I called the Halifax Hospital Psychiatric Unit to talk to mom again. Some random man answered the phone but didn’t tell me who he was.

I waited, listening to the sound of people shuffling around the room, for three full minutes and then mom got on the phone.

After I said, “Hi, mom,” and she replied, “Hi,” I told her that I just wanted to talk to her. She repeated what I said like she was a zombie: “I just want to talk to you.”

Then she said, very clearly, “This place is horrible.”

I started to ask why, but she just said, “I gotta go,” and then I could tell she put the phone down and walked away.

I waited for a minute or two, yelling into the phone in case someone could hear it, but there was no response. So I just hung up.