The Anti-Birthday

I caught myself smiling on my way to work. The kids came back today and I’ve missed them!

Then everyone kept saying happy birthday. I don’t like my birthday. First of all, it means I am another year older and still don’t have my shit figured out. Second, my twin brother died on our birthday. Last, my paternal grandma died on my 22nd birthday.

I remember hearing my mom tell my uncle that for the first few years of my life, my birthday always made her sad because once she found out she was having twins, she imagined her life with two babies. Now my birthday makes my dad sad too because it is the day his mom died.

I’ve often felt like the wrong twin survived. I feel guilty. He would’ve been a better child. I’m a burden on my parents. I also feel like I need to live for both of us because somehow, it was my fault he died. If I wasn’t around, he would’ve gone full term and lived. Therefore, I need to make up for it by being perfect.

I like to think my grandma was aware that day and tried to hold on until after my birthday, so that my birthday wasn’t associated with her death. She was in the ICU for over a month and a half with sepsis. For a day and a half, her vitals kept dipping, then they’d recover. My dad leaned over and whispered that it was okay for her to let go. 10 minutes later she was gone. I’m not talkative offline, but I remember talking for hours to my grandma while she was unconscious. One time she opened her eyes while I was talking to her. I asked if she knew who I was because last time I talked to her, she was disoriented and didn’t recognize my mom. She said, “Of course. You’re my sweet angel, (me).” and lifted her hand to my face.

There was only one time during that ICU stay that my grandma was completely awake and aware. I still feel guilty that I left her hospital room early that day. My dad needed to catch a plane and I’d ridden with him to the hospital. My uncle offered to drive me home so that I could stay, but I decided I didn’t want to be stuck at the hospital… I thought she was getting better. I didn’t know it was my last chance to have a conversation with her. I said goodbye and I love you, then I left. They played cards after I left and a few hours later, she went to sleep and was never that coherent again.


My co-workers took me out to lunch. I was anxious about it because I no longer have the potential study making it “okay” for me to not use eating disordered behaviors. When the study was a possibility, I could quiet the monster by saying I couldn’t restrict or purge because that would disqualify me from the study. When I don’t use behaviors, I feel guilty, but I could assuage the guilt because of the study. Consequently, lunch yesterday versus today with co-workers was a totally different ballgame.

I was annoyed because the co-worker I’m replacing (Barb) invited herself to lunch. Initially, I was only going out with Ginny, the new behaviorist, my boss, and the O.T. therapist. Then, someone invited Heather as we were walking out of the building. Normally, that wouldn’t bother me, but I was already on edge because it was my birthday. Furthermore, my anxiety built up because we had to wait for an all staff meeting before we could leave for lunch and we were stuck waiting for the meeting to start for 15 minutes.

I don’t like big groups. I get lost easily because I’m quiet and introverted. Then I feel invisible and unwanted. So, 7 people is too many people for comfort. If I know all of them well and I’m in a good place emotionally, I can handle that, but I don’t and I’m not. Barb often talks about triggering subjects like childhood abuse and I’m still jealous of Heather. Eating without those 2 would’ve been much better.

OH, then Heather started talking about her mental illness and the new behaviorist brought up suicide (I don’t fault her because it is a very personal subject for her and because Heather already brought up mental illness). Both of which were triggering. Then people started talking about weight.

Fringe_Peter_head bang

Plus, they gave me free ice cream. It was good, but difficult because ice cream is a huge purging trigger for me. I wanted to purge, but I felt too guilty to purge because Ginny paid for my meal.


Edited to Add: My aunt just posted on FB and reminded me of something my cousin said… He told my mom that Grandma and I now have a special bond since we share a birthday. He views death as your birth in heaven.


4 thoughts on “The Anti-Birthday

  1. Wow! That’s a lot for one day. I’m so sorry that your birthday has so many negative associations.
    Fantastic job not purging so far!
    I feel like you need some really good self care tools to make up for an emotionally exhausting day

    Liked by 1 person

      • 🙂 considering my current self care is eating Halloween candy and drinking a glass of red wine I’m not able to offer any tips I’m not judging l.
        I find self care ridiculously hard so I my therapist had me make lists… The wine and mini M&Ms weren’t on that one.
        Though I did have tea, word games, tv show marathons, trashy romances, bunny cuddles, knitting and sleeping on the original.
        Good luck!

        Liked by 1 person

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