One can imagine the trauma of Norma's childhood through her own repressed memories. Norma's shared recollections (though she would not call them that) convince the reader that Charlie's recovered memories are true. As a child, Norma wouldn't have been able to understand Charlie's situation very well, and she would have deeply felt the humiliation students inflicted on her because of her brother. Being told that Charlie was dead, though, was cruel. When she learns that Charlie is alive, she is excited to finally have someone with whom to share the burden of her mother and is looking forward to a relationship with her "normal" brother that will never be. Without Norma's consent, Charlie couldn't have had the surgery, so she ends up being responsible in a way for his being "normal," if only for a little while.