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I Belong to No One
- Narrated by: Gwen Wilson
- Length: 12 hrs and 37 mins
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One woman's story of all she lost and how hard she fought to survive and eventually triumph.
A teenager in the 1970s, Gwen Wilson grew up in Western Sydney. It was a tough childhood. Illegitimate, fatherless, her mother in and out of psychiatric hospitals - it would have been easy for anyone to despair and give up.
Yet Gwen had hope. Despite it all she was a good student, fighting hard for a scholarship and a brighter future.
Then she met Colin. Someone to love who would love her back. But that short-lived love wasn't the sanctuary Gwen was looking for. It was the start of a living hell.
Rape was just the beginning. By 16 she was pregnant, her education abandoned. Australian society did not tolerate single mothers; prejudice and discrimination followed her everywhere.
In an effort to save her son, Jason, from the illegitimacy and deprivation she'd grown up with, Gwen chose to marry Colin - and too quickly the nightmare of physical abuse, poverty and homelessness seemed inescapable. In 1974, in the dying days of the forced adoption era in Australia, this isolated teenager was compelled to make a decision about her child that would tear her life apart, one she would never truly come to terms with. I Belong to No One is her story.
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A similar story sadly for so many……
Insightful and written with the wisdom of maturity. It is a story that is familiar to so many unwed women of yesteryear. They certainly were different times back then. It was also a greatly generational practice and because of this some younger generations today are aware of what went on more than the author may realise.
Also it’s staggering how many people have adoption in their heritage and remain unaware of it.
The forced adoptions impacted my grand father who was adopted and because it was before 1912 when no records were kept our family will never know our full true heritage. Also my grand mother was also forced to give up her first born. Brain washed to believe the many taboos of the times my grand mother also had my mother go to a unmarried mothers home when she was carrying her first child (me). My mother was a rare case, as she fought to get me back at the age of 4mths. Because of this I have a good knowledge of what went on back then as growing up I would repeatedly hear my mothers story often (though many tears) of what happened to her back in the late 60s. No one attempted to undo the intense brain washing my mother went through and her feelings of being a inadequate morally bad unmarried mother, of me being a illegitimate child, and all the other rubbish they made her believe caused a rift between my mother and I as I was growing up. I was too young to understand back then, but as an adult I understand now. In many ways they had greatly contributed towards damaging her and had never tried to repair that damage. Yes things are different these days, things have improved, but flaws still remain in the systems. The only way things ever improve is by people like the author explaining the wrongs, the rights, the repercussions, and what could had been done better. Without insights like this nothing ever can improve.
I applaud Gwen for having the strength to write and share her story with the clarity to give readers a better understanding. The author also reads the story out very clearly.
May the mistakes of systems and societies in the past never be forgotten lest shall they ever be repeated in the future.
Thank you for sharing your story Gwen.
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