Warning: self-pity and navel-gazing follows.
My 39th birthday is next month. This has me very much on edge. Depending upon how I've felt on past birthdays has dictated how I publicly acknowledge my birthday. Most come and go with the usual Facebook posts, messages from noders here, and maybe a note or two from my divorced parents.
This year, I'm just not feeling it. I have no intention of celebrating the last birthday I have before I reach middle age, and I'm really not ready for that. I've never really been ready for it. Growing up, I always thought I'd be dead by now. I guess I have to reconfigure that particular clock to set it to my 50th birthday in 2026.
I should take this opportunity to heap scorn on my parents for deciding to have children. I am their first-born. I've never been given a satisfactory explanation for the reason my parents decided to have children and I suspect they never had any reason whatsoever, like many heterosexual couples, and while I realize that no one can see the future, they could have at least thought it out more thoroughly before trying to conceive what turned out to be me. Don't get me wrong—I'm well aware that all the problems in my life are, in fact, my problems—but my parents enabled my problems by birthing me. I've spent far more days in my life wishing I was dead or had never been born than feeling happy to be alive.
As I've written about before, I've got a few problems, mostly stemming from major depressive disorder and, for the past ten years, post-traumatic stress disorder. I feel very ashamed of these problems. In fact, I feel ashamed of everything I've ever done and as a result, I've grown up to be an emotional doormat because subconsciously, I believe I deserve it. I'm pretty sure shame played a large part in the formation of my personality growing up. I was bullied pretty hard then and when you're a kid, an adolescent or a teenager, you don't understand why, so you feel ashamed because there must have been something that caused people to torment you for no apparent reason. I could never figure out the reason, so I could only assume that it was something I did wrong that kept me down with feelings of intense shame at the forefront of my subconscious mind. It's pushed forward to my conscious mind. One of my Facebook friends recently pointed out that in most depressed people, there's an underlying sense of shame. I hadn't though of it that way before, but I am now. It's a step towards understanding the depths of my depression, and I now consider it heavily whenever I'm depressed (which is often). I still can't figure it out, but at least it's something to go on.
Writing this now, I realize that part of my gender identity issues are caused by shame. Not that I've ever done anything that would make it correlate to the gender identity issues, it just... is. I'm ashamed of being male. I can only partially blame my parents for this since it was their decision to have children, but gender dysphoria is something I wouldn't wish on anyone. It's soul-destroying. But I assure you, there was no cause for it. It just happened once I realized the difference between the physical sexes when I was a toddler. It is for this reason, among many others, that I will never have children. I don't want anyone to turn out as fundamentally unhappy as I am. Even if any child I ever had was happy as a flower during the springtime, there's a chance for all of my mental problems to be given to that child, and that's too big a risk for me. I'm childfree not because I hate children (although I find myself unable to relate to them), but because I wouldn't want them to turn out like me at all.
Given that I never expected to live this long, I don't know what to expect in the future, but it'll most likely end up being more of the same. How can one change something like this when it is all one has ever known?
I've given up. The last shred of optimism still lingers in me, however, so I'm staying put. The micro-chance that something good and life-changing for me is still possible, and though it becomes less likely with each passing day, it's all I've got, so I'll take it.
Some suggested listening to go along with this daylog:
Sorry if this seems a little disjointed; I was interrupted three times while attempting to write it and each time threw me off track. Additionally, I set my Facebook birthday info to "only me" and removed my entry from the birthdays registry here. This may change in the run-up to my birthday, but the anticipation of it is very difficult for me to handle right now.