Well, THAT was fun
2008-04-23, 4:32 p.m.
First, thanks for the cheerer-uppers in the comments. I’m sure you all understand how difficult it is to bring up a subject like this. It’s even more so for me because of my ‘don’t rock the boat’ nature.
So how’d the talk go? Not as bad as it could have, but I thnk I’ll have some quiet time coming the next few days. The only real upside is that I mustered the couth to bring things up before we got to finishing the morning ‘aerobics’. Outside of that, it was pretty much a less than fun time. I suppose though, that if you tell an addict their continued use of their substance of choice makes you fear for your future, you have to expect to run into a little resistance.
To her credit, she never denied having had a drink or two or four. When I mentioned that I was sure she’d been drinking 4 of the last 5 Thursdays and a few of the weekend days in between as well, she denied that it had been ‘that much’. Then she started picking on my flaws. I stopped her after the first one (spending excessive time at/on the computer – of which I AM guilty) and pointed out that she was picking at my faults, NOT sharing her feelings.
Yeah, I was piling up points left & right.
But! It was also no accident that I had an appointment with my shrink this morning. Man, did I need that. Annette was supportive for what I (finally) did, approved of my approach and attempts to keep it to “this is how I feel about . . .” rather than a “you need to do . . .” That whole approach was at Annette’s suggestion. Keeps the discussion from becoming a blame-fest and instead attempts to make it focus on how behaviors and events affect ones self.
I also confessed to Annette that I’d been delaying having this talk because I feared what Cindy’s reaction would be. While my trepidation is very real, Annette called BS on it. Why? Because of something I’ve already learned in Al Anon. Namely, that I am responsible for my own reactions to external stimuli. By extension, I am NOT responsible for how other people react to truths I tell them. All I did was communicate my feelings. What ever reaction Cindy produced is wholly owned by her. The fact that she was pissed, offended, defensive and denying the degree of drunkenness (almost used intoxication, but I couldn’t resist the alliteration) is her problem. Maybe the fact that she was all of the above indicated that I struck a nerve – a nerve she’s been trying hard to ignore (uhhhh – that’s my impression, not a professional interpretation)
What’s next? We need to finish the discussion. It was really interrupted by our day – we hadn’t even showered yet, it was that early. Cindy hopped in the shower, I went downstairs to make coffee.
Ironic event of the day – happened at 7:30. Coffee had finished brewing, I was done making my lunch (ham sammich, apple, orange, cup or so of grapes) and was doctoring up a mug of coffee to take upstairs with me for my morning routine. Cindy was standing behind me as I opened a cupboard to get out my sweet n low. Inside, back in the corner but in plain view, was an empty 16oz bottle of ginger ale – Cindy’s preferred mixer for her poison of choice. An empty ginger ale bottle, in the cupboard. Funny thing was, I didn’t see it there yesterday morning. Anyhow, I grabbed the bottle, pulled it out of the cupboard and put it on the counter, all while Cindy watched. Oops.
Silently, I wandered upstairs to shave, shower & dress. By the time I came back downstairs Cindy had grabbed her coffee, packed her lunch and left for work – leaving the soda bottle on the counter. It still there, far as I know.
So – finishing the discussion. Cindy has her AA meeting tonight. I have my own district meeting (one level above the grass roots in the Al Anon political organization). I will mention the fact that we ought to finish our discussion, but not tonight. I’m thinking Thursday would be more appropriate and I will mention that I prefer we do it then. Should she somehow wordlessly indicate that she thinks the discussion is over, than I guess she’ll jut have to tolerate hearing my half of the end of this. Her reaction to it is her responsibility. (I gotta keep telling myself that)
Wish I could concentrate on work too. Got specs to write, code to finish, plenty to do, just no ability to focus. Cindy keeps telling me I have ADD – I wonder if she realizes how much she contributes to my inability to concentrate? Hmmph. That’s my reaction, isn’t it?
Looks like spring has really sprung here. This is what, maybe the 6th straight day with temps in the 70’s. Pretty nice run for April in these parts. Of course, there’s always the threat of a freak snow storm (as late as Mothers Day one year) and a real chance of frost till the end of May. Worst possible scenario? It’s on record here that sometime back in the 30’s I think, there was “the year without summer”. There was actually at least a trace of snow that fell every month of the year. Here in Rochester, 43 degrees north latitude! Glad I wasn’t around then.
Anyhow – work beckons. I have to at least TRY and concentrate for the remainder of the day. On work, not finishing that talk. At least it got started . . .
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