Having a birthday so close to a holiday is almost a curse in itself.
But for me, it’s more than that. The day I was born wasn’t special.
My abuser — also known as my father, was the scariest man that ever existed. He didn’t care that I was scheduled to be born. So much so, that he overslept. Probably due to a nasty hangover.
Yet, the horrors didn’t cease. A birthday so close to the holiday — the infamous Thanksgiving — not many people bothered to remember the actual date.
“It’s Thanksgiving! Oh, by the way, I know your birthday is around this time — so … good for you. Let’s eat.” If I had a penny for every time I heard that, I’d be a rich woman.
Up until the day he died, not even my father remembered that date.
After everything he ever said to me, all he ever did to me, I wasn’t worth remembering.
I wasn’t worth loving. At least not in the way a father should love his child. Ever.
Countless people, even many I thought really mattered, experience the same oversight.
In a few days, I’ll be thirty-one years old. Thirty-one years of Thanksgivings that I’ve endured. It doesn’t matter the date.
Because almost everyone — not just my father — reminds me that I’m not worth remembering.
I’m not worth the extra effort of knowing one simple number.
Not many people bother to care, nor do I think they realize how much it hurts me.
To my abuser, I wasn’t worth the air I breathed and I owed him for every breath he allowed me to take.
Though I may have outlived him, and it’s not so much that time moves on, ticking away at my life’s expiration date, sometimes I wish I was never born.
And as much as I hate to say it, this time of year is my biggest reminder that my father was right about my worth.
© Sarah Doughty