The Heartbreaking Truth Behind What It Really Means To Hate Someone You Used To Love

a girl who's realized she's fallen out of love
Greg Raines

I hate you.

I have only said these words once in my adult life, and I said them to the person I loved more than anything. As embarrassing as it is to admit, it was in my most recent relationship, and I am well past the age where I should be telling anyone I hate them. But in that moment, I did; he had knowingly hurt me on a level that elicited so much pain and anger, hatred was the only way I could describe it.

“You can not hate someone you first did not love. You hate them because you loved them, and you lost them.”

The details of what happened between us are complicated, as they usually are. But essentially, he launched an emotional warfare that ended in utter destruction- of us; of the kindness, compassion and respect we initially had; and of the person who he had fallen in love with. It was absolutely heartbreaking to watch someone I loved so deeply treat me in a way that I knew was making him hate himself. Because despite what I had said, that was the last thing I wanted. I wanted him to feel nothing but love from me, for me and for himself.

In the end, though, it wasn’t how badly he treated me that hurt the most, it was realizing he had arrived at the point of indifference. To me, this meant he was completely detached from love and hate. He simply didn’t care one way or the other. He could ‘take it or leave it’, and he chose the latter.

Author, Neal Donald Walsh, writes:

“All human actions are motivated at their deepest level by one of two emotions—fear or love. In truth there are only two emotions… These are the opposite ends of the great polarity…so it is that in the moment you pledge your highest love, you greet your greatest fear.

Fear is the energy which contracts, closes down, draws in, runs, hides, hoards, harms. Love is the energy which expands, opens up, sends out, stays, reveals, shares, heals. Fear grasps, love lets go. Fear rankles, love soothes. Fear attacks, love amends.”

This is the only way I can explain it, why I could I feel love and hatred simultaneously. My hatred resulted from fear as well as love, almost a convergence of the two. I loved him completely, exposing myself, opening up, expanding, staying, sharing. But he did what I feared the most. He left. And when I knew he I was loosing him, all I wanted to do was attack and harm him. Ironically, this was my desperate last attempt to hold on to him.

Clearly, none of this is black and white. The spectrum of the shades and degrees of love, hate, and fear is wide and varied, but I do think all of these feelings are intimately connected. I believe this dynamic can even be seen in people who harm others, whether they know them or not. At some point in their lives, they were hurt deeply by someone they loved by abuse, rejection, abandonment, or all of the above. If they lack the capacity to process their emotions in a healthy way, this hatred can result in cruel, senseless behavior against people who have nothing to do with the source. I am in no way justifying someone inflicting pain on anyone else, no matter how severe, but I can understand where that kind of rage might come from.

The moment you pledge you highest love, you greet your greatest fear.

Enough time has passed that hatred is not what comes to mind when I think of him. I hate what he did, but I know on some level that was not truly who he was; he was just battling his own fears. And in retrospect, I am not convinced those feelings of hatred were actually for him. I loved him and was afraid of losing him, no question. But I think the intense emotions that surfaced were because I knew I was losing myself, the person I should have loved the most. It was one of the most painful lessons I’ve had to learn, but perhaps the most important… learning to love myself enough to never question whether what I feel for anyone, or what they feel for me, is anything but love. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Natalie Brooke Breazeale’s background is diverse, but her passion has always been finding ways to empower women and children. You can join her on her journey by following her blog:

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