I know my worth…
There was a time when I didn’t think I was worth two corrosive pennies rubbed together.
And, if I had to pinpoint a time in my life when I felt as worthless, and as meaningless as hot dog scum, (yes, it’s real stuff) it would be the awakening my ‘twenty-something year old self’ had while scrubbing 30-year-old once-white bathroom tile grout, with a nail file, at 3:00 a.m.
While my 2 babies and my husband slept, (ex-husband now) I labored over the most ridiculous of tasks, trying in vain to make our Helter Skelter lives pristine…
I thought that Bleach and Pine Sol, and elbow grease could wash the pain away. In some twisted way I hoped that the cleanliness I tried to impart would wash the filth away from my soiled soul.
I felt dirty… and used. Soiled goods. I was dependent upon a man for my emotional and physical stability. My lot in life was to please him, not rile him.
Please him… always my thoughts were of pleasing him.
Make him happy.
Keep him calm.
The kids don’t need to hear him angry. He will ignore them if he’s mad at me. He likes the house clean. Clean… makes him tolerable. The carpets need vacuum marks -just so. One direction. Back and forth. The bathroom should be immaculate. Wash off the shampoo bottles. Fold the towels just right.
The tile must shine.
The grout is old…my fingers are raw and peeling, bleeding. The bleach burns. But scrub I must.
I must prove to this man who thinks I’m nothing… that I have worth. I must prove to myself that I have worth.
So even though I sat there on that cold tile, inhaling bleach fumes, scrubbing with bleeding fingers, hating myself all the while, and knowing that my life was a screwed up mess – I had an awakening.
I didn’t want to feel worthless anymore. But at that time in my life, I didn’t know what to do or where to turn.
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