I Don’t Hate You, I Never Could

Leo Hildago
Leo Hildago

Hate is such a strong word. Sometimes I don’t think we realize the weight of it, realize what it means, how it detaches us from the people around us, how we become disconnected and hard and afraid.

When we say we hate something or someone, we say it with such fierceness, such boldness, such resentment, such emotion. We’re so willing to pull ourselves from things that used to matter to us, used to mean something. We’re so quick to close off. We’re so prone to looking at the negative. And sometimes we get so wrapped up in being angry we lose ourselves.

Hate is such a strong word, too strong of a word.

To hate is to treat that person with spite, to fill your heart with sourness, to live a life that is bitter and angry.

And with you, I can’t do that.

I can’t hate you. I can’t look at you and despise the person you were, the person you are. I can’t frown at the decisions you make; I can’t treat you like you don’t mean a damn thing because that would be lying and I don’t want to be both spiteful and a liar. In fact, I don’t want to be either.

I don’t hate you. I can’t.

Hate would be giving you too much of my emotion and too much credit.

You’ve messed with my head, played with my heart, taught me some good lessons in trust and brokenness, but there’s no need to hang that over your head. What matters is how I pushed through. What matters is the ground I’m standing on now. What matters is who I have become because of you, in spite of you, and without you.

And I’m proud of that person, so there’s no reason to hate you.

Hating you would do me no good. You were a person I gave my love to, a person I trusted, a person I leaned on, and maybe things have changed, but that doesn’t mean I need to lead a life of anger.

I don’t need to hate you just because the world tells me I should. And I don’ t need to transform into an awful person by spitting out harsh words just to put you in your place.

I won’t let myself be hardened by hate. Maybe I’m too soft, but I’d rather be a soft, big-hearted person than a bitter one.

And sure, I guess I could hate the way you changed, I guess I could hate the defeated way you made me feel, I guess I could hate how things happened, and how we lost what we had. But I couldn’t hate you. Hating you means living a negative life. It means holding on to what I don’t need to hold onto anymore.

Hating you means living in the past, and I’m done looking in the rearview.

So listen, this isn’t a love letter. This isn’t me begging for you back or sobbing like a child as I stare at pictures of you, of us. This isn’t me wanting you in my life, or holding onto us with both hands. We’ve had our moments and the time has passed. It was a beautiful thing, and I smile when I remember.

But I’ve let go, and that’s why I can’t hate you.

Because hating you would mean I’m still clinging to you, still angry at you, still giving you my time and emotion and I can’t do that anymore.

You meant something. You mean something. And no, I don’t hate you. I won’t. Now you’re just a person of my past and I’m leaving you behind. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

About the author

Marisa Donnelly

Marisa is a writer, poet, & editor. She is the author of Somewhere On A Highway, a poetry collection on self-discovery, growth, love, loss and the challenges of becoming.

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