Random Thoughts

Birthdays

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.

All along.

© Sarah Doughty

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83 thoughts on “Birthdays”

  1. Oh how you have suffered. You have tremendous worth. Intrinsic. You came with it. No one can take that away from you. Let the truth of your worth unfold. All the voices, all the messages, all that you endured–allow it to transform you, to show you the beautiful person you really are.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Sarah, it’s not easy to remove the scars and the trauma of a troubled relationship that too with a father….But your words are an antidote of healing. Anand Bose from Kerala

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi Sarah, I’m really sorry for what you’ve gone through. How sad that those closest to you didn’t recognize your worth, and it sounds as if they didn’t cherish you the way they should have… Thanks for being so honest and sharing your story with us. I’m so glad you’re here and I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts! Take care and please keep writing! cj

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is heartbreaking to read – to think that someone has been driven to believe that she has no worth. You have plenty of worth, Sarah, and you are sharing that worthiness with so many people across the world who don’t even know you.

    I can’t begin to imagine how terrible it must have been to grow up with an abusive father, but you have not only outlived him, you have outgrown him too. Remember, you are bringing joy and meaning into the lives of others, when he couldn’t even do that for the people he should have loved and cherished the most. I can’t tell you to leave him behind, because what he did will always haunt you, but I can tell you that you are worth more that he could ever have dreamed about.

    There are many reasons why people forget someone’s birthday, particularly when they are distracted by a major holiday. My mother’s birthday was December 14 and she grew up with people forgetting her birthday because it was “so close” to Christmas which was more than ten days away! However, a father who couldn’t remember his own daughter’s birthday is not worthy of being called a father. Perhaps his only achievement in life was in fathering you, and I’m sure I’m not the only one here who is glad he did that.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. No, Sarah, your human father was NOT right about your worth. You DO matter, and you ARE worthy in the eyes of our Heavenly Creator, and He loves you and cares for you very much. (1 Peter 5:6 & 7) Sad to say, because we humans are all imperfect, sometimes it may seem that the only one we can really and truly count on is God. However, from what I read of one of your other posts, you are blessed with a wonderful husband who truly loves you as well. So many people don’t have that. I pray good things happen to you, and when they don’t, remember that you do have worth in someone’s eyes (even if they’re not the eyes of those your heart really desires.) Thank you so much for being such a positive inspiration to me and so many others! 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 4 people

      1. You are worthy – I have a saying ‘it says more about them’ when people are unkind, stupid, hateful. You have risen above it in a very special way. You have talent, and probably more love than you ralise.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through. It’s difficult to celebrate yourself and the day you were born when the date is tainted by trauma. I can relate to this. My birthday is New Years Eve, people always say something like “Oh you must have a great time and everyone buys you drinks because it’s on a major celebratory holiday.” They don’t know I was raped on my 17th birthday, so no it’s anything but a celebration to me. I try to make it like any other day so I don’t have to remember. As hard as I try, someone always reminds me when they see that date on my ID.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. He was wrong. Don’t allow other people to decide your worth. The easiest way to hurt someone close is to ‘forget’ his/her bday. It was his cruel way of inflicting emotional pain and make you feel worthless. What a sad person. Remember, no one can put a value on you, only you yourself. If you truly love and value yourself, it won’t matter anymore what others say or do. The road to self-love is long and difficult but worth taking. You are worthy, you matter, your bday matters. Big hug.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. You don’t need to block them out. Whenever these thoughts occur, which are the result of someone else’s wrongdoing and wrongsaying, notice them, accept them, give yourself a big hug and let them go. Here’s a little exercise I was told to do: write down everything you love about your body. Write down everything you love about your mind. If you get stuck, try again the next day until you fill a page. You are loved and loveable but you have to start with yourself first. Always remember, you deserve all the love there is.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Dear Sarah, You are an amazing, strong and lovely woman. More than a survivor, every day you awake, you are victorious and that makes you special. You matter to the many good people who commented here, to me and many more. That matters. I know because I am a victor too. I takes one to know one. I celebrate Sarah today!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. My best friend’s birthday is the same date as yours. He tends to go through the same problems, but he has sort of a carefree personality and doesn’t seem to mind. But we do make an effort to not miss the days and celebrate together if we can. It’s unfortunate this happens, but you’re not alone.

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  9. Sarah, you DO matter and I can tell you are a beautiful person. This may seem impossible now, but I would like to offer a thought from Oswald Chambers that encouraged me during a particularly stressful time: “Leave the broken, irreversible past in God’s hands, and step out into the invincible future with Him.” God bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Happy (Belated) Birthday
    I hope you outlive the bad memories as you outlived your abuser.

