Marta: Looking for Help

One time when Tim was hospitalized, Marta had to fight with mental health staff to get the help he needed.

They had him in the psych ward and after four days, they were like, he’s good. Send him home. Well, the crazy thing was the day before he convinced one of the staff people there because he just wouldn’t calm down, to let him use the phone to call me at three in the morning. They allowed him to call me because they said he was out of control. . .Then the psychiatrist or psychologist was going to give him the all clear the next day. He would be released to come home. Here’s the medication. I had recorded the voice message that he left, and also the phone call. I said, “I want you to hear this and listen. This doesn’t sound like the person you’re talking about.” When he [provider] heard it, he totally changed his tune. But I had to convince him and I had to have that proof because I don’t know if Tim had him snowed or what, but they were going to send him home. With that being recorded and having that doctor listen to it, what more could he say. He’s not okay.

Marta could not understand how hospital staff had ignored Tim’s symptoms of paranoia, hallucinations, and anxiety.

After Tim verbally threatened Marta and was physically violent with her, he went to jail. She obtained a restraining order, which limited his contact with their children, and moved out of the house where they had lived together to a new location.

I haven’t changed my phone number at all because I’ve had it forever. There were times, even though we wouldn’t talk back and forth, he would leave a message for the kids if he forgot their phone number. I figured at least that way if they needed to get a hold of him or if he couldn’t remember their number, he could talk to them.

Six months ago, when Marta visited her daughter who was away at college, Tim started calling and leaving threatening messages that did not make sense. He sounded like he was talking to someone else, possibly hearing voices. He did not respond coherently when Marta or her daughter talked to him on the phone. Marta realized that Tim was experiencing another episode.

More of the Story: Prioritizing Her Children