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Caregivers' Mental Wellbeing Support

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Richard_Scope
Richard_Scope Posts: 3,666 Scope online community team

Caregivers' Mental Wellbeing Support

Let’s shout out to the caregivers in your life as they are superheroes.
When I was 11, my dad left; I did not understand why then, but as I got older, I realised it was partly my situation and the stress they were experiencing. My mum never spoke to me about what happened; I guessed she did not want to burden me with any feelings of guilt.
I spent the next few years spending weekends at my dad’s, but his rented house was not suitable for me; over time, I spent less time there as I blamed him for leaving my mum and having a home that I could not stay in.
My dad then had a new partner; she was nice, but I could tell she did not want me around; I felt pushed out and angry. Underneath all these feelings, I was feeling fragile and starting to get depressed; at the time, I did not know what depression was and how it felt.
My mum never got a new partner; she was my rock. She was my everything. She never moaned or said anything to me that made me feel pushed out. She fought for me when she thought I was being discriminated against; sometimes, people would look at me or hold eye contact for too long. I could see her staring back at that person or those people, clothes shopping was the worst experience, she told me later because shop assistants would have an opinion on everything, what did they know but how could they, I guess. My mum would soon put them in their place; I was so proud of her. She was my superhero.
Later, my mum would have other people come into the house to look after me when she went out; I was 14 then. I was angry with those old feelings of anger, just as I did with my dad; I felt I had nobody now as both my parents were leaving me.
At home, I started acting out and made it problematic when she was there and the people who came in to look after me. There were often different people who came to look after me like a conveyor belt.
My mum started to get angry back at me; my life, in my opinion, was less important than anyone else’s. My mum often told me to be calm be reasonable; I was not interested in those words because I felt excluded.
I turned 17 and was still acting out; then, one day, I was getting into my lift at home and could hear my mum on the phone; she was being calm and explaining on the phone she needed her job because she had no money and could not afford to look after her son who was disabled.
This was the first time I realised she was leaving home to support me; I stayed in the lift and listened to her finish the call. I felt like calling out to her to help me in the lift but then heard her sobbing; I just sat there feeling like I had been so horrible to her, and then as now I know my caregivers, they kept leaving because I was awful to them.
I called out to my mum and said I needed help, not in my normal angry voice but in a caring way; she came straight away as usual and helped me down to the front room, where she put the TV on for me.
I then asked mum why she did not tell me you were working, and she said calmly I did not want to upset you.
I am now much older and try to understand what she went through; she gave her life to me when nobody else did, and she fought for me when nobody else did.
This is my story in a snapshot; I am now a counsellor and support caregivers with empathy. I give them space to get frustrated with me; I let them project their feelings on me. I then help them with practical advice on dealing with their current situation. I try and give back to the carers, the mothers, the grandparents & the fathers who left home because of the strain on the marriage and the guilt they felt when they had no money and could not afford a house which was accessible for me.
I hope my short snapshot into my life can help the disabled teenagers who are angry and the family members & carers who are slowly getting anxious, depressed, and worried about their futures.
My mum and dad are now open with me about growing up with me; they said they never stopped loving me and did their best.

Scope
Cerebral Palsy Programme Lead

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Comments

  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Scope Member Posts: 7,983 Disability Gamechanger
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    Thanks for sharing this with us @Richard_Scope. Really powerful  :)
    Community Volunteer Adviser with professional knowledge of education, special educational needs and disabilities and EHCP's. Pronouns: She/her. 

    Please note: if I use the online community outside of its hours of administration, I am doing so in a personal capacity only.
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