Birthdays are the best days of the year for most people. Who doesn't love taking a day out of the year to celebrate the simple fact that they exist? A good birthday can also be a win for a variety of other reasons. Cake? Cupcakes? Games? It's an annual excuse to do all kinds of fun things! But some people don't have the good fortune to experience these fun times. Read on to hear stories from people who have had absolutely terrible birthdays, and how it happened!
“Went to a friend’s party on my birthday (my parents wouldn’t let me have one), lots of people gatecrashed including a few rough lads who were smoking weed in the person’s house. The person’s dad who presumably owned the house came downstairs and politely asked them to leave, they told him to get out and stabbed him.
I was in the same room and they all left straight after it happened. I was told the dad was involved in some illegal stuff prior to the party and had some form of weapons/illegal stuff in the house at the time and didn’t want to risk involving the police especially when there was 15/16/17-year-old kids underage drinking in his house, so I think they claimed it was an accident. Everyone at the party was also taking pills, nos, weed along with other substances so police never came to the house. Being as there was like 8 of them, no one knew who really did it because of how crowded it was but still very messed up.
That was over 2 years ago now but I know the dad didn’t die, but he was hospitalized for a while, though.”
My Own Party
“My older cousin’s birthday is three days after mine so my family tends to just skip mine and focus on his. I decided one year to throw a party for my birthday at my house. I paid for all the food and drinks and decorations. Had my mom help me set everything up. Had a bar set up with drinks. Had a buddy of mine dj. Everyone shows up, most of whom neglected to even say happy birthday to me. And my aunt (not my cousin’s mom) didn’t even say anything to me upon arriving, but she gifted my cousin a two week trip to Europe, fully paid for, and then made MY ENTIRE PARTY sing Happy Birthday to him and not even acknowledge me. And mind you, I threw this party for me because I have always been the outcast of my family and thought, ‘Hey, if I throw it for myself, maybe they will actually be nice to me.’ And not in a material way. I just wanted some attention from my family who have always shut me out from everything. Needless to say I don’t talk to any of them besides maybe once during the holidays and it’s always the obligated ‘hey how you been?’ Sometimes life is better when you’re completely alone and accept it.”
“My 17th birthday. I was super depressed at that point in my life. My mom had her wasted, abusive, always fighting (now ex-)boyfriend over. All I wanted was just one day without him around. Instead I locked myself in my room for the entire day (so as to avoid them) and planned my suicide.
Kinda ruined birthdays for me forever. They’re so bittersweet. I used to love them, but now I always remember back to that day. No birthday has ever been that bad since, but they’re not super fun anymore. My 23rd birthday was a few weeks ago and when we were eating my cake, my mom made a scene about how nobody ever does anything for her (which is false). It made me really reflect on how my birthday never really got to be about me. On a brighter note, I worked in a 4th grade classroom this year, and my partner teacher threw me a cupcake dance party for my birthday. The kids went crazy, they loved it so much. And I tried to play it cool, but wow, it felt really amazing to be celebrated like that.”
You Can Stay Here, Right?
“My mother had just moved us in with our stepdad. It was summer; they met that winter and we moved in in the spring. She yanked us out of our schools and we went to tiny horrible local schools. It was a miserable time and my new stepdad was VERY unpleasant (and it escalated to emotional abuse quickly).
I was not allowed to have contact with any of my friends, the friends I grew up with. No email, nothing.
So they tell me I can have a small birthday party and invite my friends, the ones I miss and grew up with. I’m so excited. They make plans. I make plans. My parents have me clean the entire house and I do it all, happily; I finally felt heard!
The day before, after doing yard work for the party, my mum calls me out to the garage and says she’s sorry but the party won’t be happening. She’s contacted my friends’ parents and it’s all off. Why?
My stepdad is having a friend to visit that day. On my birthday.
I was gutted.
The day of? My birthday is not acknowledged beyond a verbal happy birthday at breakfast. To the point where when it finally came up during the visit with stepdad’s friend, this friend looks pretty appalled. ‘I didn’t know it was your birthday,’ and he seemed so sad and confused.
That night my mum said she and my stepdad were going to a coffee place. I asked to come; maybe a donut? No. ‘You can stay here, right?’ That stupid pleading mom face where they ask your permission not to prioritize you.
It sucked. A super sweet 15.”
