Getting along with your X is helpful; I wouldn't have the energy to deal with the manipulation, greed, the petty games played out in court and out of school, everywhere unwinnable games matter. Too much work for me, my friend. Agreeing to not be disagreeable while trying not to disagree, accepting compromise at times... it keeps things serene.
"I'm compassionate if nothing else," I told a friend at TAM (The Ancient Mariner) last night, explaining why I let X (The X) have the kids a night.
"Yes you are," my friend replied, giving me a hug. I'd played barroom therapist for her one night, helped her resolve an issue with her father, she's always been gracious. But yes, I'd been compassionate with X.
X knows she has problems and needs to work those issues out. She also knows that the kids can't be around while she's getting it together. When she called the other day, I could hear the heartbreak. She missed her kids. She said she'd been staying sober, felt OK, she wasn't feeling manic. Her voice said it was all true.
Her last episode she'd been doing scrips, Xanax, Vicodin, the former she got from a doctor, the latter on trade for a few of the former. Third mental health/substance abuse hospitalization in a year. It was too much; hell, the first time was too much. I had to take the kids on by myself, indefinitely.
Fortunately, among all the things X and I agree on, that the kids come first is foremost. So when I said I would keep the kids indefinitely, she didn't fight me.
When I dropped the kids off, her place was pretty clean; when I picked them up, it was trashed, stuff everywhere. My kids have a gift for wrecking a place in a few short hours, if left unchecked. Not entirely compassionate, she gets no sympathy from me.
It's 3 A.M. and my youngest will be up in 4 hours - if I'm lucky. A diaper to change, a bowl of cereal to pour, an intermitent cup of Orange Juice to be monitored. More Apple Jacks on the floor, stickiness on the kitchen floor to be cleaned. The girls will be up soon after and although no diapers, plenty to clean. Their ceaseless chatter at the table will tell me that my day has irreversibly started.
I wouldn't have it any other way. At least for today.
X will start her own day in her own way, I suppose, but there's no way for me to know what she does. That's fine, too. I just hope it's another day of her getting her life together, I want what's best for her. However, what's best for the kids takes precedent over X's welfare, in my eyes. When she's ready to be a mom again... there's no telling. Until then, here I am.