The Bath Tub – Part 3 Image Interpretation Series
Since I began this series I’ve been looking for more images that speak to me. This one affected me profoundly when I saw it – I was in tears.
I’m not sure what it is about this that draws such emotion from me. Bubba never hit me. I’d always said that there was no physical violence but I learned after I left that I was wrong. Bubba liked to throw things. His main target for throwing things was Serenity but him throwing things at me was what finally woke me up enough to leave the night of The Incident. Even then, I still said there was no physical violence.
There were many instances of physical violence, the throwing things, smashing dishes, slamming doors, tearing out of the driveway in his car, driving like a maniac with us in the car, towering over us in a rage, physically intimidating us.
Bubba never hit me.
Even after learning all I have about domestic violence and what constitutes physical violence, it always comes back to “Bubba never hit me.” I never had the bruises that the woman in the tub has. I don’t know what it feels like to have a fist meet tender flesh and bone.
But Endellion knows. It breaks my heart that one of the most important people in my life knows how this woman feels. Her ex-husband punched her so hard that he knocked her off her feet. I think that may be why this picture evokes so much emotion in me; Endellion knows.
When my eyes first fell on this picture, of course I saw the image in the forefront – a woman relaxing in a bathtub. Now I love a good bubble bath so I can appreciate the look of contentment on her face.
Then – wow, then I notice her reflection in the mirror behind her and the entire thing changes. I can see that it isn’t contentment on her face, it is the look of someone who has survived maybe her first beating or her 50th. The storm is over and she is relaxing in the bath, trying to put her world back into some semblance of normalcy. She is simply tired and glad this episode is over enough that she can soak her stiff and sore body in hot water to relief some of the pain.
It also shows how the battered woman hides herself from everyone. On the surface (the front image) we see perfection – beautiful skin, a relaxed face. It is only when we look deeper that we see the bruises and the pain that she struggles to hide.
Battered women are good at what they do; hiding their abuser’s crimes. I so effectively hid my “bruises” from my family that they didn’t believe me when I finally told them the truth. Abusers count on that. If you are being abused in any way, speak out, seek help, get safe.
Don’t be the woman in the bath tub.