THEBATHTUBPROJECT

exploring vulnerability and transparency one bath at a time

Month: December, 2016

Samantha Yvette

Samantha Yvette

 

Date of Interview: December 14, 2016

Name: Samantha Yvette

Age: 25

Pronouns: She/Her

Location: Washington, DC

 

How often do you bathe or shower?

Everyday if I’m not being lazy. I start with a shower and almost always end up taking a bath because this is a jacuzzi tub. I like lining the edge with candles and I play music or read until the water turns cold and I’m super pruny.

If you were an underwater creature, which one would you be?

I think I would be a mermaid. I grew up in Florida and I was always swimming or at the beach. Everyone in Florida has a pool, and that’s pretty much the only thing to do because it’s too hot to play or do anything outside for a long time. My grandma used to have to yell at me to come out of the water and I never wanted to, so I learned how to hold my breath for a really long time so I that I could pretend to not hear her ::laughs::. So yes, definitely a mermaid, I already feel like one. I’m most comfortable in water.

What are you passionate about?

Music and movement. I have found it to be really healing, especially now. I was always performing and singing as a child and recently found my latest passion which is fire dancing. It has brought a whole new meaning to my life. Because of it, I’m now a part of a community that feels like home and am able to continue my performance career through this new chapter in my life. I’m also currently in the process of learning how to DJ, so hopefully I can give back the feeling of what music and movement has given me.

How has it been healing?

I… I have been through a lot in my life. My mom was a single mom and my dad wasn’t in the picture. She had my brother and I very young and she most likely had mental health issues she didn’t address before having us. It always seemed like we were a nuisance to her. She refused to get help from anyone even though she needed it. At one point we lived out of the country with my Aunt while she stayed in the states because she couldn’t take care of us. My family would criticize her so she secluded us from them. I guess it was her way to protect us and because of that I never developed strong relationships with most of my family. I kinda…never felt like I was loved by her, so when I met my first boyfriend at 16, he gave me so much attention and took care of me and that felt really good. After a year, the relationship turned abusive. Because of him, I had stopped doing everything that I was passionate about. I stopped dancing, I stopped singing. I had to put him first, you know, he kind of manipulated me. He made me feel like I was nothing without him and that no one else would love me or deal with me. He knew my weaknesses and had me wrapped me around his finger. He ended up convincing me to move to Alabama the second I turned 18 because he was going to school there. We lived together for almost 3 years and he had me enroll in the same classes as him so that he didn’t have to do anything. He also didn’t let me work which was another way for him to control me. He didn’t let me go out, I couldn’t have friends. If I was talking to someone online or in person he would always question me about them and get really jealous regardless of who they were. I felt trapped and was really depressed. My way to cope with my depression was with was food and I ended up gaining over 90 pounds in two years. I couldn’t even walk ten minutes without getting shin splints because all I did was stay at home. It was the worst feeling. Then he started telling me, “Oh, you’re fat now, I have to cheat on you because your body disgusts me, I don’t even want to have sex with you, I wish you were skinny and blonde”. At that point I was 19, and we had been together for 3 years and in those 3 years he had fucked with my head so much that I just did whatever he wanted, let him say whatever he wanted and didn’t fight back so that he wouldn’t leave me. Because I wasn’t close to my mom or family, I didn’t feel like I could reach out to them for help. When I was 20, my mom got engaged and was living in DC, so I came up for the wedding and I didn’t go back. It was still really difficult for the first 2 years living here. I wasn’t used to such a big city and I didn’t even know who I even was as a person anymore so I was extremely insecure when meeting new people. I finally changed my lifestyle and diet and started losing some of the weight I gained and could finally dance again, and it brought me back to myself. It brought me back to everything being okay again and now I can’t stop ::laughs::

What do you feel accomplished with?

I guess, that I’m even here today. I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety and always felt that I was fending for myself and that no one else was here for me. There were many times that I just wanted to give up and wondered what is even the point? Who even cares about me? But I’m still here and I’m really happy with my life now and the direction it’s going.

What do you think of relationships? Platonic, sexual and otherwise.

I think human connection is really important. I cherish my platonic relationships more than my romantic ones. Dating is hard for me because I still struggle with a lot of my past trauma and because of it, I’m still insecure and hold a lot of my feelings back because I don’t want to get hurt again. Even though I still deal with the trauma, I’m thankful it happened because I’ve been in a couple of romantic relationships where I’ve seen the red flags of abuse and I now have the courage to call them out and end them before it gets worse for myself or for anyone else. I’ve had some beautiful relationships since that ex that have showed me what being in a healthy and loving relationship is like, but right now I have a lot of goals and ambitions and things to work out with myself, so as much as a romantic relationship would be nice, the best thing for me is to be in a relationship with myself and I’m totally okay with that.

