Hate

I’ve experienced a rather unsettling revelation.

I hate someone.

This is not the first time this has happened, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. People, by nature, are almost designed to bump up against one another and cause friction. Arguments and misunderstandings and dirty deeds will continue to happen between human beings from now until the end of time. Grudges will be held, friendships will be severed, and dislike will bubble over into hatred time and time again.

Something feels different about this, though, and that’s what is bothering me. Like most all of us, I have been mistreated personally and professionally at various points in my life. I’ve been picked on, although I’m not sure I was ever bullied. I was put down verbally and made to feel worthless. In most of these instances, I knew who the people were. It wasn’t as if pain were being inflicted on me by strangers. I always managed a certain amount of disconnect somehow, though, as if these people were more constructs of things I didn’t like than antagonists capable of wounding me.

As the old saying goes, this time it’s personal.

hateI’m not sure if fully realized hatred is possible in cases where trust has not been fully given. I’m not sure if a bona fide enemy can be acquired without some sort of relationship with a nemesis. I can’t imagine a deeper wound being inflicted by someone other than a friend, someone you have shared details of your life with and never dreamed they would ever do anything to hurt you.

This happened to me. I still can’t actually believe it. I keep thinking I’m going to wake up one day to discover it didn’t actually happen. I did trust someone. I did have a relationship with someone. I was friends with someone. It feels strange talking about it in the past tense, but it’s true. That state of being is over, and I’m not sure it will ever come back.

It also feels strange to feel absolutely no remorse over feeling the way I do. Even now, I want to include a paragraph about how I feel bad about how I feel and how I wish I could figure out how to put things right. I would be lying, though. I feel nothing right now but blind rage, and I wish nothing but vengeance on this person. I at least have the morality left to not try to inflict that vengeance myself. It is difficult, though, to not stoop to that level. I want to be a wrecking ball, destroying every object of hate in my path.

This feeling is not fading. It feels as if it will last forever, and everything from common sense to religion to quotes in the Reader’s Digest are telling me to let it go. I can’t, though. I don’t even want to right now. Is this meanness? Is it sin? Is a byproduct of depression? Am I just not a very good person, or am I simply a human being who is having a very natural reaction to a terrible situation?

I hate not knowing the answer.

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An Open Letter To You

openletterThis is for you.

I owe you a giant apology.

I have lied to you. I have hidden things from you.

I have stolen from you. I have taken things that did not belong to me.

I have denied the truth when it suited me. I have hidden because I did not want to face reality.

I have hurt you beyond measure. I have no excuse for this.

Why have I done all these things? Simple: I am selfish. I am so absorbed in my own head and my own life that I failed to see beyond the parameters of my own existence. I loved you, but it was within the confines of my own space. I wanted to help you, but it was always with an eye on what I could get out of it. Even now, as I type this, notice how many times I refer to myself.

And who are you? You are the person who trusted me. You are the person who believed in me. You are the person who loved me. You are the person who encouraged me. You could be a great number of people. You know who you are.

I say this to you: I am sorry.

I realize that you have absolutely no reason to forgive me for any of this. I was even so bold as to point out the splinter in your eye when there was a huge plank in mine. I can only beg your forgiveness and try to remind you that beneath all this ugliness is a person you once cared for. He is still here. I ask you to give him another chance.

Much of what I did, I thought I did for you. It was always through the lens of me, though. For us to work, it has to be us. I cannot be untruthful with you anymore. I cannot place my needs above yours. I cannot doubt myself and throw up walls to distract from the real issues at hand. In short, I can never benefit you so long as I am so wrapped up in me.

I am writing this to you because whether you were aware of it or not, I damaged something between us. I hope it can be repaired, but I have to accept that it may never be what it was before. I can only move on now and attempt to regain your trust. You are what is important to me now. I have seen the damage I can inflict. I am sick of me.

This is for you.

The Prone Position

I had to have a cyst drained last week. My doctor believes it was a sebaceous cyst, which is usually not something to cause major health issues, but is still something that needs to be addressed. In this case, though, I had to rely on the eyes of others to let me know just how bad it had gotten.

The cyst was (is?) located right at the bottom of my back, practically on my waist, just above my, um, posterior. I could sort of twist myself around and look over my shoulder enough to get a glimpse of it in the mirror, but I couldn’t really get a good view of it. I knew it was growing and that it was starting to hurt, but I didn’t have a true sense of how large it had become.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is where the humiliation begins.

For starters, I had to lie in the prone position on a doctor’s table with my pants pulled down slightly while my physician sliced into proneliethis thing. To makes matters even more embarrassing, the cyst was apparently pretty full, which caused whatever was in it to spurt out everywhere once it was cut (Actually, I’m kind of glad I couldn’t see that part.). Once it was sufficiently drained, the doctor bandaged me up, but told me the bandage would have to be changed once a day while the spot healed. Since I am not a contortionist, that meant the lovely job of fixing me up every day would fall to my beloved wife.

I need to stop here and say that my wife is an amazing person. She is the practical half of our marriage, running our household while I do things like, well, write this blog. More than that, though, she has forgiven me more times than any man has ever deserved. I have wounded her as deeply as a husband can wound a wife, and she has stuck by me through it all. It hasn’t always been pleasant, but her showing of grace to me has been nothing short of miraculous.

So on the day after a doctor sliced a tiny hole in my back to drain a nasty cyst, I found myself lying once again in the prone position on our bed at home as I waited for my wife to enter the room with a fresh bandage and Band-Aid for the day. Of course, this being the day after the cut was made, the gauze pad from the day before was a little messy, so she took that off and disposed of it. I was embarrassed that she had to do it, but there wasn’t much I could do to help. Then she took the new gauze pad, placed it over the hole that was made the day before, and placed a Band-Aid over the pad.

And that’s when my eyes started to water a bit.

There is something about being in a helpless position that breaks a person down emotionally. You don’t have any pride in that moment, and if you do, you can be sure it’s going to be broken pretty quickly. You suddenly realize you are totally at the mercy of the person helping you, and if that someone is your spouse, you also realize all the little things they do to help you every day. You think about all the little things you didn’t do for them, and you regret the fact that once again they’re having to bail you out when you didn’t necessarily do the same for them.

Or that’s what I was thinking, at least.

Of course, this theme could be expanded out to God and spiritual surrender and things of that nature, but I wanted to tell this story for all the married couples who might be reading it. I took my spouse for granted, and I had to wind up on my stomach – literally and figuratively – to realize it. I’m still not perfect. I’m still probably going to flub up from time to time. Speaking as someone who doesn’t cry all that often, though, I shed some real tears that day, which is something I haven’t done in quite a while. I had genuine regret for the things I had done.

Whether you’re a husband or a wife, I hope you don’t have to end up lying on your stomach with a hole in your back to realize what I’m saying here. I think my wife appreciated my tears that day, although she could have just been enjoying ripping the Band-Aids off my back. Whatever the case, the prone position turned out to be the one I needed to be in.