New to the forum

Hi everyone

My name is Gaby, I’m 24 and have been a carer for about 20 years. I started to care for my mum when she gave birth to my sister, was mainly emotional support just being there and helping tidy up as I got older.

She became depressed and was in and out of hospital with blood pressure problems while pregnant with my sister and again with one of my brothers. So I spent a lot of time living with my grandparents while my dad worked.

After she gave birth to my youngest brother my mum’s physical and mental health deteriorated rapidly and it was found that she had fibromyalgia/ME, arthritis in most of her joints, diabetes, and she often heard voices.

February is a very bad month for my mum because in 2008/9 her dad died a few days before her birthday and on 2010/11 her mum died a few days after her birthday.

This year has been particularly bad as she tried to commit suicide by attempting to throw herself under a bus, which she has never tried to do before. She’s taken overdoses in the past and cut herself but never this.

I also care for my dad who has heart, stomach, back and knee problems but he is too stubborn to go and get help so is ill most of the time and can’t do anything.

I’ve had to raise my brothers and sister while dad cared for my mum but now I’ve found that I’m having to do most of the caring as well as working, in a difficult, stressful but very rewarding job, and sorting my own health out, which has prevented me from doing a lot of the things I had for free time, and trying to live my own life.

My sister moved out to live with her boyfriend and his family but my brothers don’t so anything to help and they are old enough to know better.

Sorry for the long post but that’s a bit about me and my caring role :blush:

Hi Gaby,
Welcome to the forum.
Your life sounds impossibly hard and I don’t really know where to start, with suggestions.

I’m very glad though that you have a job that is rewarding if stressful, to get you out if the house, meeting people and earning. I hope you are able to save a little each month for your own future plans.

Do your Mum and Dad have any support from outside agencies to support their health and care needs?

If you weren’t caring, would you have liked to have left home by now?



No, mum gets support from an IAPT councillor and she is constantly going to the doctor’s. But because she is having a good few months physically she has lost her motability car has a lower PIP and ESA amount. I’m now pretty much financially responsible for everything and I don’t earn a lot so difficult to out money away. Can’t even have driving lessons regularly either.

Yeah, if I wasn’t caring then I would have moved out and have my own place and looking for someone to be with and stuff. I am looking for a place but without the money and stuff it’s very difficult.

You shouldn’t be supporting everyone from your wage! Your family had to survive on their incomings before you were old enough to be earning. You should only be putting the cost of your keep in the housekeeping pot and saving the rest.

How old are your brothers and your parents?

Your sister escaped and you should be able to, too?

Ask yourself:
What caring do you do that your family members, could if they had to, do for themselves?
What caring tasks do you do, could be taken on by paid carers/ other professionals?
What caring tasks are you prepared to do, if you moved out; be careful what you commit too, you are already close to burn out.

Counselling would really help you to work this all through. Your GP would be a good place to start.

Other’s wil be along to advise.


Both of them worked before they became ill and we were fine but because they only have child benefit for one of my brothers and now they have lost a lot of money from the changes to benefits it now comes to me to help provide.

My brothers are 16 and 19. Ones about to do his GCSE and hopefully got to college to do baking but my other brother refuses to do anything and won’t sign on.

My mum is 49 and my dad is 56 and neither of them are physically capable of going back to work. We can’t get any other support either.

I have a councilling service through work but I’m going to see an IAPT worker at the end of April because I was off work for 2 weeks with stress a couple of months ago.

I feel it’s difficult to move because I keep thinking that they won’t cope. So I keep going away for short weekends or using the opportunity to house sit while friends are away so I get used to being away and they get used to me not being around