I collected the actual physical book this morning from the post office. Excitement plus! Mr O Jnr 2 declared it “sick!”
The book looks wonderful to me! Staff at work were impressed and I received many congratulations. My photos here are not at all professional – those will come when I let Mrs Bryson loose with her fancy photographic equipment. “Yay!”, I thought, “I can go home and write a great article announcing availability and offering an advance order opportunity to our followers!” I drove home wondering should I have a give-away for the 10th or 20th or something order email.
I stopped off at the post office to price postage and handling costs for people buying directly from me.
At home I dug out the quotations for the various quantities and the email listing the items Lightning Source suggest paying special attention to when checking the proof. Yes, it says eproof, but as this is a colour interior book, it is actually a physical book proof, not an eproof as it would be for a black & white interior book.
A few items to carefully consider before approving your eproof:
1. Have your latest changes been incorporated?
2. Is the pagination correct: odd number pages on the right/recto and even numbers on the left/verso?
3. Is the text block and page items positioned correctly on the page (is the text getting cut off the top, for example?)
4. Does your proof contain spelling errors, grammatical errors, or typos that need to be corrected?
5. Is the ISBN included and correct / identical on both the cover and copyright pages?
6. Please verify the price on the cover matches the price in the metadata
Being a woman is a bit weird at times. We are the gender that gives birth to the next generation and we have all this complicated plumbing to enable us to give the miracle of life. To the men who are brave enough to read on, hopefully I’ve written this is such a way that you won’t be left feeling “yucky” and might give your wife, sister, mother or female co-workers a little consideration!
I am not alone:
The importance of the menopause can best be comprehended when it is realised that there are over 2 million post-menopausal women in Australia, and that every year about 80,000 new women join this group.
These women constitute 40% of all health care visits in Australia.
The female journey starts off around the time we become a teenager (which seems to be getting younger and younger). We develop breasts and grow hair in places we’re not used to having hair and worst of all we start menstruating. Yuck! Most of us, aside from brief respite periods (no pun intended) due to pregnancy, put up with the monthly inconvenience for forty plus years. A man did once say to me, “Don’t know what you women are complaining about, men have to shave every day.” I didn’t get it then and I don’t get it now, but that was his view on life.
So we put up with this for forty or so years and then if we are unlucky, the plumbing starts to get a bit rusty. Maybe we get fibroids, a prolapse, clotting, etc etc etc. The list of possible issues is quite long!
I have a story to share that came to my notice last night. One of the readers of Love versus Goliath (the book) told me he knew how we felt. He was made to feel like a criminal for falling in love with an “Evil Oriental”.
Was this last year? Five years ago?
It was the early 1990s. Let us say twenty years ago in round figures. Twenty years ago and NOTHING HAS CHANGED!!!
Yes, I accept our case was slightly more unusual because Mr O was an asylum seeker. However, citizens DO have rights. This reader and myself had rights.
I asked him to write a guest article for this website. I found his response VERY SAD.
“I would love to, but after reading yours, too many emotions have surfaced and I don’t think I would have your strength to do it.”
The pain of his experience, after twenty years, is still so powerful the emotions were caused to resurface by his reading our experience.
I have chosen not to identify our reader here. He has experienced enough pain already.
We still do not actually have a copy of the bill, but it is coming. Despite the fact we are in no way liable for this $208, we paid it. Sorting it out with the Red Cross and DIAC could take months, which really doesn’t help anything.
Believe it or not, it goes like this. The bank pre-approve the car loan, subject to us paying the $208. I can understand this – it is not the bank’s decision to make about whether we are liable or not. I try to pay the bill. I CAN’T!!! The bill is too old, there was no way on the electricity company’s systems that I could pay it!
At that point I I cried. It was like being back 20 months ago. The tears just ran down my face. I couldn’t stop them. All the pain and fear just seemed to come rushing back. This should not be happened kept ringing in my ears. Again I felt I was drowning.
The young man who manages the electricity company’s Twitter account was wonderful. I have no idea about the rest of the company, but he was lovely. He organised for the company to open a new account so we could actually pay, then sent me a confirming email I could forward to the bank. Of course, all this took so long we still do not have a final approval stamp from the bank! He also confirmed the advice I received last night that these things drop off after five years. I knew nothing, of course: I’ve never had such a situation.
I think Mr O is suffering survivor’s guilt. I must stress, I am not a psychologist. I am a wife. Mr O’s wife. While this is intensely personal, we are sharing it to help others understand the life of a refugee. Maybe help other refugees, feeling alone and sad, why they may be feeling that way. Yes, Mr O arrived in Australia, the second time, on a partner visa. The first time he arrived on a false passport as an asylum seeker. Just because we got married does not stop Mr O being a refugee. All it means is he has a partner visa rather than a protection visa. Reality isn’t changed by the type of visa.
We were talking this evening and I could see the the emotional pain he was suffering. We talked about the possibility he is suffering survivor’s guilt as I have read quite a bit about it over the years. I explained survivor’s guilt to him in terms of a plane crash. Four hundred people are killed in the crash and the fifty who survive feel guilty for surviving. Sadly, even if this label is correct, it doesn’t help him deal with it any more easily than if there were no label. It is what it is.
I turned to my old friend Google and searched “survivor guilt refugees”. Sure enough the results scrolled up on the screen – lots of results, over 22 million results. Clearly survivor’s guilt is a recognised problem for many refugees.
One result in particular caught my eye.
Survivor’s guilt has been identified as a problem common to many refugees that negatively impacts a healthy psychosocial adjustment (Brown, 1982; Lin et al., 1982; Tobin and Friedman, 1983). Successfully fleeing from dangerous conditions, many refugees left behind family members and friends who did not or could not escape. After reaching safety, refugees reported being haunted by feelings of guilt, especially knowing the danger still facing those who were left behind. The awareness that people who remained at home are alive, possibly suffering, and living in unpleasant conditions may heighten survivor’s guilt and contribute to emotional stress. … Survivor’s guilt can continue in a spiral of pain, sadness and guilt that causes barriers to enjoying the safety, success and sense of well-being in the resettlement country.
Counseling Refugees: A Psychosocial Approach to Innovative Multicultural Interventions
By Fred Bemak, Rita Chi-Ying Chung, Paul Pedersen
The book goes on to talk about the process of healing.
Overnight I received a very touching email. I asked permission to share part of that email.
There have been many nights during which I have been so afraid of getting a refusal and couldn’t sleep, and times when I was afraid that all the difficulties we faced would prove stronger than we were. During those times, your blog was one of those sites I would read to calm myself down and find, somehow, the will and hope to go on.
Thank you so much for doing what you do and providing hope and encouragement to so many people who are facing the immense task of migration. I wish you and your family all the best.
I am very glad the writer found the strength to continue and I feel humbled I was able to contribute in some small way.