In talking to Heart today, she pointed out that I most likely haven't forgiven myself for what I've done. That might be true, but I don't know how to rectify it.
I feel worthless and terrible. Hell, even Grumpy Cat (my birthday buddy) probably feels better than I do.
Any suggestions? I'm open to anyone's input...
I get the whole birthday/Christmas/anniversary/holiday thing. Guilt kicks in and we're all, "Ohhhh Gooodddd, I'm so unworthy! I did this horrible thing and they're being nice and loving to me. They don't know what a monster I ammmmmm. I should go eat worms and diiiieeeee."
Dramatic? Eh, I see WS do it all the time. Shoot, I did it. Some SIers called me to the rug on that one. (Thanks btw y'all)
What are you today? Are you still a conniving, lying, cheating jerk? Or are you remorseful and busting your butt to be a healthy person?
If the latter, get over yourself. Your family loves you. They are showing you that love by celebrating your birthday. Recognize the emotions and effort they are putting into it. Kick the guilt aside, hug your loved ones, and enjoy the time with them.
The alternative is worse. And realistically, I don't think you'd like it. Instead of your initial post it could read something like this:
Today is my birthday. I'm alone. Due to selfishness and pig-headedness, my wife has kicked me out. I've lost my family, my friends, my job, my life. Didn't think life would turn out like this. How did I get here?
Be thankful for your wife. Your family. And your second chance. Enjoy them.
I can completely understand how you are feeling emotionally detached from celebrating your birthday. Your wife probably feels the same regarding hers and holidays as well.
The point I want to make as quickly as possible is that sometimes we BS's need to do things that used to be normal to help get us thru the day as well. Don't deny her that. She may be struggling today too.
(((Hugs and Happy Birthday)))
That said, I did apologize profusely for marginalizing efforts to make me feel better. I pointed out the things that she had done that I was very aware of, thanked her for the effort, apologized for my moodiness, and thanked her again for everything she and DS had done to make the day special. As a result, it was quite special, and I will probably always remember this as the birthday after I really grew up into parenthood.
It was funny: DS was sooooooo excited for me to open presents that he (A) almost spilled the beans on all of it and (B) wouldn't shut up about it. I finally open them, and I realize that the reasons he wanted me to were (C) he got to play with the noise-maker card that he got for me again and (D) I would open the "4 and up" golf set, which he could then "go golfing" with Daddy (something I have my own father to thank for introducing).
I did, in fact, "go golfing" with my son. Surprised myself by 1-putting the hole! All around, I had a very excellent day, and I have done the work to show Heart that I really appreciate all the thought and effort that went into making me feel special.
Thanks to you all for helping me, too. You definitely helped give me things to think about!
There is a component of "fake it till you make it" that comes in handy sometimes.
On the self-forgiveness thing, it may not be a big moment for you. It was just sort of a realization that dawned on me one day, that I had forgiven myself. The feelings you carry around sort of become a habit that is hard to break out of, but if you keep doing the work, that habit becomes less "necessary" for you to operate. Also, I think some of us sort of need to hold onto the pain of what we did. As long as it doesn't become a self-flagellating pity party that drags everyone down around you, then I think it is okay. There is a lot of balancing/juggling that you have to do when in R.