Being a Carer: The Positives!

What do those inspirational quotes say…if you don’t experience the negative, you can’t truly experience the positive…well something along those lines, and it really is true. We all go through challenges and upsets; life is like one giant maze that we’re constantly trying to navigate through. This means we can get lost along the way, experience the highs when we see the light but also the lows when there’s only darkness to be seen. And I feel that about caring for mum.

She has Asperger’s syndrome (now called Autistic Spectrum Disorder), Delusional Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which cause her to live in a continuous state of suffering, and it has had a massively negative impact on me. However, I have realised there are also massive positives too.

Through the heartbreak, frustration, exhaustion, confusion, being a mum to my mum…the relationship has taught me sooooooo many things and also made me the person I am 🙂

Here are some reasons why:

Just call me Rebecca the PINK Protector (Ok so I love the colour pink … and I’m also a fan of superhero names)

From as young as I can remember, children used to call my mum a nutter, and I used to tell them she was certainly not and not to say it. It used to hurt me a lot and I felt so protective towards her. It was unkind and I did not understand why anyone would be so uncaring about mum who already had such a low quality of life. This taught me that people living in vulnerable positions (or anyone in fact) really do not deserve to be treated in a negative way.

Children and adults alike have called my mum every derogatory term under the sun throughout her lifetime and it’s caused her and myself a great deal of upset. I just think why cause upset to someone who is already living in one big sad bubble?!

From this, I have definitely learnt not to use terms like that about anybody because it hurts and knowing something hurts, why wish that on another person.

Language does hurt so I try to be so careful about my words … because I truly know how impactful they can be.

Bullying is never ok!

Throughout my life mum always talked about being bullied by other children whilst she was growing up. But it wasn’t until I became an adult and understood the full extent that I started to gain a greater insight into her as a person and what she devastatingly had to endure.

She went into school every day being terrified at what that day would bring, counting down the seconds until it was over. On one occasion some school children cracked eggs on her head, saying ‘her hair was so greasy they could fry an egg on it’. They threw paint balloons out of windows that covered her in a mist of colour, as well as continually attempted to drag the rucksack off her back. She would hold onto that rucksack with every ounce of energy in her body.

I heard her recount this awful experience during an appointment with a mental health professional. Listening to it filled my eyes with so many tears, they must have been bulging out like a cartoon character. My heart just became heavier and heavier as every memory was recalled. The images I pictured of her being in so much fear as a child have haunted me forever. I learnt that bullying is NEVER ok and honestly the devastation lasts a lifetime.

Kindness is my favourite

Through all the sadness and stress mum experiences, she can be kind! She cares about animals and babies the most. She sometimes does show care towards others and offers to help or support people in need.

I have learnt that even in the most challenging of times, kindness can still be exhibited and I have definitely learnt that from mum.

Humans are WONDERFUL!

Sounds slightly corny but I am so so so lucky to have absolutely amazing people in my life, many of which I have met through working to support others. Without this understanding of mum which has enabled me to greatly empathise with people, I may not have been graced with the wonderful people in my life 🙂

X Rebecca x

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