They say you never truly see yourself. You see a version of your body in a mirror or a photograph. Everyone else around you is able to see how you truly look. But can they see something in your soul that you are unable to see?
The version of myself that I am seeing at this time is a horrendous, ugly, tortured form of myself.
I don’t know if it’s because of all that is going on in my life. Arguments with my daughter’s father, financial struggles, ongoing issues with my mother, possible depression…or if I know something deep down in my soul that no one else can see.
I have started to date since I have technically been single for about a year; the occasional sleepover with my daughter’s father happened, but it is now officially over and I am ready to move on. Of course, there is always a mental struggle with dating while having a little one. I don’t go on dates when it is my week to have her, but I still wonder if I am doing the right thing. I have been wondering lately if I am doing the right thing – in general.
A man I went on a few dates with told me that I am amazing, beautiful, blah blah. It was super sweet and I can see the sincerity in his gorgeous honey-colored eyes. But is he looking at the real me, or the filtered photo version of me?
In my last relationship, I was fucked up. He told me constantly that I was a liar, I wasn’t the lovely person he met, I watched too much TV, I use people. In addition to that, I was betrayed by my mother who took his side, naturally, without even talking to me. Not that this is about taking sides, I am just finally seeing that he is manipulative. And being the type of person who doesn’t complain to everyone about everything, I never told my family anything that was going on until I finally had to defend myself. But I felt so alone and didn’t know who to trust.
I started to hate myself. I mean, what else can you do when your own mother brought you down your entire life? Then the person you thought was the one you would marry berated you for years? I am a strong person and generally don’t let anyone get to me, but no one can withstand years of hearing you’re a terrible person without starting to believe it.
So, I suppose it’s hard for me to believe Alex when he tells me all of these wonderful things. Who is he looking at? Is he looking at the real me, or someone with a cute little Snapchat filter?
Or maybe I am elated that someone is seeing me for the person I always thought I was. A nurturing, caring, hot-headed, passionate woman.
I hope in the future I find someone who can tell me what I look like in person when I am looking at a demonic photograph of myself. Maybe my daughter will be that person. I know I will be that person for her, forever and always.