As a child Momma made me take baths after Victor. I had to reuse his dirty bath water. By the time I got in the tub all the bubbles were gone and the water wasn’t warm anymore. Sometimes Victor would tease me on my way into the bathroom. He would tell me about how he tinkled in the bath water and I was going to have to wash in his urine.
In some cases reusing the bath water wouldn’t have been an abnormal thing; for third world countries or households without running water or people unable to afford water costs. Yet in my home it was for no other reason than to remind me that I wasn’t worth a tub of clean water.
I was rendered worthless. I was nothing more than an empty body that traveled from one place to another. At least that is what I was taught during the most formidable years of my life. It’s no wonder I struggled and sometimes still do with the idea of that my life has any value whatsoever.
How do I deal with it you may wonder? Its simple; one thought, one memory and one flashback at a time. When I remember being called a heifer by my mom I replace it with the sounds of my children calling me “mommy”. When I flashback to Momma and her inability to show me love I look for my daughter and son or I call my Godmother or one of my friends just to hear the love and excitement in their voices as they pick up the line to hear me on the other end of the phone. And when I think of the dirty bathwater from my childhood I make sure my tub is super clean and I fill it up with warm water and bubbles then…… I simply wash the past away.