General Question

Aethelwine's avatar

Would you spend an evening in a bar two nights after your 14 yr old child was admitted to a psychology ward?

Asked by Aethelwine (42961points) September 18th, 2016

The child was admitted at the hospital Friday evening. Parents are sitting at a bar taking selfies two nights later.

Would you do this if it were your child?

I’m trying to understand.

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33 Answers

Cruiser's avatar

Of course not. Apparently these parents are totally clueless as to why their child is in the psych ward in the first place. Since this is a 14 yr old tells me this has been a slow burn for many years of the parents doing whatever it is or has been that they do to eventually twist this child’s mind into a total mess. IMO the child is in a better and safer place.

YARNLADY's avatar

Well, no, I wouldn’t, but maybe the parents are glad their child is finally in a safe place and they can relax for a change.

Coloma's avatar

It seems rather callous, but OTOH if this is a regular thing for them they are just going to their usual go to place for escapism purposes, alcohol.
Sounds like a pretty troubled family.

johnpowell's avatar

I can totally understand the bar part. It isn’t like you can do much to get the kid out of the psych ward.

It is the selfies that convinced me they are shit parents.

Aethelwine's avatar

Me too @jp. I’m on the fence otherwise.

YARNLADY's avatar

@johnpowell Maybe they are letting friends and family know that the situation is being managed. That is the whole purpose of Social Media.

Jeruba's avatar

I wouldn’t assume it’s a safe place. It’s just as likely to be a hellhole.

anniereborn's avatar

I would if I was an alcoholic.

filmfann's avatar

I try not to judge other people, since I really don’t know their story, but this couple make it quite a challenge.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

No. I can’t imagine that I would do this. Perhaps they also have psychological problems and drinking is their way of coping.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

It’s hard to judge without really knowing them or the exact circumstance.

jca's avatar

I would like to say no but on the other hand I and we don’t know what the situation has been like for this family at home. Maybe it’s been very tense with a lot of explosive episodes from the teen and maybe from the parents, too. Maybe, like @YARNLADY said, they’re finally able to relax. Many people on here say “I don’t judge” (I don’t say that, I admit I judge), but in this situation, many are judging.

cookieman's avatar

I would say no, but then, I would say no if you simply asked, “Would you spend an evening in a bar?” — so I can’t really say.

Pachy's avatar

I wouldn’t because, among other reasons, I don’t drink or take selfies—but I don’t walk in these parents’ shoes, either. Everyone deals with heavy emotional situations in their own way.

chyna's avatar

Perhaps I would be out drinking for the various reasons stated above, but I definitely would not be taking selfies. This would in no way be a celebration.

Seek's avatar

I mean… if they went out partying the night of the kid being taken away, that would be pretty shitty.

But then, I haven’t had a single evening away from my own kid (who is wonderful and not in a psych ward) in over a year, and had the chance for a night out taken away from me at the last second by my flaky brother. It’s incredibly frustrating. Sometimes you just need grownup time, right?

If these parents have a psychologically troubled teenager, they likely haven’t had a stress-free night in years. Their kid is currently in a safe place, and they can go be adults without worrying they’ll come home to a burnt-down house or a suicide attempt or a runaway situation.

Let them have it, I say.

Mariah's avatar

I have no idea what I would be doing in that situation. People react to traumatic situations in unpredictable ways.

LornaLove's avatar

I personally wouldn’t. Only because I hate bars and don’t drink.

cookieman's avatar

I think what @Mariah said is spot on. We can’t assume their actions mean they don’t care. Maybe there’s a certain level of relief. Perhaps their son/daughter has been difficult to deal with for a long period of time and now he/she is finally getting the care they need. The parents may just be expressing some relief.

CWOTUS's avatar

I’m not judging. At all. I’m not even equivocating on that with a “but…” or “except…”

I’m not in their shoes in any way. In the first place I seldom visit bars; that’s not a moral thing, it’s just not part of my socializing or entertainment choices as a general rule. In the second place my kids are now in their 30s, and their middle teen years were relatively uneventful. So I can barely imagine the causes that would put a child in a psych ward in the first place. (I’m not ignorant; I know that kids at that age can be at relatively high risk of suicide, that high school bullying is a real problem sometimes, and that even seemingly well-adjusted teenagers often act out at that age, and even those from the most apparently stable families.) In any case, there is no information provided as to the “why” of the commitment. For all we know, the parents may have been involved in some mutual and heroic struggle with whatever demons the child faces and are now rightly celebrating that they have finally attained outside help.

I don’t know – none of us knows – the parents’ living situations. They may no longer be married, for example, or may be married to other spouses, which could make a meeting of the two of them in one of their homes awkward – especially if the current spouse was not in attendance. Sometimes, I suppose, the best “public space” to be found in common between people is… a bar.

There’s also no information provided as to whether the child is in, say, a locked ward at the psych unit and held incommunicado from all but medical personnel – which, I think, is not uncommon following a suicide attempt. There is no information provided as to the terms – or term – of the commitment, either.

