Hate is four letters but so is love. One is deemed as negative and the other positive. But I am not sure Love is always so positive. Obviously it’s wonderful to love and be loved and there are so many kinds of love. But Love can also be unhealthy. Love has made me blind. Love has allowed me to ignore my own needs and devalue myself in the desire to please someone or to receive their love in return.
Now obviously the love I have for Zak, or my family and friends is not only what keeps me going and spurs me on it brings me endless joy. When Zak reaches for my hand or says mumma or laughs my heart could explode. Someone once described having children as watching pieces of your heart walk round outside your body and it couldn’t be more appropriate. Love has this euphoric feeling, this feeling of anything is possible.
Hate is obviously the complete opposite. To feel such intense dislike for someone that it eats at you. It grows into a monster and makes you feel all kinds of anger you never knew you could feel. The rage I would feel at a text or a single sentence. It becomes like this addictive fuel that you start finding reasons to add to the list for the hatred. It clouds your judgement and communication, and you have this constant distaste in your mouth. It takes so much energy to hate someone, to bear a grudge.
I also think it’s really easy for people to encourage your hate, to jump on the bandwagon with you because they are angry too. We allow them to validate our emotions and it just adds fuel to the fire. Yet when someone enters into a loving relationship we question their motives, we scrutinise we encourage people to act with caution and not rush in.
I think the biggest difference between love and hate for me is what do you gain from each? Whilst love should be entered cautiously and perhaps re-evaluated periodically, love brings you joy, comfort and a form of stability. The person you love also benefits from your love for them. You are typically the best version of yourself, you strive to be the best you can be, you care about their happiness as much as your own. And if loved correctly its of mutual benefit. But hate really does eat you from the inside out, you lose sight of the main goa
l, it blurs your vision and starts affecting other relationships.
Whilst love and hate can both be unhealthy and you can be manipulated by both, there is something so freeing about loving someone that hate doesn’t have. You can stop loving someone and walk away but how do you stop hating someone, that hate just follows you?
Well I have sat across the table from hate and looked it square in the eye. I put my big girl pants on took a few deep breaths and I communicated effectively. It took me a while to get to this point (like years). I had to feel it, I had to go through that rough blurry terrain, I wrote a letter (that I never sent) I did workouts, I comfort ate, I talked until I was blue in the face about it to everyone else. And the last step was to face it head on. Calmly. I set some boundaries, I talked about how certain actions make me feel and how that creates a knee jerk reaction and hinders my communication. The result? Freedom. Closure. The biggest sigh of relief at being able to walk away feeling at peace.
If I had to describe myself in a few words, passionate would definitely be up there, I don’t do things by halves in any walk
of life. So I suppose it should be no surprise that I could feel such passionate hate when I can also feel such passionate love. But it did surprise me, I would get so angry so quickly and over the smallest of things. It was definitely affecting my ability to communicate easily which is why I went back to therapy. I had been toying with therapy for quite a while, I knew I didn’t like this feeling but equally I didn’t want to face it, I wanted to whinge about it but do nothing about it – very out of character for me! It took a few harsh words and a brutally honest conversation from someone I hold very close to highlight how much it was affecting my everyday life and conversations. You know that saying it must be truthful because it stung? Yeah, this was a prime example. I couldn’t completely disagree with what I was hearing, and it hurt. It was affecting our relationship and I was becoming a person I didn’t want to be.
Therapy this time was a strange, harsh, and enlightening experience as I went in with 2 clear goals; to let go of the anger/hate and to communicate better. Well my therapist had some brutal truths for me and it was tough to hear. My emotions are/were valid and were natural reactions to the trauma I have been through but that do
esn’t mean I can’t move through them, but it meant facing up to some of my own actions, some things I was clinging too. Part of the trouble is in my first round of therapy I started to process the trauma, I opened that wound and allowed myself to feel all the things I couldn’t feel at the time because I was in survivor mode. Except now I was stuck in the angry phase, and I couldn’t seem to get past it.
My journey through hatred involved a lot of honesty and accepting some of my own actions had added fuel to it. It also meant opening up a little bit more and letting it out completely; there was one session where my therapist said she felt like she was seeing the level of hurt and anger I was feeling for the first time – and we have been working together for 2 years! Its like I needed to admit just how much the hate was controlling me, despite me try
ing to squash it. To tame the monster I had to unleash it.
It’s a well-known fact I am shit at relaxing. Like categorically cannot switch my mind off, sit still and unwind without feeling guilty. That doesn’t mean I am stressed all the time or unhappy because I can happily sit on a beach and play with Zak, or binge a series on Netflix; but I am rarely doing just that one task. I might have the telly on but I am working, or scrolling my phone, or writing a to do list, or folding washing. I don’t actually think I could tell you the last time I sat and watched 30 minutes of uninterrupted TV. On those beach days with Zak I am constantly looking for the next hazard/problem/challenge or thinking about a million other things. I really struggle to just switch off and be present in that very moment. Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it?
My therapist calls me a worker bee. My coping mechanism is to go 100mph on whatever needs doing; like I said I don’t do things by halves. And for the last 4 years I have been fighting for Zak to get the support he deserves and its been endless. Fighting for his needs to be met and at times it felt like I was fighting everyone, even the people that should be on our side. But now its all starting to fall into place and my hard work is paying off, I am much more confident about Zak’s future. Except now what do I do? Now I must adjust to my life
as it is, I have to find a new pace and a way to just live my life. My life will always be busy, there will always be lots of appointments to juggle but in theory I should now be able to take a breath and enjoy the little things. As Zaks medical team say now I get to be mum.
I am calling this phase of my life the adjustment phase. For so long it’s been like walking down this never ending tunnel where you can see the sunshine at the end but it feels so far away and you have to keep dodging curveballs as you go. But now I am through it, out the other side in the sun. This is the phase where I find my new groove. This is leaving it all behind me and moving forward to live my life how I want to and not just saying that but doing it! I am growing and learning from my past. I am the same person I have always been, but I have evolved and I am so proud of how far I have come. The trauma is a part of me, a part of my history I live with, and the flare ups will be there in the future I am sure but the hate is gone.
My advice for those feeling hate? Look in the mirror. Be honest with yourself. So often our own insecurities are part of the problem. Take a look at the support network around you, are they giving you the honesty you need or are the enabling you? The hate is valid, your feelings are always valid, but you can move past them. You can grow and become a better person from it. But you have to do it for yourself, not anyone else. Letting go of the hate is a gift to yourself and one you deserve.