'Yes, you got through it,' he said quietly, 'but it shouldn't have happened. No little girl should have to put up with that.'Debra was a young girl when her mother divided the family in half and took Debra and her older sister to live in Ireland. For several years, both girls endured sexual abuse by their mother's boyfriends, often with their mother's knowledge of what was happening.Later, they moved to Australia where Debra had her own child, and it was only as an adult experiencing severe depression and struggling with jobs and relationships that she realised she needed to face up to her past. Her first attempts ended only in frustration, until she found a therapist who challenged her to take the risk of trusting him. "Finding Normal" is her gripping autobiographical account of two years in psychotherapy.Told as a dialogue between Debra and her psychiatrist, with snapshots of her life outside the safety of his office, it reveals the workings and potential of a successful therapeutic relationship.
It also explores Debra's emotions as she considers how the prolonged sexual abuse affected her, and as it becomes clear that her mother - to whom she is still so close - is unconcerned about her failure to act to stop the abuse.
Debra Drake is in her mid-forties and has one son. Born in England, she currently lives in Adelaide.