This is an actual inquiry, not a rhetorical question.
And it’s for me.
I hate someone.
And I have hated them for 20-years.
This is an oddity for me. I rarely even dislike people, let alone hate them. Sure, I have had my disagreements, arguments, and even very strong dislike, but really hating someone? Not really my thing. If you want a great example, look at my first marriage, how it ended, and how my first husband and I have done raising our child over the past 17-years of his life. I am pretty sure that I am one of the best ex-wives and co-parents in the world.
I will FIND something to like about you or some way to get along with you.
It’s just the way I tick.
With one exception.
This one man.
I full on HATE THIS DUDE.
And while there are always at least two sides to every story, I have very good reason to hate him. And while I don’t talk about him very much, much of the feedback I have gotten from people who have either had issues of their own with him or have known him a long time indicate that I am not far off about many of the issues I have with this man.
He was already a person of authority and influence when I had my original encounter with him when I was just 17.
And it wasn’t just one encounter. (No, this is not any kind of abuse, people. Unless you count abuse of trust and confidentiality. Then it SO is.)
I had reason to feel as I did. I need to be clear that for many, many years I felt very strong dislike and my experience with him did a lot of damage to me and my life but I still didn’t HATE the man. I wondered if his dealings with me were more about ME or the fact that our personalities were very different or heck…maybe he was just having a really sucky year or something.
Fast forward 20-years.
The man has increased in status and station and influence.
And a decision he professionally made (extremely unjustly in my opinion and in the opinion of several others) deeply hurt someone I love dearly and the consequences for them and their life is just…not good. Not good at all.
The situations of my loved one were just too similar to mine to justify away and the consequence of harm are much greater.
It is clear to ME that this guy had not only learned nothing over the last two decades. That the only growth going on in my view is his reach of authority.
Watching this mess unravel over the past year made me realize that I deeply, truly, fiercely hate this man.
But here is the thing.
I have done everything I can to NOT hate him.
This is not just lip service.
I have been someone who has caused massive pain and chaos in other people’s lives. I have tried to do my best to correct my path and to do better. I know in some cases, there simply are not enough “I am so freaking sorry”s that I can say. There is not enough I could begin to do. I just have to try to be a better person, hope and pray that the damage I created has healed as much as it can, and carry on as well as I am able.
I know to some extent what it is like to be the guy I despise, so I have tried pretty much everything to not feel as I do.
After all, the villain in the story is almost always the hero in someone else’s book.
So, I have done a lot of work trying to see his point or stand in his shoes.
I have thought about the position he is now in and how he got there and listed out all the positives I know he has and those he probably even possesses that make him qualified and needed where he is.
I don’t want him dead, hurt, or his life to blow up. Heck, I don’t even wish his position of authority removed from him. (Although, considering the MANY people he likely has and still could hurt badly, this would not make me frown if it happened, trust me.)
In fact, if I could have my wildest dream outcome in this situation, I know what it would be.
I would wish that HE and *I* could see and feel the full weight of the consequences of his actions.
Both good and bad.
Because while I truly feel that the size of this man’s ego and narcissicm would likely end up in him learning a lesson, I still maintain the hope that maybe he has done more good than Ill in his life and that *I* could see that for myself and learn and let go.
Because this hatred is really getting in my way.
It hurts me far more than it does him.
I would be floored if the man even remembered the incidents between us two decades ago, let alone my name.
He probably has no idea that I hate his guts.
So, again…this is just hurting ME.
But I am at a loss as to what else to do. If it is possible, I feel that my hatred is viewed from a pretty mentally healthy stance. I have been actually working to let it go, but there it remains.
It’s hard to forgive and forget when the object of your ire not only doesn’t seem to learn from errors, but those errors increase in magnitude and consequence, you know?
And yet, I know people have forgiven others who keep hurting others, screwing up and failing.
Reformation from someone and/or getting closure isn’t necessarily something that you always get before you can let go of the negative emotion you hold.
What do I do?
What haven’t I thought of?
What have you all done that has helped you move past something awful in your life?
I could really use some advice, here.
Because holding on to all this hatred is just holding me back from being the person I want to be.