Black and white thinking

My therapist told me many things that I actually have known deep down already…but one thing was completely new for me: Apparently I suffer from the BPD-typical black and white thinking. I didn’t believe it at first. For me, black and white thinking was this fairy tale thing of good and evil. And my family was way too reflected for me ending up as a person who thinks in good and evil when it comes to politics or stuff like that. I hate when people read the newspapers and think in black and white about what they see.

However my therapist convinced me that I think in black and white when it comes to small, emotional things. A classic example: When I didn’t feel great in a job, my first thought was to quit. Either everything’s okay – or I go. I can make pro/con-lists but in the end I always see just one side. Nothing in between, no other options than yes and no. Like the way I always glorify my partner as long as everything’s fine but start to devaluate him and question everything as soon as something hurts or is unpleasant. The closer people are to me the more I get confused when I see positive and negative things about them because those things can’t go together in my eyes. That’s why I was always good at ending relationships – when somebody is in disfavour with me, then he/she is and nothing that was good before matters any more – no reason to think about it.

That is the often mentioned splitting which can be found in children and borderliners. My therapist always said that I am intelligent and handle my life like the grown-up I’m supposed to be. Emotionally though, she said I am like a 4-year old and that therapy would be my growing up in time lapse. With everything that comes with it. Great. By the way my partner finds it very funny to tease me about that – everytime I realize that I just thought in black and white (and it’s the only symptom I often don’t notice regardless of all vigilance – grrr) he praises me and tells me I’ll soon be a schoolchild – and I am easily teased by that.

And so I try to avoid black and white thinking which makes my life very complicated. I mean, yes and no are so wonderfully clear. And I like clarity. I hate “maybes”.

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