That Girl in Mirrorland by Kayla Kofmehl
“She will be silent today.” That’s what I tell myself as I slither out from between my sheets. I turn to my left and she is there, taunting me with her critical eyes. I cringe. What horrible words will she utter today.
“Fat.” she whispers. “Ugly. Unlovable. Waste of skin.”
I struggle under the hefty weight of those words, as they are added to the others I have heard in my life. I pack them to class with my books. I bring them to work hidden under my slacks and vest. These words are buried under my rain coat as I scurry home to hide from leering eyes that might see what she sees, that Girl in Mirriorland. I keep my eyes cast downward. I don’t want anyone to notice just how weak I’m becoming under this weight, this unbearable weight of awful words that is always existent.
I return from my day with the same question in my head. ”Why does she hate me?” Then I remember, I had ice cream yesterday. Why would I do that? I know how she hates it, that girl in Mirrorland. She hates it when I eat. I pause just inside the door, still carrying those words on my back. I feel those words growing exponentially. My legs begin to wobble because I can see it. That full length piece of glass that pulls me forward like a first kiss. Powerful and daunting and all too terrifying. I step forward.
“Disgusting!” she hisses. My eyes begin to well. Why do I do this to myself? Why can’t I control my hunger? Why can’t I make her happy? The Girl in the Mirror is staring with loathing.
“You’re a sorry excuse for a woman. Women are suppose to be skinny!” My back is beginning to bow. My body cannot take the weight of these hurtful words much longer. “Sick!Sick!Sick!” My back is convulsing from this hate that I have carried all of my life. It’s taking it’s toll. “Women are suppose to be strong!” My knees buckle and I scream.
“I AM STRONG! Can’t you see that!? Can’t you see that I’ve been carrying your words all of my life!? Can’t you see that, Girl in Mirrorland! Can’t you see how strong your sickening words have made me!?” I stand again. I feel those words crash to the ground as they tumble off of my shoulders. I’m done succumbing to her words. Today she is silenced, that Girl in Mirrorland.
“Strength in silence is what I the Middle Women Project is giving me. I’m not confident. I don’t know what it’s like to look in the mirror and say to myself, “Damn, I look good.” But I’m getting there. I’m gaining the strength to look in the mirror and not call myself hideous. The strength to silence my inner daemons The strength to get up out of bed and not let the monsters inside of me diminish what little self confidence I have left. The strength to silence those voices in my head that are telling me what isn’t true. I am strong and I am pretty.” -Kayla