Inspirational and empowering for all
- Acres Australia.
Breaking the Mould
By Freya Sundt & Joy
SOMETIMES we are not what we seem. Our stories and our lives are carefully hidden under a façade that has taken decades in the making – and yet, a crack might appear and then the story unfolds.
This is what author Freya Sundt discovered when she formed a friendship with a vivacious woman who seemed to have lived a blessed life. But behind that happy, contented face lived a tormented soul – but a soul that had learned to turn tragedy into triumph, adversity into strength.
Freya Sundt first met Joy in Tasmania – and the two were to become close friends. Even her name, Joy, seemed to reflect the woman’s outward persona.
“This is a story of one woman’s courage, determination,
strength, hopes, fears and dreams. And it’s a story of her ability to tap into something else, a wisdom, to get her through the most awful childhood, who knows what or where from? Not to just get through it, but to turn out such a lovely human being,” the author says.
Joy’s childhood was anything but joyful – she grew up with abject poverty, extreme violence and child abuse. It was back in the days in an isolated pocket of Tasmania, that such families fell through the cracks. Indeed, there were no government services to monitor and help the victims of dysfunctional families – and extended families.
At the core of this dysfunctional family was an abusive, alcoholic father who regularly beat her mother, cruelly terrorised herself and her siblings for sheer pleasure and earnt a pittance to raise his large brood.
Joy relates so many shocking experiences, topped - by just a smidgen - by the tale of her father’s bizarre routine of marching his children and beaten-down wife into a car, driving to an isolated road, lining them up and pronouncing he was going to kill them and bury their bodies right there in the bush.
The children tried in vain to protect their mother from her living hell. Eventually they grew up…
So this woman, Joy, survived this trauma to become the vivacious woman who the author met. Joy is a mother and grandmother now – and has a functional and long-standing relationship. She is the life of the party (but rarely drinks) and a well-loved member of her community.
Her siblings did not survive the mental scarring as well as she.
Much credit must be given to the author for drawing out this woman’s story and presenting it warts and all but with love and understanding. Much credit, too, to Joy, who dared to bare her soul – warts and all.
So if you are feeling down in the dumps, that life has put up a roadblock. Just read this story. It’s inspirational and empowering for all. If Joy can find joy in her life, so can we.
- Acres Australia.