Their anger and disgust was felt the night of the rape. I also was infected with a virus. Not an STD, in many ways much worse - the capacity to hate. Not right away for I was too broken to imagine having any feelings. Hate would have to wait. So it lay dormant, not festering, no roots sprouting. Just a silent symbiotic creature that one day I would release in an effort to survive.

It would have made sense for me to focus this hate on the two men who used me in such a horrific manner but that is not what happened. I, at the time, had a belief system that did not allow for any form of hate. (Hate equaled Evil) There was never a legitimate reason to feel hate so I had no choice or appropriate way to express this new understanding. What was left but to forced myself to shove it deep under my skin nearly to the core of my existence.

The problem was, I was impregnated with hate and it did eventually find an avenue to express itself Ė me. I turned this detestation on myself.

There are many who believe there is no place for hate. But Iíve come to understand it is an emotion every bit as important as love. Yes I know if hate is left unchecked or allowed to go into a rage it can have devastating effects. Love itself, if left unchecked and allowed to burn uncontrolled has equally devastating effects. When one thwarts there capacity to love they become less than fully human. I now believe the same can be said of hate. We need to accept its rightful place in us rather than to deny it. The emotion of hate will not remain silent it will be heard. Either I can recognize its legitimacy and use it proportionately and appropriately or I can close my eyes and hope and pray it goes away.

Does this mean Iíve spent a lifetime growing and nurturing this hate? No. Not because it is wrong to hate only that once its purpose is served it is time to allow it to move into its rightful place. Not to evaporate nor deny its existence but for it to live in quiet peace until needed.

I do not believe in revenge. Iím not calling for a holy war against pedophiles and rapists. There are systems in place to deal with these men and women and I place trust in them. The men who raped me did not allow themselves to deal with their hate in a legitimate way. They turned it on me and Iím sure others as well. But my argument is I did that same thing only I turned it on myself. But it was the anger being denied that set me up for rage to take control and become out of control.

Balanced (My goal)

There is symmetry
In self-reflection
Life exemplified
Grace personified