Shattering the mirror written by: padhia
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I’ve noticed in myself and in others, we seem to all have a big difference between what others perceive about us and how we actually feel about ourselves. Since it has affected me deeply a nd caused me great pain and it is something I see in everyone, I decided to explore it. Lately I have been thinking about the difference between how I see myself and the impression others have of me. People have told me that they think I am confident, talented, and loveable. I have spent most of my life feeling the exact opposite, actually to a very painful and crippling degree. I feel incapable of handling situations, generally ineffective, unintelligent and like my talents are pale in comparison to everyone else’s. the more I started becoming aware of this and exploring it, the more I realized how badly it affected everything I did. I would take difficult class and already have judged that I could not learn or understand, and forget about be good at whatever was being taught. I envied the students who walked into the class and simply absorbed the material and just did their best. I never got to that point because In my mind I had already failed. After all I was incompetent, inadequate and ineffective. Anything that involved physical activity, in my heart I wanted to play so bad. I am a naturally playful active person. but all those years of watching the kids outside the window and dealing with my private hell, taught me that those things were for others not me. and later in life when I did finally try to join in on things, I approached it with the same attitude, that I was incompetent, incapable and lesser than everyone else.  I also shy away from social situations because I expect to be hated and unwelcome. I have always fought this and tried to overcome it,  but these things used to be crippling to the point where I rarely left the house and had few acquaintances. If you met me you would never imagine how I felt on the inside or the degree to which I suffered from these things. So what caused this great difference between what the outside world saw and the mirror I was looking in?

 

When we are small we learn about ourselves from how those who are caring for us and who surround us treat us. Everything communicates a message. It creates a vision of ourselves, a mirror that we spend the rest of our lives looking in. I want to break that mirror and see the truth of myself. I want to live from that place. When you live from your truth, you put others at ease and inspire them to do the same.

 

Growing up, my mom was always sick both mentally (schizophrenia, bi-polar,  and severe depression, whatever) and also  physically with ulcerative colitis. I took care of her from the time I was able, but I never was able to do enough to ease her suffering, cure her, or even make her happy. I had no perspective that hey, wait a minute, I’m just a small child, even a grown-up couldn’t handle this alone. The other thing that was going on was that our house was collapsing, as they do, if there is no one maintaining them. Rain had rotted the roof and eventually the ceilings and raccoons and rats soon moved in. Watching my home collapse and my mother deteriorate was the focal point of my world. I was obsessed with trying to do enough or be enough to fix both of these situations. I never realized it until I was much older, but I did some incredibly ingenious and kind and powerful things as a kid. I had so much heart, so much spirit. You couldn’t stop me from trying to save my mom and my home. I faced amazing terror and horrors with the courage of a large army of men. I had so much character, I had so much drive and passion. I never gave up and I never stopped loving my mom or my home when the pain became too much to bear. I was creative. I was loveable. I was amazing.

 

I did things that make my eyes well up with tears and my heart want to burst when I think of that little tiny girl alone, trying to save the world with an indefatigable tenacity. Yet did I go out into the world feeling ingenious, kind, and powerful? Absolutely not. The mirror of those years, looking at my reflection as how I saw myself as a child taught me that I am not capable of handling my surroundings, I must rely on others for help, I am not effective or powerful. I am not enough, in any way you can imagine. I am not strong enough, smart enough.

I had to start looking at it as an adult looking at a child. See the circumstances as they truly were, not as they appeared when I was small. I decided to shatter that fucking mirror and create my own fucking image of myself. One that is based on truth and feels good. One that acknowledges how much I have been through and the fact that I never gave up. One that sees how hard I worked, how much heart I had and how amazingly loveable I really am.

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