i'm not mad. i'm a writer.

We were at a family member’s funeral and someone related to us got up to give remarks. They stood up with their chest out and said “I loved him because he never told me no and he always did whatever I wanted him to do!”

I was shook. Did he mean to say that out loud? I literally had second hand embarrassment because in my mind there is no way a grown man thinks it’s acceptable to stand up and confirm publicly that the only reason he loved another human being was because they met their needs and never said no to them. The point I’m making is, narcissistic, self centered, self absorbed people don’t have a healthy view of relationships or love.

They have this idea of love that only benefits them. Therefore, they only “love” people based off of how they serve them. On the other hand, healthy people look at others and say I love them because of who they are – not what they do. If they tell me no, I still love them. If they don’t agree with me, I can still be in a loving relationship with them. Sadly, many of us have become all too familiar with people who only love us to the degree that they can use us. It’s almost as if we are objects. Trinkets. Accessories. They look at their kids, friends, spouse as something they have dominance and control over. These kinds of people make relationships with others merely a bridge for them to get to their next destination. So, if you should happen to no longer serve them, they are off to the next dummy cause they almost always think they are superior to everyone. That’s the only way they can treat others like trash the way they do.

They usually have “friends” and family who they think they are better than. Their grandiosity is out of hand and it’s usually engraved in their personality starting at a young age. Their parents create these monsters and they have no self awareness of how they are so they just keep it going. It’s sad that some people are really this void of a conscience but when you look at the way they treat people you will always see a pattern of treating people poorly when they don’t do what they want. It’s sick and abusive.

So,…Is there any hope for these people? I don’t want to count anyone out so let me say this. If they go to therapy- A healthy church – find wise mentors and friends,… maybe yes. But they have to admit there is a deficit and that takes humility which is another thing selfish people don’t have. At the end of the day, you can’t want something for someone that doesn’t want it for themselves. So go ahead,… name one toxic person you know who’s willing to admit that they are? I’ll wait,….

Still didn’t come up with anyone did you? Me either and that’s the whole problem. They won’t admit it. They’ll never say I’m always taking from people and never looking for ways to value and honor others. Then to make matters worse, they always surround themselves with a bunch of yes people who enable their crap. It’s a hot mess when you see it. The best thing you can do is steer clear of trying to change them or convince them there is anything wrong. That’s only going to frustrate you even more.

Look at like this. They just are playing a different game with a set of different rules. They don’t play fair. So you are out here trying to be a decent person to them is fine for them. But what about when you expect them to extend that same love to you? They aren’t going to. Most of these people are very aggressive and ambitious and they like a lot of attention. So when you see that’s the make up of an adult who should be working on themselves but they aren’t – run! Don’t try to fix them. Don’t try to advise them. Don’t try rehabilitate them. You cannot rehabilitate a person who enjoys being demonic. Don’t cast your pearls before swine.

Take a deep breath and reset. There’s almost 8 billion people on this earth. Find your people. Find those who show you genuine love and respect. And whatever you do, don’t tolerate self absorbed people who only love you for what you can do for them. That’s not love.

Sherry Grant copyright © 2022

gas·light /ˈɡaslīt/ verb

  1. manipulate (someone) by psychological means into questioning their own sanity.

Yep,… it’s been the biggest battle I’ve had to fight. Am I crazy? Should I say something or keep quiet? Am I doing too much? Is it wrong to feel the way I feel? That’s one of the ways the enemy has stolen from me. Making me second guess how I feel then having me looking to the people around me for their approval.

It’s been by far my most challenging fight in the area of my mental health. When I was a kid I was made to feel like I was strange because of some of the most minor things. Like literally down to my fashion choices. I would get mocked when I picked out a pair of shoes or a jacket I liked. Needless to say I questioned myself a lot. Growing up when people said things to me and the energy they said it to me was mean spirited and it hurt my feelings- but then they followed up (the snarky comment) with a hug or a ” You know I’m only saying this because I love you,”….I wrestled inwardly.

