Given this deeply distressing election where hate begets hate, I learned something. I can no longer justify detesting you. I hated you more than I ever hated my ex-fiance before you. He has intergenerational trauma, he cannot handle boundaries or articulate or act out emotional intelligence. In other words, the vitriol in his and I’s relationship stemmed from neither of us knowing how to cope with our differences- I couldn’t hold him to that responsibility. But I did hold you to the responsibility of meaning what you say, expressing your boundaries and what you need, and being accountable to your actions. You accomplished those, I placed trust in you, which was why my disappointment in our breakup was deep.
I don’t know who said this but they’re on the money: “Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give but cannot. All of that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.” That was how I felt about you after I left. Ann Lamott said “Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.” That’s what I did with you.
I realized I hated you because of what you represent: my inability to find security in this unreliable life. You were that face. When I sought a kind and God-fearing partner who will be a husband to me and father to him and my kids, in a time when I knew my worth but could not find anyone who thought I was worth sticking around for, I was sorely hurt that someone with whom I wanted to share that with did not want to share it back with me. Nevermind that timing was off, that you were not in that place of commitment, that who I was was grossly misconstrued by my visa constraints. I knew you did not mean to hurt me, but I wanted back the time we spent, I wanted back the effort and passion I put forth, I wanted back my joy, I wanted back every single cent I spent on you because I could not have back my heart that was not whole to begin with. If you cannot be with someone, you cannot be with someone.
The point is, this morning’s election results show me how far assholes can get when they ride the waves of resentment. I don’t want to be one of those assholes. I refuse to participate in continuing to tear people down, and if I’m to follow through with that, then I must start with you. You aren’t my friend, but you’re my ally. I know you hear the voice of minorities, those who are oppressed by systematic racism, and those who could not marry because they are not straight. So if we are to stand against bigotry, misogyny, racism, and unparalleled egotism that was elected by your own American people…then I will link arms. Because hate isn’t the answer anymore. It was never a life-giving answer- it’s an immediate gratification answer. If we are to stand in the front lines against hate, my boyfriend will link arms with me, I will link arms with you, and you will link arms with your girlfriend.
I set the past aside. The future is at stake now.