I was raised in the western suburbs of Sydney, in a modest home of few conveniences, where I lived with my mother and older brother. Life was tough, and it became tougher when my mother’s health collapsed. Without the support of the relatives and neighbours who rallied to help, I would not have become the woman I am today.
The road was not a smooth one though. One summer’s day in late 1974 I arrived in Adelaide alone and jobless, my education abandoned, my family and friendship ties severed, a failed marriage behind me – and my child lost to adoption. I was just nineteen years old.
Since that day the road has been a long and winding one, but if the first part of my life was about disconnection, the second has been about reconnection. All the individual threads have woven back into one great tapestry. I traced the father I’d last seen at four years old, and he was there when I married for the second time, to my wonderful husband of many years, Bill. Even the son I “lost” is now in my life.
I have always been a storyteller, or more precisely a raconteur: a person who tells anecdotes in a skillful and amusing way. For me, humour is an important survival tool.
I always promised myself that one day I would take the time to write down all my funny stories and anecdotes.
When that day finally came, however, it was another story which emerged. Perhaps it is the one that I was always meant to write. It is a tale of trauma, yes. More importantly, it is a tale of triumph over adversity - a heartfelt message of hope.
"I Belong to No One"
is my story.
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Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia