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Dysmorphic Deceptions

The girl tensed at her reflection. She occasionally approved of who she saw staring back in the opulent mirror. Although today was certainly not one of those instances, the girl decided as she clenched her jaw. The figure on the other side of the glass was deeply flawed. She narrowed her eyes in disgust at her unacceptable reflection.

However, the girl could not rid herself of the displeasing figure glaring back at her. No, she was stuck with herself. For the better and the worse, the beautiful and the grotesque self-perceptions. It was an immensely complicated pattern the girl regularly cycled through.

‘Why am I not enough? Why was I happy with myself yesterday but repulsed today?’ The girl thought to herself, pain knotted deep in her chest. Once again, the mirror caught the girl’s attention. Rage and resentment flooded her emotions as she stared into it. Without thinking, the girl drove her clenched fist directly into the reflective glass that caused her so much self-doubt.

Before she could register what she had done, the glass mirror exploded around her fist. Jagged shards rained onto the ground, coating the girl’s bare feet in a thin layer of sparkling glass.

She froze in place and studied the broken pieces of glass in awe. However, when she caught her reflection in one of the shards, the girl’s self-hatred flared up once more. Her admiration of the beautifully shattered glass turned to resentment.

“You can break the mirror into a thousand pieces, but the reflection you see will not change.” A voice called out behind the girl.

Slowly, the girl turned around. Her gaze landed on a tall, shadowy figure. “Where did you come from?”

“You invited me here.” The figure replied to the girl.

“No, I didn’t.” The girl countered, wariness spreading through her expression.

“You have lost sight of yourself. That intense sense of deceptive dysmorphia brought me here.” The shadowy figure responded.

Taking a step back, the girl winced as she stepped on a sliver of fragmented glass. “Who are you?”

“My name is Perception.” The figure answered calmly.

“Oh,” the girl replied faintly. She turned back to the ruined mirror, tracing her finger along the remaining pieces of glass still attached to the intricate frame. “What do you want?” The girl asked as she caught Perception’s gaze in the lingering mirror fragments.

“I desire nothing from you. Although, you seem to want something from me.” Perception answered slowly.

“Why can’t I have a singular self-perception? Why must my interpretation of appearance relentlessly change from exquisite to horrid and everything in between? How do I get over it?” The girl sighed deeply, her shoulders slumped.

“It is your opinion, your judgment. No matter how biased or obstructed it may be, it will have alterations. Logic is useful to disperse unreasonable parts of dysmorphic deceptions. Challenge the thoughts that make you doubt your appearance.” Perception paused and analyzed the girl for a moment. “Question why you are not pleased with something. Then assess if you are working on improving it or accepting the matter. Appearances can, at times, have developments for personal satisfaction. Some are perfect as they are; therefore, really what they need is acceptance and appreciation.”

The girl crossed her arms and thought over Perception's answer before she replied. “So I should just question everything? What if I can’t accept my reflection?”

“Question the irrational changes in your interpretation that are more likely due to high or low moods. Self-acceptance takes time. It is important to remember that you are working toward your best self and deserve appreciation.” Perception advised as his gaze lingered on the broken glass that littered the floor.

“I suppose I do appreciate myself.” The girl murmured as she rested her forehead in her palm.

“As you should.” Perception answered.

“Thank you.” The girl replied. Though when she turned in his direction, Perception had vanished. The girl spun in a circle, confirming that she was once again alone in her ring of shattered mirror fragments.

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