Facing the Mirror

The next morning after breakfast one of the MHA’s Ms. Mary wanted to speak with me one on one.  Ms. Mary was the kindest person there on the floor, and she cared about the patients who were there.  In our early morning group meeting, she said she has worked at this facility for over thirty years. I was shocked because I am barely able to make it a couple of weeks in here without further losing it, and she has been seeing this place for thirty years.  I’m surprised she is not a patient here herself with all the things she may have seen and experienced along the way.  Ms. Mary had some spunk about her.  She was from New York, and she had a personality like a New Yorker.  She took no lip from nobody and did not play any games!  She earned respect from the staff and the patients and was fair to everyone.  If you were cool with her, she was cool with you.  If you got on her bad side, you best believe she was going to show you her bad side clear as day.  She had to of been in her mid 60’s, but she looked like she could have passed for her 40’s.  She was red bone, tall, and slim. She wore glasses with pink and grey tennis shoes along with her MHA all grey uniform.  She could move with the best of them and be sharp as a tack.  She had her shit together I tell you, and you couldn’t run any game on her because she has seen it all.   

We were in the group recreation room together, and Ms. Mary called me over to her desk, which was near the sidewall where you could get a full view of the entire room including the outside patio, which had glass windows.  I sat at the chair next to her desk while holding my journal and pencil in my lap.  Ms. Mary opened my folder and said to me “I wanted to talk to you a little bit about why you are here.  You seem to be very quiet since you’ve been here Miss. Rose. You don’t do much talking do you?”  I told her, not really. I do a lot of writing instead.  She then asked, “how come you don’t talk? Are you shy?” I told her, "yes.  I am shy at times."  She asked, “and other times?”   I replied "well, no one wants to hear what I have to say.  I don’t have to many people to talk with.  I am always the one listening, but never the one doing the talking."  Ms. Mary asked, “who do you typically talk to when you are troubled or upset?”  I suddenly looked up so I can think whom do I trust to share my problems with.  I knew it wasn’t many because I barely trust anyone to know my deepest secrets.  I then told her, “I usually talk to two of my best friends sometimes, but they typically just talk to me about their problems most of the time.”  Ms. Mary then said, “so you don't talk to anyone a lot about what you are dealing with inside huh?”  I answered, “not really.  No one just sits down and listens to me, so I feel like no one cares to hear what’s been going on with me. Sometimes I sit and write or talk to myself about whatever is bothering me.”  I wanted to tell her about the Mad Queen and the Queen of Hearts, but I was too scared of what she might think of me if I told her I had two other voices in my head that go back and forth with each other sometimes.  No one knows about them.  Just I and I figured I might as well keep it that way while I'm here or else they may move me to the C Hall, which is with the people who are severely mentally ill, and they have no touch with reality at all.   I was fine just where I was, and I wanted to keep it that way.  Ms. Mary looked at me with a look of concern.  She then said, “I see here in your chart that you suffer from depression and one of the main things you have been having issues with is coping with a recent breakup with your boyfriend is that correct?”  I then told her, "that’s partially correct.  I do suffer from depression, but he wasn’t my boyfriend." She then asked, “were you dating him?”  I said, "somewhat. We never went on a date, but I would see him from time to time." She asked, “how did you all meet each other.”  I told her, "we met in a music store. They were hosting a music concert fundraiser, and they had different bands performing there.  My younger brothers band was asked to perform there, and that was the first time I saw Richard.” “So his name is Richard huh?” Ms. Mary smiled and said.  I nodded my head and looked down at my journal and waited for her next question.  

I haven't said his name out loud in a long time.  It still hurts each time I hear or say it. I’m not sure why I was able to say it this time to Ms. Mary, but the pain still lingers in my chest when it comes out.   "How did you all start talking at the fundraiser, did he introduce himself to you?" she asked with curiosity.  I then explained to her he did not. I answered while trying to replay the painful yet longing memory in my head.  “He was the MC for the fundraiser, so I just saw him at a distance. I thought he was very handsome the first time I saw him, but I was too shy to go up and start talking to him.  At the time I weighed nearly 300 pounds, so I felt I was not secure with myself and how I looked. So I never spoke to him there. I just stared and watched him talk to the crowd and interact with the different bands that were performing on stage.”  I could sense that Ms. Mary was still confused as to how we started talking when I glanced up at her.  She then lowered her eyebrows waiting for me to tell more of how he and I started talking.  She then asked, “well how did you all start talking to each other if you didn’t speak at the fundraiser?”  I could tell Ms. Mary wanted to know the scoop about Richard and me, so I decided to give a general history as to how we began knowing each other.  I didn’t want to tell too much history about Richard because the story gets complicated, and possibly a little too unbelievable, so I decided to give her just enough to move the conversation along.  I took a deep breath and starred back down at my journal and began to tell her the story.   