“So I had this friend over at my house and it was going to be my 13th birthday. Well my brother, who was 17 at the time, asked me to make him a shake, and I thought it would be funny to mix in all the worst things I could find. It had ketchup, mustard, soy sauce, Hershey’s chocolate syrup, and plenty more. By the end, it was a brown that visually passed for a chocolate shake. Well I gave it to him, he takes a sip and is gagging. My and my friend think it’s hilarious, until he decides he is gonna beat my butt. Me and my friend take off running into the kitchen where we are all running left and right around an island. My family keeps a centerpiece of apples or oranges or whatever we feel like putting in a fairly large bowl in the center of the island. When my brother decides he is tired of chasing us, he just grabs an orange. He played varsity baseball for 3 years… as a pitcher. I don’t notice this yet and he launches one at my head, smacking me perfectly in the temple. Orange busts on impact and I got knocked out, on the spot. My friend is scared for his life and at this point I’ve unconsciously peed myself. I come to and my mom is losing her crap at my brother who feels pretty bad now for knocking me out, then embarrassing me in front of a friend on my birthday. Needless to say, I had a headache that just wouldn’t go away for what felt like forever. We all look back on it now and think its pretty funny but my mom still wants to beat my brother’s butt for it.
I will never forget the memory that almost made me lose memories”
When Sushi’s The Worst
“I worked as a cashier/delivery driver at this Japanese restaurant when I was in college that had this really mean owner named Carol. She was so terrible that we had a revolving door of people quitting after a day of working with her.
After a while, she would warm up to you a bit and be a little kinder, but she could still be very difficult most days. I had been working there around 4 or 5 months and she was starting to teach me to make sushi rolls. I wasn’t that great at them and had to take it really slowly to do them right, but it got to the point where if it was slow and we got a simple order, she would let me take care of it. It was kind of fun for me and I wanted to learn how to be better so I didn’t mind.
I was working there on my birthday one year and we get a customer come in for simple avocado rolls, so Carol tells me to handle it while she goes out back and has a smoke. I take care of it, but after she left, we had a bunch more people walking in asking for rolls, some that I didn’t feel confident enough to make at that point since they involved being topped with fish. I step out back to see where Carol was and she was nowhere to be found. I had to come back and struggle to make the rolls that I knew how, while apologizing profusely to the customers explaining that I was just the cashier and had no idea where the sushi chef was.
About 10-15 minutes later, Carol finally comes back and instead of being sorry for stepping out, she yells at me for being too slow in helping the customers out. She apologizes to them for me and quickly makes their orders and at the same time belittling me by saying stuff like, ‘See that wasn’t so hard.’ I was so embarrassed and angry off at her, I was so close to quitting that night.
I didn’t speak to her again all night and she could tell I was upset and asked why I was mad. I told her it was my birthday and she made me feel like complete crap, which I didn’t appreciate. She laughed and told me to learn to take a joke and then told me to come tomorrow, which was my day off, and she’d make it up to me with a free sushi dinner for me and my girlfriend. Free sushi was not enough to make up for making me feel so awful on my birthday.”
“My dad had a small party for me the year my parents got divorced. He was already dating another woman (his current wife) and insisted on having her 2 nephews come. That didn’t bother me too much. I liked her at the time and I didn’t mind having the kids come along, I had a few of my good friends there so it was cool. But when it came time for cake, they sung happy birthday and I got my slice. I really had to pee so I went to the bathroom. When I came back, there was a big chunk missing from my slice.
My friends told me one of the nephews ate it. With his bare hands. It was a small cake, so there wasn’t any left overs, there was just enough for one slice per kid but I was so grossed out, I threw it out. My dad hadn’t see the kid eat my cake, but of course he saw me throw out what was left. He and his girlfriend called me ungrateful and wouldn’t let me explain. The nephew laughed as I was getting scolded and I cried my eyes out. He was a little piece of crap for the rest of his life.”
“We were going to Chuck ‘E Cheese for my birthday, and my birthday is in February. We’re driving behind a semi, and all of a sudden it drops a huge sheet of ice on our windshield. Shatters the passenger side, but doesn’t break. I was in the back seat behind the driver, and I had just laid down to take a nap. Abruptly awoken to the impact of the ice.
My mom kept a cool head, didn’t swerve or anything, and pulled off to deal with it. Now, when I was just a year old, I was with my mom when she had ‘The Accident.’ Crashed head-on with a semi on black ice, mom got a TBI, I survived without injury. I guess the ice hitting the windshield gave me some kind of flashback, and I was terrified. Blubbering tears, and I refused to get back in the car. We had car troubles before, so I was used to break-downs. Not this time.
My mom had a friend pick me up, and my mom drove the car home since we couldn’t afford a tow. She came back with a cake, and we ate it. I was a little brat the rest of the day, even though my mom tried her best. My day was ruined and has since remained a bitter memory.”
