When you look in the mirror, what do you see?
Do you see someone you love? Yourself.
Are you able to look in your eyes?
Or do you see your abuser, who shares some physical characteristics with you?
Or do you see someone shameful?
Or do you see someone you despise?
Or do you see someone who is not beautiful enough?
For the person who has had a traumatic past, looking in the mirror can be extremely unpleasant.
You may find yourself looking into your abuser’s eyes, or see the set of their mouth, and be frightened. Or you may see any other physical characteristics you have in common with them that lead you to think you are looking at them.
You may see someone with a lot of faults. You may look in the mirror and see the things your abuser has said about your shortcomings. Your deficits. The things that make you unlovely.
If you see someone with faults, how can you look in the mirror and love, or even like, what you see?
If you look in your eyes, do you turn away from that gaze? Do you feel uncomfortable making eye contact with yourself?
Does eye contact feel threatening?
Does it feel shameful?
If you have suffered abuse in the past, particularly in childhood, it can be really difficult to look at yourself in the mirror.
Some of that difficulty stems from a belief that you are a defective, or shameful, person.
Some can stem from the difficulty of looking in the mirror and seeing features you share in common with your abuser. In that case looking at yourself can feel like your abuser is looking at you. No surprise then that looking at yourself can be frightening.
If your abuser used to make eye contact to intimidate or frighten you, then eye contact with yourself can trigger those feelings of fear and intimidation.
So what can you do about it?
The best way to resolve this problem is to resolve the issues around the abuse you suffered.
Doing that often involves counselling from a trained trauma counsellor who can help you claim yourself as worthy of seeing in the mirror.
If you would like to talk to me about how I can help you with your difficulty looking in the mirror, please contact me on 0409396608 or email@example.com
If you would like to learn more, I write a regular newsletter with interesting information, tips, information on courses, and the occasional freebie. At the moment I have a free mindfulness meditation for anyone who signs up to my newsletter. This meditation offers a way to safely explore your feelings and learn to be okay with them. If you would like to subscribe please click on the link here: http://eepurl.com/g8Jpiz