AURORA, Colo. – Author Linda L. Hutchinson grew up in Ohio expecting to experience an ordinary life as a wife and mother. But her path has taken unexpected turns that led her to tell her story in the book In My Petticoat: A Touch of Insanity. This is the story of a mother’s journey raising a child with mental illness and survival against all odds.
Hutchinson visited the Anschutz Medical Campus last week to discuss her book, while also visiting her daughter Leenn Fields, who is an instructional designer in the CU College of Nursing (CON) and serves as a lead for the Exempt Professional Assembly (EPA) at the University of Colorado Denver l Anschutz Medical Campus.
Fields joined her mother during a book signing (see photo) hosted by the Anschutz Medical Campus Bookstore.
“The book is written from my mother’s perspective about her journey raising a child, my brother, who had mental illnesses,” said Fields. “She pulls no punches about what life was/is like and the support factors, rather the lack thereof, when it comes to those afflicted with mental illness, especially from a parent’s point of view.”
Hutchinson currently serves on a task force for Mental Health and the Justice System established through the Ohio Supreme Court and the State’s Attorney General. She’s also involved with three subcommittees: 1) Mental Health and Juvenile Justice, 2) Diversion and Re-Entry, and 3) Psychiatry.
During Hutchinson’s campus visit, she also presented a guest lecture in a master’s-level course for Family Psychiatric Mental Health nurses.
Through her book, readers find a story that starts when Hutchinson was just a girl who planned to raise her family like anyone else, grow old with her husband, become a grandparent/great grandparent and leave a legacy of a life well lived and loved by all who knew her. As her journey unfolds at the sidelines into the madness of mental illness, the reader will decide if she has and is fulfilling her purpose.
Copies of the book are available in the university bookstore in Building 500 and from Amazon.com.
(Photo: Leeann Fields looks on as her mother, author Linda Hutchinson, signs a book for CON colleague Terry Biddinger.)