What you see in the mirror is who you are. Just you and the mirror up close alone.. I’m taking about intimacy of looking to see beyond the exterior … I’m talking about seeing you.
Google defines a mirror as glass with reflective material painted on the back of it and it gives an image of what is in front of it.
The word mirror can be used figuratively to describe an object, person, or event that reflects or gives a picture of another.A child abuse survivors mirror is an intimate mirror of their life…
During early childhood we are first introduced to a mirror usual by a parent. Seeing ourselfs in all the beauty and innocence that a child displays.. oh the joy of a clean , streak free, unbroken looking glass.
I don’t remember my introduction to the mirror/ to my image, but I do remember using a mirror to see places on my child size body that couldn’t be seen by me without the assistance of a mirror. …I had climbed upon the bathroom sink Trying to see the backs of my legs, sides of my face, the back of my body … looking for the brusis, welts and blood ….results of my mothers “punishment”. Told not to cry as My mother washed me up, combed my hair into pony tails and dressed me pretty dress….shined up like a new penny …. all for presentation to my Daddy when he arrived home from work. Mommy said I was a bad child …. and … apparently my daddy didn’t know…. This, was how my secret started. This was how my image, began being broken… My mirror was being broken and I DIDNT EVEN REALIZE IT.
Over the years as a child my mirror would become dirty with finger prints from the need to touch it … trying to touch my image to confirm the reality of my apprearance, the life of abuse that I was living. My mirror became, scratched and cracks formed… there were horrid terrifying beatings that went on for hours… me standing naked in front of my mother being hit with ALL her might with a leather belt, a switch, a fly swatted and anything else she could get her hands on. She was devient and escalating with her punishments …. Why was I being punished? Mom said For Being born!
Escalating in severity these beatings had rules that progressed over time: while being beaten I couldn’t make any noise or move & each time she “missed hitting me” because ” I moved ” I got 5 more hits, and if I tried to shield the hits with my hands 5 more hits per infraction. The years progressed and the most damaging rule… if I cried tears 5 more lashes …learning how not to cry while your skin is being split open would be hard for an adult …..imagine being a child…. imagine being 5 yrs of age… my mirror my image myself was being shattered.
There were also negative words all thru my childhood.. ranging from… “I should have flushed you down the toilet” to when people would compliment me as a child on how cute I was … My wonderful mother would lean down real close and whisper … “even monkeys are cute.”
The escalation of her breaking of my image… my reflection … my being… was smooth and calculating… and Horrifying …. and incredibly terrifying…. My mirror suffered … it started out minor scratches . scratches became deep cracks and deep cracked became broken pieces that eventually fell out of my mirror.. my image .. me. The image was me and I was the image By the time I was 8 My mirror had so many cracks and missing pieces… I couldn’t see me. Fast forward thru the years.. thru my brokenness I was missing major components that I needed… self confidence, self esteem, pride, joy, love, feelings of being safe, feelings of belonging feelings of being wanted
But how could the world not see I was broken..how could my father who lived in the same house not see? how could the world not see what the mirror showed? I didn’t understand..
Fast forward thru my early adulthood I tried to fix my mirror, .. my image .. with scotch tape and elmers glue … fix my brokenness by writing a blog, a journal, reading self help books watching Oprah … all to try to look like a shiny new penny ..
Today Standing here before you I am held together by glue and tape.. tape is the counseling and medication is the glue.. diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety and depression … my mirror … my image … is still broken..but the glue I’m using now makes many of the cracks almost gone… the scratches have been smoothed out and the smudges have been wiped off.. the pieces that are missing … well they many are still missing …
You can’t glue or tape a shattered mirror and make it fully functional The way to fix a broken mirror is to remake it… take it back to its original state melt it down and start over….
I’m broken .. I know that … but I’m held together by tape and glue.. 47 years after my birth I now realize i could have been fixed … how? If my mother had never broken me in the first place.