I pass the mirrors in my apartment, and I cringe, walk faster, I look away – afraid to see what else cancer has taken from me. Sadly, I am beginning to understand that insecurity, pain, nausea are my constant companions lately. There is religious, cultural ritual for some, that cover mirrors after a death. This is how I feel. This tradition believes there is a connection between the soul and the mirror, with a belief that the soul can be reflected or captured by the mirror’s reflective surface. I agree. I feel lost at times. My self perception is distorted.
I was at a school reunion this past weekend, and if I heard one more time, how good I looked, I would have screamed. I know most people mean well, but I get tired of people trying to be polite and tell me how pretty I STILL Look despite that I am going through chemo and radiation. So many people so carelessly say things like ““But you don’t look sick.” *sigh*
I want that magic mirror that the Evil Queen had in Snow White. I want to look in the mirror, and recite, “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all” … and the magic mirror should affirm my dignity, beauty, and self worth! But alas… I have only the distorted mirrors, like the ones at fun houses. The image can be either greatly magnified or diminished in appearance. And I think lately it all depends on how I am feeling. I think many women are dissatisfied with their reflection. For me, right now, its more than thinking I am too fat, too old, etc. Our body image reflects how you feel your body is aesthetically and how attractive you perceive yourself. Right now, my body image is more of a battle for identity than just looking good. Until I can confidently see myself honestly, I will avoid mirrors along with well-meaning friends.