Advertisements

Sarah AKA Sur-ruh

Sarah AKA Sur-Ruh

 

Date of Interview: December 12, 2016

Name: Sarah AKA Sur-ruh

Age: 25

Pronouns: She/Her

Location: Washington, DC

 

How often do you bathe or shower?

I am not super good about that… it’s only for the purposes of getting scalp clean. I know my body is getting kinda sweaty but it’s the wintertime so I can cover it up pretty well ::laughs::.

If you were an underwater creature, which one would you be?

I’ve considered this extensively! I didn’t show you my mermaid tail blanket, the hottest thing on earth right now but yeah, I would be a mermaid. I’m a swimmer, like, even though I’ve swum competitively I’m not great at the butterfly but doing the dolphin tail kick is fulfilling my dreams of having an adventure under the water and my imagination as a kid… I really spent a lot of time in the water. I started swimming competitively when I was around 8 or so. So it was a summer team and I didn’t really want to start doing it in the winter until high school so it was a little bit harder. Highly mediocre. I just find it natural to be in the water.

What are you passionate about?

I think something I’ve been trying to do a lot is seek out art and try to learn about and pick something or a couple things I think I can express the kind of art that I think really feels me. I’ve been bouncing around a lot. I started in photography and it’s still something that’s really important to me but when I was able to start messing around with different materials and rocks and collage I felt like there was something there and I had to keep going with that. Talking to you, I’ve talked to other artists on Instagram and I’m just trying to figure out how you guys do it and I want to adopt your policies or whatever ::laughs::. You clearly have drive and I would like to find that kind of drive. With photography, my attention is still there because I felt like I was so poor at it when I started, I wasn’t super critical of myself at the time, but I look back and think oh. You weren’t really making it. But at the time I had this feeling, I know I’m missing the point here. So I thought I had to get practice and practice is a real important thing. I also thought travel was more important, like, there’s nothing here. I realized it’s not about traveling! ::Laughs:: sure, you can travel and make beautiful photography doing that but I felt like I wasn’t giving enough of a chance to the area I was living in. At that time I was moving to college part to go to school and I just fell in love with alleyways. My boyfriend always laughs at me cuz I’m all “Wow! Look at that alley!”. Alley’s just get the coolest light. And they’re always so dirty. It’s great texture. So now I’m just looking for the right thing to make something different. I always want to make something different.

What are your thoughts on relationships? Platonic, sexual or otherwise.

That’s really interesting for me to talk about. Because I think about not only my romantic relationship, that… That’s always been a big part of my life, I’ve always been sort of dating somebody and I thought that was to keep me occupied a lot of the time. I felt like there wasn’t a lot going on. But I realized a little bit later that I can entertain myself. I can figure out what I think is worthwhile to pursue and I don’t have to follow around this person, saying “I like what you like too”. That’s just sort of about boyfriend things but I don’t have a lot of super close friends, I have maybe 5 or 6 who are ride or die ::laughs::. But they don’t live that close so I think I felt so spoiled in college and I didn’t realize it until now, that being able to see all of your best friends and your second best friends all in one night; that’s an amazing experience. So now I really really value.any time I have someone come over.

What is something you struggle with?

I feel like I’m struggling with a good number of things right now, but I am picking out a therapist person. I got a lot of pages of doctors I have to call and stuff because I don’t know which one I need. I don’t even know if they’re accepting people so it’s really daunting because there are so many names. But I’m really driven to do this ’cause I get sort of obsessive and I’ve never been diagnosed and I have no diagnosed issues and I do not intend to seek a diagnosis. I just want to seek treatment. I don’t really know what the true issue is but I just get obsessive. I need to work on it because it’s impacting my health and the health of people around me. It’s hard because it’s not a lot of physical manifestations of compulsion except that if I get fixated on a mistake I made at work or something; I’ll be unable to eat for that day. And then when that becomes more of a pattern, you know, in extraordinary circumstance, that makes me feel horrible. I feel kind of fortunate because I can deal with this one thing but awhile back I had a lot more trouble sleeping so I felt like a zombie all the time. That was a real feeling that I knew I was having, so now I feel blessed that I don’t feel like that but yeah, I have to focus on trying to get better.

What’s something you feel accomplished with?

