I know what hate is

My side of the story

I know what hate is. It is that feeling of empty when something or someone you hold dear is taken away from you by someone you hold in contempt. Hate is that feeling of helplessness that the rulebooks are stacked like an endless library between you and the truth; that equality looks virtuous on paper but not upright for those who must live in that version of justice. Hate is that feeling that you are surely the only one who comprehends, cares, or recognizes the reality. Hate makes you rebellious.

I am sullen because it is the most joyous of holidays and I do not have my children home to celebrate with Mommy. For the first time in 13 years, our convention of family, food, fun, and love has been disrupted. My children are with their father. I know the court order had divined that the absentee sperm-donors has rights, too. He is allowed to have them every other Christmas opposite the year of his Thanksgiving guardianship. He does not pay child-support but has equal access to our children. I paid him support for years — taxation without representation in a form that is disrespectful at best. The hostage transfer is never easy. Our children do not want not go to that stranger’s dwelling. Our children want their tradition. Our children want to be home with me. Our children have no problem articulating this to anyone who might listen. But, rules are rules.

I am a Caucasian woman of means. I rarely feel persecuted due to my race, religion, or gender. Although, there is a well-documented wage gap telling me that woman earn 78.3% of that of a man in my same position. Pay equity is not a catalyst for insurgence, it is the reason I work harder, think differently, and question authority more than my male counterparts. Perhaps my quiet rebellion is an indication there exists an undercurrent of anger but it is not dangerous. I struggle to understand the events involving race relations that sparked national attention with riots, demonstrations, protests, and outrage … until today.

I am sitting in my bathrobe, watching mindless television, drinking a cocktail contemplating an insurrection. I want to make someone feel my pain. I want to fill the void I feel with something, anything that I might pirate or steal. I want to scorch the earth beneath me without regard to the effects on tomorrow. But, I won’t. I understand the urge but I have an anchor that saves me from going off the deep edge into the abyss. He reminds me that my feelings are temporary. The stages of grief will pass quickly deferred when my children return to my charge in just a few days. He plays advocate to the devil that rages inside me. My fury held at bay in the arms of rationality.

I know what hate is. I choose to adopt a philosophy to love instead. There is no place for that feeling of violent rage or ferocious hostility in my reality. Gandhi wrote that, “An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.” I want to leave a positive legacy for those little ones that I adore. I want to lead a peaceable uprising against those commandments that are unseeing to the heart’s tug-of-war too many children struggle against and are a loving mother’s lament. I want a world for the offspring of divorce grounded in rigorous reason and not just good intent. This year, I received the Christmas gift of purpose. My New Year’s resolution is not to squander that spirit.

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