The Woman in the Mirror
By: Ireland Lorelei
Sitting looking out at the deep, blue ocean. Watching the waves break against the shore. I set there for what must have been hours in complete silence. I had gotten lost in the waves, or maybe I had gotten lost somewhere in the deep blue sea, but I had gotten lost. Ironically, I had gotten lost in thoughts, while I felt like I was lost in life. Time was passing me by. It was like I was just floating through the days. Like I was sitting on top of the clouds looking down and not even recognizing who I was.
I have been beaten, abused, and mistreated for years. I have no self-esteem, no self-confidence, and honestly I don’t know who I am anymore. Once a confident women, very independent and strong, has been ripped apart by mental, physical and yes, even sexual abuse by the man that vowed to love her, provide for her, and take care of her, until death due us part. I feel worthless. I feel ugly and I feel like I don’t deserve love.
When I look in the mirror all I see is this shell of a woman. I don’t see the woman who once loved life and was happy in her own skin. I don’t see the sexy blue eyes that used to stare back at me, just like the color that they got lost in watching the deep blue sea. I don’t see the woman who wanted to succeed in her career and be the best that she could be. Who is this woman I see in the mirror now? How do I get ‘me’ back, even if I can?
As the white foam kept forming on the tops of the waves and pushing up on the sand, I kept praying, ‘Lord, help me find me. Help me to not take me for granted anymore. Let me realize my worth again.’ The more I prayed, the more I cried. I had given forgiveness to him, and even to myself. Now I am dealing with my mental scars. The ones that no one can see. The ones that my therapist helps me untangle the knots to find the starting points and ending points. Now I am dealing with my PTSD, my depression, and my anxiety. Never in a million years did I expect to be at this place.
Day after day, and month after month, I have gone through this same process. I sit and watch the beauty of the ocean, listen to the sounds that bring relaxation, and pray for God to help me see ‘me’ again when I look in the mirror. I pray for help to get back to the place where I can live life again and live it to the fullest. Every day I tell myself that this will be the day that I will go home different. But it never happens.
The waves are crashing on the beach. The current and rip tide are too dangerous to get in. The sand is blowing from the wind coming off of the water from the south. The depths of the ocean seem to be screaming with a roaring angry voice today. Today reminds me of my abusive past. The angry, hatred, pain, and hurt. There is a hurricane that will side swipe the coastline tonight.
The next day I walk out onto the beach and there is so much destruction. The sand has covered the sidewalks and walkways down to the water, and there are minor damages to some of the houses and the end of the pier. The aftermath of the storm. The beach is left damaged but not broken. It is still here. Still alive and breathing. You could see that it wasn’t going to let the hurricane keep it from continuing to be the place where people loved to go relax and have a good time. It wasn’t going to let the hurricane keep it down.
Two months go by and that same spot on the beach has started to look like the beautiful beach it was before the hurricane. All of the sand has been removed off the sidewalks and walkways, the pier has been fixed, and the houses have started to be rebuilt. This is just like my life I thought. That’s when the real reflection started to take place. As I looked out on the ocean this time, I saw it in a new light. I saw it from the eyes of someone/something that was bigger than I was, stronger than I was, but something stronger than it had come along and caused so much damaged, and yet it didn’t seem to skip a beat.
As I set there thinking about my own situation. I thought, ‘why can’t I bounce back just like the ocean did after the storm?’ For a woman, I have always been one of the strongest ones. I have always been independent and never needed anyone, especially a man for anything. I never had any self-confidence or self-esteem issues. Why was I going to let this man, husband or not, destroy me.
I got up off the sand where I had been sitting, got back into my car and drove the five miles to my house. When I got there I went straight upstairs to look into the face of the woman looking back at me from the mirror. I was finally able to see ‘me’ again. The woman before the abuse. I was once again able to see the strong woman who didn’t take anyone’s crap. The woman who knew her worth and knew she deserved to be loved. This woman looking back at me was a confident and independent woman. I was finally able to take back my life and live it to the fullest. I decided at that moment that I would never take me for granted anymore. I was going to be like the ocean and bounce back better than before. I was going to be true to myself, and live for myself.