Liz Cosson - A visitor in your own home

Running time
1 min 55 sec
Date made
Place made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


I remember when we had our psych debriefs and leaving Bougainville and they reminded us that when we go home, that we're a visitor in our own home, that we've been away for a while, our families have adapted to life without us. And my husband had actually moved us from Sydney to Melbourne, I knew.

So he didn't try and run away or anything but he had moved our home from Sydney to Melbourne and I remember he met me and we went to my new home and he had set up with all the furniture and unpacked all the boxes, and he'd done all that.

And the Psych is telling me I'm a visitor in my own home kept playing out in my mind and I'd looked at where he'd placed things in the kitchen and I thought, "Oh, I'm gonna have to move those glasses because they're a bit too high up", but I didn't do it, I waited for a few weeks before I moved the glasses and he and I still laugh about that because when he returned after a six-month deployment to East Timor, I said to him, "Now remember, you're a visitor in my home".

And it was a culture shock to come home and then go to a new home and then a new job and that was the hardest part of it. I had come from land headquarters planning for East Timor, I mean to Bougainville, and then in a new SO 1 job. That was the hardest transition, going from high tempo, doing that important work that we had trained to do for a job that I'd thought was less, but it wasn't, it was probably the biggest steppingcstone for me to be where I am today.

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