Unhappy Birthday

They happen every year and you have come to dread the appearance of both your own birthdays and mine. You would much rather neither taken place if you are entirely honest. The day is spent treading on eggshells as you await the inevitable argument and dressing down that you will receive. The annual sense of disappointment will happen again and again and you hope somehow it will change, but it never does.

Let’s begin with my birthday. You dedicate time and money to making my birthday an enjoyable and memorable occasion. I dedicate a degree of energy to ensure that it is memorable, but for the wrong reasons. You plan something special to mark the occasion and go to considerable lengths to organise a surprise party or a trip out somewhere you believe I will like. You scour catalogues and the Internet trying to find that gift you hope will make me break out in a smile. Most normal people will be happy with half the effort you put into pleasing me on my birthday. Not me. The occasion may involve a grand day out and a spectacular gift but just as it did last year and the year before that, it will end in an argument and us lashing out at you.

On the face of it, one would imagine that just for once we would get throughout the day without causing some kind of drama. After all, the day is all about us. Exactly what we like and what we want. People wish us happy birthday, they send us cards, they give us presents and you run around lifting and carrying for us (even more than usual). The spotlight is firmly on us. We drink up all this fuel but still we want more. Every single second has to be about us. Do not expect us to thank you or anyone else who provides us with a gift. Remember, we are entitled to receive them. We may have received gifts of twenty people but you know that all we will harp on about is the person we did not get a gift from whom we expected to. That becomes the focus of our irritation. The brilliant and thoughtful gifts are left to one side as we rail against this one person who has not bought us something. It does not matter that they send a card, it does not matter that we did not send them a gift on their birthday (and never have done), and it does not matter that nobody else would expect this distant relative to send such a gift. We will raise it and repeat it and rant about it.

Woe betides you if you do not give to us the exact gift we expected. If you fail to do this we will comment and lash out at you. You cannot possibly love us since you did not give us the right gift. We conveniently ignore the fact that what you have brought us is still a wonderful gift and we actually do like it. That is not the point. It is not the gift we wanted and you will be subjected to our scathing remarks. If by sheer dint of exhaustive effort you manage, against all the odds, to work out what we want (don’t expect us to help you by explaining what we want, we expect you to know this through telepathy) and give us the right gift, do not expect smiles and thanks. We need to make a scene. Instead, we will remark,

“I see you finally got it right. It does not really make up for all the years you got it wrong does it?”

You can never win when it comes to providing us with gifts. We will always want to put you down no matter what you have done and irrespective of the effort and expense that you have gone to. We will always be unsatisfied and this will manifest in us giving you a dressing down in front of everyone at the party, or storming out of the venue at some sleight. Every year you will hear the same stinging accusation ringing in your ears,

“You’ve ruined my birthday. Again.”

When it comes to your birthday the position is just as bad. We will routinely pretend to forget about it. Do not be fooled by our repeated apparent memory lapses. We have minds that remember everything and our powers of recall are spectacular. We know your birthday is on the horizon and with most things with us it generates two reactions. On the one hand we resent the forthcoming anniversary because it is a day geared towards the individual, namely you. It is not about us and we cannot stand that. It is rare that you ever allow the spotlight to be shone on you (by now you are so used to having to point it at us, you give up on it ever being fixed on you) but you do hold out the futile notion that it might still be done on your birthday, of all days. We find this galling. This is a day that will be about you and thus where will we get our fuel? Its approach generates dread and horror inside of us.

Conversely, we relish your birthday because we know, despite every previous disappointment, you still hold out hope that this year it might just be different. You pray to your own personal god that please, just for one, the day can pass without incident and you can enjoy yourself. You are not particularly bothered about doing anything special, perhaps a meal out somewhere and the gift need not be expensive, just so long as it exhibits that some kind of thought has gone into it. Your thoughts are based on hope as opposed to expectation. It will not be different because we need to spoil it; we need to make you feel upset and demeaned. To achieve this there are various things that we will do on your birthday.

