Every night at bedtime, Schapelle Corby texts her mother a heartfelt message, sending ‘sweet dreams’.
But dreams are a luxury the convicted drug smuggler cannot afford, despite her looming freedom and return to Australia after 12 years trapped in Bali.
With Schapelle’s parole finally up on May 27, mother Rosleigh Rose reveals the fragile 39-year- old is actually ‘scared’ to come home to the Gold Coast.
Still scarred by her ordeal in Bali’s Kerobokan jail, Schapelle is reluctant to leave her ‘close friend’ Ben Panangian behind and fearful that she will never be able to lead a normal life again – let alone have the baby she longs for.
‘I don’t like thinking about it. It will be hard for her,’ confides former fish and chip shop owner Rosleigh, 63.
‘I think she’s kind of frightened, but after a while she will settle back into it, hopefully. She was looking forward to getting out on parole, but it was still scary for her.
‘I wouldn’t even ask if she wants to come home, because there’s no use in asking. It’s not a choice. It has to happen. And she just says to me: “I’ll be home soon, Mum.”
‘We never talk about her plans for the future when I’m visiting her in Bali. She hasn’t really been able to make any, because it’s like she’s in limbo. So we just enjoy our time together while I’m there, going to the beach and snorkelling. That’s what we do every time.’
Once she is paroled and deported from Indonesia, Schapelle will arrive back in Queensland virtually penniless, and permanently traumatised by the long ordeal that saw her diagnosed with depression and psychosis by a leading psychiatrist, Associate Professor Jonathan Phillips.
‘As far as I know, she has weaned herself off all the medication, although she needed it to survive in prison,’ says mother-of-six Rosleigh, who is currently supporting ‘stressed’ eldest daughter Mercedes Corby’s legal battle against her former business partner.
‘Schapelle’s mental health is a lot better now, but she is different from the way she used to be.’
For the full story, see this week’s New Idea – Out now.
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