No Cakes Required

I hate my birthday. I hate it so much I feel anxious about it. I don’t want to see, hear, smell, think, speak, or do anything related to it. My family doesn’t get it and thinks that if they try harder they can change my mind. It just makes it worse causing me to feel unaccepted, disrespected and alone. It’s a very sad and difficult time of year for me. Acceptance, support, and space are all I need.

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Anonymous

Aug 21, 2022 at 3:59am

Doesn’t it seem a little silly to even congratulate someone on the effort of their parents bringing them into the world? Why does that give everyone a free pass to spend a day every year randomly placing the words “it’s my birthday” into sentences they don’t really make sense in? Society has made us feel like we need this gratification to live, as if of all the things we’ve accomplished in a year, the only thing worth celebrating is the day our mothers did all the work to get us here. Here’s a big secret: if no one congratulates you on your birthday, you still get older!

Birthdays are just another byproduct of marketing that encourages us to spend money on things we don’t need. To have an acceptable party, on must use precious helium on balloons, wear a cardboard dunce cap, and receive generic birthday cards where the only effort anyone’s put into them is signing their name. It's all crazy.

16 7Rating: +9

Happy Birthday anyways

Aug 21, 2022 at 9:41am

As you’re alive and kicking unless you’re already dead then change it to belated birthday.

3 0Rating: +3

So many questions

Aug 21, 2022 at 9:46am

I’m sorry you feel that way. Your family obviously loves you very much or they wouldn’t be trying so hard to make it special for you. Since you have such intense feelings about it, have you tried to figure out exactly what it is about your birthday that triggers you so much?

13 2Rating: +11

@ Anonymous

Aug 21, 2022 at 2:48pm

Yes, it is silly to congratulate someone on the effort of their parents bringing them into the world. However that's not what celebrating a person's birthday is about. You celebrate a person's birthday because their life has been a positive impact on your own life and you're happy that they're sharing this world and life experience with you.

11 0Rating: +11

@op

Aug 21, 2022 at 5:42pm

Like weddings, birthdays are often for the people who care about us. Sometimes we have to give other people the opportunity to demonstrate kindness, even if we feel undeserving. I dislike birthdays only because I don't like being the centre of attention. I'd much rather help plan and celebrate someone else's birthday. I would encourage you to extend grace and patience to those around you, especially your parents. They won't be here forever. Time is fleeting.

13 2Rating: +11

On the day that you were born

Aug 22, 2022 at 2:13am

The angels got together and decided to create a dream come true.

8 8Rating: 0

@@Op

Aug 22, 2022 at 2:35am

Exactly. As the person who birthed my children, their birthdays each year are special to me too. What you’re saying is important because it’s not usually something that people learn until they’ve got several decades of life behind them. I feel that way about being photographed. I hate it, but once I realized that if someone wants a picture of me, it’s not for me, but for them. So I grimace and bear it, even though I’m hugely uncomfortable during the process. Being gracious isn’t necessarily a common attribute, but one can learn it.

7 1Rating: +6

Anonymous

Aug 22, 2022 at 1:06pm

I can't imagine people have time to complain about this stuff. Getting upset because your family want to celebrate you, wow. Have you tried not showing up, or moving out might be more accurate.

11 5Rating: +6

I get it OP

Aug 22, 2022 at 2:04pm

I feel the same way as you. I’ve always hated having to perform scripted, normative joy for others. Your mantra of acceptance, support, and space sounds very well-reasoned and wise.

I’m also cringing at some of these comments insisting that you be gracious about celebrating your birthday in order to please others. I want to offer a different view: your birthday is yours to do what you want with.

There was a stretch of years where I’d plan a short trip out of town to privately commemorate my birthday while exploring new territory. It gave me the space to be away from others while placing the focus on the exterior world rather than the interior emotional realm. I wonder if something like that could work for you?

Good luck and all the best in navigating this tricky interpersonal territory. This Internet stranger understands and supports you.

7 0Rating: +7

Really M

Aug 22, 2022 at 6:48pm

Look I say it's our birthday right !
So we can feel any damn way we want to about it cause apparently it's our day !
So
Celebrate it or don't celebrate it.
People should respect that !
Happy Birthday by the way.
No gift for you. Lol
I hate birthday cake :)

2 0Rating: +2

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