  1. We forget about it completely. If you mention at 6pm that evening that it is your birthday we will lash out at you by explaining how busy we have been at work or that there has been some other pressing matter which means that it has slipped our minds. We deliberately forget about it and we will not countenance you criticising our omission.
  2. We organise something lavish but we know it is not something you will actually like. As usual, you put a brave face on it and fix a rigid smile to your face. We know what you are really thinking because we know it is not something you like. In fact, it is more likely that we have organised something that we enjoy. We do this so that everyone else can see what a grand and delightful gesture we have made and we drink in his or her admiration. It also enables us to poke at you repeatedly suggesting that you don’t like it. We are goading you into making a tiny admission that it is not quite what you expected and then we erupt in self-indignant fury as we castigate you for being ungrateful after all the effort we have gone to.
  3. We buy some token gesture and point out that your 43rd birthday is not really something to celebrate is it? It is hardly a milestone. We then use this to remark on your advancing years and point out your various flaws.
  4. We organise a lovely birthday for you but spoil it by turning the spotlight back onto ourselves. We turn up late, we flirt with a guest or we manufacture some drama so that everyone is looking at us and not you. We complain at waiters when there is a family meal out, when there is not actual need to do so. We want to make a scene and wrench the spotlight back over to us.
  5. We remember your birthday and spend it doing what you want and we are pleasant to you until early evening when we deliberately pick a fight with you over absolutely nothing. The fuel we gain from this behaviour is all the sweeter as we have built you up, your guarded behaviour has melted away as we appear to have done everything that pleases you. We are waiting. We are waiting for you to feel good and happy and then we will cast you down so your emotional reaction is all the more heightened.

This behaviour is not just reserved for your birthday although we enjoy ruining your birthday the most. We do this with the birthdays of our children, friends and family. We hate it being about someone else and we hate seeing him or her being happy. In our world, nobody else is allowed a birthday and we believe that every day is our birthday and everyone should recognise that and act accordingly.

We know that you would rather your birthday be erased from the calendar. It is always a horrible day in one form or another and you would rather it not take place. We put a big red ring around it in the calendar in our mind and scribble next to the day the words, “ Special Fuel Day.”

48 thoughts on “Unhappy Birthday

  1. Bee says:

    This year my birthday started without so much as a happy birthday via text even. There was a blunt message saying he was getting ready for the day and would see me later. That upset me but I didn’t say anything. I chose a series of things to do that were low cost or free, because frankly at this point I felt worthless and like I didn’t want to make a fuss, especially after hearing about his previous partner who behaved like a princess and demanded too much on birthdays etc. Nevertheless, narc ex seemed to be very distracted/bored with said low cost/modest activities. This was disappointing to me, but not half as much as the raging argument he had with me on the footpath, in front of strangers, just before dinner. I ended up sitting at dinner in tears, not ordering what I wanted, because at this stage I felt utterly worthless. I wasn’t offered a glass of wine or desert. After dinner in the cab home he whispered to me “I want us to be together for ever”. This chilled me to the bone as he’d ruined my night yet still expected me to stick around for ever. Fat chance.

    1. K says:

      Hello Bee
      You may find this article helpful.


  2. Getting There says:

    HG, all this birthday discussion has me curious. If a non-IPPS (former or current) doesn’t wish a narcissist a “happy birthday,” would the response to the wounding of ignoring the birthday depend on whether it is a Lesser, Mid Range, or Greater? If so, can you please provide explain how it would be different?
    I understand level of fueling matters, so hypothetically, fuel level from other sources means the narcissist is fueled.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Yes, the response will vary. The failure of the NIPPS to wish a narcissist Happy Birthday will wound. This will cause an ignition of fury. The response of the narcissist will vary on the school but also the means by which the narcissist has available to then respond to the offending NIPPS. For instance, a Lesser who lives next door to the NIPPs will go round and bang on the door and hurl some insults. If he lives in another city, he will telephone and insult the offender for forgetting his birthday. There are a variety of different responses based on school and the proximity between narcissist and the NIPPS and the methods of communication available. Thus there are too many variables for me to give a complete answer here.

      1. Getting There says:

        Thank you, HG! I appreciate the example.

