Falling in Love with my Reflection

Do you remember as kids we were always staring into shiny surfaces, mirrors, water puddles and looking at our reflections and absorbing what we looked like.  I remember staring at each part of me in wonder, fascinated at the fact that this was who I was, this was me, Audrey.

I didn’t think anything special about the image staring back at me other than the fact that it was me, that I was unique and no one in the whole wide world looked exactly like me.  I liked the idea that we were all unique, different and special.

Then I started to realize that something was wrong with my nose.  People in my family kept on saying how funny it looked and how if it was bigger they could hold the world Olympics skiing contest on it because of the slope.  I started to understand that the reflection staring back at me wasn’t in fact special or different but perhaps deformed like everyone else said.

As the years passed I started avoiding my reflection, I couldn’t stand any photos to be taken of me or even to look in a mirror.  I avoided all shiny services because each time I saw my reflection it reminded me that I wasn’t special, that I was weird looking and odd.

In the end I started to believe that my outer look was my inner look.  I was deformed, weird and far from special as a whole, my self esteem was gone, my self confidence had evaporated and the negative thought biases started in full force. It became a way of life, a personality trait if you will, to believe, truly believe that I was sub-human.

Bulimia, eating disorders, dependency, self beatings both verbal and physical, acceptance of behaviour towards me that others would not accept. I shrugged it all off, why wouldn’t I? This had always been my life, it was who I was, I knew no different.

Fast forward a couple of years and suddenly I have genuine people who love me, they see the reflection that I saw when I was six and they are ok with it, no comments on my funny nose, how weird I look or any other bad attributes.  These people seemed to take me for me but I couldn’t translate it.  It blew me away, confused me like nothing else, I questioned each time they said something nice to me, showed me love and acceptance, I couldn’t understand it.

Each time this happened I would go away thinking “ok they are just saying it to be nice to me, don’t take it too seriously, they’ll be normal again sooner than I think, it’s nothing, brush it under the table and normality will return”.  Normality never did return and what was once perceived as normality slowly transformed into abnormality.

One step at a time, time and time again, I was shown that it was not me that was deformed, weird or odd but rather the people that said those things to me, broke me down and stepped on me.  One day shortly after this realization I built up the courage to face a mirror, truly face it and look at my reflection.  I couldn’t hold eye contact with myself but I slowly started to examine my facial features, I looked at the angles, nose, everything, absorbing it all.  I lasted 2 minutes and I had to leave my reflection there in the mirror.

Day by day I went back to the reflection staring back at me and slowly I braved staring into my eyes, holding eye contact and absorbing the whole.  I became the 5 year old kid again looking fascinatedly at my reflection.  After about half an hour I looked myself deep in the eyes, smiled and said out loud “This is me, this is who I am, I am unique and I am special”.  I hadn’t realized so intent on staring into my own eyes that tears were running slowly down my cheeks, this time they were tears of joy.

I still stare at my own reflection in the mirror, I absorb each single piece of the map that is me and I smile, I repeat those words as much as I need to hear them, I don’t avoid the shiny surfaces anymore.

I am me, this is who I am, I am unique and I am special… if you don’t like it that is your problem, it’s not mine anymore.

What do you see when you look in to the mirror, do you see the whole you? or do you see just the face as if its detached?

Look at me,
You may think you see
Who I really am,
But you’ll never know me.

Everyday,
it’s as if I play
A part.

Now I see,
If I wear a mask,
I can fool the world,
but I cannot fool my heart.

Chorus:

Who is that girl I see?
Staring straight,
Back at me.
When will my reflection show
Who I am inside?

I am now,
In a world
Where I have to hide in my heart,
and what I believe in.

But somehow,
I will show the world what’s inside my heart,
And be loved for who I am.

Who is that girl I see,
staring straight
back at me?
Why is my reflection someone I don’t know?

Must I pretend that I’m
someone else
for all time.
When will my reflection show,
who I am inside?

There’s a heart that must be free
to fly
That burns with a need to know
the reason why

Why must we all conceal
What we think
How we feel?

Must there be
a secret me
I’m forced to hide
I won’t pretend that I’m
someone else
for all time.

When will my reflection show
who I am inside?

When will my reflection show
who I am inside?

Advertisements

15 thoughts on “Falling in Love with my Reflection

  1. What an incredibly moving post! You know, it seems that all my female family members and friends have self esteem issues, myself included of course. I have often wondered why females, in general, seem to be so overly critical of themselves when NONE of the males in my life are! What is their secret?

    I must admit, I’m still on the “this way to a stronger self-esteem” journey … some days are better than others … but I can’t stare at my reflection in the mirror for very long before I find myself critiquing the way I look.

