Well Happy Birthday to me. 31 today.
What memories do I have of previous birthdays?
As a child, my mother put on wonderful birthday parties for my sister and me. The table would be covered with a mix of classic English nibbles and spicy Indian treats, all of which the children loved. Music would be heard in the distance but the source of the noise would be laughter and giggles coming from over-excited kids. I would wear my favourite party dress and considering it was the 1980s, my fashions choices were questionable and extravagant (a memory that I revel in). Little people would sprawl out into the garden and all over the house, hiding in secret places not wanting to be discovered. The ‘Ghostbusters’ cake gets cut and is dived into resulting in a slight belly ache.
I can’t say when those parties stopped. I think it was when I hit secondary school aged 11, when the trouble really escalated. I cannot really remember birthdays after that, certainly not from the ages of 11-18, birthdays are not the days that stand out. I know why they stopped. My father had taken control of me and my mother had lost her parental grip because of this. She was not allowed to look after me, not in the way she wanted to. He did not want me to see her with any redeeming qualities so took those sweet opportunities from her. Instead, he bought me lavish gifts and threw fancy days out with all my friends, he groomed himself into the man I believed him to be before my truths and reality came crumbling down.
I’m playing my birthday down a little today.
I spent years making sure others were enjoying themselves at my birthday. I only worried about pleasing them. I never focussed on pleasing me.
Today I am.
No extravagant spa day, no intention to make my husband do everything for me, no impatience to get out of the flat and explore or see an expensive show. No.
I plan to relax, watch some bad T.V, drink tea, maybe treat myself to a new coat later.