  3. Bekah B says:

    This article and its explanations bring me a strange sense of comfort.. I have been known to go all out for my children’s father’s birthday, while we were in engagement.. The first birthday he had after our daughter was born, he received a very pricey item from me.. He mentioned he liked this item several months before, but it was rare and no longer sold in stores.. I was able to find it online and purchase it for him.. When it was presented to him on his birthday in 2016, he literally fell to the floor at my feet (playing and being all dramatic), thanking me profusely.. Last year, for his 30th birthday, I went all out for him, having all of his favorite things readily available at his disposal at my home.. I ended up surprising him with a final gift he had no idea I knew he wanted.. He video called several friends to show off his gift he received from me.. He seemed so happy..

    Now I know all that I did and was able to physically produce for him was never enough.. He would scroll through his phone, receiving many messages from others wishing him a happy birthday.. Although I was anxious about this (because I thought he was receiving messages from his other intimate sources), I told myself that I could let it ride for one day–“after all it is his birthday and he is entitled to be wished well by as many as he can..” All that I did for him on his most recent birthdays was not enough for him to *not* reply to those messages from others, seeking to meet up with him later during the evening.. That’s right, he would spend several daylight hours with me during his day, but be gone by nightfall, doing God knows what..

    I feel comforted knowing that this will more than likely be the case for his new IPPS.. She’ll do her very best to prepare the best day for him.. And to a certain extent, he will show gratitude.. But it won’t be enough to stop him from receiving the fuel from others on his phone and making subsequent plans to celebrate his birthday further with others, besides her.. It also comforts me to believe (speculate) he will be anticipating hearing from me for his birthday, as I have never failed to do for the past several years, but to be wounded when he doesn’t hear from me (because of No Contact), and then for him to dwell on the fact that he didn’t hear from me, rather than being truly appreciative of the ones he did receive well wishes from..

    I take pleasure and pride in being a very reliable, faithful, and accommodating former IPPS whose birthday gifts ranked best of all time, at one point in time.. Now he will miss out on that in a couple of weeks and he will notice it greatly..

  4. Mmm84 says:

    I loved this!!! Take as much fuel from that as you want. Explains some childhood experiences.

  5. KT says:

    HG why do you say every year if you said in another post that a relationship with a narcissist rarely lasts for over a year?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      That’s the golden period.

    2. jonniechance says:

      I have been in one for over 6 years now. For the first couple I blamed myself and it felt liked he hated me at times. I kept expecting what you guys call the discard, but it never came. Now I know why. I’m perfect.. Lol, maybe Im the narcissist? Jk. It’s been a challenge for sure. Very painful. The insults, the manipulation, the flirting just to cause me pain. I’m pretty sure he knows what he is and I would say that he is a greater one. Very intelligent and has everyone else convinced he is some kind of do-gooder. Alas, I am only going to give it two more years. If he doesn’t become a real person. I am out. I am gaining something obviously or I would not stay. Still it has made me physically sick several times. The stress was so great. Oh well. This HG guy explains it so well. I wonder if he wants to become a real live boy someday?

      1. Brooke says:

        You have lost your mind. You have two more years to just gamble on? Nothing earth-shaking enough will ever happen that will force this “boy” to man up. Don’t allow him being a narcissist to brush off on you, as this tends to happen when we keep staying when we know we shouldn’t. You begin to hate yourself for allowing the behavior to continue and your standards to be lowered so much. If you haven’t left already, I know it’s still the same if not worse. Go now! Much love, I’ve been there you can do this.

