You’ve Shown Me the Opposite of Love

And no, it isn’t hate.

It’s been a while since we’ve spoken. We’ve been on different paths for quite some time, and it was a struggle to stay connected when we were so mentally, emotionally, and physically far away from each other. I tried to hold on to what we once had, but one can only stand being kept at a distance for so long.

I had to leave.

You may feel a sense of abandonment right now. I know this. I have left you in silence, and it’s not what you’re used to. I always came back. I was the one who always stayed, right? I was the only to always look past your flaws, your damages, and your lapses in good judgment, right?

I still do, love, I look past them all. I see past your ill choices. I see beyond your petty and public outbursts. I see beyond the scars left by the ones who have hurt you, and I see your potential to heal. I’ve seen your smile shine bright and your heart shine even brighter. I’ve seen you with the purest love in your eyes.

But I, too, have looked in your eyes, unable to recognize you. I’ve watched your resentment towards those who have crossed you fester, until it finally surfaces in a explosion of self-destruction. I’ve been the collateral damage in those explosions. And I used to not care.

Maybe some think I’m foolish to believe in love’s healing powers, but I do believe in them wholeheartedly. I think if you had given love a chance, you would believe, too. But you’ve chosen to push my love away, and it would be wrong of me to sacrifice my own self-love in exchange for giving it to someone who is unwilling to accept.

You’ve seen me become collateral damage, and I suppose it’s because of these dark, heated moments that you have chosen to push me away. But let’s be clear—it was no selfless act. You didn’t want to take responsibility. You didn’t want to face your demons, and I was putting them in your face. Not on purpose, of course, but I guess I just had that effect on you. My presence encouraged you to face them, to do better, to be better—but you weren’t ready. You’re not ready.

You’re young, you’re wild, you’re lost, as am I. So who am I to force change upon you?

Yet while I understand all this, the sadness within me has yet to subside. Right as you began to let me in, and right as my own guard lowered, you pushed me out with such forceful silence that I began to question my own self-worth. And now as I rebuild and learn to find my way without you by my side, I look at the distance you’ve put between us and see apathy. You are apathetic not only because you don’t want to face me, but because you don’t want to face yourself. It saddens me to see you take the easy way out.

And for the record: I don’t hate you for this. I don’t have the time or energy, let alone the capacity, to hate you. But I do hate your indifference.

You’re indifferent about your well-being, about your future, about conquering the past that clings to you and drags you down. You’re indifferent about whether or not I call anymore. You’re indifferent about how I’m feeling, how I’ve been hurting, and how I’m healing.

Now I realize, the opposite of love isn’t hate—it’s indifference.