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23 for #1
2007-08-13, 10:23 a.m.

Day 1086

#1 son (Zach) hits the big 23 today. If I remember right, at 6:13pm he will be exactly 23 years old. Which, of course, means I was only 16 when he was born. (Wanna buy a bridge?)

Today, our new company is treating us to a baseball game, complete with picnic lunch. The local AAA team, the Rochester Red Wings (affiliate of the Minnesota Twins) have a game scheduled for 11:05 am. Itís what they call one of their corporate get away deals, or business day get away, or somesuch non-sense. All I know is we gat pretty much a half day off for free, we just need to hang out at the game long enough to be noticed by the right people.

After the game, Iím headed to some techie store to get Zach a new wireless router. Weíve kinda sorta commandeered the one he bought to use in his apartment in Syracuse last year. Now that he and Jill are moving out on their own (Saturday!!) he really needs a replacement, and I am not giving up the connectivity we have now.

After that, I thought Iíd hit up the sporting goods store in the same mall and get some new running and work out shoes. Yes, different shoes for running and general biking/weights.

After Fridayís shrink session, I sat down and talked some with Cindy. Let her know a little more precisely where my head was. Told her exactly what her previous drinking had done to me, and to the household as a whole. Sheís known for some time that Iíve been doing the Al Anon thing, but I also confessed to be seeing a separate therapist now too. Bottom line, I asked her if, at some point in the near future, she could commit to working on whatever it is thatís broken in our relationship. Didnít get a Ďyesí, but didnít get a Ďnoí either. She did say she needs time to get a grip on the whole no more drinking thing.

Sheís doing better there, but still isnít willing to admit that having just one or two drinks is just as bad as getting falling down drunk. Maybe itís not, but I believe the AA thing is based on total abstinence, period. That hasnít been a real strong point for her, yet, but there is some effort there. Iíll give her that.

While I was out bike riding Saturday, I think she may have gotten into my briefcase (non-locking, soft sided valise I guess) and read some of the stuff I was writing for my therapist. Specifically, I think she read the list(s) of what it was that was making me angry. The lists themselves are an interesting progression. Started out with real issues and wandered off into being upset that woodchucks were eating my green beans. I subsequently split the list into real anger causers and mere annoyances. Then, late last week I added some more refined points Ė actually starting to point the finger at myself as the cause of some of my own anger.

Well. Saturday afternoon, I happened across a list typed up by Cindy. It looked to be in response to some step worksheets for AA. They were face down in front of our PC monitor. I read them, of course, but made sure to return them to their original position. I had started some actual work on the computer, banking/bill paying stuff, so had a valid reason to be there. Later in the day, that typed out list was left face up, precisely in front of the monitor where I HAD to see it. Subtle Ė like a 2x4 upside the head, eh?

In one of her answers, she seemed to think that just because I was participating in Al Anon, I should have learned all about the alcoholic Ė what drives them, what they think, why they do what they do. Well, thatís not what Al Anon is about. So I left her a copy of an excerpt from an Al Anon text that pretty much sums up why people turn to Al Anon and what they really get out of it, as opposed to what they think they need to get.

The vast majority of people go to Al Anon to learn how to make the alcoholic stop drinking. Thatís not what happens there. Cindy thinks we sit around bitching about our spouses, or who ever is our ďqualifierĒ. Well, thatís not true either. She also thought I was having an affair for about 8 months, then I finally broke down and told her I was going to Al Anon. That revelation hasnít quelled her fears that Iím not still having an affair (oh so close) but it at least explained my Tuesday night abscences.

As to the state of our relationship Ė her belief is that until we can be open and put everything on the table, it will be a lost cause. She claims that neither of us has been honest for years. Interesting point. I know I have stifled a whole lotta shit, in the belief that I was saving her pain & suffering. That is less than honest. Now I wonder just what sheís been holding out on? Did I miss an affair on her part? I was always confident that she never had the wanderlust. But 9 years of night school leaves many, many opportunities. Did I miss something? If so, itís gone and done. If not, then what is she being less than honest about? Has she been burying thoughts & emotions too, in the belief that she was saving ME pain & suffering? THAT would be ironic. Sad too. There we both were, thinking we were taking a bullet for the team when in fact we should have opened up right then & there. Now we have long festering wounds that may prove to be impossible to heal. At best, there will be some ugly scars.

Cindy also revealed that she thinks I am ďway farther goneĒ than she is. But she seems to think Iíve had a revelation and now sheís lagging and isnít sure she can catch up. She claims to have wanted to work on our marriage for years, but I seemed uninterested. Back then? We were both drinking, in denial, unhealthy. Now? My own drinking has been cut way back. The denial is starting to fade. Iím healthier than Iíve been since I was in my 20ís. Cindy? Sheís losing weight, seeing the problems drinking was causing her, but is still smoking. Iíll accept the smoking for now if it means she can work on the drinking & weight. Quitting the smoking can come when other things are more stable.

Reading her notes offered both slaps in the face, and glimmers of hope. Am I willing to take that path, or am I really too far gone? Depends on progress and slips. Steady progress and the odd, rare slip would be fine. Lack of progress and too many slips (admitted by her or not) would not be a good thing. Itís a wait and see situation.

Had an absolutely invigorating workout this morning. New spin instructor dude uses music from right in my wheelhouse. This mornings selections included Ozzy, Led Zep, The Eagles, Styx, I think Dave Matthews, Blues Traveler, maybe even one by Sheryl Crow that was ok. The class also consisted on one huge ass climb. After warm-ups, we basically did hill climbs of varying degrees for the next 40 minutes. Had the resistance buried a couple of times - it was pretty much an absolute necessity to stand on the pedals to get them to move Ė all the while sticking to the beat (easy to do in Kashmir Ė itís sooooo slow). Surprisingly enough, in the sprints at the end (the downhill part), there was still gas in the tank. Felt good to really crank the lags fast after the load of severe climbing. Supposedly helps to pump the waste products out of your muscles. Donít know about that, but it sure felt good.

Well, time to head to the ball game and go have fun because the company said so. Man, I hate that (not really)

Gotta think about whatís next in our process too. How far gone am I?

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