Thursday, August 25, 2016

40 Isn't Half Bad

There was a time in my life I didn't expect to live past 18.  Once I managed that my brain moved it to 25.  After I survived the birth of my first kid (and yes, it was kind of a big deal cuz they almost had to do emergency surgery) I kind of coasted along wondering if I'd make it to 40.  My life has been unique in that I had some massive trauma in childhood that, in order to keep me alive and sane, my brain and central nervous system tucked away into a deep, dark corner.  It stayed in that dark place until I met someone I trusted enough on a level that I wasn't even aware of.  The shitty thing about repressed trauma is that when it does come back, you don't feel safe anymore.  And while there is that aspect of it, I've been dealing with memories coming back whenever they feel like it for 4 years now.  You kind of build up a tolerance.  Although I've definitely got some behaviors I would characterize as symptomatic of PTSD, in general I'm in a better mental and physical place than I've been at for a while.

My birthdays have (for as long as I can remember) been something that I detest.  I'm really not kidding - I HATE my birthday.  It's a day that I never mark on calendars.  I never ask my family or my family of origin to celebrate it.  It's just a day to get past in my experience.  Yes, I'm aware this is not a normal reaction to one's origin on the planet.  In fact, I'm pretty sure the traumatic abuse from my childhood is tied to my birthday in some way.  And I feel like I need to slip in here that this abuse didn't occur by my family of origin.  I doubt they even know about it.  While I suspect what may have happened, I can't remember it and I have to trust my body that there's a reason for this inexplicable hatred of the day representing my birth.

So this year I didn't ask for any gifts (in fact I asked my parental units not to send me anything, which they ignored) but I did go purchase an ice cream cake and make plans to go to the Ft. Monroe beach on the evening of my birthday.  The beach is one of my favorite places to be during the summer, so this was kind of a big deal.  Even though I wasn't doing much, I was doing something for my birthday.  The Universe decided to step in and put on a show and I still can't get the huge grin off my face remembering what happened.

Shortly after we arrived a Naval Air Craft Carrier began making its way from port to the bridge tunnel off to our right.  We've been to this beach at least a dozen times and never had we seen something like this.  I called out to the boys to get their attention right around the same time my husband yelled back at me "Did you see the dolphins?"  There was a pod of at least 20 dolphins swimming just past the buoyed off portion of the beach and I became I ten year old jumping up and down in the water.  It was amazing!  The ever present pain in my body was gone while in the water and we got to see dolphins swimming, playing, jumping, and just generally being themselves about 15 feet away from us.  We've also never seen dolphins at this beach, either.  They hung around for about 40 minutes and the joy I felt was such a strange feeling.  I'm NEVER happy on my birthday, but this year I was.  It didn't feel like my birthday usually feels, it felt like an actual celebration for once.

On the way home I looked over to my left to see a beautiful thunderstorm back lit by the sun setting.  It was yet another amazing moment on a day that I normally struggle to get through.  Perhaps this is a sign that things will be getting better, and brighter than they have been in a long time.  Perhaps I can finally stop hating my birthday and just let it be another day.

1 comment:

  1. You so deserve all the good things that day, and every day!