So when I was five we moved in with my mother’s parents. I had already proven myself to be a difficult child at this point, but with my father in search of a job after leaving the navy the family decided it was best to move in with extended family while I finished kindergarten.
Now I mentioned I was a difficult child. I suppose that this would be putting things rather lightly. I was a horror. I had temper tantrums that would scare a sane person out of ever thinking of having children of their own. What made these tantrums particularly horrible when we lived with my grandparents was the mirror in my bedroom.
In my room I had one of those closets with the sliding doors, and one of these doors was a full length mirror. When I would be sent to my room, crying and in the full throws of a tantrum, I would sit on my bed and watch myself and the way I looked during these episodes. I’m not sure what my fascination was with seeing my eyes red and puffy, or my face contorted with screaming and crying. I do know however, that the mirror created for me a way to punish my family more by extending the tantrums well past the point where I should have calmed down.
I think at times I was actually calm as I screamed and cried, watching myself in the mirror. I would sit close to it on the floor, so I could see every detail in my face as I cried and screamed. Other times I sat far against the opposite wall on my bed and looked to see what my tiny face looked like at a distance. I tried different angles, and I would even at times sit where I could only see one half of my face while I continued my tantrum.
Eventually, they figured out that the mirror was what continued these tantrums for longer than a few minutes, extending them well into time periods unhealthy to be carrying on with so much passion. Then the mirror was put behind the other closet door. Though, now I must admit that once they had left the room I would slide out the door just enough to see my face and continue my crying for just a little longer than I should have. Then I would quietly replace the door and calm myself down.
I’m not sure why I was so fascinated with how I looked as I cried. I was not interested in how I looked not crying. I did not practice making faces into that mirror which were happy, or scary. For me that mirror held one purpose, and it was to cry into. I never cared to check my outfits as other girls might have, instead I cried. What’s more is that I never cried into another mirror, just that one closet door mirror at my grandparent’s house. It was my crying mirror, and once we moved, I suppose I didn’t need one anymore.