Your Reflection

When looking into a body of water, what do you see?

You see yourself and the environment around you.

Are you able to see someone worthy?  Someone healthy?  Someone who can accomplish great things?

What about when you see your reflection in the others around you?  What do you see?

If what is being mirrored back to you is a person worthy of love and respect, a reflection of your strengths and your greatness, you will likely agree and walk with your head held high.  Ready to take on the world.  If the people around you are reflecting something different, maybe it’s time to change who is around you.

Sounds easy.  But what if the people you have around you say that they love you and that they will take care of you, but the reflection does not match?  If you believe that you are unworthy and are broken based on what you see in the people around you every day, the idea of leaving and finding your new village of people where your greatness will be reflected seems impossible. In fact, you probably will take on the reflections you receive back to you as truth.  That you are unworthy.  That you are broken.

If you are living in domestic violence, the reflections you see mirrored back to you from your partner and those they allow to be around you break you down until you do not believe you have any worth, any strengths, anything.  One of the main tactics of domestic violence is to isolate their partner from anyone who may mirror back their strengths, so that eventually they will believe that they have no worth and will be less likely to leave.

Even after leaving an abusive partner, many remain isolated and fearful of others.  If you believe you are broken and worthless, why risk being around others?  What if you see your reflection of worthlessness in the next person you meet?  Was your partner right?

Building up the courage to trust another person, let alone a tribe of people can be difficult, but is imperative to healing.

So, how do you reverse the effects of isolation?  By starting slowly, little by little, finding a village where your inherent worth is reflected back to you.  Maybe this comes from getting a new job where your work is appreciated or re-engaging with an old friend or family member who you have not seen during your isolation.  Someone who cares about you and mirrors back some of your positive attributes.  Will you believe their reflections of you at first?  Maybe not.  But just like it took time for your perception of yourself to change to a place of worthlessness, it will take time to build yourself back up.  Stay the course.  Create your village.

If reaching out to coworkers or family members or friends does not seem doable, or if your family is similarly toxic, you may need to go a different direction.  Finding a therapist or counselor may be the best next step if you find yourself here.  A therapist will meet you where you are at and are comfortable slowly building a safe relationship where your positive attributes will be mirrored back to you.  Or if it’s possible, you can find a support group or community that is specific to your situation to start creating a safe community; a place where those around you will understand, believe you, and will grow self-worth together.

Whatever the route, a safe and supportive community is the key to healing and finding your true reflection.  A reflection of your strengths and uniqueness and of the accomplishments along your healing journey.


Sybil Cummin
Sybil Cummin
I am a Licensed Professional Counselor who has specialized in working with victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse and domestic violence for the last decade, including the child victims in these families. Trained as a child and family therapist, I did not initially have any idea that I would be working with this population and wanted to focus on working with kids. Just kids. In every work environment I found myself working in, a hospital setting, an agency contracted with child protective services, and then in private practice, I ran into families affected by domestic violence and narcissistic abuse over and over again. My goal is to close the gaps in support for victims and survivors by training other mental health professionals and have recently created a community for survivors. When I am not being a squeaky wheel, sharing my passion for supporting this population, you can find me trying to wrangle up my two boys, beating up a bag in kickboxing, watching Harry Potter, or meeting up with family and friends.

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  1. Welcome Sybil. I am so glad you’re here. <3

    I was moved to tears by this piece. Thank you for writing it. While I may have found a village of my own, I still fall back into the bucket of finding myself unworthy at times. I’m beyond blessed to have found a partner who verbally reassures me daily. And still I sometimes forget.

    That you for the reminder. I am strong. I am worthy. And I am finding my way.

    • I think we can all fall into seeing the negative when we are in our heads or doing things that provide not a lot of joy. Remembering to connect when we find ourselves there, with the people who will reflect our greatness can bring us back.