"My mom was calling me to wish me a happy birthday when she passed out. She stopped breathing and had to have CPR done by my dad. I live over 2000 miles away. I sat all day waiting to hear if she was going to make it. However, later that night I got a phone call from her. She was hoarse from being extubated and sang me happy birthday like she did every year.
Unfortunately, 2 months after my birthday, my dad found my mom unconscious Easter morning. Again he tried to do CPR, but she was already gone. She passed away the day after their 46 wedding anniversary."
"On my 21st birthday, I found out that my dog's cancer was terminal. We received the results that morning. I was gutted, so I ended up going to work with my mum to do some volunteer labor as a distraction. I decided to clean up the storeroom cupboard so that I could cry in peace. My supposed best friend texted me to say it was good that my dog was going to die soon because it would free us up to rent a house together without worrying about him. Yeah."
"My father (and for that matter, his father) and I share the same birthday.
He passed away from cancer about five months before our birthday.
I have dreaded that first birthday after his passing my whole life. I knew it was coming. I don't think any of my siblings even considered it. But for me, it loomed over every birthday from the time I was about 10. And I think my dad knew it. He'd experienced itself with his father's passing, and they weren't particularly close. He did his best to keep our celebrations separate, but why have two cakes for a Tuesday night dinner at home? You have one. Even my 18th and 21st, which he gave instructions were MY events, siblings sang 'Happy birthday, Jay and Dad.'
That first birthday after he died, I was a wreck. I'd taken the day off work and sulked. I figured I was allowed to. It's all I wanted to do.
It was also Ash Wednesday, and I'm a practicing Catholic, so it was a day of 'abstinence and fasting' - no meat is one thing required.
My sisters decided I needed to go out and celebrate, but I said no. My eldest sister ignored me, organized everything, and then showed up to pick me up. They took me to an Italian restaurant where the only two options were a seafood risotto (not a seafood fan) or a pasta with olives (hate olives). I went the risotto and maybe ate a third of it. I also refused to drink as it was Ash Wednesday.
Oh, we also had to toast Dad.
My sister still doesn't get why an hour in I told her she either took me home or I would get a cab.
The next year, my friends organized nothing, but all kept the night free. So when one called to see how I was doing, and I said I actually wouldn't mind company, she had everyone organized for a pizza night in 15 minutes. They would have done nothing if that's what I wanted, but were happy to go by what I asked for, not what they thought I needed."
"My mom was going to fly out to visit me for my 40th birthday. She bought a plane ticket and let her husband (not my father) know she would be gone for a few days to visit me.
That night her husband smothered her to death in bed. He then killed himself two weeks later when police started contacting him for an interview and he left a note that simply said: 'She was leaving"'
To add horror to devastation, my mom lived on a big piece of land and rescued stray dogs and cats. In the time before her husband killed himself, he put all of the animals to sleep. It was like losing a lifetime of beloved pets all at once.
This was a few years ago, it completely derailed my life. There are many details I have not spoken of very often, like seeing the murder scene (I flew out on a red eye the day it happened), or finding her husband dead when I dropped by to speak with him. He sealed himself in his bathroom and lit two charcoal grills to kill himself. Ugly scene.
I was unable to maintain for a long while. An incredibly successful career of 15 years - gone. I descended into suicidal ideation with an inability to focus on anything long enough to restart my career or life in general. I eventually found another decent job that paid better, but I found myself in a spiral of anger and depression, uncontrollable anger and depression. I sought help including checking myself in. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helped a little but meds like Klonopin made things worse. When you don't know what day it is, it's hard to be productive. There is a 6 month period I absolutely don't remember any of.
I finally had to drop therapy completely because it was a band-aid at this point and I wasn't being heard, I was being medicated. I recently moved across the country and am starting from scratch in every respect. It's been tough going, and I still work on the pain and anger of that loss every single day.
One day at a time at this point. It's all I can ask of myself and it seems to be working."
"I had a job that had an eight-month training and probation period, after which they would decide if they wanted to keep you. They decided not to keep me, and it was over a very arbitrary issue.
The lady filling out my firing paperwork notice my birth date and exclaimed, 'Oh! It's your birthday! Happy birthday!" Then the room got extra uncomfortable. Then I cried. Then it got extra extra uncomfortable."
"On my 13th birthday, my best friend's dad had an accident at work, ending up with third-degree burns over 85% of his body. His heart gave out two weeks later.
