It Will Get Better

Reviewed By  Grasshopper2       June 30, 2014


Author  Stella Gibney

ISBN:                 9781743317174
Publisher:         Allen & Unwin
Release Date:    


Stella so often said to herself  “”It will get better, it’s just a season” The pain and despair that Stella faced so often in her life would have totally overwhelmed most other people, but she has survived and grown despite this. Stella Gibney’s story is a thought provoking, emotional and empowering story of facing the worst life can sometimes deliver and surving, older, stronger and wiser.

The beginnings of her traumatic life happened when she was just a little girl of six years. She was raped by a man (who was subsequently caught)  in a van, and felt that it was her fault as her Mum had always advised her not to get into a car with a stranger. The traum from this and other incidents of her childhood followed her and coloured her decision making for a long time.

   Stella was born in New Zealand and was the youngest of five children until her sister Rebecca was born four and a half years later. Stella’s father was an Írish man who worked in a Dry Cleaners for a living. His wife had five children by the time she was 24 and so life was hard. New clothes were rarely bought and the only time that money was available ,it seemed,was to buy alcohol for the father.
Gradually as his dissatisfaction grew he began to become violent to his wife. Mother never spoke of this and gradually the feeling that you always responded to a male, never said “No” became the norm. Life was full of fear and Stella did poorly at school not being able to concentrate and always feeling so different.

    When a young man came to stay at the Gibney household he suggested that Stella pop in to his bedroom each night. The resulting pregnancy when she was just sixteen was appalling. The baby was given up for adoption and again the trademark saying “It will get better, it’s just a season”came into her head.

During this time her mother was supportive and loving, but by now Stella was convinced she was only needed for one thing by men and she was unlovable without that. Stella began her journey through life working at various places and developing relationships that never really flourished. Eventually she moved to Australia and met a man attached to the Church her brother Patrick had discovered . After a short courtship, she married and they spent several happy years working as house parents for the Church.

She gave birth to two sons and all seemed to be calm, but gradually arguments developed between husband and wife. The fears and insecurity that had always followed Stella began to surface again, and even though she sought counselling, the marriage failed. It was later realized that her husband was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was not to be trusted with the boys.
   Obviously the boys were not impervious to their father’s strange behaviour and when they were angry or sad, Stella would ask them to write or draw their feelings which helped them to understand what they were feeling and showed her how she could best help them.
   The family moved to Sydney where Stella again met a man who was loving and king and shared her relationship with the children. Things were not perfect though as Stella married her new man, and maybe because of the stresses and strains of her new life she was eventually alone again. Throughout all of this Stella’s first priority was her sons and they were unaware of much of the trauma that surrounded their lives.

The love and support of her family and gradual realization that she could be her own person and not be subjugated by anyone, gave her peace of mind and hope for the future.