Saturday, 4 April 2009

shattered glass, shattered emotions

The more I tried to dump the broken mirror, the more I tried to ignore its existence, the deeper the cracks appeared to be whenever I tried to look in it.

I couldn’t recognise myself.

Sometimes I would strain my eyes and focus on one point, and relief would wash over me if I managed to catch a glimpse of the girl I born to be. Then I’d blink, and again she was gone, and the tears would flow, the loneliness, the disgust, the burning anger.

This was my life.

I wanted nothing more than to secure the hundreds of pieces of jagged glass, and mold them into a whole. I fantasised about looking at myself without wincing and straining to find a clear image. I wanted not to cut myself whenever i tried to smooth the glass down . I wanted to see a smile, reflecting back at me, whenever I smiled into the mirror, but eventually, I gave up trying to see clearly, and I tried to forget what I carrying around with me. I thought by ignoring it it would go away. I wanted rid of it, but the longer I carried it the deeper the existing cracks seemed to become and others seem to develop.
I wanted to tack it together - but I didn’t know where to begin. The pieces were fragile and sharp and some appeared to be lost – gone - I hadn’t a clue where to find them. When I touched the gaps the missing pieces should have sat, and when my fingers bled - I felt nothing -only hollow. I talked to no one about my mirror, but some could see it was in pieces. Some tried to speak about it, and I ignored them and others didn’t. Some were too frightened their own mirrors would be scratched or tarnished as a result of mine being so damaged, so they ran; self preservation and fear didn’t allow them to stay.

Even as people ran, clinging onto their pieces of solid glass I couldn’t openly admit that my glass was shattered. At first I thought their mirrors were of weak quality, to not with stand my breakages. I mocked, and hissed and fought and screamed at them to take my broken glass from me – but they couldn’t. In my dreams it was no longer part of me – it’d be gone and I’d been replaced with a healthy full image. But they were my dreams, not in my reality. Eventually I accepted it was just me and my mirror and with nothing to lose, except more chipped glass, I was a danger to myself.
I did eventually dive into a pot of glue in an attempt to mend what was broken, yelling like a rabid animal as I begged help from a God I didn’t know existed.
My first step was taken – I admitted I had a problem. And without realising, by simply deciding to see help, I’d taken the second step. The third step was actually approaching the treatment centre and asking to be admitted. At this stage I was ready to do whatever anyone told me to do in order to fix my broken glass.

First I had to be honest. Very honest, which was a new concept for me. It wasn’t enough to tell the people in the rehab that I had my broken mirror tucked away in my pocket. They knew I had, they all had one.They wanted to hear about the scars it had etched onto my body. They wanted me to be willing to hold the pieces of glass in both hands and not be afraid of what I saw. They needed me to want to fix the glass, not so I could see my make-up, or so I could band it around to show people how pretty it looked, now it was mending. No, I needed to want to mend it just for me. That’s all... no one else. It was just so I could look, and see my my reflection as a whole, without fear, shame or tears. They told me I may never be able to make the glass blemish free, they’d never come across that inside or outside of the treatment centre.
They warned me that some pieces would take longer than other to stick and seal together, and that some cracks may always be visable. But with constant polishing, over time, it could become so far removed from its damaged appearance that it may only be when someone came really close, that they would see the cracks. And those cracks would no longer cut or graze me or another person as long as I willing to be vigilant and not ignore them if at times they started to open up again.
From the weakest point in my life, I had to find the greatest strength.

My first gift from them: hope.

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