I love this picture because it was the last time I walked around the block with my daughter. We walked to a neighbor’s house to a Halloween party and then took all the kids trick-or-treating. Somewhere along the way I got tired and a neighbor, who I cannot remember, pulled me in the kid’s wagon. Every Halloween after that I used my electric wheelchair. Which to many children’s joy, got to ride in as well when they got tired.
I hate this picture because it was the last time I walked around the block with my daughter. It reminds me of what was and what no longer is.
I have read many “hate” quotes and sayings on social media and elsewhere. “Hate will eat you up. …Hating someone only hurts you, not the other person…Hate can make you sick.” Many people advise that hating will end up hurting you. It is very simple to tell someone these phrases when they themselves have had no reason to hate. If one has the wisdom to look beyond hate, and still says these things, then their wisdom has been wasted. It is a great achievement to get past hate. A catch phrase will not help another person to get there. Listening to them and being present for them will bring them closer to moving past it.
If I imagine myself on the beach I can feel a sense of relaxation. If I imagine myself hating someone then my body is more rigid. I am very aware of what that emotion can cause. I know that living in hate is not healthy. But what if we change hate to another word. Would it be more acceptable if I said I abhor someone? Would it be more acceptable if I said I despise someone? I haven’t seen many quotes online about how despising someone is unhealthy, just hating them. It also seems acceptable to hate an act or action but not a person. It seems that hating the action of a rapist or terrorist or murderer is ok but if you put a name on the person who did that act then it becomes an unhealthy feeling.
I personally do not think any one person can tell another person how they should feel. I believe there is a healthy level of each emotion. Tonight, for example, I feel sad. I feel upset. I feel frustrated. I have every reason to. But I don’t want to STAY living in those emotions. Nor would I want someone to tell me I should not feel them. I allow myself to feel them. Tonight I felt hate. I hate this disease that I have. I hate the man who has left memories embedded in my brain that I can’t get rid of. I hate. I have every reason to. If it is more socially acceptable to rephrase that so that it gives the impression to others that I am in a better place, I can’t do that. I could have just as easily said I despise the man. I despise the disease. And I would get empathetic and understanding words… possibly. But the minute I say “I hate” then it becomes an unhealthy emotion sayeth the Facebook posts and tweets.
Hate is just a word. It is what it symbolizes that so many people are afraid of. If you acknowledge why a person is hating then you have to actually listen to WHY they hate. Most people don’t want to acknowledge what is behind that word or the reason why hate is being said. Hate comes from pain. Hate comes from suffering. Hate comes from anguish. For a father to hate a man who killed his child due to drinking and driving, is ok. For a mother to hate a man who abused her child, is ok. For a woman to hate the man who raped her, is ok. To hate is to feel a sorrow so deep it is primal. It is one of THE deepest forms of sorrow.
Telling me not to hate is just as bad as telling me to let it go.
If I had the capability to not hate, and to let it all go, then I would. Telling me to do so is such surface level, insensitivity, I can barely come up with a reply, which is why I have chosen to go into detail about it here.
I rarely allow myself to feel hate. I don’t like the way it makes me feel. I also don’t like the way it makes me feel when I cry, but it is an emotion I no longer deny myself as I once did. I let myself feel! I don’t like the way my body feels when I hate. But I do not deny it. Today I hated a man. Today I hated this disease. The important part of feeling this emotion is that I will not stay there. I let the emotion come, I let the emotion pass. Anger, grief, hate, sadness, sorrow, helplessness, and vulnerability are all feelings I allow my self to feel. I do not deny any feeling. Denying my feelings is what led me to attempt suicide many times as a teenager. And tonight I may not immediately jump into a feeling of joy, satisfaction, peace, or happiness, but I will find a calm space. I will breathe. I will hug my daughter. I will distract myself from the hate emotion, and it will pass.
I feel like I need to interject a little clause here: *This blog post, in relation to hate, is aimed only at victims of crimes and those suffering the pain of disease and loss. It is in no way relating to those who commit hate crimes or act out their hate to harm themselves or others.
I interjected that because the hate I am discussing is not the kind of hate that is an action. It is the kind of hate that is a feeling. Most people reading my blog will obviously understand that, but on the off chance someone doesn’t, I wanted to make that clear.
When someone you love is suffering, when you are suffering, whether due to loss or illness or abuse, many emotions will surface. Hate may be one of them. I am merely offering a different perspective to the person feeling that hate. I am also offering advice to the person who is entrusted with this emotion. I can tell you what I need when I am feeling hate. I need to feel heard. I need to not have that feeling dismissed. I need to not be told what to do with that emotion. I need to be told that I have a right to FEEL that emotion. Then, if all is done correctly, I will feel heard, validated, and supported, and most likely, the hate will have passed. One night, my husband loved me through all the hate. After the hate came deep sobs. He loved me and held me through the sobs. After the sobs I stepped one more step AWAY from hate because I was allowed to feel it.