Always tweaking something!

Plans vs. Reality

Day 1794

I was thinking of reviewing my plans for the weekend as revealed on last weeks Friday Fill In (FFI).  But maybe the ‘versus’ isn’t the right way to look at this.  Who wins in the struggle of Plans vs. Reality?   Ultimately, reality has to win.  Doesn’t matter what you plan, you did what you did.  Not much to contest then, is there?

So what did I did?

Friday night blog surfing?  Check.

Saturday plant moving and quality couples time?  Ahhhh – nope.  Ended up putting a new water faucet on the back of the house to replace the one we lost when the porch was built.  Had one on the side, but it’s not in a great location and you need about 100 feet of hose just to water the plants on what’s left of the patio.   So the new faucet got done.  I had intended to get one put in, just not this weekend.

As for the quality couples time?  Don’t know what happened there.  Cindy just, I don’t know.  Had a bug up her ass all day.  Couldn’t get her to open up, share, respond, nothing.  In these counseling sessions she remarks that I never initiate conversations (unless it has to do with dinner), never share any deep thoughts, never even show any range of emotions about anything.  I told her (and the counselor) that I pride myself on keeping an even keel, not letting my emotions get too high or too low.  Well.  Cindy says she’s done stuff, started arguments, etc. just to try and get a rise out of me – just to see if I’ll react to anything.  I do, I just don’t let it get out of hand.

So Saturday afternoon, while she’s acting all stand-offish and cold and unresponsive, I threw a hissy fit.  Didn’t do any good Saturday, but things eased up some Sunday.  Still have no idea why.  But the quality couples time?  Went out to a local restaurant, used a gift certificate we had.  Excellent food, good service.  Big birthday party going on in the same room.  4 generations (I think) of family.  Kids.  Loud.  Impossible to really have a conversation.  We took Eric with us too (had to, to use up the certificate amount), so between the party, bad attitudes and our couple with 3 people in it – nah – no quality couples time to be had.

Sunday.  Sleep in?  If 7:30 counts as sleeping in then yes, I did.

Golf?  Yep.  Had a great front 9.  4 or 5 pars, ended up shooting a 39 on the front.  (Executive course, par was 32 – don’t get too excited).  Back 9?  Brain farts.  Kept hitting into trees, kept thinking I could wedge the ball through, around or over obstacles, never succeeded.  Finally, the last 4 holes I started keeping the ball in play and salvaged a decent round.  Almost screwed up the last hole.  265 yards, so I hit a 3 wood rather than driver.  Still drove it past pin high, just to the right of the green.  Chipped to within 8 feet and dropped the birdie putt.  Perfect way to end a round – now I REALLY want to go back.

Saw a movie?  Nope.  Actually, Saturday I asked Cindy if she wanted to go out and see the new Harry Potter flick that evening.  Her response was that she didn’t want to sit in a theater while the weather was nice & the sun was shining.  After dinner?  She spent the entire day indoors anyhow and really, the only reason we went out to dinner was because while I was putting in the new faucet thingy Cindy was watching HGTV or DIY and hadn’t thought to get a freakin thing out for dinner.

Still don’t know what happened Sunday to change her attitude.  Retail therapy while I was golfing?  She got 6 new perennials – Black-Eyed Susans, a different kind of Coral Bells, a different Coreopsis, another different Yarrow, False Spirea and, and,  – oh yeah – her boss gave her a sapling of Wisteria.  The Wisteria has somehow sprouted the need for an arbor which has somehow sprouted a new project on the “to do” list.  At least I got the dang faucet put in, so they kind of cancel each other.  Sort of.

Later now . . . (like Tuesday)

Counseling session was interesting.  I brought up how I was frustrated by Cindy’s lack of interest in life Saturday – the (studied) lack of response, just general lack of participation in things.  I also mentioned how I thought that somehow her attitude was light years better on Sunday, after I’d spent the day (well, 5 hours) golfing with the boys and she got her retail therapy at the garden store – buying me a Black Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia).  (I’d mentioned Saturday how I’ve come to accept that we don’t have any Rudbeckia even though I swore we got some last year.)

Then yesterday (Monday) I was ruminating on the weekend and a nagging little thought re-surfaced.  The same thought I’d had Saturday while tossing my pathetic little hissy fit.  I was being manipulated.  Friday evening, Saturday, Sunday morning – all of it was intentional.  Cindy even admitted as much during our session – that she was pleased to finally see that she could get some range of emotional response out of me.  Beyond that, she was all, “Gee, I don’t really remember being unresponsive, or there being much of a tense atmosphere all weekend.  I don’t understand what you’re talking about.”  Basically, she’s refusing to take responsibility for her actions.

Oh!  Another good one.  Cindy admitted to feeling like she’s always under suspicion, like we’re always watching her, waiting for her to slip up and have yet another drink.  She worries that she’s going to get caught.

I related a real quick little anecdote about how I thought it was funny that when you’re in a group of cars all doing the speed limit – everybody slows down as soon as they see a cop.  Why?  You’re doing the speed limit, doing nothing wrong, why get all paranoid?  Janine, to her credit, said the same thing – if you’re doing nothing wrong, why are you so paranoid?

So.  After the couples session I had the luxury of having a 1 on 1 with Janine.  It was really interesting deconstructing the couples session.  It is becoming apparent to me that I am not really in counseling for me – I’m there to learn how to deal with Cindy.  What my counseling/therapist teams are saying is most drinkers/addicts stop maturing emotionally once they establish their addiction, so in Cindy’s case, this could be as early as her late teens. I need to look at this like I’m dealing with a teenager.  Most importantly, I need to not react to the manipulations, but respond in a very measured way – and keep myself above the fray.  My own behavior needs to be such that nothing I do (like *ahem* Ms. CL) can be used as an excuse to justify shitty behavior on Cindy’s part.

Then, the sucky part.  How long?  How long before I decide that there hasn’t been sufficient progress?  How long before Cindy faces a consequence of some significance?  My role?  Keep my nose clean, lead by example, support Cindy’s AA effort.  What I’ve tried to do for the last 18 months.  More of the same.

Bowling starts in 6 weeks.  Yay!!


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