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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Celyn Offline
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Name: Holly
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My life - October 17th 2010, 04:59 PM

Hey, first of all, Iím sorry this is so long- itís basically my life story. If this is in the wrong section, I am sorry, mods please move it.
Itís my fault that its so long because I wanted to put this up ages ago, but I didnít want anyone to find out who I am. So here goesÖ
I have always been quiet. Even when I was little.Thatís just the way I am. Though I have always felt that my life has never been normal. Now, before anyone starts saying that there is no such thing as normal, please let me explain. When I mean normal, I mean live in a nice house (nothing fancy just an average house) go out with friends, go on holidays etc. Just an average life.
In comparison my life, was this: The house was a complete mess (and still is). Its not what you expect. When I was younger, the house still had the same carpet that the previous owner had some 20 years ago. The walls had never been decorated. Now we donít have carpet on the stairs, landing or hallway. The 2 front rooms are decorated, but the bedrooms, kitchen and bathroom have never been decorated, so I canít invite any friends up here because we are basically ashamed of the house. There are reasons why the house is in this state, but that comes later.
I used to play with my brother when I was younger, but we always ended up fighting. Most of the time, it was my fault, but even when it wasnít I would still get yelled at, and sent to my room. In the end I got fed up with getting yelled at, so I promised myself that I wasnít going to play with my brother anymore. And I never did. I was 8 by the way. I stayed in my room and played with my toys. But I didnít have any storage. I didnít have any shelves, boxes or pop up toy bins. I tried to tidy my room by putting things under my bed, but I couldnít because my parents kept rubbish under my bed. Sometimes my best friend would come up (only because I begged my parents if she could come up here) and we would play, but then I wouldnít put the toys away when she left, because I would play with them the next day. Every morning my mum would come into my room to wake me up and have a go at me for my room being messy. I got fed up again, so found a big box and put all my toys in there and never played with them. So I got bored. I then started a hobby which embarrassingly I still do (but nowhere near as bad as I used to be): Looking at catalogues and thinking ďI wish I had a room like thatĒ or ďI wish I had that toyĒ or ďI wish our living room looked like thatĒ. I begged my parents to redo the house but they wouldnít Not until I was older.
As for going out like to the park, we donít have a car. We live in a really isolated place in the countryside. We hardly went to the cinema, park or eat out. As for holidays we only went once. So every summer holiday when all my friends were going places, I wasnít.
Finally, some 3 years later, my parents decided to redecorate the house. However, it was just my dad doing all the work, we didnít get any builders or decorators, my dad did it. But my other friend asked me if she could go up my house and I told her she couldnít because the house was being redecorated. She asked me again a year later, and I said the same thing (it was the truth) but she thought I was lying. Then everything started going down hill.
My half brother came up to visit and started touching me in inappropriate places. I never told anyone about it. In fact I didnít even know it was wrong because I was young (I think I was 8 and he was 17) and for some reason I liked it. Now when I think about it, I hate him for it and think he must be disturbed or something, because thatís just sick what he did. Anyway, I never saw him again, which Iím really happy about, because I would tell someone, if he tried to do that again.
Anyway, in school there was this teacher I became obsessed with (I was 10 years old). She was amazing. Years later and even now, I still wish she was my mum. At first, I was inconsiderate about my mum, thought that this teacher was my real mum but when I started growing up, I appreciated my family more and so my obsession calmed down and I knew I wasnít adopted, but I still really liked this teacher. I wanted to live with her, be her daughter, have her as my mother. She never knew about this and I hope she doesnít find out. So when I left school, to go to high school, I really missed her. I cried about her for weeks on end. My friend helped me a lot thought and soon I was ok. I decided to keep in contact with this teacher, and she was ok with me keeping in contact with her.
Anyway, things got even worse in high school. As I said at the beginning, I wanted a normal life. But I got picked on every lunchtime and break time, everyday for a whole year, before the people who were picking on me got bored. This really lowered my self esteem. Unlike most kids, I donít swear. Its nothing to do with religion, I just choose not to swear. A few years later, and things were again looking up for me. I had a boyfriend, people stopped picking on me, and I was doing well in school.
But there was a massive problem in my life. My dad started acting weird. He didnít finish decorating the house, he accidentally locked me out of the house when he went out to pick my little brother up from school. Things got worse, he would pick my little brother up really early from school. He would do dinner really early instead of 6:30 when my mum comes home from work. Then the arguments started. None of us could understand what was going on- why was my dad acting weird? Every time my dad did something weird or wrong, my mum would yell at him. Sometimes she would break down on crying, which made me cry silently in my room. My dad told me that it was all my fault, and then its my fault things could get worse.
If you arenít bored now, you probably think my dad was having an affair because thatís what it sounds like, doesnít it? How wrong you are. My mum took my dad to the doctors. Waited an entire year to get an appointment with the hospital (a year wasted). Finally, doctors said: Dementia Alzheimerís. But by then it was too late. My dad didnít understand or even know that he had something wrong with him. So the whole family had to accept it. There is no cure. I didnít tell my friends. I told my best friend and my now ex boyfriend, but thatís it.
