As I review my pictures from my enchanted night out with the husband - his squadron Christmas party - I wonder why it is I don't see that woman in the mirror.
When I look in the mirror - I see a monster. An ugly, overweight, zitty-faced, pointy-nosed monster.
But as I look at this picture - I see a beautiful young woman. The kind of beauty that I'd kill for. If this woman was my friend - I'd slap her silly for saying the things that I think when I look in the mirror.
Being truthful with myself, I don't see this woman in the mirror.
I see this girl.
And this girl is sad.
And always left out.
This girl doesn't get invited to parties. She be-friends those who have felt the pain that she feels when she hears the things people whisper when she walks by. She looks for the kindred pain in others' eyes and immediately LOVES them for whoever or whatever they are. She pretends that the names the school-kids came up with are clever. Maybe she even laughs along - it hurts less to laugh at herself than to cry.
This girl has been singled out, left out, and pushed out her entire childhood.
And this girl is who I am deep down inside.
Sometimes she wins out - and I lose control and find myself 3000 calories into a feast I hadn't planned on. And then the grown woman feels pity for the little girl. And instead of hugging her, be-friending her, telling her she is beautiful - I'm ashamed to say that the grown woman scorns the little girl. Yells at her for being so damned fat and ugly. Bemoans all the pounds that this little girl has caused the grown woman to gain.
It is exhausting trying to mend the bridge between little me and grown me. And I don't even know if I ever will be able to maintain the ground I've gained.
Why do I hate the little girl as much as her classmates did? Why do I make her feel even less than they did? Can't I see that she is hurting? That all she wants is a hug? A smile? A friend?
I am the monster. I've allowed myself to believe what the childhood Me has always heard from her peers.
I have become like those monsters I used to suffer. I have never believed in myself. I've agreed with the name-callers. I've told that little girl that she is what they say she is.
And that is about as ugly as it gets.