To the girl I once was,
I stand before the mirror looking into your eyes, wishing I would have learned to love my own reflection a long time ago. When I was only a girl, I settled because I didn’t yet believe in myself. I didn’t know, that girl would become, this woman I am today. In writing this, my eyes find tears in the memory of the girl, I once was…
I think of the internal scars, I gave myself, from hating my reflection for so long. I think about the ways I picked myself apart when I was younger. Goodness children were so cruel. When they made mean comments towards me, in my mind, I agreed. When they called me ugly, I knew I was. When I was hurt, I believed I deserved it.
I didn’t know how to love myself, the girl I was, because I didn’t know what love was. I was ashamed of myself. I was self-conscious about my weight, having less money, and being different from those around me. I felt damaged from being sexual abused and it made me feel dirty and shameful. I was embarrassed that I grew up in a trailer. I was angry at my parents for divorcing. I was angry that my father moved to another country. I was resentful towards my mother for making us grow up so fast. I was sad from the overwhelming amount of loneliness I continuously felt. I was jealous of my friends who had family and received encouragement. I was envious of their support, their relationships full of trust, and their happiness. I was so scared of being hurt by anyone else that I became cold towards others.
I was mean to myself and other people. I hated the world. More than once I wanted to kill myself. I can see the girl I was, in the memories of my mind, I so badly want to tell her, “It’s going to be okay.” If only to whisper in her ear, “Learn to forgive them all and let go of the pains you carry. That this living Hell is only as permanent, as you allow it to be.”
I see the young woman who felt abandoned by the world. I see her broken heart that was shattered to many times to count, by all the people who should have protected it. I feel the tears she shed as her soul broke when God called her son home to be angel. I feel her anger for being hopeful for a family to begin with. I feel her hopelessness, as she dealt with one health struggle after another. I feel her fears and anxiety in her thoughts, “What will happen if I can’t take care of myself? Who would miss me if I died?” I know her self-loathing ways that were hidden away in the corners of her life and panic that set in every chance it got.
I wish I could hug that girl, long and hard. I wish I could slap some sense in that girl… I wish I would have been easier on that girl. I want to tell her I’m sorry for not loving me, then. I want to tell her, to learn how to trust again. I want to tell her, to embrace change and don’t be afraid. I want to tell her, that the bad things that happened to her, weren’t her fault. I want to tell her, to forgive herself, for feeling sorry for herself. I want to tell her, to have more compassion. If only I could tell her… Please stop hating yourself.
To the girl I was, I’m sorry that it took me so long to learn my self-worth. I am sorry that I hid behind a disguise, with a tall wall around my heart because I didn’t know how to fight for more.
To the girl I was, thank you. Thank you for not giving up, even when you wanted to. Thank you for waking up and deciding to learn how to fight, grow, and change. Thank you for the scars you carry, that got me here.
To that girl I was…. Look how far we have come. I’m finally learning how to be nice to myself. To be okay with my reflection. To love myself without hesitation and restrictions. To that girl I was, I’ve learned to no longer feel ashamed of you, but to be proud of you for fighting to become the woman I am.
The woman in your reflection