Happy Birthday, Bitch!

September 2015 · 3 minute read

Happy Birthday, Bitch! After an incident in my first year of uni, I started to avoid the internet (and my birthday), like it was The Plague. I went through all measures of account deletion and limiting the details available about me until I was almost non-existent on search results.

I lived without a home computer or laptop for about 4 years because the incident had been quite traumatic and I didn’t really know how to deal with it, other than to switch off to the fact that it happened and shut down the potential for it to happen again.

I had a Bebo account – that’s probably why it all went wrong. But my friends all had them and facebook wasn’t as big a it is now. I was living in the big cityaway from all my family (Wellington seems big at first when you grew up in a town with a populaiton of 3000). I hadn’t yet found great friendships or a group that I liked so when it all happened, that’s kind of when I realised how lonely I really am.

I hadn’t planned anything special or really told anyone about my upcoming birthday so when I logged into my Bebo account on the 23rd of September 2008, I was absolutely devastated, and felt kind of sick, to find that someone had taken my profile picture and created a new profile titled ‘Selena Small Hate Group’, this group had posted a message publicly to my page

“Happy Birthday bitch, I hope you have a really shit day.”

That, amongst some other inappropriate comments on the page itself… Now I can look at that and think to myself, well it’s just words. But when you’re 19, living on your own, in the big city, shit like that has an impact.

So, if I’m not overly celebrative of people’s birthdays, I’m sorry. It’s just not a big deal for me anymore.

Subsequently, from that day I spent the next 7 birthdays blindingly drunk, after waking up to my first thought of the day. It’s stupid really but that one sentence, laid out on the page the way it was has been permanently ingrained in my memory.

…Until today. Today I felt fantastic, I let it all go. I wrote it out and came to terms with the experience that had shaped the way I feel about this day every year. And how childish to let it haunt me, all this time. I will no longer be a prisoner of my fears. I have proven in the last two years that I can handle what life dishes up for me. And I’ll continue to prove it too. Also today, I received some awesome birthday wishes from people who really matter to me and I kind of realised that if someone doesn’t have the balls to say bad shit to my face, and if they don’t really know me and are therefore saying that bad shit anyway, then they’re probably not worth a second thought.