For me, the most difficult part of caring is the guilt when I go out somewhere. I’ve got that sort of feeling that I’m doing something wrong, that I shouldn’t be there.
much as my parents say ‘It’s okay, don’t worry,’ I feel like I should be at home helping out and making their lives easier which is why I try and do it as much as I can when I’m here.
Caring since the age of seven
I’ve been caring for my brother, Luke, since I was seven or eight. Caring for Luke involves watching him like a hawk most of the time because you never know what he’s going to do.
He’s come to that age now where puberty’s taking over. He’s very strong and it can be difficult to cope with him when he gets angry. I’ll have to restrain him to stop him from lashing out or doing something silly.
Carers Trust has helped me with meeting like-minded people through my local Network Partner and volunteering. We’ve all got our friends that are sympathetic but they don’t actually understand what I’m going through.
With other people that are in similar situations there’s that level of understanding. It’s not the same situation but essentially we’re all caring for someone.
Caring has shaped who I am
I’ve been in sixth form for two years now, this is my third year. At the start I was under a lot of stress. It was very demanding and I did struggle.
You’ve got no option but to just get on with it. If you give up it all collapses, all that hard work you’ve put in previously is for nothing. That’s what I try and remind myself of when I’m feeling quite down and in a bad place.
Caring for Luke has shaped who I am. I’ve done a lot of things that some of my friends, despite the fact they’re not in a caring role, wouldn’t even dream of doing. I'm a karate instructor.
I have been training for seven years and am a second degree black belt. It keeps me fit and strong and I really enjoy passing my skills and expertise on to the lower grades.