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Ex is in a Psych Ward

Started by hisliltulip, Dec 12, 2003, 11:28:39 AM

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On Tuesday, my ex called to speak with our five year old son.  I handed the phone to son, and they spoke for about 15 minutes (which is about the norm).  When son got off the phone, he said "Daddy is in the hospital".  I asked him if that is what his Daddy had said, and he said "Yep, he's there because he's sick in the head".  Needless to say, I was worried.  My ex has bi-polar, so I wasn't sure if he was in the hospital because of that, or the flu, or a head infection....  Knew nothing.

The next morning (6:15) he called me collect from the hospital.  I asked him why he was in the hospital, and he said because of the bi-polar, and there had been a mix-up with his medication.  I asked how long he thought he'd be there, and he said a month, maybe two.  I then requested an address so son could send him pictures and such, which he gave me, then got off the phone.

Here's the thing, I find out from our FIVE year old son Tuesday night that ex is in the hospital, ex confirms it on Wednesday.  EVERYONE in ex's family has ALL of my phone numbers, home+work+cell, yet no one calls to tell me anything.

I call my ex-fil, and ask what's going on, and he says "oh, yeah, I was going to call you, ------ is in the hospital, because he STOPPED TAKING HIS MEDICATION.  He was admitted on Friday."

Noone called me, noone said a word.  I'm still in shock.  The last time he stopped taking his medication, he tried to kill me and our son.  All of the family knows this, yet no one called me.  I find out from our son.  I'm livid, I'm scared, and I don't know what to do right now.  I've tried talking to his Doctor.  According to our custody papers I am to be informed of each hospital admittance and release, reason's why, and am to receive blood test reports.  But the Doctor's don't look at that, they look at patient privacy.  She did let me know that at this time they have no idea when he's getting out, and that she would keep me informed of whatever information she was allowed to, but that was about it.

I'm furious with the family for leaving it to a sick man to let me know, he can't take adequate responsibility when he's like this!

Then my ex FIL called me to see if they could have DS for Christmas!  I said if ex was out of hospital, I would consider it, but I wasn't going to make a decision right now.


Ok, I'm done now.

All right, how do I handle phone calls from my ex to his son while he is in hospital?  Do I let son talk with him, or do I ignore the calls.  I don't know his exact current state of mind and am afraid of what he may say to son.

Any advice would be appreciated.



Dr. D

Dear Beth,

I feel bad that you have to go through this.  First, try to talk to the psychologist or social worker of the hospital that is working with your ex.  Show him/her the divorce papers that entitles you to information.  Usually, social workers or psychologists spend more time with families and related issues than will the doctors or nurses.  

As far as the phone calls, I would first talk with ex.  Make sure he is stable enough in his thinking to talk to a 5 y.o.   As for Christmas, wouldn't the grandparents be better than the ex to visit with for your son?  Try not to punish them for not notifying you.  It sounds as though they may have their hands full as well.

Push the social worker.....You need the information especially if your ex has been violent or threatening in the past.  Since I am not sure what type of visitation or custody rights he has, you must first protect yourself and your son.

Be assertive but also redirect your anger so that this can get resolved.

Dr. D


The agreement for Christmas was between ex and I, the 23rd to the 27th son was to be with him.  Now that he's in the hospital, I see no reason why son should go to his Grandparent's for all of that time.  I would probably consider letting them have him the 25th through the 27th or 28th, but feel it would not be fair to him to not be around Mommy OR Daddy for Christmas.  He should atleast be with one parent.  (My opinion only).

Original Social worker that I spoke with in the past is gone, seems the copy of divorce papers have disappeared also.  New social worker seems to want to help me, but told me today that Ex is refusing to sign a release form.  I'll resend the papers, see what happens there.

On the anger issue, there is more to the story, but would take too long explaining.  In my defense, this is not the first (or tenth) time that I have been left in the dark, or flat out lied to by ex-inlaws.  I've given them the benefit of the doubt for too long.  I understand that they want to "protect" their son....  But because of this, it is completely up to me to protect their grandson.

Thank you for your advice, I'll probably be back if I hit another wall with the hospital.




I have a 2 and 6 year old, aside from excitement of the presents and then playing with the presents, the nostalgia of the holiday is definately with the parents....AND grandparents.

Let the grandparents have him on Christmas Day.  After the holidays, have a sit down with the FIL and let him know how you were disappointed with his lack of proactivity in the situation, especially having to hear about the hospitalization from your son.  In the future, you expect him to do A-B-C in the future to protect everyone's best interest and safety.  

I think you'd feel better if you were able to vent to him since you're also agree with your ex FIL but wait until after the holidays to do this.