Someone once said to me, "I hate you." I'm sure that most people have probably had that thrown at them, whether jokingly or via spiteful dishonestly. But in this case, there was none of that. No insincerity.
The feeling wasn't mutual. I'm generally not a hateful person, or at least toward people. I mean, the things I hate are usually certain TV shows, like The Big Bang Theory, or routine activities like brushing my teeth or putting on my socks, but those disdains don't really leave me scarred. For me to have such animosity toward a person, he would have to intentionally try to hurt me, and it has happened before.
This guy, I met him freshman year of college at the pool table I would frequent in my dorm lobby. He would walk in the room, loud and obnoxious, wearing cut off Abercrombie shirts and acting like he owned the place, a stereotypical jerk. To top it off, he was really bad at pool, so his confidence had no foundation.
One night, I was waiting for my turn at the table. The guy was playing, and I was up next after him. When he finished his game, he made up a reason not to step down from the table, so I stood up to him, despite him being much bigger than me. When he told me, "do something about it," I complied by grabbing the triangle out of his hand. Immediately, he jumped on me, and after shoves and words were exchanged, he walked off. That's when I started to hate this guy, to the point where I wished harm on him. He deserved it, right? How dare he treat me like that! I believed those feelings were justified because I was the good guy by doing the right thing. He was the bad guy.
I tell this story now because I look back on it, and all I can really think is how ridiculously trivial the whole situation was. We fought over a game, and I walked away pridefully, holding onto this hatred against this person, a person who I haven't even seen since and will never see again. And honestly, like his arrogance, my pride had no foundation. I didn't stand up to him for goodness' sake. I just didn't like him and wanted to do what I could to ensure he didn't get his way.
Then years later, which is an embarrassing length of time, I finally let it go. There was no epiphanic moment. It was insignificant, just like the event that caused it. But what allowed me to relinquish such bitterness was the opposite of that. I found myself on the receiving end of somebody's hatred, and the way I saw that guy was the way somebody was looking at me. This was different though, because it was coming from a friend, and I deserved it.
That hatred seemed irredeemable, but it immediately started a work in me, plowing through any pride I had, showing me I was never anything more than a bad guy. The worst parts of me were exposed. All the times I chose to be selfish and treat others cheaply were summed up in those words.
This all took place a while ago, and I still often dwell on my regrets and sorrows and wish that all this had never happened, but then who would I be now? Probably still some jerk, shoving people around trying to get what he wants.