How could what they were saying and doing have so much incongruence? Growing up a preacher’s kid we were taught to see the good in everything. My parents were always such nice people and that was hard to process because a lot of the people they were nice to (in my opinion) weren’t reciprocating nice back. So yeah,… that was always a problem for me because I often didn’t see anything good in the people mistreating me, my family or anyone else. So being excused from accountability or the consequences for narcissistic type people didn’t sit well with me. Not while I along with everyone else was supposed to be okay with it. You mean I was supposed to say nothing about the way it impacted me? That was hard as a kid and is even harder now. But I’m becoming wiser. I’m learning not to cast my pearls before swine. I’m learning that self absorbed people don’t care how you feel anyway. Not like a normal person. They don’t care about how their actions effect others so gaslighting is one of their many manipulative tools. It’s the way they get around in life. And no matter how much they say they do- they don’t care. That’s the whole reason they are so scary to me because they want you to question your sanity. So they do disrespectful things to you and say “But aren’t you a Christian?” “That’s not the intent!” “You’re overreacting,.. that’s not a big deal!” “Get over it!” All the while they want you to abandon yourself and your needs to accommodate them and the way they think. I feel for you if you’re in a family that gaslights you to accommodate someone else’s bad behavior. I empathize with you if you’re in a relationship with people who treat you like your feelings aren’t valid. Cause yeah – take it from me- Gaslighting literally makes you question yourself. It made me doubt myself. Was I carnal, wicked, not Christlike because I don’t want to be a doormat? Was I supposed to sit there and act like it wasn’t harmful to my mental health when people wanted me to consider them but they didn’t consider me? They want loyalty from you but don’t give you loyalty. They want sincerity from you but they don’t have a sincere bone in their body. SMH 🤦🏽‍♀️

Well, one things for sure and two things for certain, it wasn’t an easy path healing from the sneaky, hidden abuse of a system that excuses narcissists, sociopaths and psychopaths. It’s still a challenge! The encouragement I can share with anyone who this resonates with is that over time, it gets easier to hold onto yourself in a room of people who validate nonsense.

Can we talk about that for a little? How crazy it is how so many people go along with and side with and validate narcissistic people and their bad behavior while gaslighting the reasonable emotionally self aware people. Unfortunately, it seems in many systems like church, family, school, friend circles, workplace environments; the easiest way to deal with the “emotionally unwell elephant in the room” is to keep the worse behaved individuals in the room happy. Sick right!? But this is what they do. Keep the toxic person happy even if it means turning a blind eye to the abuse and neglecting the safety and emotional needs of those who are actually in need of support. So sad.

Moving forward we will always be confronted with new opportunities to see where we are in our growth journey. We can choose to respond or react. We can make intentional decisions on who and what we give our energy to. At the end of the day, I am more and more aware of what kind of people I feel safe with and that’s where I put my attention. When it comes to low vibrational energy – it’s a no for me. I pray those individuals who enjoy enabling toxic people heal from their trauma bond sooner than later because they will eventually have to learn when their own karma visits them.

I’ll end with the words of one of my favorite artist, “Don’t hurt your feelings trying to hurt mine.” K. Michelle

Sherry Grant copyright © 2022

Here’s what I am learning more and more each day especially as I hit the countdown to half way to 100 hundred years old. 🤣🤣

I was putting people first and I was last on their list. I was only on their radar to fill a need. Whew chile 🤦🏽‍♀️. I was constantly being the bigger person. I was the one calling to check on people who weren’t calling to check on me. I was giving my last dime and footing the bill and everyone was glad to be there to benefit from my generosity. I was consistently making room for people who weren’t making room for me. See, that’s the danger of being a “strong” person. The people around you forget you are a human being too. I was teaching people around me that my needs didn’t matter. They must have forgotten that I too have 3 dimensional needs like them. And the whole time I was operating like this, (mainly because of my religious programming) I thought this was the right thing to do. The whole time I was learning the hard way. I learned that the same people I was making a priority only wanted to make space for me when I was going out of my way for them. I was very disposable. My schedule needed to be open when they wanted my time, but their schedule was up in the air when it came to me. Sounds so sad to say it out loud but it was true. What was I thinking? I learned that the same people I was holding space for, respect for and love for didn’t have the same heart for me when the tables were turned.

