As the parent of a child who struggles with mental illness I have done every wrong thing in my pursuit to ‘fix’ her, ‘protect’ her and ‘help’ her. I love her. My intentions were good but my execution was all wrong. Much of that was because of lack of knowledge and understanding. We are still a work in progress but we live our lives so much differently now than we did in the beginning. You can not be in treatment or have a loved one in treatment and not be aware of the social and medical community shortcomings associated with mental illness. We can not change what we are not able to speak openly about. My daughter still feels that the word ‘normal’ is never a word that society feels she is worthy of. It is my hope that, if those of us living lives touched by this, live our lives better the perception of ‘normal’ will be forever changed.

One response to “Penny”

  1. candace says:

    You are not alone. We would trade places with them if we could. I realize now there are many of us in the same boat, and we can even joke about the gifts we have being enlightened. You give up those dreams you had for your child, only to find your child’s dreams are more important. And normal is just a setting on the dryer, it isn’t worthy of be defined on a person. Life is too short to be unhappy, let alone be normal. To appreciate the sweetness of a beautiful mind and sometimes the sorrow isn’t a bad life, its a new perspective on what is good.

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