By telling my story I hope to help people suffering adversity and severe depression. This problem has been with me since my early 20’s. I have spent several periods in hospital, also having E.C.T. I am still on a lot of medication.

We moved form Sydney to Broke in the Hunter Valley firstly growing raspberries to supply the restaurants and eventually having an on-farm-shop. I also made chutneys and jams from our fruit trees and extensive vegetable garden.

Although we had apricots, figs, pears and table grapes, the raspberries developed a disease so we had to look to another venture. We researched and eventually planted olive trees. We were foundation members of the Hunter Valley Olive Association; I also travelled to California, Argentine, Spain and Italy for further research.

We sold the farm and bought a huge home on Lake Macquarie, from tree change to sea change. The marriage was very rocky and I was very unhappy. We then bought a restaurant, which brought a whole lot of new stresses and problems.

In 2003 I suffered a stroke, was in an induced coma for four months and when I regained consiousnes, I was blind. My husband and children put me in a nursinghome, I was only 56 years old. It was awful. Apart from loss of vision I was suffering no other effects from the stroke. The family sought no help for me so I initiated seeing an eye surgeon.

The result was I regained my sight. I was indeed a medical miracle.

I went back home but life was terrible. I was working with two social workers who described my situation as domestic violence, not physical but emotional. Eventually one morning I rang my three children, in Sydney, and told them I was leaving, not one said Mum I will come and get you. I rang a friend who would pick me up but I could only stay a couple of nights. After contacting one of the social workers I ended up in a Women’s Refuge, firstly in Muswellbrook then Lane Cove, in Sydney.

For 7 years I have been in a Retirement Village and am extremely happy. I rarely have contact with my three children and six grand daughters. This hurts a great deal.

They don’t seem to value me but my many friends and activities make a very full and happy life.

I am at last ‘free to be me’.

Maggie Attached are two chapters.
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ISBN: 9781477126974
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