...Yeah, we'll get to that. But first, I need to explain a few things. So bear with me, because this is... This is going to be quite the ride.
I have been trying the past year or two to change things in my life. To attempt it make it better, more comfortable to live in. Whether it's opening up to other people about interests or admitting that I admire who they are, what they do, etc. Even more physical/real life changes like exercises, finally getting disability so I can support and treat my sciatica. I've been trying. It's not easy, but I have been trying.
This is just another thing I've attempted, because I don't see birthdays in the same light as you likely do. We'll get to that more in a few minutes, but I need you to see it the way I do before we go further. And in order to do that, you need to know some truths about me, ones that were hidden in other pieces of writing that were almost never read.
I'll start with an obvious one; I didn't grow up wealthy. This isn't uncommon among people, I know, but it is a large factor when it comes to these 'Holidays' of yours. While other families were getting 10+ presents at Christmas or something, we were lucky enough to get 2. To put things in more perspective; in a family of six (2 over-worked parents, and 4 children) I came last. And I don't mean in terms of presents or whatever, I mean that when it came time to afford things that you might consider to be a STANDARD of living: A vehicle of their own, Driver's Ed/Permit/License, Having their Wisdom Teeth Removed before they caused problems. Medication, Your own Cellphone/Smartphone, A Collage/University Savings Plan... I Came Last.
To say those budgets ran dry is an understatement. So when it came time to learn how to drive, we couldn't afford it. When it came time for me to move on out of the house, I wouldn't have any support. When it came time to have my first job, there was little to no work. And that was before this Chronic Fatigue fish [Fish = replacement curseword] set in. Knowing I wasn't going to have a damn chance out there, I decided to give it all up. Sacrifice my health, my education, my future just so my family could SURVIVE.
You might be able to see where this is going; within that list is Holidays as well. Including Birthdays. At the age of 11 or 12, I honestly can't remember anymore at this point it's been too long, I had my last Birthday. Basically my last Easter, Halloween, Christmas that you might even consider mandatory right now. It wasn't even a thing I was asked to do, people just couldn't afford to do it or just forgot about it. Rather than just be disappointed again and again, I just told everyone to act like it no longer existed.
I hid it from the world the best I could, from my friends, peers, and pretty much identity. Unless it was required to be put down, I would just avoid the topic. It came to the point where it felt like I didn't DESERVE such a thing, and that anyone going out of their way to do anything for it just made me drastically uncomfortable. Like standing in a bonfire. To be in the presence of someone's birthday just hurt, for it to be my own... I would often just act so angry or pissed off that people would just leave me alone during the day.
It came common knowledge after a while: "Don't bother Bartan during the middle of March. Don't get him anything, he won't like it. Don't try anything nice, he might see it as an attack." And people, though not quite understanding (who could blame them?), at least respected enough to leave it well enough alone.
There's more to it than this, but I'm attempting to keep this short. And we still have two more points to go through.
...March is a horrible month for me. The birthday thing doesn't help, but March is the month that enjoys tattooing a target sign on my furballs and proceed to test how well it's aim has kept up over the years. Some of the worst things in my life happen in or around March, and these are not easy to swallow when you're trying to keep a positive outlook on life. To keep looking on the bright side when one of your sisters commits suicide days before that Fishing day. When you get an abscess in your cheek and have to deal with some of the worst pain imaginable, because you can't afford to get it checked out. When your hometown completely floods and is nearly destroyed. When your bastard of a father dies, one that you've taken care of for the past fourteen years. And those last three? All In One FISHING MONTH.
Yeah. To say that I Hate March is an understatement. I... 'Mega-Loathe' it, and you can't expect me to be happy or contentful during the worst month of the year. When my beloved winter ends and I'm left with 18 months of summer... But I'm TRYING. Trying to change for the better. Last year wasn't so bad, but it just came later as a break-up.
...Point three. Some of you already know this, but about two years ago I was diagnosed with SPD: Schizoid Personality Disorder. Not to be confused with Schizophrenia, which is more paranoia. The best way I could describe SPD is; I'm not human. Biologically, yes, but mentally... I might as well be from Mars/off-world. Human society and their habits are so over my head that I just don't understand them.
Again, you might see where this is going. I have a hard time 'acting' human. Sure, I can be a decent person to you, that's just being respectful. But to socialize with another person is 10x harder for me to do, to read them is difficult without some sort of help (again; those who know me know who I'm talking about). Actually, a decent way of saying SPD is "Extreme Introversion", or the "Loner Disorder".
It's no surprise that when I see other people get excited about such events or holidays that I just... Can't understand them. I see people going out of their way to do something for someone else and seem... HAPPY about it. Get that Happy reaction, and it's actually Genuine. It's such an alien reaction to me that I can't even fathom it, and it's a prime example of where this disorder hits so damn hard. All I can think is "HOW!?!? How do you...!?" This isn't because the gifts are bad, or that these people don't deserve them- NOTHING like that. Trust me. I just see... These 'Holidays' different. Negative. Hurtful, rather than joyful.
Mix this damn way of thinking with a custom I still don't understand (Birthdays) and the worst month of the year for me, you get one hell of a cocktail. A period of ultra self-loathing, distancing myself away from others, and turtling up without knowing how to "ask for help". It's a swarm of negative emotions from the past that constantly resurface, self bashing, and debating on just removing everyone from my friends list on all platforms. Erase every damn story I wrote because they're nothing more than a waste of people's seconds. Go on an entire media blackout and delete every fishing account I ever had, because "Bartan" doesn't deserve them. He doesn't deserve a birthday, an annual holiday to celebrate what BS he's put up with over the 1 billion seconds he's been alive. He doesn't deserve to be happy.
BUT I AM TRYING TO CHANGE. It's Not Easy For Me, But I've Been TRYING! A few days ago, there was a journal released on FA that publicly announced that damned anniversary of mine, something I didn't post (believe such or not). So I might as well add another change on that list... I've already had the worst Fish-storms in my life behind me, there's not much else March can take away.
However, if you're going to do anything to turn this recurring natural disaster around, please keep in mind a few things:
#1 - No surprises. I don't find them grand or magical, and one of the Worst things you can do to me in this 31 day window is just ASSUME what I'm going to like. I will surprise you. That doesn't mean that you can't save it's progress until the day of Reckoning, just consult me about it first. What you see as likely a tradition, I see as disrespectful.
#2 - Expect a Struggle. You need to understand that I'm programed to feel like I don't deserve anything for this day, and would much rather have it forgotten than even mentioned. I will get uncomfortable, I will sometimes even try to change the subject. However, if this happens, I want you to say: "Bartan. Take your chocolate and go back to Australia." I will at least know that you've read this god damn mess and at least somewhat understand.
#3 - Dates/Traditions Don't Mean Anything to Me. You want to send it a day earlier, whatever. Three weeks late? Whatever. I'm not picky about this jazz, take as long as you want. Because if you're losing sleep/wasting your time over this, then I'm just going to feel even worse about myself. Then cue more self-castigation.
Deep Breaths I'm a crappy human being, I know that. At least now I have a reason why I've always felt more attuned to those non-human, let alone grew up to be a misanthrope. I know I haven't gotten a lot of progress done on my writings lately, but I can't promise you that I'll get something during this hell. If I disappear for a while, am not seen for quite some time, or don't respond to you/your messages... It just means the month got the better of me (again) and I'm just attempting to cope. But I'm Trying To Change...
March 16th. Do Your Fucking Worst, You Fucking Month. Every Scar Will Build My Throne.