Since this 22-year-old man was 10, he hasn’t enjoyed his birthday.
“It’s, at best, bittersweet whenever somebody wishes me a Happy Birthday or asks me what I wanted for my birthday. I always tell them, ‘Nothing, but I appreciate it,’ and that usually ends it then and there,” he said.
Even though nothing horrible in particular happened to him that caused him to associate his birthday with negative memories, his birthday hasn’t been a joyful day for him.
“It was because I feel like I don’t deserve it, even as a child,” he explained.
Growing up, his family struggled financially, but his parents still did their best each year to give him a fun and memorable birthday celebration, even if it was just the family celebrating together.
Each year, his parents bought him a birthday gift despite him asking them not to get him anything. But he, of course, always felt deeply appreciative of the gifts and all the effort and money that his parents spent to make him feel special on his birthday.
“But nowadays, it’s gotten to the point where I feel physically sick and disgusted with myself whenever my birthday comes around. I’ve recently been trying to change my mindset for the better. But my feelings for my birthday haven’t changed, and I honestly wish I never had one,” he shared.
Recently, his friends have been asking him to give them ideas for birthday gifts to buy for him. Plus, they want to put together a big birthday party for him. The thought of his looming birthday and feeling obligated to attend a party thrown by his friends has been making him feel incredibly panicked and like he constantly has a pit in his stomach. He’s also concerned that the party will revolve around drinking because he gets horrible migraines when he consumes alcohol.
Then, on a phone call, he told his friends as kindly as he could that he didn’t want them to throw him a party or give him any gifts. He tried to tell them why he didn’t want to celebrate his birthday, but they didn’t accept his wishes. His friends called him “‘difficult,'” and eventually, after a lot of back-and-forth, he got sick of the discussion and said, “‘Would you just forget about my birthday?'” and hung up.