The Monster in the Mirror: My first encounter


My first fake encounter with the Monster in the Mirror: I bought her a gift she didn’t like. She accused me of “really buying a gift for myself.” I had done no such thing… in fact, I don’t even remember what the gift was. I just remember how nasty and ungracious she was about it, all the nastier because I had used money gifted to me for my birthday to get it for her. The accusation stayed with me. I am now an adept and sensitive gift giver – it’s rare when I have a miss.

I also know now that was pure projection on her part. Nothing makes me feel quite as sick to my stomach as a box of “gifts” from her.

I have been accused of the monster many times. When I moved to Mankato, I was lonely and without resources. The ex-boyfriend that promised me he would help – or  at least be around – demonized me to everyone he knew, and no one seemed able to recognize that I actually hadn’t done anything to him – he just conceived an ill opinion of me, not based on my behavior in any way, but based on how he felt about women in general. When I started to forge a friendship with his best friend, I was accused of trying to “get between them” even though I never even spoke of him when I hung out with  his friend. Jeremy just decided that’s what I was doing this, based on his twisted belief that all women were exactly the  same.

I don’t do things to control people. In situations where I must persuade – which is, in fact, different from manipulation, Ido not punish people for not doing what I want them to do.

My problem isn’t any inner monster, not really. First, the one awful thing I did once – I hit my dog – I still feel remorse for. Other than that, despite people working really hard to get in my head and make me hate myself: you’re crazy, you’re a stalker (after making it look like I was by misrepresenting phone calls over the course of one year as one week/month), you’re being irrational (after saying something overtly rude and then refusing to admit she said it), you look like a pig, you’re greedy, you’re slothful, you’re a slob, you need to learn to compromise… (when I won’t do something where I’m the only person that loses…) I realize that this is other people being horrible and trying to convince me to blame myself. I like myself… so what I dwell on is why I’m the target of these mounting shitty little injustices. I am coming to understand that I am not alone in these things – far from it. What makes me different is that I know these behaviors are bullshit and I see way to fight these behaviors instead of dismissing it as “people being people.”