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Feeling guilty for the wrong reasons
2007-04-19, 4:12 p.m.

Day 970 Feeling guilty for the wrong reasons

Oh yeah Ė that normal workout day yesterday?? Pedaling with Patty (itís all about the pace) followed by a solid round of weights for the legs. On 5.5 hours sleep. Ugh.

I called my sponsor this morning. Really I did. Circe called me this morning too. Just like I asked, almost. Had us a nice little chat. She also lectured me on the importance of maintaining a high level of communication with my sponsor. Ok, so it wasnít a lecture as much as an urging to do better at it. She meant it in the best possible way, and she is, of course, correct. So for Circe and myself (mostly myself, Iím selfish like that), Iíll make a concerted effort to be better.

This mornings workout? Dude, I gotta tell you. Less than 6 hours sleep for two consecutive nights does not make for a good morning run. My lungs & heart were fine Ė all ready to crank out lots of oxygen, but the legs were like lead. Did not want to go. So I forced them to finish two (slow) miles and trotted off to get in weights. All in all, not a terrible workout, but kinda disappointing in the run department. Biking is making me lazy when it comes to running. Why struggle to cover a mile in 7 or 8 minutes when you can hop on a bike and do it in 3? Hmmm? Still, Iím already registered for 2 races next month (May 12th & 31st) and have at least 4 or 5 others I want to do, so I better get this running thing taken care of. (Not like I didnít blast through a 5K in record time last week. Tough audience I am!)

The guilt for the wrong reasons? In spite of knowing how Cindy would react, I went and uttered those fateful words ďI think itís pointless to argue with a drunkĒ. What I feel guilty about is the absolute glee I felt in seeing her reaction. Those 9 words pierced right to the heart of the matter last night. My ears tell me it shut her up. Completely. I can also tell she was supremely pissed, at first maybe at me, but later on at herself too. (Then later, back at me again. Oh well)

She was pulling typical 3 year old pranks. I was downstairs, had the hockey game on in the family room and was in the (den?, old family room?, office?, parlor?) checking on whether or not the feds accepted The Bobís tax return (they had Ė no penalty either) (and the Sabres won!!). Cindy came downstairs from the bedroom to load up her gym bag for this afternoon. Musta forgot it before in her haze. On her way back up, she turned off every light she passed (3), including the TV and one light she had to go way out of her way to get to. I know she did it with malicious forethought, because I had turned those lights back on after she had already turned them off on me earlier. Very juvenile, passive aggressive bullshit tactics. Fun stuff. At least I know (or think) sheís doing it to provoke a reaction. Itís good to be forewarned of these things. At least I know my mission now is to keep things on an even keel, find a way to maintain my respect for her Ė for who she is, while reminding myself sheís got a disease.

Still, I feel a little (teensy bit) guilty for gleaning some satisfaction (ok, a lot) out of the virtual slap in the face I gave her last night. I think I stayed within my bounds. I answered a direct question with an honest opinion. I may have been a little loud (but not near yelling even), but it only fit in with how she was speaking (ranting). The kids were obviously uncomfortable long before, waiting for something to give. Kinda sorry I waited so long, but the opening I got was perfect.

Now, per some additional sage advice, (thanks Pam!), I will not bring this up again unless she is sober and willing to discuss things like an adult. Might even let her broach the subject first. If at all. Of course, the wait for ďsober and willing to discuss like an adultĒ could be veeeeerrry loooonng, in which case, I might have to make an exception, just to be sure Cindy understands the rules under which we are operating. (As soon as I figure them out myself too)

I just wonder where the bottom is. Wonder when sheíll get there, if at all. Wonder if sheíll be like that woman in Washington state who blew a 0.47 BAC after hitting two other cars? 0.47!! Thatís 6 times the legal limit for driving. Much higher, I think alcohol poisoning and death arenít too far off. That reading is a record for Washington, for at least the last 10 years. Quite an achievement. Iím sure sheís proud.

