For many, Valentine’s Day is just another day, or if they are in a relationship, a nice way to reaffirm the choice of partner they’ve made. For some, it’s an annoying reminder of being single, or a reason to celebrate being single. For me, I am usually reminded of past trauma.
When I was 18, I was “found out” as being gay, which is possibly another blog topic (I can’t remember if I’ve written about it but the short version will follow). For two months it was a living nightmare to return home from school. I was never physically hit, but I suffered severe emotional trauma from my father’s outburst and expletives written in permanent marker on my walls. I was kicked out of the house at 18 on February 13, 2003. Every year, I’m reminded of this event because it fell so close to Valentine’s Day. For me, it is a reminder of trauma, a reminder of feeling so powerless and loathed. Compound that with never having a Valentine (outside of grade school!), and social expectations to have one, makes the day a downer to say the least.
I know my worth is not based on the above two, but the triggering can happen regardless and make my week before and/or after pretty crappy. Several years ago, I decided to change it up, and I might do it again this year. I bought myself flowers, a card, and some chocolates and was my own “Valentine.” That was probably the best date I’ve gotten. I’m laughing now, but it sounds so sad! Anyway, this year I’ll probably do the same. Because I’m broke 90% of the time, I’ll pick things up on Monday, and treat myself then after all the stuff goes on sale (including flowers).
I try my best to forget my trauma and it only hits like a train when I least expect it. Going to therapy helps a lot, and speaking about these only helps to exorcise them. I’m trying to change the future of this date by making new memories that are more pleasant. Like last weekend, I posted a bunch of valentine cars as a fun, mostly silly project. Thinking about making those for an artist who appreciated them makes this day less painful. It takes one year at a time, but I’m eventually going to be okay.