Young Carers’ Stories
(written by Kyra)
Kyra was 7 years old when her mum was first diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
Her mum took Kyra out for dinner to the Hollybank and told her. At first Kyra didn’t really understand what was going on. This is because she was young. Her mum said everything would be fine. After mum told Kyra she had MS, she became unstable on her feet and would often fall over. One time Kyra remembers specifically is when her mum fell in the bathroom. Kyra needed to help her up. After she couldn’t help her up Kyra was upset and worried and had to phone her Aunty Sharon. At this point Kyra was 8 years old.
I am 17 years old and I care for my mum who has Multiple Sclerosis.
I was only 10 when my mum was first diagnosed with MS, at that age it didn’t really affect me as much as it does now. This is because when my mum was first diagnosed with MS her condition wasn’t as severe so she was able to do a lot more things with me and could do a lot more around the house; however over the last few years my mum has gradually got worse.
I am 16 and have cared for my two brothers who have Downs Syndrome and heart defects for the last ten years.
If I hadn’t taken on those responsibilities no one would have been there to support my mum. When my brothers were unwell I would sometimes not go to school to make sure they were okay, and my attendance wasn’t as good as it could have been.
I was referred to Stirling Carer’s Centre by a teacher and now I’m more open about being a young carer and I feel I have people to turn to as the staff are extremely understanding. My attendance is improving. My caring role is still the same – the difference is that now I’m able to cope with it better.
Jasmine (16) wrote the poem below about the difficulties of caring for a parent with mental ill health.
It didn’t happen overnight
The change inside of you
But you can sure see it now
And I can feel it too
The nights that keep you awake
The days that are your nightmare
You just want to fit in
But for you nothing is ever fair
You don’t deserve this
The demons in your head
You’re so angry and scared
But you take it out on me instead