I'm a 24 year old carer and I've had enough

A place for those 18-35 to chat about all things caring.
OK, what I'm about to write and what you're about to read may sound selfish, but I can't fight these feelings anymore. For the past year I have been a carer for my sister, who has epilepsy and Autism, she also has the mind of a child and acts very childish. She is 28, so she's actually my older sister, but doesn't act like one, although she understands that she is older than me. Anyway, I have no life, no friends, no girlfriends, no job, nothing at all really. I still live at home with my mother and stepfather, who both go out to work. For the past few weeks, I have been getting more and more depressed, wishing for a better life, that I know will never happen. I used to think that money was the key to success, but now I know that it's freedom. I can't do anything on my own, or even leave my own house, because my sister wants to stay home controlling the TV in the living room and not letting anyone else watch anything, without moaning about what they are watching. She has to watch the news everyday at precisely the same time, or her schedule is messed up. I like to drink alcohol, more than I should, but it's my only way to escape. I do have two other sisters, both of which don't live with me and has own lives, with their own careers. My mother tells me that if I'm really depressed, she'll give up work and I'll go out and get a job, but then I'd feel guilty as she wouldn't have any money for herself and my eldest sister tells me that I don't help myself by getting angry at the mood swings of my sister, who can get very violent. I hate my life and think of either two things, my death or a fantasy life, which I know I'll never have. I don't know what to do, everyone else my age or younger is out living a better life and having a good time and I'm just stuck at home, living a prison sentence, that never ends.
Sit down with your family and tell them what you want. A life. The fact that you are depressed and drinking indicates that it is too much. You need your own life as in the long run that will be the healthiest thing for you. I’ve been a carer for over 22 years. I would not choose the same path again.

You are not responsible for another person nor should you be.
Hi Anthony,

Welcome to the forum.

I'm not surprised you are feeling depressed, staying home all day caring and not working and socialising.

You say you have been caring for your sister for a year, what did you do before that?

Who cared for her before you?

Does she receive any additional support e.g. attend college or day services, go to any clubs, have paid carers/ befrienders take her out?

Melly1
Hi Anthony ... a kinship carer ?

Just in case you need it , a separate thread on kinship carers ... slightly different parameters when compared to family carers.

https://www.carersuk.org/forum/news-and ... it=kinship


Occasionly , there is a card to be played which is unavailable to family carers.
Get another TV!
Then, if sister cannot be left alone, get paid carers for her or supported living etc. It doesn't have to be YOU
Anthony,

You should NOT have to put up with violent outbursts. If you have a mobile phone, film her when she is having a meltdown, as evidence.
What do your parents do when this happens?
Your sister should be referred to the Challenging Behaviour Team at Social Services.
Doe she go to any day services, clubs etc.?
Have your parents made any long term plans for her, or do they think they will last forever??

My own son was brain damaged, is now 40, by the way.
Have your family had a carers assessment? If your are carer for your sister are you claiming carers allowance?
You are not being selfish.

Your other siblings probably saw this coming when they flew the nest, so as far as their opinions go, that ship has sailed, unless they wish to pull sleeves up and help out they have no lines in this play.

Of course your sisters health is not her fault, but that is no excuse for the treatment you are enduring, and you have the right to a life of your own.

With respect to your parents they must know first and foremost the responsibility of care lands at their feet first, I can see in spite of the frustration the level of love/loyalty you have for your sibling but you should never had been put in this situation to begin with.
Just tell them that your life is standing still because of your caring role. This standing still is bad enough for someone in their 40's 50's or 60's let alone someone who is 24!
I'm really sorry to hear about what you are going through. Other members on this forum have come back with some suggestions, and I’d also like to take the opportunity to add a few too.

Has your mother been in touch with your local council to access support? Under the Care Act in England (and other legislation if you live in Scotland/NI/Wales) carers are entitled to annual carer’s assessments through which a nominated carer could be entitled to support if you meet the national eligibility criteria. Your sister should also have had a needs assessment to understand her needs for care and support.

It sounds to me as if you would also really benefit from talking to someone outside your family. If you haven’t already spoken to them, your GP may be able to provide you with support. There’s a charity called Calm who you can call for free on 0800 58 58 58 between 5pm and midnight 365 days a year. They also offer webchat, as it can sometimes be difficult to verbalise what you are feeling or make a call in privacy. There’s also The Samaritans who can be contacted 24/7 for free on 116 123. They also have an email address jo@samaritans.org

Once again, I am really sorry to hear about what you are going through. I hope you find the support you need and deserve.

Links to key websites are below:

Carers Assessment: https://webmail.carersuk.org/owa/redir. ... assessment

Needs Assessment: https://webmail.carersuk.org/owa/redir. ... assessment

Calm https://webmail.carersuk.org/owa/redir. ... one.net%2f

Samaritans https://webmail.carersuk.org/owa/redir. ... CgQAvD_BwE