Also had a suggestion to have my sponsor read my diary/blog here. It would certainly save me a bunch of time in trying to get him caught up on things. Itís kind of funny though, Iíve been reasonable careful about making sure no one I know in real life (yes, none of you are real. Neither am I, from your perspective) knows about this place. But the most basic underlying principle in Al Anon is anonymity. I think I can trust Mike with this knowledge. Better be able to, or the whole program is gonna be a bust. So Joe Ė thanks for the idea. Iím going to give it a try tonight. If he comes here or not Ė it canít change whatís already happened, and him knowing the full history canít be a bad thing.

Hmmm. Had something else too.

Curious thing. Comments coming in on last nights whining as I type up todayís version. May as well respond, eh?

Alison Ė yes, I suck at asking for help. Why, I can do everything, canít everybody!?!? At least this week I turned Tuesdayís dinner over to the kids. It worked wonderfully. Even lets Jill cook some (we intimidate her in the kitchen), and she did a fine job. Dinner was very good too. Thursday night is a normal take out night Ė now Iím just substituting a meeting for bowling. Not quite the same, but the timing works.

After last night (the little dart throwing contest was at the dinner table, with all 4 house occupants present) the kids are fully up to speed on just how nasty things could get. Iím pretty open with them about what Iím doing and share any information or thoughts that may help them. In turn, I think getting their assistance in the future will be a snap. There will come a time (soon) when they move out, and I will fret less about getting a decent dinner ready for the whole gang.

Gretchen Ė Weíve talked some about co-dependency and emotional abuse. Thereís no doubt thatís whatís happening. I havenít read much on it. At tonightís meeting, I will check to see if thereís anything available in the groups library. Perhaps my sponsor (now that Iím committed to talking to him more frequently) can suggest some reading too. Heís already given me a book on being married to an alcoholic. Written from a womanís point of view, so Iím constantly having to switch pronouns in my head, but itís getting the idea across. That book covers emotional abuse some, but so far hasnít offered any remedies, other than to make one aware of the possibilities. Forewarned is forearmed?

Iím a little confused on the co-dependance issue in general. I need her to be addicted to fuel (or satisfy) my own need to worry about something? Is that the gist of it? Like I donít have enough of my own crap to fret about. I mean geeze, youíd think I could come up with other things to be concerned with. Except that this has been one of those insidious little things that sneaks up on you than whacks you in the head with a 2x4. So maybe. Is that what makes it hard to separate the person from the disease? Needing them to be sick so the co-dependant has an object to obsess over? Guess I could use to read some on it.

Thanks for the thoughts on the room. Weíre really pretty pleased with how itís turned out. I know that this summer, when we have four 6í tall males lounging around (and 3 petite females too), having switched the family room to the bigger space will seem like sheer genius. Wonder why we waited 13 years to do it?

This weekend (while itís in the 50ís & 60ís!!!) Iíll be finishing off the outdoor repairs. The trim got pretty messed up taking the old window out, have to cut new pieces for most of it. The trim paint around the window itself isnít a concern. If itís changed any over the two years since we painted, itís no big deal. Thereís no direct comparison in the immediate area. If we end up having to paint shingles, we may have to paint ľ of the front wall to avoid any ugly mismatches. Which is what led to the house being repainted in the first place. Shutters? No problem. Itís that isolation deal again. No nearby comparisons, so ittle fade wonít be noticed. Lucky.

Heh. Just heard from Zach. He happened to be home for lunch today. Cindy stopped by for lunch too it seems. Except that finding Zach home wasnít what she expected. Zach pleasantly said hi, asked how things were. Got nothing but a surly grunt in response. Twice. Looks like itís not just me that sheís - maybe sheís not pissed at any of us, but herself instead? Krazee maybe, but possible. Doubtful too. The denial is strong in this one Master Yoda.

Yeah, I so need this meeting tonight. Canít get there soon enough.

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