Breaking the Mirror : A Journey to Healing

Did my ama feel as I did as she stood in front of her mirror gazing at the reflection that looked back at her? Does that image haunt her of all the struggles that women before her went through? Did she ever think about how fat she looked and how any jeans that she bought never fit well around her body, or does she not have to wrestle with her self-doubts and insecurities constantly as I do? I wonder if her reflection ever spoke back to her and reminded her that she was never gonna be enough; no matter how much weight she lost, or how thin she looked, or how little she ate, it would never be enough. Or does all she ever feel is the way her mom made her feel, just like she did to me?

The answers to these questions made me realize I spent almost a decade wanting fairer skin, a thinner body, and a picture-perfect waistline. For a very long time, I envied people who had bodies that were very different from mine, and every passing day, was just a reminder of how "ugly" I've become. To grapple with the inadequacy of not being able to conform to the beauty standards, I somehow then set this false narrative that made me believe that I had to constantly sexualize myself  if I wanted to feel valued by those around me.

But the expectation of being more "beautiful" wasn't all that altered the way I viewed myself; it was also the hands that touched me when I screamed "NO"; it was the voices that yelled, "I'm nothing more than my body," it was men around me who pushed me into this never-ending cycle of self-doubt and self-blame. The emotional burden of carrying the weight of abuse added yet another complexity to the pattern of self-destruction that made me feel that I was not good enough in any aspect of my life. The more I criticized myself, the more I believed I would be blamed for my suffering. Now, the restless pursuit of having an "untouched" body became an insurmountable challenge that I never could achieve.

As I reflect upon the pain that I've carried for so long, I can't help but empathize with my mom and all the women who came before her for the sacrifices that they had to make for me to be as resilient as I am today. I thank them for all that they did and all that they had to endure for me to be where I am today. I now clearly see the legacy of self-hate that's been passed down the generations through the inheritance of pain and insecurity. The mirror that I had stared at for so long now reflected a distorted image of my mom; it showed her struggles and her scars amidst her silent suffering, and this has left me with an overwhelming sense of guilt because, for a very long time, I couldn't see her for what she was. It pains me to see how wrong my perception of her was.

At the age of 20, I now finally have found my peace, and the mirror that I looked at for so long has started to reflect a happier and more self-assured version of myself. I  have learned to acknowledge my past without blaming myself for all that I had to go through. I, now more than ever, am aware of the patterns that held me captive for so long and have indeed embarked on a journey of self-discovery, growth, and happiness.


  1. Amazingly written. Such a good read.

  2. I hope the sense of self love stays forever with you

  3. it's written so beautifully, it felt every other sentences are healing inner self your and answering your questions.



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