“Well, we started talking on Facebook and then Instagram back in November of 2015.  One day I was doing some browsing on my Facebook, and I had seen a post he had put up on his page.  It had been three years since I had seen him last at the fundraiser and I completely forgot I had added him on Facebook.  I don’t even remember adding him, but somehow there he was.  I started liking a couple of his pics and commenting on them.  It was very light and general.  He later started responding to me under my comments on his pics.  I was a little shocked about it because he has like over 5000 friends on Facebook and so many people like and comment on his pics, I didn’t even think he would notice anything I said… but he did.   

One day when I looked at my phone, it said you have a Facebook poke from Richard Songs.  My face had lit up in shock because I was surprised he was hitting me up, but then I was like through a Facebook poke? Don’t anybody poke no more. Anyways, I didn’t think anything of it, so I poked back and left it at that.  A little later on that day, I saw he had poked me again.  So I was thinking maybe he was testing me out and seeing if I wanted to talk to him or not.  I’m not on Facebook that much, but I am on Instagram quite a bit.  So I just went on Instagram and searched his name, and there he was.  So I went ahead and followed him, and he had followed me back a little while later.  From there we just started liking each other’s pictures and commenting on them.  Based off some of the photos he savored and some of the comments he left, I was getting the vibe he might have been feeling me.  So I took it upon myself to send him a DM and told him that I loved his pics.  

Ms. Mary then asked, “What’s a DM?"   

I then giggled and said that’s a direct message on Instagram,  meaning a private message to him.  She then said "oh, okay. You know I'm not with all this stuff you young kids are into these days.  Go ahead."  

I then smiled and said yea, so I sent him a DM and told him I loved his pics.  I then checked back a little while later to see if he had responded to me, but he didn’t.  It only showed that he read the message.  So I thought it was kind of rude of him not to respond when given a compliment, so I wrote him again and said you’re welcome.  Shortly after I heard my phone go off and it said I had a direct message from Richard Songs.  My face then lit up with excitement and when I open the message it said thank you.  I smiled and left it at that.  It was about a month later like mid-December I saw he had put a post up of him and his son saying they were on their way to Japan because he had to perform at a concert with one of the artists he was working with.   

Ms. Mary then asked, "he sings for them?" 

"No, he plays the piano," I answered.   
“I see, a musician,” she said.   

"Right," I said. "When I saw that he was leaving out of the country, I decided to send him a DM later on.  I asked him did he make it safely.  He then responded the next morning and said not yet; we leave on the twentieth.  He then said text me and gave me his number. I was so excited that he gave me his number, but I tried to play it cool and text him a couple of hours later.  From there we started talking back and forth through text. I was happy to be talking to him and shocked that he wanted to talk to me.  I mean he was very popular in the music industry and hung out with all the big names in the celebrity world.  So I wanted to enjoy every moment he gave me."   

As I was telling her this, I caught myself smiling just thinking about how things were in the beginning with us. "Ms. Mary, I was happy with him, and I enjoyed the little time I was able to spend with him.  He would always send me flirty messages, and I would always send him sexy pictures.  He admired my beauty, and I admired his heart.  In the mornings he would wake me up with a good morning text, and at night I will send him a goodnight kiss with a rose emoticon.  I enjoyed watching him work and travel around the world. Of course, I wanted to be with him, but I was okay with him being away from me as long as he was doing what he loved which was making great music.  Seeing him happy made me happy, and I supported every accomplishment he made.  He would be so excited to tell me the great things he was doing or being acknowledged for.  He would be like a little kid on Christmas Day smiling from ear to ear.  There wasn’t a day that went by I didn’t talk to God about him.  I prayed for so many blessings to come upon him and his children and so many doors to be opened for them. I saw he had greatness and destiny over his life and I fell in love with it.  I fell in love with who he was and who he could become.  Yes, he had accomplished so many amazing things so far, but I knew he wasn’t finished. He had more work to be done, and I supported him every step of the way. I might have wanted it more than he did.  I believed in him.”   