I guess, it’s coming up with the new year in January, January was when I got my first full time job, the job I just referenced ::laughs::. I am so very thankful even though it can bring pain because I’m one of those people who wasn’t very good at applying for jobs and definitely wasn’t very good at getting them but I just dreamt and wished for that. I’ve been trying to remind myself that anytime I feel that it’s difficult or that I can’t deal with it, that I’ve had a successful, as in I haven’t gotten fired ::laughs::, 11 and a half months and I’ve learned a lot. I’m the type of person where if you put something on my plate to learn my response won’t be “no, I don’t want to learn that” but it will be “well, I guess this is what I’m doing now” ::laughs::. I guess it’s good to be surprised by that

Johnny Fantastic

Johnny Fantastic

 

Date of Interview: December 9, 2016

Name: Johnny Fantastic

Age: 33

Pronouns: They/Them, sometimes He/Him

Location: Washington, DC

 

If you were an underwater creature, which one would you be?

An animal or character or underwater creature… I suppose I would probably take my run at being an octopus. Because, it would be a completely different experience from being a human being, like being a species that’s constantly being tugged downward by gravity, constantly struggling against gravity to keep upright and walk. Instead, be free from that force more or less to kind of expand all around and swing all my body parts in all directions.

What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about music. I’m passionate about history. I’m passionate about emotions. I’m passionate about science. I’m particularly interested in lesser known chapters of history. I’m really interested in presidents who are not the known ones like, the really out there ones that no one knows the names of. Like Franklin Pierce or William Henry Harrison who was only president for a month and died. And I’m generally interested in all histories of political movements around the world and how they connect to what might be happening now in the world. The small facts play into the connections because the small facts always turn out to be the butterfly effect that caused the whole collapse. Like the small incident in Sarajevo in 1914, the assignation of the archduke, that triggered the worst war that the world has ever seen. So I like to find out about little events that happened in history that are lesser known, but if you follow those events you might see that if something little hadn’t have happened then the big thing might not have happened either.

What do you think of relationships? Platonic, sexual and otherwise.

Platonic, sexual and otherwise? Umm I think right now I’m pretty against them, I’m living a very solo existence. I find that I like to have complete control of my time and I am not really good at sharing my time with people unless it’s impromptu, Like, “Hey! We’re going here and there you are!” And I’m like, “Great! Let’s go!” But I’m having trouble dealing with relationships because I clam up when people want to see me or spend time with me at all, through text or even email. It’s like… gah! Get out of my life! Get out of my head! That’s probably romantic. Friendships are like… friendships are the same way though. The friends that I’m closest with are the ones that leave me the most alone but somehow end up being in my life a lot anyways despite that fact. Yeah, I like that kind of treatment.

You said you’re passionate about emotions, does that tie into relationship?

Yeah, I’m still in the stage of my life where I see relationships as like, mythical, religious experiences of love and all that stuff so I seem to have the ability to only engage with people in either a fully passionate emotional way. Or to be really unaffected and to not want to be in relationships at all. So, I’m leaning towards the not wanting to be in relationships at all for that reason ::laughs::.

What is something you struggle with?

Something I still struggle with… Ugh. Concentration. Focusing on things. Keeping my, interest in what I’m currently doing without other thought. Like, if I start working on a song and I’ve been working on it for ten minutes, something in my head will pop up like, “But who wrote the article in 1900 that really started the Yellow Press that really started the Spanish-American War on Cuba? I need to look that up”, so now I’m looking it up and “Oh wow, like, it was William Randolph Hearst, I need to learn more about William Randolph Hearst”. So then I’ll watch a documentary on William Randolph Hearst and that could go on for like, 20 minutes and that can turn into me thinking I need to stop watching documentaries and how I need to see acting, I need to see like, real emotion, I need to see something! Then I’ll want to watch Citizen Kane because that’s sort of about William Randolph Hearst, you know. It could go on endlessly and it normally ends up in porn at some point ::laughs::. Sooooo concentration. Started with a song, ends with some dongs ::laughs::.

What is something you’re afraid of for the world?

That humans continue to exist ::laughs::. ‘Cause that would be really bad for the world, if we’re talking about the actual planet. Actually it doesn’t matter really, all things are natural so I guess, if the earth is going to become a wasteland of global warming, that’s just what it will be. It will keep spinning around the sun until the sun eats it up… So, I think the thing I fear for the world is that, is something a little more immediate and is effecting my own personal life and for those that are alive now, is that we lose touch with our desire to understand the world more and grow our brains and be smarter and learn more things and discover more ways to live and be more accepting of the new kinds of ways of living that keep coming up with as we keep moving forward through time. I’m afraid of that reversing and humanity going back to darker times.

What is something you feel accomplished with?

I feel good that I’ve managed to maintain my identity as I like my identity, without having to coat switch so much. I’m proud that I’m 33 and I’m still who I am. I haven’t cut my hair or put on a suit or like… modified my language to be more normy or go to brunch or whatever. I’m proud that I’m resisting that. “That” being what I’m told is the inevitable result of aging. That I’m being true to myself.

 

%d bloggers like this: