Always tweaking something!

Not what I Expected

Day 2026

Last night’s counseling session was not at all what I expected. Sure, I expressed a desire to create a sovereign space within the house like I wanted to. A space where Cindy – a self admitted control freak – had no voice in what that space was or what happened there – as long as it was all legal, morally & ethically legit stuff.

As I mentioned that, the girls both nodded, asked a few questions, nodded some more, then Janine asked, “Is this something you guys can find a solution to?” We (Cindy & I) responded affirmatively. Then Janine took us down a path we had actually started on last week – “We’re going to work on this personal inventory stuff.”

Silly, naïve me had brought it up last week – how maybe we could do the inventory using Janine as a sponsor. The difficulty I’ve had in accomplishing this inventory is at least two fold. First, you’re supposed to work on it with your sponsor. Al Anon guidelines insist that sponsor/sponsee be the same gender. The relationship between the two is close and having same gender sponsor/sponsee avoids some unnecessary complications. Problem is, in the group I attend most regularly, I am the only male that attends with any regularity. I’ve met a few guys from other groups in the monthly GR meetings and at the monthly AIS office meetings. One guy in particular would be an excellent sponsor. I only need ask him. But lack of a sponsor has been a setback in doing the inventory.

The second difficulty in doing the inventory was revealed when we actually started it. We needed a subject. Cindy offered up fears. (At this point, I had a feeling I was being set up) She even easily offered up two examples of her fears. I pointed out how closely related the two fears were, but could see that I wasn’t going to get anywhere following that thread. That meant it was my turn. So I coughed up the fact that for the last two years I’ve been fearful of losing my job.

Apparently, that isn’t real. A job is a thing. I might be afraid of losing a thing, but it isn’t the root of my fear. So I extended it a bit. If I lose my job, it puts everything in jeopardy – house, cars, 401k’s – everything we’ve accumulated over the last 30 years.

Hmmph. More things. Don’t count. What’s the real fear?

Janine wanted me to say that I was afraid of not being able to provide what my family needed. That if I couldn’t provide I would be looked upon as less worthy, not good enough. She did eventually work that out of me, adding that it was a common fear of most males. They measure their self worth through their job and what they can provide.

Yeah, yeah, yeah – ok fine. I get that. But I can’t just fear job loss and all that it entails? Can’t it be just that? Janine and Cindy both say that the Al Anon approach to doing an inventory is too complicated. Both say it should really be an easy process. Then why is Janine making it so difficult?

(No, I really DON’T want to dive in. Feelings are wet & messy. I’ve been happy keeping them in check & staying dry.)


3 responses

  1. FWIW, I think fear of losing the job – which I TOTALLY GET, implies all those other things. But getting a little wet and messy can some times be a good thing, right?

    And I hear you with the sponsor thing. I don’t have one. There was one woman who I was going to ask, but she left the fellowship. I’ve changed groups and am throwing some ALANON meetings back into the mix as well, so I am hoping to find one somewhere. I suspect it’s all some kind of arrogance on my part, but I would like to select someone whom I think is farther down the road than me!

    March 11, 2010 at 8:28 am

    • bikinfool

      Depends on what the getting wet & messy is FOR. Jello wrestling is one thing, examining the soft underbelly of ones emotions is another. I can see how understanding ones deeper motives would be a benefit though.

      March 11, 2010 at 9:27 am

  2. Patty

    I don’t. It’s there, you know it, you feel it. I really don’t get all the analyzing. I guess I would not be a good candidate for therapy.

    March 14, 2010 at 7:52 pm

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