Ms. Mary sat back in her chair and asked, "How did you go from being overjoyed and in love with him to being heartbroken?”  My eyes then lowered back to my hands lightly holding my journal, and I softly said, “I honestly don’t know.  At first, things were great, and he was saying and doing everything right. Then all of a sudden he started pulling back and started treating me differently.  It was like he totally flipped on me as if he never knew me.  I tried to reach out to him over and over to find to what I did wrong, but he just ignored me.”   

My heart sunk in my chest at the sound of my voice cracking and me trying not to get emotional about the memory of him leaving me.  My eyes started to tear up, and I began to wipe them with one hand at a time, while still gripping on to my journal.  Ms. Mary then said, “Ms. Rose I see that you are in a lot of pain because of this.  I’ve been there myself, but it was with my ex-husband.  It was all roses in the beginning, but after ten years of marriage, he started to pull away and began acting differently with me.  It wasn’t like him to stay out late, and not call.  There were times he would be gone the entire weekend without any notice. If I asked he would say he was working late or taking a business trip. I wanted to trust and believe him, but of course, that women’s intuition started kicking in and before you know it I was inspector gadget and found out all the dirt he had been in.  Yes it hurt me to the core to find out he was unfaithful to me, and I didn’t know how I was going to go on, but I knew I had to overcome the pain.  Part of me wanted to stay with him because I loved him so much, but I knew my worth and that I deserved so much better than to stay with a man who didn’t love me enough to be faithful and honor our marriage.”   

Ms. Mary then reached over and placed her hand on the top of my hand and softly gripped it.  As I sat there looking at my journal with tears flowing out my eyes, she then said: "look at me."  I slowly lifted my head to see her smile and the gentle warmth she had in her eyes.  “Ms. Rose, sometimes you have to leave people in the past because everyone is not meant to be apart of your future. You can't take everyone with you, and you certainly can’t take all of the pain people have caused you along the way either.  If people truly do love you, they will be there with you.  Through the good and the bad, nothing can separate you because of love.  Yes, you may fight and disagree, but you love each other enough to stick it out and overcome those hurdles that tend to pop its head up from time to time.  When you don’t communicate what you are feeling inside you are a walking time bomb.  You are slowly killing yourself, and at any moment you could detonate and explode. This is part of the reason why you are here Ms. Rose.  You have been holding in not only this pain this man has caused you but also all the other pain anyone else has caused you in your lifetime.”   

I then looked back at my journal and began to cry because what she was saying was so accurate.  I never really told anyone about all of the pain I have endured and let anyone know my story.  I only wrote about it, but never spoke it aloud for anyone to hear or notice me.   

Ms. Mary then sat back in her chair and closed my folder.  She folded both her hands on top of the binder and looked at me and said, “Ms. Rose do you know your worth? Do you love yourself?” I softly said “yes.”  Ms. Mary then said “I don’t believe you do Ms. Rose.  I see your mother named you Queen, but I don’t believe you see yourself as a Queen, am I wrong?” I then said “no ma’am, I never felt like I was a Queen.  No one ever treated me like a Queen beside my grandmother.”   

Ms. Mary then said “Queen, when you go back to your room before we leave for lunch, I want you to look in the mirror and say to yourself that you are a Queen.  I want you to say it until you begin to believe it.  I know you have made a lot of mistakes along the way, we all have, but your mistakes do not define you.  You have to start loving yourself otherwise people will continue to treat you any kind of way and overlook you. You must speak up for yourself my dear and be heard. When Queens speak, everyone listens.  Hold your head up my dear, because you have a crown on your head and it must not fall off.  You are going to experience some pain and setbacks in your life, but you are still royalty, and nothing can take that away do you understand me?”   

“Yes’ ma’am” I answered.  

“Good. Now, what’s that book you holding there in your hands?" Ms. Mary asked.  I told her, “it’s just my journal.  I like to write a lot of the things I’m feeling or think about in here.  Sometimes I write about my day-to-day experiences like things I encounter.”  Ms. Mary then asked, “Are you trying to become an Author?”   

I said “yes, it’s always been a dream of mine to write books. I went to school for Creative Writing in college, but I never really went after it as a career once I graduated.”   

