How I think about being a carer
Being a carer isn't something I chose. It's something I've had to grow and learn to accept.
A lot of the time I don't really like being a carer. There's no reward. It's all about helping someone else's needs, not your own. I still feel guilty about having and doing things that Dad can't. I'd much rather Dad got something that made him happy, and for me to see his smiling face.
For other young carers, I'd want them to know that it's okay for it to be hard. If you don't like parts of it, that's normal. It doesn't make you a bad person.
How I handle school
I often have to miss school because of my caring role. Then when I do go, I often overwork myself so I can do all the study I missed.
I try to break my homework into chunks, so I can work on it whenever there's a gap in between looking after Dad
Getting the bursary payment made a difference. Dad doesn't work, so the money just made it easier to afford things like a new uniform and bags and shoes. Having decent clothes means I don’t stand out as much at school.
When I can get out of the house, I'll go meet up with my support worker at a cafe, and talk about what's going on with Dad that month. I don't feel as guilty about feeling bad.
Otherwise, I have a few friends at school. But most of them don't know about Dad. I don't know what they'd think, or if they could handle it.
When I can make time, I go to my room and read fantasy to get away for a few hours.