A letter from a caregiver 

Some days I feel desperately sad that I cannot help, some days I feel overwhelmed with anger at the emotional abuse I receive at your hands…and sometimes I feel so much guilt at the thought of not giving up my life (and that’s what it would be) to give in to your every demand and becoming a shell. A battered and bruised individual who will never be good enough to support you in the way you need.

Last year I heard the psychiatrist write your life off. I wondered if someone diagnosed with a physical illness would receive the same callous and blasé attitude.

“You’ve tried all the medication there is to treat your disability & there is nothing else. The prognosis is awful and there is nothing more we can do!!! Bye.” He said.

With a slight laugh afterwards … perhaps nervousness from my eyes piercingly staring into his to see if a soul existed behind those empty words.

I spent and still do spend a long time grieving for the person I always wanted you to be. The support mechanism for me, the person who was proud of the individual I have become.

The loss feels overwhelming and there are so many times I struggle to retain strength to support you in your hour, day, week, month of need.

All I wanted when I chose to go to university was a first class degree. I wanted to become an academic and be top of the class. Not for anyone else but just for myself … To be the best I could be. I put blood, sweat and tears into reaching those results, for my last year to be one that will haunt me forever.

I received desperate phone calls from you daily about how much you did not want this life anymore. How you desperately wanted to be with your parents who had passed away, the only people who have ever cared for you, that’s what you said.

I awaited the phone call to be told you’d taken your life and I already established how that would feel, the ripple effects that would stay with me for a lifetime, the overriding guilt from not being able to help but also the relief that this pain would end.

The tears fell thick and fast – partly because I didn’t quite know what emotion to feel or what to do next. No one tells you how to handle this. To retain my own hopes and dreams whilst being sucked into a consumption of negative thinking and continuous struggles and difficulties. I don’t know what the balance is and perhaps I never will.

I now know things will never get better but I don’t want you to be alone. I care…I really care and perhaps you will never know how much!


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