I didn’t know that this word even existed until I Googled “fear of mirrors.” So that’s basically what eisoptrophobia means: the fear of seeing your own reflection either in a mirror or on any shiny surface.
You know you got it bad, when you suffer from eisoptrophobia. I was a dead man walking. The images of disgust, self loathing and sheer horror were all I could see. I never really existed, well, not to mind’s eye anyway.
It all began with puberty and my eisoptrophobia went far beyond the simple fear of reflecting surfaces. I was seeing myself project back, as being reflected off others. I couldn’t help but see an ugly, pathetic, scumbag lowlife whenever I looked at someone else. Even to this very day. I still avoid eye contact. It always begins at puberty: the acne, the isolation, the hormones and those ‘urges’. On top of what was, the shaming, the gay bashing, the bullying and the name calling. I tucked my penis away between my legs to avoid the humiliation of having an erection. The last thing I needed was to be pointed at for having a ‘cock stand’. I took a knife to it a few times. This god damn dick keeps popping its head up! Didn’t have the guts to go through with it though.
I was so damn scrawny and way too self-aware to ever feel comfortable in my own skin or appreciate whatever attributes nature had blessed me with. Mom enrolled me in a local gym. I’ve kept up the habit ever since. I could have been a character in any Stephen King movie. I was terrified and terrifying.
Despite the torture from others, I just couldn’t inflict torture on to myself. No. I didn’t react outwardly. I simply absorbed it all and kept it inside until I became a black hole. I couldn’t describe it a better way.
I imagine I fell into puberty head first cause I was certainly in a hell of a lot of pain. The headaches were unbearable and not to mention, my heartaches. Oh, my heart aches! I wish someone had told me that failure was a part of success and that it wasn’t a measure of who you I am. I was failing and my dreams were all vanishing like early morning mist under a noon day sun. My college aspirations were slipping between my fingers and I had no prospects. Not even half of a plan B.
I am not going to announce to you that today that I’m healed or my problems have been resolved. Better than that, I’m gonna tell you that I simply look the other way. I turn my head and my mind and I look in the other direction. I ignore those freaking mirrors. I DON’T avoid them. I IGNORE them.
Avoiding is running away. Avoiding is NOT facing. Avoiding is NOT dealing with the issue. While on the other hand, IGNORING, is choosing. IGNORING is deciding. IGNORING is being awaring and taking the power to say STOP. I also ignore those self-detrementing and demeaning thoughts that pollute my system. Today my eisoptrophobia is mild to light. I know its still there. So I use my camera, take a selfie and that flash scares the horrors away.