Norma’s story
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Norma’s story

Norma’s story

I come from a very large family, there were 11 children, sadly 3 of them pasted away within hours of coming into this world. My oldest brother was adopted out when he was 2 years old.
When I was 5 my father was killed in a car accident.
We moved from Brisbane to a small town in Western Australia,
My mother remarried.

My step-father was not a very nice man, he was very abusive and an alcoholic, needless to say all of us kids had emotional and some physical scares that lasted a lifetime because of the things that happened to us.
We thought it was normal, no one talked about it so neither did we,
Until we were adults.

We grew up thinking that was the norm we expected no less from our adult relationships and we all coped in the best way possible. Some turned to drugs and alcohol, some tried to commit suicide. None of it was pretty and none of it was normal.

When I was 14 my 7 year old sister was accidently run over and killed.
It was heart breaking for us all.

When I was in my early 20’s I met my husband, he was from an army background and for a very long time it was a happy marriage. We have 3 grown son’s all of whom are amazing men.

But like Kerry I found myself crying in a heap on the kitchen floor more times than I can count and knew something was missing in my life.
But I stayed, because that’s what you do. Marriage is till death do you part.
That was what I thought.

But there came a very poignant moment in my life. I found out my sister, who was 2 years older than me was dying. I lived in Perth she lived in Sydney. My sister had a very rare but genetic cancer. Tammy was 46 years old and had only months to live.
I wanted to go and be with her for at least a few months, after all my children were now grown ups, they didn’t need me fulltime anymore but my sister did.
She was alone, having divorced 10 years earlier and had no children of her own.
But my husband refused to help me or let me spend any of our money on the trip.

That moment changed my whole life!
In that moment my whole world crumbled, I realised how little I meant to my partner in life.
Then I looked at our life together and began to see the truth of our marriage. Things I had put up blinkers too before were suddenly startlingly obvious.
My friends had tried to tell me things over the years, but what did they know…right!
They didn’t see what he did for me, or didn’t.
But it seemed neither did I and maybe, just maybe they did see what I was blind to.

I started my plan of escape, I sold belongings I had brought before my marriage, things I cherished and had owned for decades. I brought my plane ticket and packed up a few boxes of clothes, books, photo’s, my camera (which I cherished), put them in storage and with $100 dollars in my pocket left.

I joined a house sitting website and went to see my sister.
I had never felt more free, I missed my boys, but they were adults and I knew they could live without me for a few month.
But that was my biggest heartache.

Here I am 4 years later.
3 years ago I got my license for the first time ever. Just months after my sister Tammy passed away. Tammy was the person who pushed me to do it and she would have been so proud, not sure she would have gotten into the car with me in the first few months though…lol
I started a business. I travelled. I met a wonderful supportive man who would do anything for me.
12 months ago I took on a huge contract, doing something I honestly believed I quite possibly would not be able to do.
It was demolishing the interior of a Roadhouse walls and all and rebuilding it.
I worked on Jack hammers and sledge hammers, I learnt to gyprock like a pro.

In December the roadhouse opened its doors and I have never been prouder of anything I have done (other than my beautiful boys) before in my life.
To pat myself on the back I brought a motorbike and learnt to ride…have to say I love it.

I love my life more than I ever have, I’m not perfect but I’m perfectly happy.

Ladies and gentleman, no matter how hard your life, how many hurdles you have in it. Life can always get better.
Never forget that.
Be kind, be courageous, be the real you.
Don’t ever let anyone tell you that YOU can’t.
Get out, try new things broaden your horizons and live your life…really live it.

Norma Brown
48 Years young

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