Selfishness And Lack Of Gratitude
“I woke up excited to spend a day with my friends. I had the day off of work (for once), and I wanted to go spend some me time as well as go out and be a normal teen.
My dad woke me up early and told me to get in the car because he needed someone to go with him so that he could use the HOV lanes. That’s fine. I’ll still have the whole afternoon, right?
Wrong. We were gone the whole day, which he failed to tell me. I had to cancel my plans and spend the entire day being his +1 on errands all over the city. No lunch because he was trying to save money and there was plenty of food at home. Further, because I wasn’t eager and happy for the opportunity to do what he wanted, I was treated to a whole gambit of insults about my selfishness and lack of gratitude – which is rich coming from the man who gave us the silent treatment through Christmas because we didn’t get him the blender he wanted.
I ended up crying silently on a sidewalk curb. Happy Birthday to me.
It’s been almost a year since I went no contact. Best decision I have ever made. I just wish I’d gone no contact sooner.”
“I was 16 and I was suffering from really bad panic attacks and depression. My parents were well aware because I had a suicide attempt a couple months before and I was in therapy that they forced me to go to. On my birthday, they made me go out to dinner with the whole family (which I really didn’t want to do) so they could celebrate in public. At the table in the middle of the restaurant I had a MASSIVE panic attack that caused me to knock over all the drinks on the table and cause a huge scene. My parents began yelling to hold me down, and yelled at each other to call my therapist on her emergency cell. The manager of the restaurant ended up moving us to a table in the very, very back corner of the restaurant. I was embarrassed beyond belief once I calmed down, and my parents would NOT let us leave even though the entire restaurant was staring at us and the staff were treating us extremely weird.
I’m 22 now and a lot healthier, but looking back at that birthday dinner makes me cringe super hard.”
Who’s Taking Care Of Who?
“I was 15, I was supposed to hang out with my two best friends and go to the movies. My dad, who has never been in my life, showed up and guilt tripped me into coming with him so he could do something with me for my birthday, he promised a dinner and to bring me back so I could hang with my friends. We ended up going to some dudes house he loved at, where my dad proceeded to smoke crack and fall asleep. So I spent my birthday sad, hungry, and basically babysitting my 39 year old dad. Forget that guy.”
“My 15th birthday was the worst birthday of all time.
Leading up to the day of my birthday, I asked my mom if I could hang out with my boyfriend for my birthday, whom I was very much infatuated with. She said yes. I was surprised because she didn’t really like the idea of me dating him, but I thought she was going to get used to it and accept the fact that I was growing up (and of course, it was my birthday).
Fast forward to my birthday. I wake up and I’m all happy and ready to have an amazing day. I’m watching TV and my dad rushes downstairs, grabs his car keys, and leaves for work. I brushed it off, ‘Ohm he’s really busy with work and he had to leave the house really fast.’ My mom was nowhere to be seen. I assumed she left to go shopping for my birthday. So I just continued the day by watching TV and just chilling out. At around 4, my parents finally come home, and I’m sitting there, ready to be surprised or something, and my dad literally goes up to his room and just naps. My mom on the other hand, is in an angry mood (as usual) and she asks me to do some chores and clean up. I was a bit disappointed but maybe they were pulling a surprise thing later, and they were acting like they forgot so I would be completely shocked!
After cleaning up, I tell my mom that my boyfriend is coming to pick me up. Her irritable mood changes into an enraged mood instantaneously. She begins her weekly rant of how disrespectful my sister and I are (she was hanging out with a friend the entire day), how lazy and irresponsible I am, how my only talent is dressing provocatively (I actually dressed pretty modestly, I just went to a lot of pool parties that REQUIRED me to wear a swim suit) and how the only thing I cared about was my boyfriend. Of course, she said I couldn’t go. I was so upset, I started crying and whining about how it was my birthday and how she promised. at this moment I thought she would’ve immediately felt bad and let me go. I only turn 16 once, and she HAD to let me go.
Yeah…nope. She continues to rant about how she didn’t care it was my birthday, and that I could not have a boyfriend until I turned 17. (when I was 15, she told me I couldn’t have one until I was 16, yay) Of course, I was devastated.
A few weeks later, the guy broke up with me because we didn’t go to the same school and we could never see each other besides church (and I didn’t go that often anyways). We’re still pretty good friends which is good, but I was extremely heartbroken.
I didn’t come to my mom to talk about my problems, my passions, even my day with her from that point on. I understand that she is my mother and she can control when and who I date, but the fact that she didn’t have a single tinge of remorse is what really messed me up.
