The Wrong Kind of Love

By Jennifer Tang

Love yourself, love myself.

She chants it like a mantra in her head. Eventually, the truth seems less like a lie. 


the problem with society is that depression, mental illness, self-harm and low self-esteem are romanticized. 

They lie. 

They lie to her, whispering and slithering among the dark recesses of her innocent mind, feeding off of her vulnerability until she believes that sad, is beautiful. At the end of the day, there is nothing scarier than her knowing her worth, her willingness to love herself, her capability and intelligence, her flaws, and her comfort with solidarity. 

She wants to be loved. 

They say that Prince Charming only comes for his damsel in distress. So she weeps, she hates, she eats, she pauses with a razor posed over her skin, she writes suicide notes and teases Death, waiting, waiting for her Prince Charming to come to save her. 

Her darkness grows, they’re excited. The whispers in her head crescendo and suddenly it’s not their voice she’s hearing, it’s hers.

He’s here.

After years of loathing, loneliness and pain, he’s here. Her Prince Charming come to rescue her from them. She’s hopeful as she closes her eyes and leans forward. It’s almost over now. 

No,  no, no, no, no, no, no, no!

It’s wrong. It’s all wrong. He left, he can’t save her. It turns out, Prince Charming prefers happily ever after. 

She’s choking,

crying so hard that she can’t breathe, can’t see, can’t feel. What have they done? She looks in the mirror but a stranger stares back, with lifeless eyes and a hard mouth. She wants to break something. Her chest is hollow, filled with breathy screams and curses. 

It wasn’t supposed to go this far. I was never supposed to fall for their lies.

She’s alone, 

left to pick up the pieces of her life. Gradually, she learns about the stranger in the mirror. She likes this girl, she thinks they have a lot in common. She’s a bit broken and there’s a darkness within her, but that’s okay because she’s still here. 

She thinks, 

He was never meant to love me. I am my Prince Charming and damn, I am beautiful.

And she smiles.

Jennifer is a second year student at the University of Toronto. She loves exploring the campus and the many fun interactive exhibits that pop up in city. If you see her around campus don’t’ be afraid to stop her and say hi.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Tang

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