When I did a relaxer last April it TOTALLY fried my hair. And unfortnately the damage didn't show up til a while down the road. Protein treatments are necessary if your hair has a lot of damage, and since the bonds have been chemically reconstructed, it's probably a good idea. I used Nexxus Emergencee afterwards, and it helped a TON. It's a reconstructer, not a conditioner, so you are going to have to use a conditioner afterwards b/c it makes your hair feel really gross and dry while you're using it. The bottle says to leave it on for 1 - 2 minutes, but I would let it sit for 10 or 20.
For moisturizing treatments, I really like Jessicurl Too Shea
!, but you can make some at home too. I mix about 2 tblsp of olive oil, with a couple of tblsp of conditioner, Aloe Vera gel, and either honey or molasses. That is a great deep conditioner - although it can smell kind of gross!
Cut back on your shampooing too (if you do shampoo) b/c that's obviously going to dry out your hair more. I'm also in the process (still) of rebuilding my hair after relaxing, and repeated coloring. For gel, I'm using plain old Aloe Vera Gel. It works the best, and I know it's more moisturizing than a regular gel. If you have a health food store in the area, I would suggest getting the edible Aloe Vera, b/c it's natural, more moisturizing, and it seems to have more curl enhancing properties.
I know what you're saying about your hair, and I know how it feels to just want it to be straight b/c it will be easier, but honestly there's no such thing as "normal curly hair". I think the problem many people - even ones on this site - have is that they keep thinking they don't have ENOUGH curl, and they always need to make their hair curlier. There are always questions on how people can make their hair curlier.
Personally, I think it's about accepting the natural curl pattern that you have, and learning to work with that, as opposed to making it more or less.