Refusing to Look in the Mirror


John-Michael Lander | Contributor

I am told that a person who is depressed is spending too much time thinking about the past and why things are now, and not enough time thinking about how she/he wants things to be.

I understand this to a point, but as a sex abuse survivor, I realize that many things are not in the "norm." What is normal for many may not be normal for me. I have a sister that refuses to look at the past and says, "The past is the past and you can't change things, so why waste the time?" Just like me, maybe this is how she is able to function normally in the present. Who am I to say? What I am discovering is that by looking at my past, not to change things--which I can't, but to try to understand them, gives me the power to face the present and the future.

The reflection in the mirror is still apart of me, no matter how long it has been since I glanced into one. I, personally, have an issue looking at my reflection because when I do, I see all the chips, cracks, stains, and unalterable marks. Blemishes that others do not seem to notice. I do see them, I can't help but see them. I hate looking at my reflection. Each time I see the reversed image, I am quickly taken back to each time I relinquished my power and had to submit, just to survive the experience. Every time I see myself, I see a weak, broken, and emasculated soul.

Maybe, if I can learn to embrace the image in the mirror, like the fragments of the little boy trapped little by little in the shards of reflecting glass, I can begin to learn to accept and heal those fragmented parts. To become whole again, I have to become brave enough to really look into the mirror and gather every image of me and reconstruct it into a whole.

The Army of Survivors