  6. Rikki says:

    Ah, yes. My 30th birthday. 51 year old Nazi Hippie Malignant Narcopath Momster and 34 year old Harrison Ford Clone/Golden Son/Handy
    Escort/Man of the House When No Weak Boys My Age Were Around older brother, showed up 3 hours late and tripping on some kind of 4 way window pane acid, laden with huge “presents” of her precious spider plant babies, not for me but for my friend who was hosting “my” party as apartment warming gifts, 6 months too late.
    I’m pretty sure I didn’t get anything of note but I did get stinking drunk and passed out while herself was holding court.
    Surprised I didn’t wake up drawn all over with Sharpie and a note saying that I ruined her night by being so ungrateful and rude. She did take my keys but couldn’t find my car. Took me a week to get them back. Told me I was too drunk to drive to where I was staying, which was at my friend’s apartment. You know, the one whose apartment the party was at.
    I have 10 or 12 other birthdays on either side that were less than but that’s the one that opened up my scape goated eyes.
    I’ll be 60 in 2 years and 3 days and went total No Contact when I was 35. She doesn’t acknowledge the NC exists.
    The best present I could ever get would be for her to die(sooner rather than later) so I can finally relax for good. I’m not really waiting for her to die because I am a constantly recovering survivor but I’ll sure be a hell of a lot happier when she kicks.
    I really hope I outlive the bitch because she is held together only by schadenfreude. It may take silver bullets.

  7. Lizzie Marie says:

    HG I wish I knew about this one a long time ago. Early years it was flowers and presents and best holidays ever. Then he had no clue what day my birthday was the
    last few years. Just to make me unimportant. I basically showed up to make him celebrate with me and he started A HUGE fight later on in the evening. A lot of heartache !!

  8. 1jaded1 says:

    Classic song. Ive come to wish you an unhappy birthday, cuz you’re evil and you lie and if you should die I might feel sad but I won’t cry. I always tell people that I hatched. In which season were you born, HG?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Autumn. Season of mists and baleful influence.

      1. 1jaded1 says:

        Autumn is my favorite season. The weather is perfect. It has Halloween. I never thought about baleful influence.

      2. 1jaded1 says:

        Ugh, hate when i hit post prematurely. Halloween fits baleful influence. The true meaning, not what they celebrate today.

      3. K says:

        Let me guess. November 11,1969.

  9. I love Hoover birthdays !!! Just had one 😉 I may collect some more Ns before my next one 😉

    1. Lol @ Alexissmith…enjoy as you please; why not…they do ❤

      1. Hahah thanks Crystal. I will and when you can get some triangulation in there after accepting the gifts ……. Triple the pleasure !!

        1. Lol. You’re learning when to hold em, when to fold em, when to walk away and when to run. Enjoy the game!

  10. nikitalondon says:

    This is a very good posting like all what you write and it makes me think that not always this is the case.
    i would even say that if the celebration turns out where the narcissistix person is the center of the celebration then the smashing of the cake doesnt have to happen.
    One comdition though. Everything has to turn out like planned, without flaws and avoiding stress situations and I would tend to think its okay. Its at least my experience.
    Maybe because the last thing I wanted in my birthday is to be the center of attention.
    Im happy if the organizer and or another light of the party take the limelight.
    Birthdays remind me that I am a year older and I dont like it 😖😖😖😖 to get older.
    Without knowing somehow it worked..

  11. I just awoke to a huge peaceful sleep to respond to my communications and read your posts…
    This made me realize that after a lifetime of this that I feel that I hold a little beast, a madman and an angel within me. All of which have been moulded within me by your kind. All of which have still apparently taken a chill pill again today! (I never take any medications for sleep, my moods etc despite ordinarily needing it) I have come to realize that one doesn’t have to operate with great malice to cause harm within the world of another. The simple abscence of true empathy and the understanding it brings are sufficient tools to bring down anyone that loves you.
    Hence, I have come to learn that I need to love all the aspects of me that such behaviour created. I continue to distance myself and embrace all of these aspects of myself, as much as I have yours. Happiness is sourced from within. I know that now. I need constant reminders of this (which you so readily provide to me) until it becomes my new habit and way of life.
    I don’t wish to hold onto anything good, bad or ugly and give my power away anymore. I don’t wish to ignite the inner conflict that stirs when my “inner beings” are shaken to their core. They have lived this and learned to get along in a peaceful, unified fashion. Embracing the aspects of my light and my shadow self, have been my life’s greatest work. They distract me from your ways. Only because I know that if it’s not me you perform for, or attempt to make me do the same so unwillingly; as if on cue, It will be any other that obliges you.
    So, upon reading this I felt a sense of relief and peace from the fact that I no longer need to worry about such matters. I’m simply storing them as memories, life lessons of those that I loved with all my heart; despite anything else. Life…my philosophy was until recently, “it is what it is”. Now it’s…I make each moment my own, and share of myself only as I please and remove myself from that which displeases me. Being present changes much. I do not long for a special event (this concept has always been foreign to me in any case) or live in the hope or fear that any day won’t end up being so controlled by others (this is the only stance I had know) I simply am loving this moment. One moment at a time. If I dont love it, I deal with it, LET GO and move on; immediately. This is the key to keeping my inner beings content, so that they do not wish to defend me; as I am finally allowing myself to embrace MY life, MY love and MY needs.
    Thank you HG. many scripts briefly presently themselves as I read this and disappeared instantly as if flicking through an album. You clearly are worth your weight in gold to my healing. ❤

