‘I was working as a community psychiatric nurse. One day, I had a conversation with a colleague, Mariann, which reflected the processes that were beginning to stir within me. For many years, I felt as though I were two different people. I was Australian, but I had rejected the Australian me because it represented much hurt and pain. Instead, I had given my heart to Norway because I felt accepted and safe. In the process, I had developed a Norwegian ‘me’, but I wasn’t Norwegian, and could never be. I no longer knew who I was.
Explaining my predicament to Mariann, I held out my right arm. With my right hand facing upwards as if holding the Australian me in the palm of my hand for her to see, I said, ‘I come from Australia. I have family and friends there. My culture, language and education are from there.’
Then, holding out my left arm with my left hand facing upwards as if showing her the Norwegian me in the palm of that hand, I said, ‘Now I live in Norway. I have a new family, new friends, new culture, new language and new education here.’ I threw my arms out wide. ‘Who am I?’
Mariann suggested I return to Australia and spend some time there, but I didn’t see how I could leave my children and go back home to find myself.’
From Return to My Soul