When Hurt Turns Into Hate

Hate has always been the evolutionary form of hurt. (Two snaps for a Pokemon analogy. Stop reading now if you’re not ready for more of that…)

I hardly raise my voice. I never yell. I don’t bicker or fight or have “heat of the moment” emotions. I fulfilled that need to be angry in my emo teen years whilst living in an extremely contentious home.

As a 25 year-old adult, I avoid anger like a poke-ball. And guess what I’ve learned… You can’t dodge anger without first limbo’ing yourself out of hurt. And that’s where I’ve done myself a disservice.

Everyone hates experiencing pain, and that’s exactly what hurt is; emotional pain. Somewhere between my emo teen stage to today, I’ve taught myself that feeling hurt is weak. That feeling hurt gives all my power to the offender. That feeling hurt is a waste of time and brain space. That feeling hurt is shame, self pity, and unforgiving. That feeling hurt leads to anger and anger is hate. To be clear, these ideals are not true.

Well friends or “not so friends”, when you run from hurt, the only other exit is hate. And if you think “hurt” isn’t the funnest place to stay over night, then you’re not going to enjoy hate; because hate comes with a lot more real estate than hurt. There are no street lamps in the “city of hate” and the welcome sign says “Hometown of Isolation and Self-Destruction”.

The only way out of hate is by back peddling yourself into hurt.

I was wishing I could skip the early morning tears that prevented me from doing great things. I was hoping I could move on from the replays in my head by pretending the hurtful memories on loop weren’t real. I bypassed hurt and b-lined myself into the“city of hate”, then checked into an extended stay hotel.

I became the home town hero of hate. I thought I was managing well because I was getting work done. I was functioning. But I wasn’t feeling. I wasn’t enjoying my work. I wasn’t enjoying being functional. I finally asked myself, “Is this any better than hurt debilitating me for a small moment? Do I want to live the rest of my life in this unenjoyable but operative state of hate?”

Hell. Nah.

The only way out of hate was by back peddling myself into hurt.

I had to feel. I had to let myself feel wrecked by other’s actions, even my own actions. It’s sometimes crippling, exhausting, and uncontrollable. But only for a moment. Sometimes these moments manifest themselves as isolation on a Friday night. Or crying in my car (emo, I know). Or sleeping in too late. Once I feel safe enough, I let the hurtful moment pass. Then, my brain has space for all the feels in the world. Mostly joy. Because that’s what I’m after.

Here’s what I’ve learned on this journey from hurt to hate and back to hurt. One way or another, happy people let themselves feel hurt.

*If there’s hate in your life, I suggest taking the journey back to hurt.