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.