    As to holiday birthdays – four people in my family are “holiday babies” born within the week of a holiday, and they are the only ones who’s birthdays get remembered!

    Even the kid who was born on his sister’s birthday, they get remembered as ‘almost twins’ but not the date.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I’m so sorry for your difficult past. I hope you are able to break free from the pain of abuse. Please know you are here for a reason. No one exists for no reason.
    Have you considered a pet? They bring me so much joy with their unconditional love.
    Happy Thanksgiving, and happy birthday, from a fellow next-to-Thanksgiving birthday girl. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This pains me so much…so sorry for all you have been through. You are a strong and courageous woman, Sara. I wish you a Happy Birthday with your family. Always remember that you have worth, besides being a writer and touching people in countless ways, you have a beautiful soul. It is always a pleasure to read your books and poetry. Be strong. 🙏🏼

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I know its hard to find your worth after being told and shown you have no value. I still struggle with this. I just pretend I’m worthy and force others to respect it. this is new to me though. I’d rather be alone than with people that will let me down or prove me right.
    It hurt to read the words you wrote. Because I feel like that too. I have felt them.
    I’m just learning the damaging affects from my abuse. just the tip of the iceberg. and that shit is scary as fkkkkkk. it angers me that anyone has to go through it. all i wanna do is go back and hold your younger self and tell her how beautiful and worthy she is. no one deserves the pain you suffered.
    hugs. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. That makes me want to cry. In a good way. I swear that little girl was so broken and scared, I’m amazed that I’m as functional as I am. And even then, I’m a shell of what I could be. I try, though. I try so hard. Every day. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. At least you try. Give yourself a HUGE GOLD star for that. Just trying is sometimes hard enough.
        I feel like I’m a functional addict or alcoholic. Obviously I have a problem, but to others, I seem to functioning enough to work and care for my kids, though I don’t ever wanna get out of bed or eat or shower.
        It’s been humbling, having this breakdown, when I had so much going for myself. I’m walking around in a shell of what I could be too.
        The only difference is, I think when I had the breakdown, that scared and hurt little girl replaced the strong woman I had become. She’s in there, shuddering, shaking, crying, and I can’t get her to stop. I can’t soothe her. And i can’t find the positive, strong woman that I had become.
        But like you, I keep trying. I hold onto faith that I am meant to go through this, and learn from it. To help others, to be a stronger person to help do God’s will and purpose for my life. I wanted to be a counselor…… (three years in) so I guess this is a good start………….I can’t exactly expect clients to do work that I’m not willing to do myself.
        Right?
        Keep on keeping on, girl. Never give up. We’ve come this far, survived this much. I mean if you think about it, we are pretty badass to still be standing.
        ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  14. I hope you run out and get yourself your favorite kind of cake (or whatever you want!) and celebrate you. I know it feels like there’s nothing to celebrate, but I think you’re incredibly strong and amazing.

    I don’t know you very well, but I wanted to write something because you are kind and absolutely have worth. I know that when things feel really awful, it’s hard to believe the positive things people tell you about yourself. But I hope they stay with you somewhere inside. Maybe they will jump back into your mind unexpectedly sometime and help.

    Even if some don’t show you how valuable and worthwhile you are, you do have worth and value. And I wish I knew exactly which day is your birthday so I could say Happy Birthday on the exact right date! ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the encouragement. I try to do this every day, but especially this time of year it’s difficult. Friday is my day this year. I really look forward to reading more from you and I’m very grateful for the comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I’m so so sorry you have gone through so much pain, sweetie, and Happy Birthday! I empathize with you for having a birthday so close to Thanksgiving because my 60th will be this Saturday. There’s a weird pattern of 5, 6, then 11 years that my birthday falls on Thanksgiving and I hated it. Like you, nobody can ever remember exactly when my birthday is, they just know it is sometime around Thanksgiving. And if I liked turkey, maybe sharing my birthday with that holiday would be okay, but I like turkey…once a year lol!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Happy Birthday.. 🙂
    I really don’t know what perspective you have for the birth day but still I join my hands together in each split of seconds to clap on the very day you were born. 🙂
    People close to you may not have find your worth or have outlined you. But what more important for you to know is, you’re gem of a person.. you are here on earth for some matter. God took a lot of efforts to make you shine. Few people definitely love you and your existence in their life is a blessing for them. 🙂
    Cut the cake on the very day and remember that you are beautiful & people care for you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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