As to “taking selfies”, it seems like everyone with a cell phone does that. I feel exceptional sometimes in light of the fact that I almost never take them. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve taken “a selfie” in the two years that I’ve owned a smartphone, and sometimes I feel odd to not be taking selfies when everyone around me is. Again, for all I know the selfies may be taken with a more or less neutral background (no drinks, liquor ads or strippers in view, for example) and saved for later or sent to the child at the time. I just don’t know. “Taking selfies” is hardly grounds for censure.

I would need a whole lot more information on all aspects of the issue just to be “in place to make a judgment” ... and even then I probably would refrain unless the parents acted in a particularly obvious and crass manner, openly and publicly mocked their own child, described how they were defrauding the system or in some other way performed an egregious act or display of bad behavior.

In keeping with an earlier admonition to “read the OP charitably” I’m also attempting to respond in that manner. But on its face this question does not seem to have been presented very charitably. So here I am playing Devil’s advocate again.

Meeting in a bar and taking selfies… doesn’t seem to warrant a very severe judgment. What else have ya’ got on ‘em?

canidmajor's avatar

Without any backstory, I would have to reserve judgement. As far as “taking selfies” goes, I agree with @CWOTUS, that the action, in and of itself, is not a basis for censure. It has been given a very bad rap, but like the tattoo on the lower back, is not valid evidence for harsh judgement.
I’m guessing that you know way more about this situation and these people than was in the details, but beyond random guessing, I can’t help you here.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Jeruba I suspect you have a mistaken idea about mental facilities. I believe it is more likely a place where the child is safe and receiving the help needed.

My brother was in a mental hospital for several years. It was more like a college dorm. He shared a room with two other people. They had their own belongings and closets. They watched TV in a common room, where there were at least three TV viewing areas to choose from. They had a gym and game room with pool table. They ate in a cafeteria where they could choose their own food from a buffet.

The facility had several buildings on a few acres of grounds, and they were free to walk around the gardens and walkways. They met for group therapy every day and twice a week for personal therapy with a psychiatrist. I’m pretty sure he was on some sort of medication, but I’m not sure about that part.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@YARNLADY I agree with that picture. Pretty sure one of those places saved one of my good high school friends.

Jeruba's avatar

Going by the first-hand comments I have heard from people close to me, a psych ER in a county hospital can be unimaginably awful. Even a therapist of my acquaintance said, “It’s a pretty terrible place.” I spent half a day in the waiting room of one of those, seeing people come and go, and have also rescued someone from them, and that’s as close as I want to get.

I also know of a juvenile MH facility where the kids are doped up and shuffled around in long lines and there’s no counseling or therapy of any sort. And 5150 holds can be nightmares.

A private MH facility be like a resort, but public hospitals can be more like something painted by Hieronymus Bosch.

But go ahead and call me mistaken if it makes you feel better.

trolltoll's avatar

I’ve spent time in county mental health facilities in two different states, and my experiences have ranged from tolerable to awful. They are not a fun place to be by any stretch of the imagination.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I wouldn’t.

stanleybmanly's avatar

What’s the point in going into mourning? For all I know, the kid might be so hard to deal with, that the parents haven’t been out in years. This may be their first break. And we have no idea how long it may last. I now see that I’m repeating @Seek. Apologies for not reading the thread first.

JLeslie's avatar

Is it the child’s tenth time that she is impatient? We really need more details.

I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be out partying, I’d most likely be home worrying and punishing myself. But, I’m not going to judge until I hear the whole story.

Aethelwine's avatar

The child is the stepdaughter of my sister. Her wife was married to a man previously and they had 3 children. My sister and her wife have been together for 10 years. They recently were granted full custody of the youngest because she wanted to live with them. She thinks her father doesn’t love her.

This girl tried to commit suicide in the spring. She’s close with my daughter and she told her she did it because voices in her head told her to. She told her mom and my sis it was because she was being bullied.

I don’t know why she was admitted over the weekend, but I’m assuming another attempt was made. My sister just lost her job after working for a Fortune 500 for 22 years. Life at home is stressful.

My niece is in an excellent facility.

The parents are very social and go out frequently.

(This is why I don’t recruit people I know to Fluther)

Dutchess_III's avatar

Sounds like they just need to decompress themselves.
I can’t say I’d go to a bar, simply because I don’t do bars any more, but I might come home and flat get drunk.

Jeruba's avatar

@jonsblond, >My niece is in an excellent facility.

If that’s the case, then perhaps the parents were putting on a show: “We’re fine. I’m fine. Everything is just fine.”

Queenfiona's avatar

Doesn’t sound too good to me.

Zachary_Mendes123's avatar

I wouldn’t. Why would parents even do that? I got admitted to a psych hospital a week ago (I got discharged 2 days ago) and my parents would come and see me everyday.

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