What has it taught me?

Hi, my name is Katrine and I provide care for my my youngest sister and my mum. I have been a young carer for 10 years, my sister has a severe intellectual disability and severe autism; my mum has fibromyalgia.

I provide care because I love my family and I don’t want to see them struggle. A typical day for me would helping my little sister get dressed, brushing her teeth, making her lunch and breakfast because my dad usually leaves for work early. After school I get her changed, provide entertainment, do the laundry, do the dishes, vacuum, I also help my sister with her puzzles and I help her calm her down when she has tantrums.

Some of the things I enjoy about being a young carer are seeing my sister happy and playing an important role in my sisters life and development. Some of the not so good things are having a lot of responsibility on my shoulders all the time as I am still a teenager and not being able to talk about it because others don’t understand. I also can’t have any friends over because of my little sister. When I need a break, I like to I listen to a bunch of music, sing and go bike riding.

Being a young carer has changed my life because it has impacted me in multiple ways, some being more positive than others but mostly it has made me more understanding, empathetic and has given me a more enlightened outlook on life. Not being able to be there sometimes makes me feel worried about how my little sister and mum will cope without help but at the same time kind of relieved because I can have some time to myself. If I could have anything to help me out it would be to have the freedom and time to focus on myself and accomplish the goals I want to achieve.

It has taught me to be a better person in all aspects of life. I would like others to realise that staying true to yourself and not underestimating your abilities is extremely important. One piece of advice I would like to share with other young carers is that you’re not alone and it does eventually get better as long as you don’t forget to take time for your self and not be too hard on yourself.

Sometimes we have financial difficulties at home so I’m applying for the bursary on the 16th of August to help my family but also to achieve some of my own goals like get back into acting more professionally and starting martial arts as well as playing bass guitar.

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