I never had a birthday party as a child

I think that it is hard to believe that any small child never had his or her birthday celebrated with candles, songs, friends and cake. In most cultures (if not all?) all children have  parties to celebrate the fact that  they are loved and prized.  Some of my own birthday parties stand out as somehow more remembered  than others. A lot had to do with  the fact that I was remembered as someone special to my family and friends.  Much of the talk at those  parties,   centered around our birth day itself, with Mom telling  about her experiences  on that day.   I also love pictures of those childhood  parties–showing candles being blown out and the receiving gifts from family and friends.

I want to quote  from our manual Depressed Anonymous (pages 90)  which relates how  not receiving love and acceptance for who we are has for some  led to those sad feelings  of anger, and rejection when mention of children celebrating their own birthdays is   illustated.

“Many times persons depressed find that the more they get in touch with their  feelings, painful as they might be, the more they  need to remain with the feelings and feel them. This is the beginning of getting free from their tyranny. We have to get in touch with our feelings of anger, sadness, and the fact of our denial that we have even experienced  the fierce feelings of rejection so early in life. There may be some covered-over rage resulting from these  unpleasant childhood experiences. It’s amazing to hear people say that as children they never had a birthday party. We  know that  sadness, guilt, shame and a few other losses coming at one time in our life, can slowly push us over the line as we find ourselves overwhelmed with stress and feelings of defeat. It’s this subtle feeling of being out of control that brings   a  deepening sadness  we feel totally    immobilized.

…(Many)  times when we describe what we feel we begin to release in ourselves the feeling  “stuck ” that keeps us  in a mood of hopelessness.”

I can understand what a party which celebrates the fact that we are special and loved by others can do to our self-esteem.   It just might cause us to prize ourselves  and then to share who we are with others.  I’m not saying that to have or not have a birthday party as we grow up makes all the difference in our lives. It’s just  that it may  give us the message that we are loved just as we are. To be prized and made to feel special can  add a wonderful dimension to young lives.

The date of your birthday and how it is remembered is   more than just another day on the calendar. It’s your day! You can ask your self  “how was my last birthday”  and how will it  be different this year? Will my birthday be a day where I will reflect on all those persons in my life who I feel prized me for who I am? And are  there certain persons who you will always feel a gratitude for their presence and love  for you in good times and bad? Write down in your journal who these people are and what they mean to you today.


10 thoughts on “I never had a birthday party as a child”

    1. Hello Zahra

      Let me be the first one to wish you a Happy Birthday. Please send us your Birth date and I will be happy to send you a happy greeting. It’s never too late to have a birthday party.

  1. I have never celebrated my birthday and am 40 . Any day is very important in life celebrate ! Pick a day to celebrate you not your birthdays . Much love .

    1. Hi Latric

      I loved your response! Every day in life to celebrate you not your birthday.
      Great idea that makes so much sense and is a gift for sure!

      1. Life is complicated, people are cruel and go with feel good or easy rather than fair or kind nowadays, sadly. It’s easy to think a child can simply have a party with friends but some people have additional needs (which basically repels people so little chance of peers showing up), some people live in villages or small towns where if you are an outsider the people don’t really want to know, not much money, a child could be too shy, bullied etc. There are many obstacles if you don’t fit the mould nowadays.

        It sounds pathetic but I have fought hard to give my two sons social opportunities and birthday parties, but it has been far from easy and as many people have ignored invites as turned up. I don’t care about presents, they don’t matter – it’s the social experience and memories of being cared about I wanted them to have. Social media has made it easy for people to be rude and just ignore anything they deem beneath them. It’s not an option now anyway, but this type of social unfairness is one of the main reasons which has put me off having any more children. People are too selfish and nasty nowadays and I can’t imagine running the social gauntlet again with another child.

        1. I’m sorry you’ve had to go through that with your sons. The uncaring nature of many people can be very hard to take. Not everyone is like that – many are, but not all. Try to find caring like-minded people and spend your time with them.
          Yours in recovery,
          Bill R

  2. I am sorry you have gone through this but remember you are not alone . I came from a culture that we never celebrated bd I don’t even know my siblings bd . After we moved to canada we started to celebrated our kids and nephews nieces bd but still did not do any for us. Up until recently I felt sad and cried and it is hard to talk about this emotions. I have missed so much and feel been invisible all these years …😭

  3. I am 30 and I realised I have never celebrated a birthday too. I can count gifts that I have received from my birthday ever since I was young. And sometimes I hardly even get a birthday message. But now I have promised myself, to celebrate any day and go out of the way for me and for others even if I don’t get the same in return. It makes me feel good so why not?? You aren’t the only one… Embrace LIFE and celebrate the little things, even by yourself. Hugs to you….

    1. This year I turned 36 and realized that my family has never celebrated my birthday neither. For many years I never wanted to do anything special for my birthday or felt excited about until now that I realized the reason behind it. Now, that I’m older I make sure that I celebrate my birthday. I feel special and valued under any circumstance even if others celebrate me or not.

      1. It’s good that you are doing some self-love and treating yourself on your special day. Make sure to have some self-love each and every day – you are worth it!

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