  2. Do you happen to know who Jennifer Grey is? (Have you seen “Dirty Dancing”?) She actually got a nose job and didn’t even look like herself anymore. She now wishes she didn’t do it.

    You ARE beautiful. Yes, even on the outside. I’ve seen pictures of you and thought you looked beyond adorable.

  3. My mind is a jumble of words right now after reading your thoughts…I have 10 things I want to say to you all at once…think I will jot you an e-mail. your blogging friend DM

  4. Female types don’t have the corner on self esteem issues. Try being raised (second in the birth order) with four sisters each of us about a year apart in age.

    I was always doing something wrong. Sigh….

  5. It is funny we both wrote about mirrors today isn’t it?? LOL!! You’ve come such a long way. Good for you. Really. I always thought my nose and ears to big. Everyone told me I could be like Dumbo one day and fly. It was teasing though and not done to be mean. When we are young things just seem so different.

    Great post today.

  6. Fitch, I’ve thought long and hard about that very question, why men seem to be so much more confident in their looks and I put it down to the parents. When girls are growing up their parents always seem to “You must look pretty, you look fat, put some make up on, do your hair, you look frumpish, wear something else that suits you”… boys just get the shorts, jeans and t-shirts and I think it would be a whole different story if they were told they need to be handsome the whole time.

    Hayden thanks you, I am the innocent looking type (I claim I claim), I didn’t know that about JG – must be quite a heavy lesson to bear having surgery then wishing you hadn’t… something you have to live with for the rest of your life

    DM Thank you for that email, you’re the best!

    Mssc54 I know that feeling well, growing up with that many sisters must’ve been scary!!!

    Joy I KNOW how weird is that! Yip kids see the world differently but when they hear these things from adults it takes on a whole new perspective, sad. Thanks huns!

  7. This is so beautiful. I hope you print it out and post it on your wall to look at each day with your refection. Because there are many of us who do see the real you. The beautiful, sensitive, intelligent woman who brings us all laughter and joy each and every day. I thank God for you.

  8. Amber thanks hun, I too thank God for you and what you say is true. I have come to realise that there are many who don’t wish to change me, they accept me for who I am, inside and out.

    Shady welcome to my insanity, we do indeed all have masks but the true trick is knowing with who and when we can lower them. Thanks for your kind words, they mean a lot!

  9. Hey SF… I also went through some time where i just didn’t want to look in the mirror… I was told that i had funny teeth and a HUGE nose… An ex once told me that I didn’t need to pack a suitcase, I could just pack it all in my nose!!! And then of course my laugh… a different ex once told me… Please don’t laugh like that… you’re embarrassing me.

    Over time, I have decided that I am who I am. I treat people, no matter who they are or where they come from as I would like to be treated. My intentions with any and all creatures on this earth are only good ones. If I feel that I am straying… I look… and see… and sit and think. I try not to act on any bad thoughts – and if I do. I apologise as soon as I realise I am wrong. And I eat humble pie…

    If people do not like the me that I am, I try not to take it personally – because, normally, when people do not like me, it is simply because they do not know me. And if they do not know me, how can they know what it is they don’t like… and are they not seeing something in me that they don’t like about themselves? Are we not all reflections of each other?

    Sorry SF – a bit long and involved… but that’s what no sleep does to me…

    I think you are beautiful!!! And I am truly blessed to have you back in my life! Big hugs my friend!!!

  10. Jinxie those humans were cruel to you, I for one think you are beautiful, for the record your nose is perfect and your laugh is the best. I love hearing and seeing you laugh because you it comes right from inside you and bubbles, its such an incredible energy.

    Never apologize for a long comment nor sharing anything just know that you are loved for you… we should start a club “Like me or just FO” yeah now we are talking!

  11. I am me, this is who I am, I am unique and I am special… if you don’t like it that is your problem, it’s not mine anymore

    True True and only True!!
    I loveeeeee my reflection in my mirror soo much so that after every hair wash…no one dares to come in between me and the mirror 🙂 james blunt was soo right when he sang -“You are Beautiful” 🙂 Cheers!

  12. “In the end I started to believe that my outer look was my inner look.”

    This is such a true part of an entirely beautiful post….. I have a lump in my throat here…. you really have come so far, am so glad that you have started to believe the words of love that come your way….. we all see that beauty, reflected on the outside of what exists on the inside……

    I love you sister of my soul….. me

  13. Deeps LMAO I so know what I am getting you for your next birthday, a special mirror you can carry around with yourself … you be funny yers – you back for good now that the financial meltdown has melted??? James Blunt is a goodie the sista has taste!

    Vanessa thanks huns, I love you to sister of my soul!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s