“Believe in yourself. You are braver than you think, 
more talented than you know,
and capable of more than you imagine.” 
Roy T. Bennett, Author, Politician and

member of British South African Police

 I have spoken before about my amazement at how people, in particular women, handle and survive quite awful situations.

I have a reasonably new friend/acquaintance with whom I’ve become quite close. I knew she was divorced but knew little about her life before meeting her in our reasonably affluent

Recently she had a book published titled Notes from Inside.

A pseudonym to protect her family

The preface to the book starts “Domestic abuse, family harm. Now here’s the question: how do we put a fence at the top of a long-drop cliff rather than an ambulance at the bloodied bottom? She goes on to say that “This book is a journey, a slice of life memoir of shimmering images from my long resounding memory, now given hard edges into story”

She tells of a childhood, often happy but always overshadowed by her father, a bullying patriarch.  Then to married life in a fairly remote part of New Zealand with an abusive husband, several young children and little or no contact and/or help from anyone in the neighbourhood. She doesn’t dwell on the abuse, both physical and mental, but she does talk about how her mental health has been affected for many years since that time. 

This is certainly not an easy book to read. It takes us through various times of mental illness, lost loves, and broken families.  Unfortunately writing and publishing this book has caused an estrangement with her daughters which seems incapable of being mended.

The daughters feel that in telling this story, my friend has opened her family life to the world. And they feel that their lives will now become conversations for many people.

 I am now in awe of this woman; What she has been through and how she has come out the other end as a totally caring, helpful friend.

It’s a book well thought out, giving an honest depiction of her life up to this stage.  She still suffers from the hurt but with help, is coming to terms with what has happened. 

The dedication reads 
For my mother, Silvia. Mum, how I wish you’d lived much longer. I was only twenty-six when you died. There wasn’t enough time to absorb your wisdom, your laughter and your myriad skills. You told me of Saint Augustine, who said ‘Hope has two beautiful daughters – their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.’

JB October 6, 2022
Wellington, NZ