“Truth is beautiful, without doubt; but so are lies.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Mirror, mirror on the wall… find the nearest mirror. Look. Keep looking for 3 minutes. Write about what you see.
I find this exercise repulsive. It very much hit me in a depersonalized space and exemplifies my unstable sense of identity so I decided to cross post it here as well.
The thought of looking into my own eyes only to see a stranger staring back at me is, disconcerting. I recognize the girl on the other side of the mirror.
She has my father’s eyes, my mother’s nose. Cherry black hair and more metal than half the machines out in my shop, but she isn’t me. Is she? Maybe she is and I just can’t see, beyond the surface layer of skin and sinew that binds me up inside.
I’d find her attractive if she wasn’t so comfortably unfamiliar.
Floating two feet to the left of me I sense my motions walking through a world detached from the rest of me. Too often it feels like watching some other force pilot a body I recognize as my own, watching the reactions to my movements to guess the next step that someone else will be taking. It’s worse when I think about it. The detachment more pronounced. Staring at myself is all the more disconcerting for the knowledge that I should know who this woman is. Cognitively I know that I should see her and internalize that she is me, and cognitively I do know what she is, but I have no attachment to my reflection. She’s who I want my physical Self to appear to be. But is she really me? Hm, in part I believe she is. Certain things draw my eye. I am attracted to certain things, so naturally I want to incorporate those things into my Self. Isn’t that how we develop our personalities and self image growing up? We see things we appreciate, mimic them, until we make them our own. I’m well past the mimicry. What draws us is integral to that which we are so what I see is who I want to be. On the outside. Fortunately for me, I can’t see my insides reflected on this glass. A sight I’ve seen before. That is a part of me, that should stay where it belongs. Blood and tissue, fat and tears; things I work to keep from my mirror. I don’t want to see what I know is actually there. Don’t want to see who I’m afraid I might be. I don’t want to look. Nothing you can do, can make me.
Eyes lie. Tell me this is someone I am, who I should be, who I can be. Maybe this time she speaks the truth, but her words have proven false so many times I no longer know the sound of those that ring true. Pretty words from soft lips look like promises wrapped in straight jackets of gold. The madness she feels is real. Truth.
Writing this was very triggering and I had to stop.