Twenty years later, on my 33rd birthday, my first wife suddenly collapsed at a convenience store while I was at work. Eight days later, I took her off life support and sat with her for 10 hours while she died. They called it Sudden Death Syndrome or Sudden Cardiac Death. It happens when there is a lack of oxygen to the brain. When it happens to babies, they call it Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Who knew it could happen to adults? I don't celebrate my birthday anymore, but just try to get through it like a normal day. That was almost 16 years ago. I am dreading my 53rd birthday. It messes with my head."
"On my fifth birthday, I had some family over for a birthday party, and we were playing baseball in our backyard with a metal baseball bat. Well, I was the catcher, and when my cousin was up and took the backswing, he clocked me right in the forehead and cracked my skull open. There was blood everywhere and had to be rushed to emergency room.
I currently have a lovely indentation/scar in the middle of my forehead. It looks like age wrinkling, which would be fine if I weren't only 25."
"My soon to be ex wife took me out to dinner. Sounds innocent, right?
She'd been cheating on me for a couple months with this other guy, decided to leave me for him, and moved out the weekend of my birthday. I went to stay at a friend's house while she packed up her stuff and left, but she felt the need to invite me out to dinner to...I dunno...clear the air and have one last meal together. She picked the location.
So we're sitting there in the restaurant waiting for our drinks and I asked, 'So how'd you find this place?'
'Oh, it is me and (boyfriend)'s favorite spot!'
You're leaving me for another man, and you decided to celebrate my birthday at your new boyfriend's favorite restaurant?
That was a very uncomfortable meal. Happy freaking birthday."
"One of my classmates we used to hang around with in high school had a birthday two weeks before mine. We organized a surprise party for her, went to her best friend's apartment after school and waited for them with a cake. They arrived and we said 'Surprise,' and had fun. She said she was happy then because she thought everybody forgot.
Two weeks later, my birthday came. That morning, nobody said anything. Well, I began to suspect something as the day progressed, and thought, 'Wow, I always wanted to have my own surprise party.' The day passed, and nobody said anything. Apparently, everybody forgot.
There wasn't Facebook or social media then, so people used to remember the birthdays who they cared about. It's been 15 years now, but I still don't like my birthday. The date is hidden on my Facebook profile, and besides my family, only a few people remember it. My secret reason for hiding it is I fear nobody would say anything even if it was shown there."
"My parents grounded me for a week a few days before my 10th birthday. First, it was no TV for a week because I started doing my homework as soon as I got home from school and forgot to take the bathroom trash out. When I asked why they couldn't have just reminded me, they accused me of back-talking and said: 'That's it, no birthday.'
So on top of having to sit in my room doing nothing for hours on end, they said I wasn't allowed out of my room when people came over to drop off my presents. On the morning of my birthday, my mom woke me up at the crack of dawn to clean the house top to bottom as part of my punishment. I spent hours scrubbing walls and baseboards.
Then I was told to stand and face the wall in the living room while my stepdad sat, watched TV, and reminded me that I was such a bad kid that he didn't care it was my birthday, and that I must have liked being grounded because I could never stay out of trouble.
After an entire day of mental torture, I was sent to my room. I could hear people coming in and asking where I was, stuff going on in my house, it sounded like a great time I wasn't allowed to be a part of. Eventually, my parents came into my room and gave me a present to unwrap. It was a PS2, the only thing I'd asked for.
They told me they were being mean to me because they had gotten me the present I wanted, and they wanted it to be a surprise when I opened it. Haha, we tortured you on your 10th birthday, great prank, right? I asked if I could hook it up and they said no, not until my week-long grounding was over, but that they would let me be ungrounded for the rest of my birthday because my friends and family had come over to celebrate with me.
I don't talk to my parents anymore. In addition to emotional abuse and manipulation, they were also physically abusive. I left as soon as I could."
"This was a good six or seven years ago.
On the night before my birthday, a group of my friends all went to the bar and had a great time. I wasn't invited. They all just assumed I was working that night. I wasn't. It was just that no one asked. This sucked, especially since everyone I made plans with on my birthday, some of whom went to this gathering, all canceled for one reason or another. I spent my birthday eating cold pizza and watching TV.
There was a newbie casual on shift who heard me complaining to a friend at work, and she said she was going to do something special for me. A surprise. I had only worked with her maybe twice before, and barely knew her, so I told her she didn't have to, but she insisted.
A week later, the next time I worked with her, she brought in her surprise for me. She bought me a small birthday cake and a birthday card she had gotten some of my co-workers to sign.
Again, I barely knew this girl, and if she had just bought me a birthday card and signed it herself I would have been really touched. This was overwhelming, and to this day, whenever I think of it, it still brings on a good mood.
That's how my worst birthday turned into one of my best."
