Black/white thinking and grey fairy tales.

I used to think in black and white about a lot of things, probably everything really, get me started on politics when that was my interest and you’d be in an argument with me before you even knew what you’d said to start it. Same with religion. I had a saying (which I no doubt got from somewhere else) that “you can’t argue for something until you can argue against it”, in other words you have to know about both sides, I guess so you can counter any argument the other person had; so I read as much as I could. I’m not religious but I’ve read the bible and taken two theology based university subjects. It didn’t matter if you had a “good” point, you were wrong and I was right. And I’d dismiss your argument simply because of this with a shake of my head and a laugh – arrogance 101. Not that it was conscious, but if you were strongly opposed to my opinion I didn’t think much of your intellect. And if you had no opinion then you ended up with a serve of mine to consider, because, well, I was right.

I’m not really like that anymore – argumentative. I still see things in black and white quite often but I generally don’t disagree out loud. No-one likes a know it all. 

I seem to have a different version on the same line of that thinking now – all or nothing. Technically I guess it’s actually the same thing. And what’s the driving factor behind this type of thinking? Rejection, the possibility. It’s easier to reject than be rejected. 

I’ll use males as my example. In my all or nothing black and white brain you either want to be with someone or you don’t. And if you say “I don’t know”, well that’s a no, because anything less than a “yes” is a no. Simple, right? Well no, because I REALLY struggle with accepting other factors into this thinking e.g. timing. The “grey” area. The problem is, when I like someone, my logical brain shuts itself down and my emotional brain takes over. Now the logical brain would make sense of things like “timing” but the emotional brain screams “you’re being rejected, reject first, get out of there, you’re going to get hurt”. Emotional pain sucks. I bottle it continuously until the cork pops. And I KNOW I should let myself feel hurt as it comes, I’ve read it plenty of times, but I don’t work that way. I build up until I break down. If I want something, or something to happen, and I don’t get it, I’m flooded with disappointment. I preach to others about “the grey area” but I’ve realised just how hypocritical I am. Looking at things objectively; a “no” is rejection, and anything other than a “yes” is a possibility to go either way. But not “knowing” doesn’t sit well with me. Never has. I don’t like surprises. I generally don’t like presents unless I know what it is before I open it (I was the kid who raided their parents closet to look through the presents before Christmas) BUT I also don’t like asking for specific things in case I don’t get them = catch 22. I guess it’s a control thing? Needing to know what’s going to happen so I can be prepared. Not knowing means I can’t be prepared, or it takes a lot of nervous energy to be prepared for all possible outcomes, and nervous energy equates to stress – leading to me rejecting whoever or whatever to keep my self safe. Fight or flight, anyone?
I wonder if my issue half stems from the amount of reading I do at times. I’ve read about romance, I’ve watched “chick flicks”, I’ve read the women’s magazines. Books and movies, etc are used to be “feel good” stimuli. What happens when these idealisations meet reality? A lot of confusion! My parents have been together since they were 16, that’s nearly 40 years and not once as a kid or teenager do I ever remember them fighting. Their relationship fits the “ideal”. These all have become basically the benchmark of what I measure what’s right/wrong in terms of relationships. It’s like I have this fairytale version of how life should be stuck in my head, knowing how unrealistic it actually is, but I can’t deviate from it. I try, but when things don’t fit in my mind how they’re supposed to I have a hard time reconciling with that.

Something I am extremely good at it is making judgements of a person’s actions based on how *I* would act in the same situation. But I am NOT them and they are not me. I expect things, like effort, to be matched. For a short period of time I can think logically and be ok with how other people act and not take it personally, but it’s only for a short period of time and the stress starts to creep in. I don’t know how to not take things personally, because everything FEELS personal. I burn bridges quite often because of it. 

I can write all of this out, I recognise my issues, but I can’t figure out how to change it in myself. I can read things, I can put skills into practice for a while, but it’s only ever a bandaid fix. And it embarrasses me that I am so inconsistent.

OR does it have something to do with the fact that all of my literature etc is based upon neurotypical opinions and ideals? If I am in fact not neurotypical does it make sense that neurotypical lessons and skills don’t work for me because they’re written in a language I cannot comprehend? 
Anyone relate? Anyone at all? Or point me in the direction of blogs etc? 

This entry was published on July 8, 2016 at 2:26 AM. It’s filed under Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

12 thoughts on “Black/white thinking and grey fairy tales.

  1. I guess by now you might be tired of me showing up at the end of your posts, but I can’t help it, and you’re not the only one, rest assured πŸ™‚
    I am at the very beginning of my aspieness, and therefore reading anything may help me understand, come to terms with the self I just started to know.
    I can especially sympathise with:
    “I don’t know how to not take things personally, because everything FEELS personal. I burn bridges quite often because of it.”
    As I mentioned in another comment, I genuinely have no friends, in the “normal” acceptance of the term, nor can I define what friendship should be, at least from my point of view.
    But because of burning bridges, I’ve lost many of the few I could call something similar to “friends”. So I wonder now, if there would be anything I could do to prevent that.
    Just looking for some answers myself…
    I really appreciate your sincerity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No! Please do comment! Thank you 😊 I am awaiting assessment, it’s currently a subject I am researching day and night, and it’s been through others’ writing that my life has started to make sense as to why I do/act/say things I do. (Although there is a chance I may not get diagnosed at all and THAT worries me).

      I don’t know about preventing it, I do honestly wonder though, like I wrote, is that if we’ve been conditioned to follow NT rules all of our lives and we’re not NT then it would make sense as to why these rules don’t work? When I burn bridges I have to cut all contact, an ‘out of sight out of mind’ type deal, because I have such a hard time letting things go. It’s self preservation from emotional pain. I don’t know about prevention but I think ‘knowing yourself’, how your mind processes things and your expectations, then you have the knowledge to recognise what’s happening as it’s happening and you can, for lack of a better word, pre-warn the other person. Ultimately it’s their choice to stay or go, maybe that’s part of the burning bridges thing though? You can control who is in and out of your life, you can control what you’ll subject yourself to, it’s easier for me to walk away than be/feel misunderstood or not heard. I’m thinking out loud but that’s what I do lol 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • Same here…
        In order to avoid newer pains, I too severe all contacts, or as I used to say, delete the person from my contact list. Family-wise, e.g. I had to tell my wife that there’s always the option of walking out of our over 20 years of marriage. It was awkward, and I know it was hard for both to listen, but that’s the truth. It’s not my fault that while I do understand and experience an attachment on a personal level of “being connected” I do not know what friendship or love “feels”, because I don’t feel emotions. I know it may sound weird, but that’s how it is. I’ve learned to react to situations in a kind etc. manner, but if I would leave myself driven by what I feel, I’ll never go anywhere, ever. The only feeling I have is a very intensely negative emotion when the rules and laws of what my brain perceives as balance, are broken, or when I laugh to situations which only myself perceive as jokes…
        Take care πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You’ve given me food for thought that’s for sure 😊, I can label the intense emotions I “feel” but it’s often the “why?” that gets me confused e.g. Why do I feel so angry about *example*? I have a very hard time detaching emotion from thought I have found. If something angered me 10 years ago and I think about it I can guarantee I’ll be angry about it again. How the mind works is a puzzle to me, thankfully I like trying to solve puzzles lol 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My parents have also been together for 45 years and they are great role models. However, they live together abs work together and I have always thought “I couldn’t do that” because I need my alone time. Now, as I’m getting older without ever having had a long term relationship I am getting bothered by the fact that I am not bothered about whether I will find someone, and I actually believe now that I could have a fulfilling life without a partner and perhaps even without children. Or, I may prefer to have a child without a partner, or adopt a child. These are all new considerations for me from the last 2 years and I am surprised by myself. I’m not sure where I am going with this but this post just made me think of it to share it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My parents are the same, only the past year they’ve stopped working together and have different jobs but always worked together before that! I thought the same, could never stand having anyone around all the time (my ex was the exception, wondering if that was an Aspie connection thing though?). I didn’t plan to fall pregnant, it happened, and I’m a single mum – I find it easier to call all the shots and not have to “share” him, but the downside is I also don’t have anyone to help with the responsibility etc and that’s taxing at times in terms of not getting alone time when needed. If you have this information about yourself pre-kids I think you’ll benefit in being able to find out what your sensory issues etc are and learn about your strengths/challenges and be better prepared for motherhood than I was, I see now why I’ve struggled with some things in the past more than others around me 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh yes, I remember my point now. So my ideals have been based on my parents’ NT relationship. I saw on Reddit a post where a lady was sharing that she and her husband have 3 bedrooms in their house, one for each of them and one for their shared life, because they both like their own space and their own interests as well as the life they share. This was groundbreaking to me as I have always imagined I would like a similar set up for the same reasons, but thought that no one else would want that because, well it’s not normal! With this discovery of Aspieness, I want to find the courage from within to truly define what I want – not what I should want because that’s what society dictates – but what would really work best for me, and go out there and create the life I want.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sounds perfect! I also like the idea of the separate bedrooms! I find it extremely hard to sleep next to someone for the whole night lol it’s uncomfortable, as much as I like cuddles, I’d happily have separate beds lol.

      Liked by 1 person

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