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I’m an 18 year old young carer, I have a mother whom lives with depression and my eldest brother who lives with cerebral palsy and epilepsy. I have 5 older brothers, sadly 2 are no longer with us. My mum got diagnosed with depression when I was about 15, before that everyone could see it but my mum didn’t want that diagnosis. My eldest brother and myself are the only ones that live with my mum still, she’s a single parent and damn has she had it hard.
So for the past 6ish years I have been helping my mum care for my brother and helping get my mum back on her feet several times. Mum had a lot of ups and downs throughout my high school years which resulted in me not having transport to school, or when I did go being stressed, tired and worried about how she’s coping.
There was more days that I stayed home then going to school due to having to get my brother out of bed, showering him, clothing him, giving him breakfast, medicine, making sure he had money to go out with his support workers, brushing his hair and teeth. By that time, it was usually 9am when his support workers would arrive to pick him up, I couldn’t manage to get mum out of bed to take me to school, there’s no transport to get to school from my area, no buses and I had no one to ask to give me a lift. There was a lot of days where I would tell mum I was sick and couldn’t go to school, she wouldn’t know why because no one in the house had been sick, in 2015 I was told I have anxiety and a high stress rate.
When I started getting older I had a friend that would occasionally pick me up and my mum has less bad days, but she still does have bad days, she greaves of the loss of her two sons, I greave the loss of my brothers, it’s hard to try to pick someone up and give a positive message when you’re struggling yourself but I can’t stand to see my mum down and out so I do my best to brush off my emotions and help her through her days.
Don’t get me wrong my mum is a great mother and she does so so much for both me and my brothers, but when someone lives with depression they can’t control their emotions, they can’t control when they have meltdown episodes. So that’s why I’m hereto keep my mum on her feet and keep my brother happy. My mum is amazing, sometimes you would not even believe she has a mental illness and other times you think to yourself ‘she’s really not happy today’.
At the end of the day, I’m happy and I know that at this moment in time so are my mum and brother, over the last two years I have been spending a lot of time with my boyfriend and his family, but now I’m living in a granny flat with my boyfriend on my mum+brothers property. I have my own space but I’m also there to help. I walk up to the house every morning at 8am to wake my mum up and tell her it’s time to get my brother ready, I cook dinner some nights for all 4 of us and we sit down to eat together.
My story is a bit blurred and probably explained out of order. I hope you can make sense of it when taking the time to read it.
Being a young carer is hard and I just want to say to all you Young Carers out there, well done! I’m proud of you!☺️