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?