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Transforming the Imaginary

Local Hub Sites
Created: January 12, 2001
Latest update: January 12, 2001
E-Mail Curran or Takata.

Transforming Local Discourse:
Coping Techniques and Sharing Them as Support

On Friday, January 12, 2001, Marlene wrote to Gale:

Hi! My name is Marlene and I just picked up your e-mail. Parent elder care can be trying sometimes(NO MAKE THAT ALL THE TIME). The main thing is that you have to take care of yourself first, or you will be no good to anyone. I have a mother that is 75 and is the the light of my life. We travel together and talk together and take vacations together. I have a home in Hemet, which is between Riverside and San Diego. I try to come here to chill out as often as I can. Sometimes you need a break from bonding (smile). Anyway, I also have diabetes and that can be trying in itself. I sometimes push myself to the point where I can feel my energy is at it's lowest peak. I keep saying, never again, but what the heck? I still manage to rejuvenate and start all over again. I don't thing I would have it any other way. The main thing is to take care that you do not overtax yourself and still have the stamina to keep on keeping on.

I have been working with Jeanne since 1998 and have applied to USC for my Ph.D in Social Work for the Fall of 2001. I hope to come back to the university and teach. Anyway, e-mail back soon. And--- take it slow.

Love and Peace, Queen Marlene

On Friday, January 12, 2001 Gale wrote to Marlene:

Queen Marlene- What a pleasure to meet you. WOW, your Ph.D. - I'm in awe! Being able to work with one professor for more then one year, how great. I wish I had met Susan earlier, so we could have had more of a friendship as well as a teacher/student relationship. As it is, I'm graduating in the spring and moving on to the teacher education program. I can only imagine where my life would have gone if I had met Susan earlier - I may have gone into the area of criminal justice as opposed to primary education. But, at my age, it's difficult to change direction in midstream. I truly hope that we'll all stay in contact with each other and follow everyone's accomplishments in life. I just think this is so cool.

Your mom is about the same age as mine. How lucky for you that you have such a wonderful relationship with her. Not all of us are that lucky. As my mom once said, I can't go to the mall with Gale for an hour, why would I take a trip with her. That kind of says it all, as far as our relationship. I would so love to take a trip with just my mom, but it will never happen. But evenso, she knows that when she's in trouble and calls, I drop everything to be there for her. You see, my dad died about 5 years(in a horrible car accident) ago and she's still having a hard time adjusting - he did EVERYTHING!!! As we all are - but you have to move on and she's having trouble with that part of life.

How long have you been diagnosed with diabetes? I was diagnosed only a year ago. But they doctor says I've had it for many years - I just don't go to the doctor. You know how it is - when you feel light-headed, you just have a quick fix and move on. I went because my eyesight all of a sudden got really bad, I was loosing feeling in my feet - all the outward signs. And tired? All I wanted to do was SLEEP!!!! Not on insulin yet - gloucophage and something else. We'll have to compare notes in Reno. You are going aren't you?

I'm really looking forward to meeting everyone from the west coast. This is going to be as much fun as participating in this conference. Talk soon, GTG Gale

On Monday, January 15, 2001, jeanne commented:

Once again I am struck by the trust that we share. And I am struck by how many of us share the same problems: illness, aging parents, unfulfilled expectations, misunderstandings in the world around us.

Mac and I, and I'm sure many others, have significant others who complain about our need to create and grow. Marlene and Gale, and I'm sure many others, share the dilemma of caring for an elder parent whom they love. Gale and I share a confusion over illness, largely learned as children, from parents who saw no reason to accomodate illness. Like Gale, I misinterpret pain, and fail to see the doctor when I should. Like Marlene, I sometimes push too far. Marlene and I care for each other in my office, and freely share the chocolate covered raisins.

But this dialog broadens our support network. I think that's important. I don't think I ever realized how many of us are fighting the same battles, making the same mistakes, and blaming ourselves because that's what the dominant discourse does. Perhaps a part of making the paradigm shift to Mutuality AND Adversarialism is to create these networks of trust and caring. This dialog certainly seems to be transforming our local discourse, and for the better.

I'll write more on this soon. I want to think about it in terms of Henry and Milovanovic, and in terms of forgiveness. And in terms of Becker's common sense in doing real research. But I wanted to get up this much quickly, so that you could all use this in your research for Reno. Michael, I was specially thinking of you and our discussions on making relationships work by transforming the discourse.

lnp, jeanne