I wrote this over a year ago. A few months later, I’d pull the plug (albeit temporarily) on this blog. I’d disable my wawbat facebook. I spent little time on fet at all between then and now, and when I came back to this blog today… I found this and marveled at the emotions which have largely cooled and yet… are still absolutely valid.
I sat with it for a bit… tonight… and then decided to go ahead and post it. Why not set if free from the DRAFT pile?
I DO NOT LIKE YOU.
I’ve been rolling that sentence around in my brain for about an hour. I started thinking about it when reading a friend’s post about forgiveness. Is forgiveness simply absolution? Is it an act of mercy? Does it require contrition? Fuck if I know, but I can lay down any real anger… I can dispense with the ties that bind me to some people… I can walk away or simply not answer a knock… and still dislike a person, can’t I? Why must I pretend that I like someone if I do not?
I do not like you. Have I ever even uttered that phrase to someone’s face? Ah, yes, I recall one man… and he didn’t believe me when I said it. So rarely do we hear anyone say it to someone’s face. It’s the sort of thing you say behind someone’s back… “I don’t know what it is (even if we do) but I just don’t like her… him… them…” or we deliver it to their face in a backhanded “I love you but I don’t like you right now…” fashion.
This isn’t a passionate feeling like “I hate you” oh, far from it… this is flat and tasteless: I do not like you. There’s nothing to be done about that one, sweetie.
Tastes odd… but it is truth. Absolute truth. I am thinking of some people I simply do.not.like.
Not a bit.
That doesn’t mean they have no redeeming values as human beings. It does not mean that we have not shared goodness or real connection. It just means that I genuinely dislike them… who they are… what they do… and to be candid… how I feel when I am near them.
But we aren’t supposed to feel that way and if we do we most assuredly aren’t supposed give it voice. Not in writing. Not in speech. On the off-chance that we do say it … Aloud? “I do not like you” becomes… “It isn’t you, it’s me” or something along those lines, because it simply isn’t nice to tell someone you do.not.like. them. It’s unkind to say it, even if they are behaving in the most unlikable way.
I’ve no interest in hurting anyone either, but as I sit here contemplating the feelings tonight, I realize that there are more than a few people…
…not enough to fill a train car but…
…more than would comfortably fit in a minivan that…
Well… That I do.not.like.
And it isn’t me... it’s them.
They make consistently bad decisions that negatively impact the world around them. They lie or cheat or steal to get what they want without concern for others. Some are bona fide big old monsters. They are fierce and dangerous and scary as shit. Others are tiny snapping chihuahuas… nothing more than ankle-biters in the major scheme of things. I do not like them. I do not need to like them. I’m permitted to say it too… I do not like them.
This is not prejudice. These are people I know. These are feelings based on real life interactions with them. This is first strike, second strike, third strike. This is “yer outta here!” I’ve been thinking about one person in particular tonight who told me over and over and over how terrible they felt and how they’d do anything to fix it or change it or… fill-in-the-blank. I watched them lie to people they loved and people they lusted after. I watched them speak from both faces… and still I tried to find some goodness in them, which wasn’t easy because we shared so little time together our lives were often just parallel and so rarely actually intersected. As I sit here tonight thinking about that person I am struck by how liberating it would have been to me to have looked at them and simply told them: You are right, you did fuck up a lot of shit…. consistently. No, that’s NOT okay. No, I don’t want to be your friend. Why? I do not like you.
I want to be a kind person but I also want to know myself and be honest about my feelings. If someone asks… if someone pushes… I think I’d like to get to the place where I can simply level a gaze and answer the question though… if it is put to me…
Can we be friends? No.
Is it something I did? Yes.
Why must we feel the need to explain away that which we know to be true and safe and sane in our world? I do not owe anyone an explanation for taking care of myself.
But perhaps I wouldn’t like the person I was if that was an easy statement to deliver because it means – at least to me – that I am telling someone that they are of no value to me. They bring nothing positive to my life. My life is better without them in it and that seems horrendous to me… honest… but horrendous.
It is easier to level that judgment on some – my father or my ex-husband.
But to those in-between… to those who at first did not strike me as unsavory or unsafe… those in whom I put trust, or those with whom I connected? That’s more difficult. Having once seen a spark in someone… it is hard to dismiss the shiny (even if you find out it’s mostly smoke and mirrors). At least what I feel is not hate… there’s that.
No resolution to this one for me tonight. But there is this: I DO like me. That is a start.