Whenever my friends visit my house, one of the things they would look for before going out is a mirror. My gay friend even suggested to buy me a cheap 4ft mirror that can be bought in a Taiwanese store in town. Well, I have been living in my own house for almost 3 years now and still, I can’t afford to own one.
It does not mean that I can’t afford a 120 pesos worth of a mirror or that I don’t bother looking good and tidy before going out. The fact is, I have a mirror in my tiny pressed powder. Enough to make sure that my face is clean, my hair is tidy and my lip balm or lipstick is not smudged.
I can afford the price and of course, for girls, it should be a necessity. But I HAVE FEARS IN MIRROR. That is the reason behind and nothing else. Especially those bigger types which you can see your whole body. My fear of mirrors or my catoptrophobia started during my college days.
I was on my third year in Nursing when I and my brother rented my aunt’s house in Bankal, Davao City. Those times, my brother usually sleeps in his classmates boarding house near their school while I am always left alone in the house.
My room has one bed, a study table, a wall clock, and a 5ft tall mirror facing my bed below the glass windows. A typical room of a student away from home. Being a nursing student, sleep is a luxury. That is why most of the time, after my duty, I directly slump into my bed without bothering to take off my uniform – just my shoes.
One day, I got home so stressed and sleepy. We just had an RD and that is the most stressful time for nursing students (For me at least). We spent sleepless nights rehearsing and memorizing procedures and rationales. And so I have passed that struggle and at last! I can sleep now with no worries and no mumblings of rationales during sleep.
When the moment that I was between the state of sleep and wakefulness, I can see the clock and hear its ticking. It was 2:30 in the afternoon. My hair is covering my face since I was lying on my stomach and my face is facing directly on the mirror. I felt uncomfortable with my hair on my neck and trying to move my hand to remove it. But since I am sleepy and my body felt heavy, I just leave it like that, thinking I will not feel it later.
Then , suddenly a hand gathered my hair gently and put it on my back. Freeing my face and neck from the tickly tangles. It was my mother. I thought because when I Came in to the room I left the door ajar. So, feeling more comfortable now, I continue my joyful journey to the land of dreamless sleep.
But while in deep sleep (I can hear my snore), something woke me up. The moment I opened my eyes , my gaze is directed on the mirror. There, I saw a reflection of a man standing outside the window. He was just standing still, wearing a beige barong tagalog. I couldn’t move! My hair on my nape started to stand. I am even scared to breathe.
It is just a man. Yes. It could be my neighbor. But I am fully awake that moment to realize that there is no way he is just passing by, because the wall dividing our house to the other house is 8 ft tall and no other way where he can pass through the next house. He is standing so still, as if there is no wind that time. Then the way he stares himself in the mirror is so eerie that I began to tremble all over. I want to get up and run outside, but I cannot move my body even my fingers. Praying that it is only a dream and that God will wake me up, I began to relax and uttered “God help me”. In an instant, I was able to move my body and run outside with my blanket going to my Cousin’s house which is on the same street. Five houses away from me. When I was there, I explained my story to my cousin starting from the moment I came home from school.
It was then that I realized, that moment when someone gently pulled my hair away from my face, I was wrong thinking it was my mother. My mother is in our home in the province. And the main door is locked when I was running outside moments ago, even the backdoor. So no one could possibly enter my room that moment. No one. Not even my brother because he has no keys.
The realization struck me cold. And in that moment, I decided to stay with my cousin for the whole semester.
Phobia of mirror is eisoptrophobia or catoptrophobia.
Most people with this fear are not actually afraid of the mirror itself.Instead, they are afraid of the reflections within. The fear of mirrors is relatively rare and highly personalized. Some people are afraid of their own reflection, others of reflected words, and still others of the mirror’s potential link with the supernatural .