Posted in Borderline Personality Disorder, Mental Health

BPD Black and White Thinking and Don’t take my phone!

English: Sillitoe tartan pattern in black and ...
Image via Wikipedia

Living with BPD is hard enough just with the daily emotional upheavals, constantly shifting up and down, empty, numb, or deep painful intense feelings, but the black and white thinking well that just makes things confusing…

As those of you who have been following my writing will know I have just split up with my fiance and moved out of his house into a new place of my own.

The reasons for doing this were mulitfold and complex, but simply put it was about needing space to sort myself out and hopefully get ‘better’ to some degree, from the BPD.

As if this decision and move was complicated enough with all the usual practical issues and the emotional issues of ending a relationship, the black and white thinking has made things even more complicated…

Don’t take my phone – black thinking

This is an example of the negative side of black and white thinking…

Just over a week ago I hated my ex-fiance like he was the devil incarnate. It was hell, he would follow me to the pub when I went out and it felt like he was my shadow. I couldn’t wait to leave.

One night after he had followed me out we returned home (I was still at his place at that time) together, it didn’t feel too bad. But as we got out of the taxi he seemed to have a bit of a mood on him, an attitude. I was tired so I went straight to bed. He followed me up and wanted to talk about why him coming to the pub was such an issue for me, I told him it made me feel awkward, simple as that and lay down to go to sleep, but he wasn’t done. My answer wasn’t good enough, he pulled the covers off me and insisted we talk about it, I refused and things escalated quickly.

Basically he was trying his hardest to provoke me to hit him – which I wouldn’t do. Things continued to escalate and he restrained me as I tried to hurt myself and kept on telling me to take it out on him rather than myself.

By now things were getting noisy, my kids got up and were not happy with the chaos they were witnessing as I became like a Tasmanian devil thrashing and throwing and trying to get away from him.

When he took my phone away when I wanted to call the police things got even worse. While I caused the damage below, trying to get into the bathroom to get my phone back off him, the kids called the police.

Bathroom Door – damage caused by me.20120304-130758.jpg

Once I had smashed the hole in the bathroom I shoved myself through the gap (which at it’s narrowest was only 2 inches wide!) I collapsed on the floor, dizzy and week after all the adrenaline it had taken to get to this point.

The police arrived and sorted us all out, it was a long night and the police wouldn’t leave me until I managed to get a friend out of bed to come and stay with me, because they considered me to be ‘at risk’ not from my fiance – who had left the house by now – but from myself after they had to wrestle a knife off me that I was planning to stick in my gut…

Anyway the point of all this is that it left me in a BPD black mode, my fiance is a horrible person, no wonder I am leaving, how could I have ever wanted to be with this person!? I couldn’t wait to be gone.

This is the problem of black and white thinking, treat me badly one day and it is as though yesterday never existed, you are evil now, black as black and you hurt me, harm me and damage me more than anything ever has. It is as though any good memory doesn’t exist.

With BPD we live in the NOW, no yesterday, no tomorrow. How you behave towards me now is all that counts.

The flip side – white thinking.

So since that incident my ex-fiance has been lovely, he has been so helpful with my move, loving and kind and while I can clearly recall the event (as shown above) in many ways, ways that matter, it as if it never happened.

This kind, gentle, caring person is wonderful, how could I possibly be leaving him?

Why am I doing this? Hurting us both, breaking both our hearts, we love each other, we should be together.

Everything is white.

This is where it really becomes hellish, because I know that it is only because of the way he is today that I feel this way, tomorrow he may be upset, angry or hurting himself and let me know and all of a sudden I will be so glad I am leaving all over again.

Thankfully, the benefit is that I am recognising these black and white phases, something I didn’t in the past. In my ‘wise’ and rational mind I know that as nice as it is and he is right now, overall things cannot and will not stay ‘perfect’ and the things I feel I need from him, that were lacking before will only come back to haunt us.