    1. malignnarc says:

      You are welcome CE, tell everyone you know!

      1. As is my nature to help others…do you really have to ask?!

      2. I’m even in the habit of telling people I dont; whenever they open up to me!

        1. nikitalondon says:

          Me too!!!! And its wonderful!!!! ❤️☀️❤️

    2. nikitalondon says:

      Let go of all the interactions with other or yourself that cause you pain. Its easy when you understand its just your ego talking.
      Minimizing and silencing it to the minimum with meditation and other techniques its the way to freedom and inner peace. I would not chamge this state for anything in the world. You are on the right path. ❤️

      1. Yoga, journaling, markets, good food, letter writing, phone conversations, long drives, healthily healing others, meditation, music, massages, day spas (ex beauty therapist) walking on the beach and listening to the waves, cuddling kids (as I know it’s real and reciptocated) , books, films, sharing thoughts with others…long talks about anything and everything when together, laying down under the stars gazing up above and being in nature absorbing all its senses, wildlife and beauty…all soothe my soul. They reattach me to my inner peace, Nikita 😄 I’m getting there. ❤

        1. nikitalondon says:

          Yes thats it. I dont have ocean but many lakes and mountains. That is the way and lots and lots and lots of coaching. I had and still have the best one. My childhood friend. ❤️❤️. I have been on this journey now for 6 years.

          1. Enjoy 😊

          2. Hey Nikita, I had this when I lived in Austria for a year. Love the mountains. The snow and ice was a bugger though in high heels after clubbing! The view was sensational, as the sunrise coloured the mountains on our way home. We often all stopped to watch it and admire it’s beauty. A form of meditation in itself. Just to breathe and “BE”. ❤

          3. malignnarc says:

            What a dirty stop out!

          4. My english girlfriend used to day that about us all the time (she was with us)
            I didn’t care what I was. I had the time of my life! 😈😇

          5. malignnarc says:

            Just as I do now, you see, we have more in common than you realise CE.

          6. In ways, I’m sure we do HG. Perhaps the definition of the time of our lives may differ a little in some aspects I’d imagine.

          7. nikitalondon says:

            Yes its amazing sunrise and sunset at the top of the mountains. Never been there in high heels though. Partys yes.. But with flat winter boots . The mointains have their onw energy that I steal from them when I go. I snowboard alot ❤️

  12. Cody says:

    This applies to Valentine’s Day as well. I was so looking forward to it, and then the weekend came and went. The following weekend when he agreed to see me, I gave HIM a rose. How pathetic is that?! He never gave me flowers. Not once. Probably because he knew how much I loved them. And also I bought him flowers all the time.

    1. malignnarc says:

      Indeed Cody.

    2. Ramona I says:

      You sound like a beautiful compationate person giving that rose. Next time give that rose to yourself you deserve it …Mona liza

  13. bethany7337 says:

    I laughed out loud…again…at the picture of the smashed cake! Perfect!

    1. malignnarc says:

      Still tastes the same though!

      1. Yup and you don’t have to count the calories from broke cake

        1. malignnarc says:

          Ha ha. If you eat with a diet drink, the calories are negated. That’s a fact.

          1. I did not know this HG !! I need to get drinking the stuff !

      2. bethany7337 says:

        You always taste good HG but you upset my stomach😀

        1. malignnarc says:

          Ha ha very well put Bethany.

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