"I went through a hard time in my mid-20s, and on my 26th birthday, I had the week before gotten out of an abusive situation. No one knew this had been happening. My abuser showed up to my birthday party uninvited; they must have found out through somebody. I sat on the floor and sobbed for hours. Everyone either left or made condescending comments about how out of control I was. I felt alone and friendless at my birthday party. I didn't get out of bed for about three days after and didn't celebrate my birthday for two years.
I turned my life around and am no longer friends with anyone who was at that party. I now surround myself with more positive people."
"On June 20th, my dad and I decided to stay the night at my aunt's house because she stayed in the city where we were going to celebrate my birthday, and we didn't want to spend three hours traveling back and forth.
At 3 a.m., my dad got some crazy messages from his previous girlfriend. He then told me we had to go back home.
Once we got there, we discovered that she broke into our house and locked herself and my baby sister in a room inside. We managed to get her out our house by breaking down the door, then my dad removed her from the house by pushing her out.
We then packed some clothes and grabbed my little sister and ran to the car and sped off. Later that day, my dad, my little sister, and I had to go to the police station so that he and our landlord could fill out papers on his ex for breaking and entering.
Then they arrested my dad because she reported him for domestic violence (FALSE).
My little sister and I were sitting in the car when the landlord came out to say dad was arrested. My dad then later called me and told me to call my aunt come get us. She brought us to her house, and there we stayed until dad's sentence was up."
"I have had three separate birthdays get ruined.
"I was turning 21 in two days and was going to party with my buddies at a rented beach house for the weekend. The day before I was to leave, my parents took me out to dinner to celebrate. Four hours after dinner, I was curled up on the bathroom floor with liquid coming out both ends. I got food poisoning from 'red tide.' I was either in that bathroom or on my bed for three days in agony. I missed the beach house weekend and my 21st bash. I lost eight pounds in three days from the food poisoning."
"My mom is a narcissist in the worst way. Nothing I ever do is good enough; it's been that way ever since I can remember. One of the worst was my 15th birthday. I started fitting in a bit so I had a bunch of friends over and I was hanging in sweats and a metal band t-shirt. My ex-friend Chibi came in, and she had blonde hair, makeup, a white/pink pinstriped shirt, and a tan pencil skirt. My mom looked at the two of us a few times and straight up said out loud, 'Why can't you look like her? She's so cute and pretty.'
I was devastated. I said, 'Because that's not who I am and not what I like.' By that point, I set everything down, gave out the cake and sent everyone home. I couldn't face anyone after being humiliated like that."
"I got the flu, passed out from dehydration and low blood sugar, cracked my head on the wooden floor, and went to the hospital to get it stapled back together.
The nurses kept asking, 'What's your date of birth?' and then giving me looks of extreme pity when I said 'today.'
"I was sent to a foster home on my 7th birthday with a 2-minute explanation:
Mom: 'You're going with Agent D. to live with another family for a while.'
Me: 'Will I see you again?'
The car ride was silent. After a time on the drive from Norfolk to Richmond, the agent asked me if I wanted anything for my birthday.
'I want a donut.'
We stop and get out at a Dunkin Donuts. I lift myself up over the counter to see the products and stick my tongue out like a dog. FOOD! (I hadn't eaten yet that day)...and slip off the lower molding and almost bite my tongue off. He took me to a hospital but by that time the bleeding had stopped. My donut got crushed in the car ride there. I told him I ate it.
And after all that I was lucky. One foster home then into a well-off strict but not physically abusive household to gain an education. I was fortunate, many more are not. I'd met a few other adopted kids who bounced from house to house, the turned to self harm and were on the path to juvey.
I spoke with her years later about why she gave me up, and she said 'times were tough, money was scarce, and I felt like you would be better off with someone who might provide better for you.'
In total, she had five children with three different men. She was also adopted and had her own issues due to having been run through the state adoption center wherever she is from.
Men would come and go. Using her and then leaving her when things got too bothersome. Beatings and cruel warrantless punishments from the males she shared company with were common for both her and us. Her first child was likely forced to live back near his father's extended family and was rarely seen. Her second child, my half-sister and I (the third) looked out for each other mostly alone together for a couple years.
My bio-father dipped in and left quite quickly. Very little is known about him now except he has a family and has never tried to contact me.
My half-sister's father would visit yearly and bring the pain. He was in the Navy and had ego problems. At the time, the other two children were not born yet. She later had them taken away for unspecified reasons.
The whole situation was a mess. Smoking and a looot of booty calls were typical when she had a guy come by. Bio-mom really never had enough time to gain friends as most of the time was spent appeasing the next guy she would try to live off of.
Though she lied to me on my 7th birthday - I never did see her again."
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