And she blames me for our crappy relationship…”
Lemonade Out Of Lemons
“My family forgot my 14th birthday. I quietly told them at the end of the day. My dad yelled at me for not speaking up sooner, while my mom denied she forgot and was just ‘waiting’ for the surprise. The surprise was $10 in a brown sack lunch bag.
For context, that same year my sister’s 15th birthday took place in a country club and she got a brand new car she wanted even though she couldn’t drive for another year.
I got the last laugh though because I’m 100% independent from my family and happy, while my sister is 39, divorced, and has been living with my parents for the past 4 years to ‘save up’ although she still spends all her and my parent’s money on designer clothes.
My sister’s dream car? A Pontiac Sunfire. The transmission broke down before 100k miles and had no resale value. I on the other hand saved up and bought a Nissan Pulsar for $200 that didn’t run, and learned how to fix cars…skills I still use to this day (frugalness and mechanical work).
Anyway, I have a fine relationship with my family now because I never made a stink about this stuff and just moved on. I eventually figured out I got the better end of the deal.
They also ‘home schooled’ me in 3rd grade because my dad got into a yelling match with my teacher and said he could do a better job… Well, both my parents worked full time so I was home alone all day and taught myself.
I ended up cherishing my family neglect because it made me independent at a young age. Lemonade out of lemons sort of situation.”
The Silent Type
“My stepsister was just very Jekyll and Hyde. We were the same age but didn’t relate much. One minute she’s super bubbly and personable and the next she’s got an attitude and sucking the joy out of the room. I get it, everyone goes through ups and downs but my mom and I never knew what version we were gonna get of her at any given time.
I came home from school when I was like 17 to a birthday cake and balloons, courtesy of my mom. It was just us 2, new stepdad, and new stepsister. My stepsister was silent the whole time probably because the attention wasn’t on her (she could be very self-absorbed) and my stepdad seemed to mimic her demeanor because in his eyes she can do no wrong.
My mom was as usual super enthusiastic and great, but my stepsister ruined that moment for me with her joy-sucking attitude and it foreshadowed some of the years to come.
My stepdad divorced my mom a few years ago and my stepsister ghosted us HARD. I try to be the bigger person and text her on her birthday and wish her well but she literally says nothing. He dropped us and by default so did she, which makes me think she never cared for those 9 years and sometimes I really wanna punch her for it.”
“It was my 11th birthday. I was riding the bus home on a Friday and was talking about how excited I was for my party. Nolan, who lived in a house behind mine, was excited about a family get together on a beach on a local river. He’d been in my kindergarten class with me, we hung out with all the neighbor kids on the same street, and he was now in my 5th grade class too.
I had my birthday party and everything was wonderful. After everyone had left my parents sat my brother and I down and told us Nolan had had an accident at the river. I was worried, but thought that everything would be okay.
At school a councilor came in and talked to us about it. Some people were crying. When I came home my parents told me that Nolan had been taken off of life support. He had been under water for 5 minutes and was brain dead. He died four days after my birthday. When the councilor came in again, no one cried. We were all in shock.
No one in my grade went to school the day of his funeral. The whole grade was asked to come up front during it while a classmate sang Amazing Grace and we listened to his mother’s cries echo through the church.
I didn’t celebrate my birthday for years after. During high school I always physically, mentally, and emotionally fell apart for a couple months around the anniversary. Looking back, I was depressed all through middle school.
I’m doing better now. I’ve seen a councilor about it. I’m on meds. I celebrate my birthday. Whenever I’m in the area I visit his grave. This August will be 10 years and I’ll be able to drink to his memory.”
Eh, Looks Fine
“On my tenth birthday, I broke my arm in P.E. from supermaning into the cinder block wall. I might have had a concussion, but when I went down to the nurse, she sent me back to P.E. with an ice pack. Luckily, since it was my birthday, my mom was at the school to eat lunch with me, and diagnosed it in 2 seconds from asking me to hold her car keys and me not being able to. I had gone into shock and was pale as a ghost at this time.
Every year on my birthday, my mom gets a Facebook memory of a picture of me and the nurse, at the hospital, with my arm in a soft cast.
My mom marched into they school the next day and told her that I had a broken arm, she asked her why she didn’t call her because I had broken blood vessels on my head, the nurse said she didn’t know. The other thing that made my mom mad was that she was in the school for an hour before lunch and no one told her. The nurse tried to defend herself by saying that she didn’t have an x-ray machine and so couldn’t diagnose it, my mom told her that if she thought she need an x-ray machine, then the nurse should have called her. My principal and nurse also both thought I should had self advocated but, again, I was 10.
The nurse was eventually fired.”