The quiet morning talks are always so enlightening around here. Today’s topic: Hatred.
“I do love you, but I also hate you.” Never has a truer sentence been spoken.
My son tells me that he, “Can’t put two and two together when it comes to any sort of consequence.” He says, “Consequences seem like they will last forever, even though I know nothing ever goes away for longer than a day or a day and a half.” In that moment, “I hate you.”
“The rest of the time there is this feeling inside me like defiance of rules…Whenever there is a rule, I feel hatred for it…Sometimes I just won’t ask you for something because I am afraid how I might react if you say no.”
How frightening it must be to react so emotionally violent to every day structure, rules, and expectations? That is a thwarted, everything-is-against-me worldview many of our traumatized children experience.
My compassion for the collective struggle our children experience continually increases over time, and my ability to hold my son with soft eyes and empathy grows exponentially alongside it. Better late than never, I tell myself, though my grief for how long it has taken me is right there, just under the surface.
Ce Eshelman, LMFT