Ms. Mary said, “You look like a writer too. I can see you doing that.  If that is something you want to do in life Queen, you should go after it.  Don’t stop until you reach your goal. Writing is a great way to express yourself and help you release anxiety and emotions you tend to keep bottled up inside.  Keep writing my dear, and you will go very far.”   

I smiled and held my journal close to my heart and said: “I certainly will, Thank you.”   Ms. Mary said "go ahead back to your room and get ready for dinner, and don’t forget to do what I told you to do. I am a Queen!”   

"Yes, Ms. Mary." 
When I got back into my room, I laid my journal down on the bed and walked into the bathroom and closed the curtain behind me for some privacy.  I looked in the mirror, and I saw my reflection staring back at me.  I tried to find something that I liked about myself and to focus on.  I looked at my hair, which was in Singhalese longspun twist down my back.  My complexion was a silky honey brown; my dark brown eyes rose from behind my long eyelashes, and my lips were in between plump and thin…to me they were just right.  I was always told I had a beautiful smile even though I had a gap in between my teeth.  I hated my gap, but everyone thinks it’s the cutest little thing. Overall I was beautiful, but it wasn’t my face I didn’t like. It was my body that I was having issues accepting.  However, I am not here to critique my body. I have done that million and one times.  I am here to do my homework that Ms. Mary assigned me to me.  Let’s get this over with, so I can head on to lunch.   

I am a Queen. 
I am a Queen. 
I am a Queen.  
I am a Queen.  
I am a Queen. 

          “Look at you; you look foolish, why are you even wasting your time doing this Ms. Queen.  Queens have Kings, and where is your King? Where is he huh?” yelled the Mad Queen.  "You look utterly ridiculous… I am a Queen; I am a Queen, no you are a fat ass bitch who lost King!”  
          “Stop it, Mad Queen, said Queen of Hearts…all you do is speak negatively of her, and you have nothing positive ever to say. Everything you say is a lie, and you are just bitter and angry with yourself.”  Oh, I am a liar huh, okay… I’m a liar… let's prove how much of a liar I am then… Point One.  Where is Queen Rose now? Let's look around now guys. She is in a fucking psychiatric ward for Christ sake.  Second point. Let's look at Queen Rose body next.  She lost a whopping one hundred pounds and guess what, she still fat."   
          "Stop it," said the Queen of Hearts, "stop it now!"  "Look what you are doing to her." 
          "No, wait. The last point for right now, let's take one more look around.  Where is, King? Kinggggg? Where are you, King? Come out, Come out wherever you are. I’ll tell you where he is; he is out in fucking LA banging some other chick right now with that big ass dick that our lovely Miss Queen Rose right here let fly right the fuck out her hand.”   
          “MAD QUEEN! I forbid you to say another word this instance,” screamed Queen of Hearts. “Queen Rose, I’m sorry for the things the Mad Queen says to you.  You must not take what she says to heart.  Please believe you are beautiful, and it is not your fault that Richard left.  Don’t you cry, dry your eyes my beautiful Queen Rose.”   

"It’s true I said while balling into my hands still facing the mirror Ms. Mary told me to look at.  Everything the Mad Queen says is all true.  All I ever wanted to do was love and be loved. I accomplished loving, but I failed at being loved.  King is gone, and I am not a Queen. I am not a Queen anymore because he is gone.  Because a Queen has a King and my King is gone. Both of you leave me alone now. Just go, go away, please" I said.   

"But Queen Rose it’s not true," pleaded the Queen of Hearts. "It's not true I tell you."   

"GO AWAY NOW" I screamed with tears pouring from my eyes!  There was once again silence in the bathroom as I stood there wiping the tears from my eyes.   

I suddenly heard a knock on the door, and I jumped when heard a voice say “Is everything alright in here Ms. Rose. I heard you in the hallway, and I wanted to come to check on you.”   

“Yes, everything is all right in here, just doing some individual therapy. I will be right out.  I’m just fine.”  “Okay if you need anything just let me know, we are lining up outside to head for dinner now," said the MHA still sounding concerned.  “Okay thank you for checking on me, I will be right out,” I said from behind the curtain.  I then heard the door slightly close behind her as she left out the room.  I took a deep breath, washed my face with water and I walked out to grab my journal leaving behind this moment, right here in this mirror.



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