Young Carer Story

"Since I started coming to Young Carers I can talk to other young carers about my problems and I realise that there are people who are in a similar situation to me at home."

My Life As A Young Carer...

I am 15 years old, I want to be a nurse or a social worker or maybe a police officer when I am older, I live with my mum and my older brother. My mum has quite a few problems like:

Permanent nerve damage, Type 1 diabetic (i.e. Insulin dependant), Permanent fatigue, Low Immune system, Constant chest infections, High risk of pneumonia, Iron deficiency.  She has had to undergo a lot of operations. My mum also suffers from black outs and gets out of breath easily.  It is hard for my mum to walk, she goes in a wheel chair, she can only walk to a certain point and gets out of breath quite quickly, sometimes this can lead to her fainting.

Before I had any help, school was very difficult because I was a very quiet person and even if I was having a bad day I wouldn’t tell anyone at school because I thought no one would understand the responsibility’s I have. This continued through primary school and has continued up to secondary to year 10.  On a normal day my mum would get up and if she felt good she would make breakfast but usually my brother helps and me too, when my granddad couldn’t take me to school or when my brother is at university I walk home by myself.  I think as I grew up into secondary school it became more difficult to carry on with homework or try to prepare for tests.

Sometimes if my mum was having a really bad day I would think about her all day at school,  even if she was having an okay day she still would be on my mind, this is because I have quite a close relationship with my mum. It was quite hard to concentrate in classes, but I am up to date with all my subjects now.  I do worry though because sometimes when it looks as if I may be day dreaming it isn’t, I am trying to think of what I have to do when I get home and if I have forgotten anything for my next lesson which I might of forgotten to do the night before due to helping my mum by cleaning up or making her cups of teas or organising her medication, making sure she takes her injection and medication.  If I don’t then my brother will but sometimes my mum remembers and does it herself, we just have to make sure to be on the safe side.

To teachers it may look as if I am not taking the lesson seriously or was not interested or not bothered about education and how it will help me in the future.  Sometimes the teacher would shout or tell me and this made me scared to remember things in class in case I got shouted at which I don’t like. I am not a bad person who messes around in class, so before school or break time or lunch time or home time I would try to remember, I am quite an organised person but I just think sometimes school has to come second sometimes which I don’t think they understood, maybe I thought they would think it was an excuse, and I would be terrified if they didn’t believe me.

After school I would go home, I don’t go out because I find it safer to be at home, personally in my opinion it doesn’t have anything to do with my mum or anything it is my choice to stay in but any way I like to spend time with my mum to see if she is okay, we talk for good 2 hours while always doing homework, we talk about our days and what’s been going on like today (but I tell everything she is my best friend). After this the whole family help out at dinner and then we clean up. My bed time routine is my brother stays up because he has a lot of university homework, he talks to my mum and makes sure she is okay and her medication and we both make sure she takes her injection.

How I got help with caring

My situation continued for months until year 8, my mum and brother explained the situation, I personally thought there was hope of it getting better but my mum asked me if it was okay to tell school, we all talked it over and I said yes and I asked my mum if she was okay and sure about it and she said yes.

After that I got a bit of help and my mum was already getting help but I felt glad that she was getting help to because that was important to all of us. I still think that my school still doesn’t understand the concept of Young Carers which disappoints me I think some things changed but others haven’t. I don’t think all my teachers have addressed what a young carer is, only some certain teachers.  Homework wise I don’t think it has helped because this links in with not all teachers knowing, I feel scared and not confident, due to not being a confident person at school, I don’t feel ashamed but I don’t think they understand. If they do they try to understand they feel it is important and will go away soon. I don’t have someone who understands me at school to go and talk to because I think they will understand me and feel let down, but I do have quite a lot of friends in school. I hide my emotions at school, I am shy but to my friends I am strange and weird in a good way.  I try to think on the positive side and give advice to other people even if I am not having a good day or I try to preoccupy myself from thinking about my mum and put others before myself.

On the other hand I am getting help outside of school form the Young Carer Centre, they have lots of fun and amazing activities planned to help give you a bit of time off from caring from who ever you care for, enjoying a break and learning new things and skills you didn’t even know about. You understand yourself more and meet new fantastic people who share the same problems or similar problems which is caring and everyone is life changing in a good way, even if you’re having a bad day you always talk to a friend or one of the staff, they are always there for you but you can even phone them or arrange a meeting with them even if it is a good 5 minutes conversation.  If you have a problem and your family are struggling and cannot sort it out they will help by standing by and lending a helping hand. I think the best part is I get help at home and help outside of home and school by the Young Carers. I like that no one is ever alone because they welcomed me and people like me with the same problems as me and you and anyone but I think it is a way to bring people like you and me together and we can become a team. They welcomed me and who I care for and I have become part of that team, we could just sit around the table and still make it fun and entertaining or going to watch Lion King or go away toWalesfor the weekend, making it fun and memorable and always a part of my memory.  I felt welcomed by the staff because they always seem to put a smile on my face and they support everyone and is 100% behind them no matter what they do and if they have a problem they try and help sort it out.

 I would like to say a huge massive thank you to the staff and to my family and the people like my friends and new friends that I have met and still continue to meet, making me laugh meeting new carers just like me or you or anyone and creating new fantastic memories that I will never forget, accepting me for who I am and everyone else and people who are around me, but it is becoming a second place called home to me

Share by: