As a child I could feel my mother staring at me. I could feel the condescension in her eyes, like heat from a log that has been in the fireplace for numerous hours…her hate branded me like a hot poker. And I used to stand in front of the mirror, staring at myself, wondering why she hated me. I wanted to know what she saw that made me so unlovable. I had an older brother, she loved him…there must be something wrong with ME.
And I studied my face in that mirror…so many years ago. What made me unlovable? I saw what she saw~me~ so what was it? Was it the blonde curly hair? Maybe she didn’t like little girls with blonde hair – her own hair was red, my brother’s was brown. Was it my blue eyes? She and my brother both shared eyes of green. What did she see? Maybe it’s because I’m left-handed. Everyone else uses their right hand. What is it that makes me so horrible that my own mother hates me?
Then one day, when I looked in the mirror, I saw what she saw and I finally understood. I looked into my own blue eyes and I hated myself as much as she did. And on that day I started to believe she was right. I was unlovable.
“Grace, you are worth everything and more, which your mother was incapable of seeing and knowing.”
"Grace, you are mad at your mother for not saving you from the pain and abuse. She deserves your anger, not you. You needed her and she wasn't there for you. You are worth everything and more..... I am here ...I am going nowhere and you will not push me away or make me hate you. I understand when you allow yourself to need and ask for nurturance, your impulse is to fear abandonment, rejection and shame and therefore "hate yourself". You can let go of this....."
“Grace, your self-hate is really the hate that your mother deserved for not protecting, soothing and loving you. Give ME your hate - because I am not making the pain go away. I won't go anywhere if you do. Trust me.”
I am no longer that little girl who’s mother couldn’t love her. I am a grown woman who is trying to love myself. And I still spend time, in front of that mirror, trying to see in myself what the kind people surrounding me see. How could the two be so different?
I see this woman in the mirror, a reflection of myself, but I can’t “feel” her. How do I learn to “feel” her? (Rhetorical question ~ I’m not expecting an answer…)
To the Mirror:
I am Grace.
My name is Grace.