He cannot and will not keep up this behaviour endlessly, it’s almost like what the call the ‘honeymoon’ period in a relationship – although weirdly it’s happening as I’m leaving rather than as we are ‘getting together’ – you know that early phase of a relationship where all they want to do is please you and make you happy, but it fades away until you are like an old married couple living separate lives under the same roof. I know this would/will return and therefore I know that moving out IS still the right thing for me.

I need some space to deal with me, not having to worry about or cope with another person’s emotions and feelings. maybe one day I will be ready to love and be loved again, for now though it’s all about me – and that alone is tough because I have always been such a giver and never put myself first, it is going to be tough to focus on learning to love myself so that I can one day allow someone else in again.



Self-published author whose first book Coffee Break Companion, a collection of short stories and poems is now available on Amazon. S.L.Grigg lives in Bromsgrove with her family. Working in the NHS and enjoying reading, Pilates and travel, amongst other things when she isn't too busy writing.

17 thoughts on “BPD Black and White Thinking and Don’t take my phone!

  1. So I found your blog and you inspired me to do my own. I only just started so not much there but you are one of the only people I’ve seen say hey! I’m BPD! This is my life. Most people hide it (including me) which shouldn’t be how it is but there are really really judgemental people out there. As for black and white I’m the opposite with my partner. He’s perfect and I know he’s perfect but I get those black moments where he didn’t do the dishes one night and I hate him and want to leave him… I never have because I’m scared to lose him deep down but yeah… Black and white, check.


    1. Thanks Viki, I’m glad I inspired you the more of us who share what it is really like to live with BPD the greater understanding can be improved 🙂


  2. Thank you very much for posting this, it’s been a weight lifting experience for me. I knew that I wasn’t alone, dealing with BPD, however to read your experience and to react with almost exactly what I would of done. It was easy to take a deep breath. Have a great evening everyone!


    1. No problem, I have found it very helpful to share my experiences of living with BPD, it’s nice to know it helps others too 🙂


  3. I have a lot of admiration for you for telling this story! I’m stuck in a black mood now and, although I wish you peace and happiness, it is so comforting to know I’m not the only one. Thank you, Sharon!


  4. Wow! You have done it again! Thank you so much for illuminating BPD thinking so I can understand and love my daughter better. I see her do this black/white thinking with family and friends and never could describe it until you did. I’ve read a few books about BPD, but none of them describe this kind of thinking as well as you just did.

    According to Beverly D. Flaxington in her book, Understanding Other People: The Five Secrets to Human Behavior, EVERYONE sees EVERYTHING through the screen of “It Is All About Me.” That’s the first secret! Don’t beat yourself up for doing it yourself. We ALL do. Maybe the book would help you? I just found it today and find it very insightful.

    Sorry about the breakup with your fiance. It must be hard for everyone in your family.

    Virtual Hugs and best wishes to you!



  5. I do find your blog so helpful in understanding the bpd behaviour in myself. I kicked my husband out last week, it was on the cards as I had been in the black place for a while. Now however he is being lovely and I am (like you describe feeling white and isn’t this ask lovely but I know I can’t change the decision but it is oh so confusing. I want to close my eyes put my hands on my ears and keep la la la la’ing till it’s all over and others have made all the decisions etc for me!
    Hope you are trying on well with your new home xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


    1. Thanks Nicci, I think as hard as it is you need to stick with your decision as black place or not if it has been on your mind for some time (as it was in my situation) then it is the right decision for you. Being in the white place is actually harder, as you know deep down this loving side won’t last so if you give in and take him back soon you will be back in black again! 😦 I agree with the wanting to la la la’ing till it’s over and someone else making decisions too, it would be so much easier if someone else could take control for us – but unfortunately we are stuck with it 😦 Hope you are feeling better soon, the new house is coming on well (although I’m in automatic pilot mode mostly – that numb ‘doing’ not ‘feeling’ place we go to for coping!) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


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