Hate is such a strong word

People always say that hate is a strong word. But I think when you have autism, sometimes there is no other way to describe how you feel.

Merriam-webster dictionary defines hate as:

a :  intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury

b :  extreme dislike or antipathy 

I often think to myself that I hate something because of the first definition. There are things, stupid things, things that normal people wouldn’t hate, that I feel like I hate. Some of these things are the look of sagging skin on someone, the way someone breathes, or even people sometimes.

This is kind of hard to explain, but I realize that it’s normal to say you hate these things. It’s normal to strongly dislike these things and so you say you hate them. But for me, it’s not a strong dislike that makes me hate these things. My definition of hate is closer to the first definition.

When I say I hate something, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I dislike it. What it does mean is that it makes me feel a sense of anger, fear or injury. I say hate because I feel hate. Whether the hate is justified or not, doesn’t change how I feel.

When I say I hate something, I mean that it makes me want to explode inside. It makes me want to become violent or run away or try to comfort myself. I couldn’t tell you why certain things make me feel the way they do; sometimes they just do. It doesn’t make sense that I feel so strongly about something that really doesn’t matter, but it is the reality.

So, how do I deal with these feelings of hate? I focus on something else. If I focus on the object I hate, I will probably get upset and may even have some sort of meltdown. Instead, I have to change my focus to something I like instead. Then, I can usually “forget” what I hated and move on.

I know that when I say I hate something people tend to question if I really mean that I hate it. But like the dictionary says, it gives me a strong sense of “hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury.” Whatever it is that I say I hate makes me feel some sort of pain or anger and therefore is by definition something I hate.

I don’t always feel this way about things, but it does happen every once in a while. It’s not really something that you can just stop either. It’s an automatic reaction. So if someone with autism says they hate you or they hate something, try not to take it too personally. It’s just that we feel uncomfortable, in pain even, and that’s why we say hate.

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12 thoughts on “Hate is such a strong word

    • I don’t know if I have good tools or not, but basically I just try to replace the emotion. If I feel angry or hurt, I try to replace that with interest or satisfaction. I’m pretty easy to make happy. There are certain textures that I really like or foods or songs. So I usually feel cloth in my pockets or think a song or joke to myself and that gets my mind off things and helps replace the negative emotions. If I’m home, then I usually eat something I like and that helps too.

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  1. greeneyedrach says:

    I totally understand this as an adult with SPD. When I was growing up and I was on the brink of a meltdown or shutdown (and had no terms for these things), I’d say “I don’t feel good.” Now that I have the words, I still say the same thing. A similar automatic reaction. Great post!

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    • Yeah, I don’t think there’s a good way of explaining these types of things to people who’ve never experienced it. Saying “I don’t feel good” is pretty much the easiest way of getting people to understand.

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  2. Changing one’s thoughts is so important!! You are right that the key is to do so, and focus elsewhere in order to move on. Often, for me, I also have to leave the area (while family members chew, for instance. Can’t handle the sound unless I can drown it out with my own crunching, lol)

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