I came to the conclusion that it was “every man for himself” when it came to the people that I was making a priority. I recently had another disappointing experience with someone that made me have to sit with it and process it for a few weeks and what I came away from it with was actually sobering and painful. I felt almost every range of emotions from anger, sadness, anxiety, regret,… you get the drift. But the bottom line is this; from it I decided no more one sided relationships. I won’t deal with that crap anymore. I learned that it’s not okay for me to make space for self absorbed- entitled people who have all these boundaries for me and yet they can’t respect me or my boundaries or needs. I also came to the conclusion that some people treat me like they’re doing me a favor by being in my life in whatever capacity they are in it. Insert laugh track! Absurd but this has to be the way they think because their actions and behavior prove this to be true. There are some family and friends who think supporting me in whatever they do is some kind of charity work. Whole time, there ain’t a person who’s been around me that I haven’t blessed their life. I say this in the most humble way, but if you was ever around me – you earned some wisdom some knowledge or some motivation. Period! Insert churchy organ!

At this point in my life my motto is “don’t do anything for me that you don’t really want to do from a genuine place!” Please don’t do me any favors. Just be a safe place or get away. Don’t be a chameleon who acts one way in one setting and then when you get around other people it’s a whole different vibe. I don’t like that at all and I don’t appreciate the fakeness.

So yeah,…I guess it just goes with the territory of being a real one – it ain’t a lot of us out here. Genuine people who do what they do because they care about the people in their lives – no strings attached other than respect and honesty. Like where are the people that’s not using people? Where friendship and relationship ain’t about chasing clout and taking pics of selective events? Where are the people who don’t look at everything like it’s a means to an end? Where are the sincere people!? Like Geesh!!!! What happened to people who treat you the way they want to be treated? At the end of the day, I’m learning that my authenticity makes some fake people uncomfortable and that’s just the way the cookie crumbles. I guess they ain’t changing the same way I ain’t changing. The lesson in that is – I’m not here to please everyone.

So,…….What’s the main takeaway from all of this? What’s the intention of this anyway? Well first it’s to express myself cause it’s my blog. Lol. Also it’s to help those who feel like you belong everywhere and nowhere at the same time. I absolutely love that Maya Angelou quote. It so resonates with me.

I also want to encourage my platform and my community to stay on a path of kindness even when you see the unkindness of others. Sad to say, but when people think you are nothing and they are something they mishandle you. I’m grateful for the revelation of who inherently values me versus who’s too important or wonderful to respect me or even let their association with me be something they are proud of. I am not in need of anyone who will share my blog or anything that I do after someone they respect does. I don’t need or look for pseudo support. No thanks to fake love. If you believe in people you should show it even if they’re not popular or endorsed by the masses.

I’m hopeful that all the grandiose people find themselves and the people they actually respect. I on the other hand will take my bow and fall back in some spaces and places. I often say a horse isn’t valued at a car dealership but if you take that same horse to the Preakness everyone there will see it’s value. Find places and spaces that treat you as the worthy and valuable gift that you are. Then you’ll begin to see it was never you that was the problem- it was just the environment you were in that was keeping you down.

I’m looking for relationships that value and embrace me back and I’m learning to accept the way things are. I’m not going to force myself on anyone ever. Let me know if you value me (and people do that everyday) and then we can move forward. “But the minute I see some dissonance in what you say to me privately and how you handle me publicly- it’s a wrap.I’m too good to be treated like I’m not. Took me half a century to learn that but I understand it now.

Sherry Grant 2022 copyright ©