post-birthday confessions

confession: today is better than yesterday. yesterday was better than monday. next year for my birthday i’ll board an international flight to cross the international date line into the next day and skip my birthday entirely. yes.

confession: more than any other feeling, i hate feeling ungrateful. grief is better than ungratefulness. guilt is better than ungratefulness. i feel guilty for feeling ungrateful, which means i get to feel them both. i hate feeling ungrateful.

confession: my therapist suggested that maybe my ungrateful feelings are hiding unworthy feelings which would mean i actually only feel unworthy and not ungrateful. we both laughed at my relief if i only feel unworthy and not ungrateful. i like my therapist because her sense of humor is almost as dark as mine, which probably explains why she is a trauma specialist.

confession: he backed my car into a telephone pole. it was dark, shadows acted as camouflage, and if i had been driving, i most likely would’ve hit the pole, too. i laughed because it was my birthday. i laughed because of course he would dent my car on my birthday. i laughed because denting my car was the best gift he could give me, since hidden within that dent was absolution for the guilt i’ve been carrying for banging up his car a few times. it was his turn to bang up mine (for the second time). even-steven. happy birthday to me.

confession: my goals for my birthday were simple–get through the day without a suicidal thought and do not leave a letter or gift or flowers on the ex-wife’s doorstep. i succeeded. that’s plenty good enough.

confession: there is a three-legged outdoor-dwelling kitten with a collar and tags who lives in my neighborhood that i stop to pet every night when i go running. this three-legged kitten petting session is often the highlight of my day.

confession: i’m reading a book that might save my life. the possibility that reading a book can save a life makes me want to write books. i don’t want to write books to save people; i want to write books that make a reader feel loved. feeling loved, feeling worthy, feeling good enough is what it’ll take to save my life. writing books (that i’ve promised in the future i won’t burn), being a true friend, giving hugs, and sharing dances that help another feel loved are good enough reasons for me to stay alive.

confession: my father didn’t send me a birthday card this year. even though we’ve been estranged for 14 years, he has continued to send me a birthday card each year that i could never open, that i had to ask wizard to open and read to me. i can’t help but wonder if the reason he didn’t send a card is that he’s dead and nobody knows yet because he lives alone in a trailer and has very few friends or acquaintances that would notice his absence. his suicide plan (that he shared with me when i was 12 years old) is to ride his motorcycle off a cliff. even if he isn’t dead, one day he will be, and probably soonish. i wonder if there is anything i need to do before he dies, any last words or last something i need to say, give, express that i’ll regret not doing if i don’t. i don’t think so, but i’m not sure, and if he’s dead, then it is too late anyway. i haven’t even gotten to the dad-trauma stuff in therapy. i’m still at age 5 and sorting through the mom stuff. fuck.

confession: this year i told everybody i didn’t want presents for my birthday. i’ve asked for no presents in past years and they didn’t listen. this year they listened. no one gave me anything and i was grateful. not receiving birthday presents meant i didn’t have to deal with my ungratefulness (and ensuing guilt for ingratitude) for getting presents i didn’t want. thank you for hearing me. thank you for listening. thank you for no presents.


About angel joy

love is an action verb. i live love in action.
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