(Please forgive my arragonce below, don't take it seriously, it's a joke!)
You don't hate arrays. You just don't know well enough about them and it scares you, and instead of accepting a long-term fear you change it into hate. A pseude hate.
You also don't suck at them. All you have to do is to learn how to create for loops that scan through an array to either read or write values to it.
Then you will notice how elaborate and gracefull arrays can be, and you will notice doors unlocking in your mind, how to create clever inventories, how to make very realistic tilemaps, map editors, data structures, AI routines in a very simple way!
You can "sort" an array, thus if you put all characters ID and initiative values into it and then sort, you will get what you want.
I think this is a wonderfull opportunity to open your mind to the ways of the arrays!