Life Story in Look Both Ways

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Living with an interrupted life story is a major theme identified in the narrative of the movie, “Look Both Ways” (Watt, 2005). Because of the occurrence of illness, individuals lose the ability to perceive themselves the way they used to be and may not be able to make new positive images of self-worth, which overtime, could result in a “loss of self” (Charmaz, 1983, p. 168). Bury (1982) notes that “chronic illness involves a recognition of the worlds of pain and suffering, possibly even of death, which are normally only seen as distant possibilities or the plight of others” (Bury, 1982, p. 169). Consequently, illness can disrupt how the individual plans to live his life, with no regard for the past or the future and perception of time is delineated into a “before and after” (Rasmussen & Elverdam, 2007, pp. 618-619). In addition, the person’s daily activities, dreams and aspirations may be suspended in lieu of the reality of illness and its associated limitations (Bury, 1982). The effects of illness can be particularly distressing for the person experiencing it as well as for significant others who may come in contact with the ill person (Bury, 1982; Frank, 1991), thus a deeper understanding of this particular lived experience should be undertaken. By drawing upon the theoretical foundations of biographical disruption by Bury (1982) and liminality by Turner (1969), the writer will argue that while universally inapplicable, living with an interrupted life story unfolds and affects not only the individual, but his social system as well. The goal of this paper is to provide a deeper understanding of how the experience of illness is lived by chronically ill people and their significant others with hopes that better care and manageme... ... middle of paper ... ...ger, C., & Hiddemann, W. (2011). Preoccupation with death as predictor of psychological distress in patients with haematologic malignancies. European Journal of Cancer Care, 20(3), 403-411. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2354.2010.01203.x Watson, G. (2011). Parental liminality: a way of understanding the early experiences of parents who have a very preterm infant. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 20(9-10), 1462-1471. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2010.03311.x Watt, S. (Writer). (2005). Look Both Ways. In B. Ikin (Producer). Australia: Dendy Films / Footprint Films. Williams, B., Corlett, J., Dowell, J. S., Coyle, J., & Mukhopadhyay, S. (2009). “I’ve Never Not Had it So I Don’t Really Know What it’s Like Not to”: Nondifference and Biographical Disruption Among Children and Young People With Cystic Fibrosis. Qualitative Health Research, 19(10), 1443-1455. doi: 10.1177/1049732309348363
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