I started this during a brief lull at work yesterday, then tried to finish it last night. Unfortunately, I felt compelled to reply to a comment or two and had to get in a little surfing of my own. By the time that was wrapped up, I didn’t have enough time to really finish my thoughts off last night, so I’ll finish them during lunch today (Tuesday) and hopefully post them tonight at home.
Sitting at home, sitting here at work – either at my desk or off in a lab, I can’t escape the sensation that I keep smelling cigarette smoke. Not a full-on blast of smoke, just that nasty metallic taste on the rear of my soft palate. What’s worse is that I know it isn’t real. It doesn’t happen all the time, but lately it’s been happening more frequently. It’s cropped up a couple times this morning even. Wonder if that’s an indicator that I’m suffering from lakanooki? You know? Maybe my body’s sensations are rushing to the post coital cigarette in a “see what you could be having?” mode. Well, it’s going to have to find a better carrot than the sensation of smoking. What it’s trying is likely to drive me further away.
Wait, what am I saying? I don’t need a cigarette to smoke in bed. Ahem.
It’s after couples therapy V.3 now. I’m seeing something Annette warned me about last week. Because I’ve done the therapy thing for a while now and also have a bit more experience at the whole 12 step thing, I have a certain advantage in therapy. I know how things work, I know how to think through things and I know how to verbalize my thoughts, all in therapy friendly terms. So Annette says that in therapy, Cindy & I aren’t on an even playing field. Tonight, I used that.Actually explained how events this weekend made me feel with out assessing blame. Basically wrapped up events from Saturday evening through Sunday evening.
Umm, yeah. To finish last night’s train of thought. To paraphrase what I said, I told Janine and Cindy that the trip back from Delevan Saturday night, Sunday morning and most of Sunday afternoon I felt like I was being punished by silence. I felt like I was walking on eggshells the whole time. I also told them both that I felt like I was making the effort to meet half way. Suggesting an activity for date night, changing some behaviors, but that my effort weren’t being reciprocated. I mentioned that somehow, things seemed to thaw a bit Sunday afternoon, but I wasn’t entirely sure of the source.
In truth, I lied there. I DO know the source(s). 1 – Eric came home from work. She’ll talk to the kids. She’s desperate to have them accept her. B – we were having a risotto made with a dash of red wine for dinner. What disappeared from the bottle was waaaaayyyyy more than the ½ up the recipe called for. (It was good risotto too!) Eric even saw her ‘hidden’ glass of wine, stashed in the dark corner net to the fridge, behind a bottle of water. (I kinda sensed Sunday that she was approaching ratchet jaw mode, but didn’t put it all together till last night. Eric confirmed my suspicions when he said he saw the glass.)
Aaaaanyhow. In spite of couching things in therapy friendly terms, Cindy was put a bit on the defensive. She did ask why I didn’t approach her about how I felt. My response was multi-tiered. First – it was a short amount of time from Sunday’s eggshell fest to Monday’s therapy session. I felt it best to share my feelings with a referee in the room (yeah, I said that in front of the therapist). Second, I told her that “trying to approach you with something like that was, well – it’s kinda like hugging a cactus”. Then, Janine kicked in and told Cindy that she just radiated aloofness, bad attitude, and everything else that says ‘stay the fuck away from me’. (No, Janine didn’t include the expletive. Cindy just implies it with her demeanor.) Again, for the second week in a row, I wanted to jump up and down like an ecstatic little kid and offer to wash Janine’s car whenever it needed it. On the inside.
Then came the coup de grace. Janine asked Cindy if she’d like to start some 1 on 1 sessions. Janine’s opinion (like that of Annette) was that Cindy had enough of her own stuff to work through and it was hampering any efforts we were making with couples therapy. Cindy agreed to go, but said something to the effect of “so I guess you think I’m messed up”. To her credit, Janine cut in and said “you’re messed up, I’m messed up, Brian’s messed up. We all have “stuff”. We all need to learn how to handle our “stuff”. That’s all we need to do is get you to learn how to handle YOUR stuff, then we can make progress on the two of you as a couple”
Now, for the second time in this session, I wanted to jump up and down like an ecstatic little kid and offer to wash Janine’s car whenever it needed it. On the inside. On the outside, I tried to not show a thing. Cindy and I were seated next to each other, so I doubt she picked up on anything. I don’t think Janine really noticed anything, but she’s also smart enough to not let on. So. I may call Annette and let her know that Cindy is starting 1 on 1 with Janine. I may even try to reschedule my next appt with Annette to try and fit one in before our next couples thingy. In case there are any things I might need to anticipate or prepare for. Of course, there’s the very good advice Gretchen from Iowa offered once – “Don’t borrow trouble”. Sounds like a good idea.
Before our session yesterday, I got an email from Cindy. Here it is, in total:
I’ve decided to go to Europe next Spring with the International Club. We’re going to Spain and the French Riviera. I’ll need to go online and put down a deposit by tomorrow of $95.00. Later
Once the waiting room emptied out yesterday, I asked her a few innocent questions about the trip. Even got polite answers. Cindy had considered going last year or the year before, but her dad’s condition and her newness at her job kinda put the dampers on it. So this idea is nothing new, but the abruptness of the announcement was, well, abrupt. This morning, Cindy was in the room formerly known as the 4th bedroom (not the computer room, entering all her info for the trip. At one point, she asked me my email address – emergency contact info. I jokingly asked her if it was because she was registering me for the trip too.
This morning, I get THIS email from her:
I was thinking this morning that if you wanted to go on this trip you could. Let me know. C
XXXX-XXXX High School
I would absolutely, positively LOVE to go. End of April in the south of France & Northern Spain? Heaven! Because of money she got from her dad, affording it isn’t a problem. But I don’t want to butt in on her fun. She isn’t going as a chaperone, only as an adult also participating, like the students. I’m sure the adults will feel a twinge of responsibility towards the kids (parents, especially mothers, are wired like that, yes?) but officially, there is no liability. Nice, Nimes, Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville – all very exotic places to us. But I don’t want to butt in.
Since the trip is next year, it IS affirmation that she’s willing to work on things I suppose. But if she went, I’d have 12 – 13 days here in splendid isolation. I could golf, bowl, sit in the living room in my underwear & watch hockey until my eyes bled. My hope is that Eric is in the Police Academy by then and living on his own. BOTH of us watching hockey while in our underwear is way beyond creepy. We’ve (Cindy & I, not Eric & I) agreed to talk it over tonight. My overwhelming desire is to go, but like I keep telling myself (and you all too) I don’t want to crowd her out of her own fun.
Aahhh well. Update from the school. Looks like I won’t have to horn in on anybody’s good time. The schools policy is that this trip is for students, school chaperones and school staff. No parents, no spouses (spice?).
Anybody up for a party at my place, April 16 – April 25, 2010? (Please, please note the year!! Don’t show up here in 2 weeks. That would be tough to explain.) I’ll have at least one extra bedroom, might be talked into giving up mine if a couple were to come, and if the weather is warm, we can sleep a small herd camping style on the back porch. I have access to some quality air mattresses too. It would be BYOB, pitch in for food and we’ll divvy up the cooking chores. I’ll have some nice, chewy, dark beers to share, we’ll fire up the smoker a time or three and can always make day trips to see some of the local sights. I’d also consider NOT sitting in the living room in my underwear watching the NHL playoffs. You know – if that’s gonna be a deal breaker and all.
It’s Tuesday evening now, time to trot off to my meeting. Lets remember this party idea, mmkay?