The black and white thinking of BPD does not just affect us in our relationships. It is not uncommon for a borderline to have trouble keeping a job, keeping friends, or even staying in one living arrangement for a long period of time. Of course every borderline is different (which I'll address later on in this blog), but since this is my blog I'm focusing on what affects me.
What does black and white thinking have to do with not being able to keep a job? You may ask. Well, it has to do with our habit of splitting people into concrete "good" and "bad" categories. We see it often in relationships, but it can also spill over into other areas of life. A great boss may become a bad boss over a negative review; mix that with our habit of being impulsive and it's not unheard of for of to walk out or sabotage until we get fired.
This has been consistent in my life for a few years now. Since I moved out when I was 22, I have lived in 20 different places. Less than a handful of those I've lived in for at least a year. I can't even count the number of jobs I've had, or the number of times I've walked out or been fired. It's sometimes really hard to see the progress I've made when I see how unstable my life has been. I become regretful of my past and scared for my future.
But perhaps the biggest reminder is seeing family, or friends I have not seen in a while. All of my cousins (first) and siblings are either married, have kids, or are married with kids. They all have jobs they call careers, houses (have lived in the same place consistently for years). The same goes for many of my friends. Remember I said that every borderline is different? Well, this is never more apparent than when I compare my life to the life of two of my friends with BPD. They are both married and have been for many years, one of them has two children, and they have financial stability.
I know what you're thinking, "the grass is always greener." I know life isn't perfect for anyone; and that even those who seem to have it all, have problems. It's hard though, it's hard to look at my life and not feel like a failure compared to other people. I can't keep a job, an apartment, a boyfriend. Hell, I don't even truly have anyone I can call a best friend (at least not anymore). No one I've been close with since childhood or even my school days. Like everything else in my life, my friends change. I've never been able to consistently keep one group of friends. I have friends, sure, but not like I wish I had. Most of my friends I only talk to online, and if I do see them it's at an event we both happen to be going to. Rarely do I get invited over someone's house, asked to meetup for lunch, or anything like that.
Getting back to my family. I always hate being asked, "what have you been up to?" I have to bullshit my way though it, because I'm too embarrassed to tell the truth. "What have I been up to? Well, I got fired/quit another job, just moved again for the millionth time, I'm still broke, I struggle to not self-harm every day, I miss my ex, and I cry myself to sleep a lot. How about your self?"
I know there's a lot more to me than my job and where I live. Unfortunately I had a pretty conservative family, so I'm hesitant to talk about a lot of stuff going on in my life. They also don't really understand mental illness, so I can't really talk about that.
People say I'm a "late bloomer". I just look at my life and see wasted years.