January 16, 2021

Healing after a Destructive Love: The Part that comes after Hate.

“Fuck him,” she spewed, “Fuck him, and the fucking horse he rode in on.”

I would have ordinarily laughed at that—I do now—but my heart was aching.

Each morning when I woke up, John Mayer’s lyrics would pop into my semi-conscious mind, “When you’re dreaming with a broken heart, the waking up is the hardest part.”

My friends did what all good friends do: they rallied, they listened, they comforted and then, they hated.

Hate has its place.

Hate, as with all the “bad” emotions, is a messenger—like all emotions, it has to be felt, processed, and then released, preferably after we learn something or cue similar situations.

We ripped this man to shreds in his absence with some of our favorites:

“He doesn’t deserve you!”

“He doesn’t know what he’s just given up!”

“Karma will come back around for him, just you wait and see!”

“You deserve someone so much better than him.”

With one friend taking it a step to far, “I hope his penis falls off and he can spend some time working on his personality.”

Damnnnn (please accentuate that in your head). Cold, lady, so cold.

The intent of this hate narrative was to uplift me, to build me back up after a relationship had failed in spectacular fashion, but it didn’t resonate.

As I licked my wounds and as the process of true heart healing began—which doesn’t include the mindless drone of denial and series watching, while stuffing your face with every possible morsel of food in your vicinity—I started to think about the relationship.

We had fallen in love—of that, I was absolute in my certainty.

He loved me, I loved him.

But, along the way, we found ourselves riddled with relationship issues and not the “please put the toilet seat down” kind, it was the “I don’t trust you” kind, the “I need you” kind.

The kind that reeks of past issues that have been allowed to fester, unresolved, within our psyches.

Together, we were in love and destructive.

Apart, we were better for it, working on parts of ourselves that needed to be healed.

Once I had felt the hate and the loss, I started saying things that had meaning:

“He’s a good person, and we didn’t work out.”

“He and I have conflicting values and morals, and that’s okay.”

“We both deserve a love that will not consume us or allow us to hide from doing the work on ourselves that we need to.”

“I hope he finds happiness, even if I am not meant to be a part of that happiness.”

“I hope we both forgive the horrid acts we committed against each other.”

“Thank you for showing me what I do not want from a relationship.”

“I love you, I will cherish the good we shared, and when I think of you, I will send you some of that love.”

“I commit wholeheartedly to myself, my growth, and my own happiness.”

When I flipped the script, I felt a wave of compassion and empathy toward my ex, as well as myself.

A kind of acceptance that comes when we do the one thing we should always be doing—questioning everything.

I encourage you to spend some time hating, because fuck it, sometimes it feels good, but I also encourage you to go beyond hate and find the love that resides on the other side of it.


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