may not have given birth to me, but I can't imagine her not celebrating the wonderful day that I came into the world.
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Carol~ I totally agree with what you've said ;)
I have 2 very best girlfriends and every year on our birthdays we celebrate. We go all out. We have dinner and drinks and celebrate til we're barely standing. We do this because we are celebrating each other and the fact that we are alive and have beautiful families and breath in our lungs and good friends to celebrate with.
None of them was there the day I was born.....but to us it doesn't matter.......we celebrate anyway.
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Thanks, Tricia,
I am not trying to be rude with what I mentioned earlier, I just do not understand. This is how I choose to look at it and the situation. People can't help their feelings. I guess that since I had a wonderful adoption and am generally an optimistic person, I can't understand that reasoning. I am by no means saying their feelings are wrong, I just don't understand and this is how I view my birthday. If I have offended anyone, this was not my intent and I am sorry.
Carol, I know you're not trying to be rude - and I truly do hear everything you say - but as you say, we all have our feelings and emotions over birthdays - and that's okay. I don't want to beat a dead horse, 'cause it's not worth it. But let me just say this, I have/had a wonderful a-family that loved me deeply. It was just always this sense I had as I was growing up. I can't get into the gift of life thing - I won't shut up - and that wouldn't be good.
But no feelings are hurt - and we are all entitled to our own experiences.
Oh by the way, my a-parents celebrated my adoption day too - 6 months after my b-day - and always did feel special.
For many years I was very sad when my birthday rolled around. Now that I am in reunion with members of my birth family, my birthday may be a bit brighter. :)
I no longer worry about my birthfamily and being forgotten, I now know that I was missed and searched for. That is so affirming after being separated from my dear brother at age 6. I have seen my Grams' letters written to the adoption agency inquiring about my location to no avail. It is sad that my Grams did not live to see me find my birth family. She passed away in 1993. I hope she is smiling down in me from heaven and happy now.
My adoptive family did their best to celebrate the day of my birth. I love them for that.
I do think it is interesting to see that some of you celebrated your adoption day, that was never the case in my situation.
I must say I am confused at the comment about the amom wanting to celebrate their child's birthday. Why would it bother you ( I have not chosen those words, that is what was written.) that your amom would want to celebrate your bday? Hello?!!! My mom wants to celebrate my birthday because she loves me and even though she didn't give birth to me she treasures my birth, had I not been born she would never have me.
I had to step back for a bit to let this sink in a bit. I must admit that, initially, it stung. Had I answered immediately, I probably would have come out swinging. ;)
To answer with a rational mind....:D
When I was younger, birthdays only made me feel a twinge of sadness at the 'missing piece' of me. As I got older, things got harder.
We didn't all have wonderful adoptions with loving a-mom's. I was adopted to save a marriage---at my a-mom's urging. (It didn't work). When my a-parents divorced, a-mom made a point to let me know that a-dad never wanted to adopt me ( a later learned truth was that a-dad didn't want to adopt AT THAT TIME--he wanted to sort out the marriage first ).
As a teen going through divorce, a-mom was determined to make me hate a-dad. Naturally, I reacted in poor form. A-mom's solution was to trot me off to psychologists, and have them do tons of testing (including electrodes to read brain waves :eek: ) because "there is probably something wrong with you that you got from your b-mom".
Also, as a teen, a-mom used my birth as a means to teach me about pre-marital sex. "the whole reason you were born is because your b-mom had premarital sex with a married man, so of course she had to give you up. You don't want to go through that, do you?" (worked well btw...I had my first child at 16)
Oh, I could go on and on and on about the negative messages I was given growing up. But we all have our stories, I guess. What it all boils down to is that, really, given the circumstances, it's no surprise that I hate my birthday. Or that it bothers me that a-mom 'celebrated' it.
Disclaimer in case this reads as though I am overly sensitive: :)
I've done a lot of soul-searching to sort out who I am and why my life has been the way that it has. For the most part, I've made my peace with things and just accept them as things that happened along the way. For whatever reason, God (or whatever name you choose to put to your higher power), saw fit to put me on this earth. It's up to me to determine what to do with it all.
Sure would be easier if these re-surfacing little niggling feelings and thoughts would go away though....;)
Lady Rose,
Thank you so much. As I said and even rewrote, I truly did not intend to be rude toward others feelings. I couldn't figure out what seemed so logical to me. I truly and sincerely thank you for explaining what feelings brought you and others to feel this way. It was something I could not relate to and looking at it from my perspective, couldn't understand or see it any other way. I truly appreciate that you took the time to write and expalin it in more details. I know that not everyone had wonderful adoptions. I feel so sad and my heart breaks for others who have not been as blessed as I have been in the situation with my adoption. Please accept my apologies for sounding crass, and know I do appreciate you taking the time to explain in more detail. It truly helps me understand and get a better feeling for someone else.
With deepest sincerity,
I think come this August I may look at my birthday a bit differently... as this will be the 1st time knowing my birth mom & knowing she never thought of me on "my day".
But all my other birthdays - besides knowing when my birthday came, also meant that school would be starting soon (Yuck-o!) I pretty much loved my birthday - my family & still to this day - all of my friends (espec. my friends!) make birthdays extra special.
Without Lady Rose, Carolyn, kperoc & everyone else -our birthdays wouldn't mean anything to anyone else if "we" didn't have them - they celebrate them with/for us because we are a special part of their lives - in 1 way or another. (I realize some may not of had the best of childhoods - I'm not ignoring that...) but I will almost bet that atleast 1 person who was there to celebrate your life, was there because of you being you!
Seize the day for yourself and know that you are special to someone in your own way. :)
No need to apologize. We all have our own perspectives, and we all have things we don't understand/cant relate to upon initially reading them. I have a few of those myself. :D
I'm sincerely happy for you (and anyone else) that had a truly happy and supportive upbringing with your aparents.
Thank you for your open-mindedness in "listening" to others thoughts and experiences. It really goes a long way. :)