Joileen was born in Murwillumbah in New South Wales, Australia and had a life full of diverse experiences.
After an inauspicious and abusive early life, she managed to forge a 30-year hairdressing career, married and had three children, and is now the proud grandmother of six delightful grandchildren.
Joileen’s attributes her resilience and strong desire to fulfil her long held aspirations, as fundamental in enabling her to endure and overcome her early life of abuse and shattered dreams.
Her father was an unskilled labourer hence he moved his family from place to place in search for work. Her early years were spent living a nomadic lifestyle and as a consequence, developed no attachments or friendships during her formative years. After attending twenty odd schools, she was forced to leave school at age 12 years to begin her working life.
Joileen credits her love of books and stories with helping her through the many days of quiet desperation she was forced to endure over the first 19 years of her life. Joileen fashioned dreams in her mind and formed ambitions for the future which she carried like jewels throughout her life. She often felt an alien in her abusive environment, with a deep sense of not measuring up because of her lack of education. Her belief that she did not belong was ever present. Feeling unloved, and without a voice for much of her early life Joileen kept the mental images of becoming somebody worthwhile alive in her long-held dreams.
Hers is an inspirational story of how she was able to transcend feelings of abandonment and betrayal over so many years to eventually become the person she believes she was meant to be. Joileen writes with unbridled honestly about the flawed individual she believed herself to be – revealing her struggle with self-doubt and low self-esteem.
She describes how she transitioned from a life of abuse and despair to a place of self-acceptance and self-realisation. We witness how early self-preservation strategies such as reading helped her through the hardest times. Then how later she sought, unsuccessfully, the answers through religion. Joileen eventually developing a spiritual mindset which enabled her to finally understand her place in the scheme of life and to realise the fulfillment of those long held dreams.
Joileen says, “After a period of ill health where I had time to reflect on many of my life experiences I decided to write about them; to demonstrate how it is possible to overcome the struggles and challenges many of us face.” Her story is in some ways a story of self-creation, of finding a way out of self-doubt to arrive at a place where she feels she no longer has a need to prove her worth. She knows her life journey, with its many twists and turns, has led her to where she is meant to be.