So..it's my birthday tomorrow.
I don't actually have that much planned, a birthday meal with the kids, lots of cake...and probably a bit more cake just for good measure.
What I don’t have planned however, are tears.
Unless of course they're tears of happiness at how much cake there is 😉
But on a serious note....just a few years ago, tears were definitely on the menu when it came to my birthday.
Back then I was still in an abusive marriage. And though you make initially think that the tears came from experiencing abuse that day, they actually came from something else..
Beautiful, heartfelt (?) apologies, written in stunning, hand-made birthday cards. Filled from top to bottom, in small, neat handwriting. Line after line of sweet words, apologies, promises and hopes for the future.
The first few times that I received cards like this, I believed every single line that was written inside them.
For someone who was pretty much illiterate, he'd gone to such an effort to write out all of all those words that pleaded for forgiveness and a fresh start for our relationship. I genuinely thought wow, he really means it this time. I really wanted to believe that someone wouldn't just write all these words and not mean them.
But time would pass, as it does, and as the saying goes..actions speak louder than words.
And boy did they speak louder.
The abuse never stopped. Maybe he'd be better behaved for a week or two, but as anyone that's gone through anything similar to this will have noticed, a cycle of abuse was always there, ticking along in the background.
The phase of apologies and promises of a better future would soon move into the next phase of abuse when they see that you're not conforming to whatever rules they want you to. And inevitably this would lead to the next incident of abuse. And then the apologies would emerge again. And so the cycle would continue..
The last time I received one of these beautiful, handmade and handwritten cards, I did cry.
I cried because I knew it was all lies.
I cried because I knew that he didn't mean a single word of it. That all those small, neat lines of handwriting meant absolutely nothing. They may as well have been written in Chinese. They were nothing but empty words.
And so I cried on that birthday.
Because I knew deep down, that things would never improve.
And a few months later I left the marriage for good. Because not only did things not improve, they got a whole lot worse.
Thankfully, I no longer have to experience this sadness and disappointment on my birthday anymore, or any day for that matter.
And if for any reason I do end up crying tomorrow, then it'll probably be because I'm so happy that I can stuff myself with cake all day long, totally guilt-free.
And I'll take that over an abusive, unhappy marriage any day of the year.
Happy birthday to me ❤
P.S. Why should only the birthday girl get gifts? For this weekend only, I'm going to gift five 1-1 relationship breakthrough sessions with me. These usually cost £97 but hey, it’s my birthday and I'll give away free breakthrough sessions if I want to 😉
Go here to unwrap yours: www.ptissem.com/session