Since the diagnosis, things just got worse. He was prone to wandering and often wouldnít come back, so we had a few sleepless nights and police raids. One of the most horrible ones was when my aunty decided to come up to support my mum, but she got drunk. I hate drunk people. I hate it if my parents get drunk. I feel scared. The number of things I have read saying ďYou must treat the person with dementia as if they were normalĒ which in our case isnít what we are doing. My mum is constantly yelling at my dad. My brothers make fun of him. Iím just there feeling sorry for him and guilty. I blame my dads Alzheimerís on myself (well, since there is no known cause, then why not). I thought that I should never have become obsessed with that teacher- I should have focused on my family. I have more sleepless nights now, because he is at the stage where he cant even go to the toilet by himself, my mum has to like dress him and stuff. So my mum loses her patience and starts yelling at him like 1 oíclock in the morning, waking me up. I sometimes get really scared that something bad is going to happen, like my mum says she has to ďgive him a tap on the wristĒ but I hear my dad saying ouch and stuff, like as if they are fighting. I get even more scared when my mum tells my dad to go down stairs but he doesnít understand and so she tries to like push him down the stairs. It was only last night that my mum said to my dad ďI wish I could just stab youĒ. I mean, I know being a carer is stressful, but seriously? By the way my mum is in her 40ís and my dad is in his 60ís.
So life goes on, and somehow the social services got involved and now I have been forced into the young carers project. I really didnít want to join. Iím not a very social person. I donít do after school things for the fact that I prefer to revise (well, I am a straight A student). Anyway the people from the young carers said that they would give me free driving lessons. Most 17 year olds would think great. But not me. I am terrified and I donít know why. They will phone next week to ask if I have filled in the forms, which I havenít. Iím too afraid to say no to the driving lessons because I feel as if I am making a big fuss over nothing. I have to go to a youth club now as well but I donít want to. itís the type of club that basically is for troubled teens to stay off the street. One of my brothers managed to escape that. He didnít want to do anything so managed to get out of it, without saying a single word except for ďnoĒ. I donít know why I had to join the young carers thing because I donít do anything. Which my mum keeps telling me. Also, my friends do more chores than me and they arenít young carers.
So my friends donít know any of this. I found out that one of my friends didnít really like me because I never go out with them. There are reasons why: 1)Iím never invited- they are all on twitter/facebook and Iím not, so they plan to go out on facebook etc 2) They usually go to places that a far away, but since we donít have a car its hard for me to go anywhere and 3)Sometimes I do have to look after my dad
I thought that people had stopped picking on me. But now, its people younger than me who are starting to pick on me for my appearance. Unlike most normal teenage girls 1)I donít wear make up- because I donít know how to put it on and my mum wont help me 2)I have my hair really long and in the same old boring low ponytail every single day- I donít know how to do other hairstyles since my mum stopped doing my hair when I was 7 because I told her she was hurting me (she was yanking my hair) so my mum wont help me with that 3)I have dry skin on my face and KP on my legs 4) I donít wear proper school trousers or shoes or socks- I wear tight skinny legging type school trousers that are meant for 12 year olds, I wear shoes that I donít like (big ones, but I want dolly shoes) and I still wear those horrible white frilly socks that I wore in primary school- why? Because my mum bought them for me.
Ok, so why donít I buy my own clothes? 1) There are no shops that sell school clothes where I live 2)I cant buy stuff online because we had credit card fraud and I donít know where the numbers go in the boxes- I asked my mum but she had a go at me, so I am too afraid to shop online. This also means that the clothes I wear are really old. Like I am 17, going on 18 soon and I still wear clothes made for 12-13 year olds. Then there is another problem. None of my clothes get washed. I know, I know, I sound really lazy BUT my mum doesnít do it for me, so I asked her how to use the washing machine and I was going to use it myself, but she ignored me and started talking about something else. I donít want to use it and accidentally break it because I will get yelled at again. Like years ago when my dad was ok, he asked me to do something but I didnít know what to do- if I said yes, but do it wrong, I get yelled at if I say no-I get yelled at for not helping. Same with cooking, I asked how to cook something and no answer. Its like its better me not knowing how to do things even though I need to learn how to do things.
Sometimes, I get the feeling that my mum doesnít really care for me. Like I had a panic attack the other day because I was so stressed out (I think it was a panic attack- my breathing and heart rate was faster and I felt really weird) and I told my mum and she didnít care. The same thing happened a few years ago and neither of my parents cared, they thought I was being stupid. I had ringworm last year, but that was chronic because I told my mum it could be ringworm (after typing in round circle red rash into Google) and she didnít believe me so didnít take me to the doctors. Eventually she did but the creams didnít work.
Also my mum is going out next Saturday and the Saturday after that, but I know drink is involved and then I get scared, I donít know why, I just do.
Then I think about my imaginary life I would love to have with that teacher. It would be amazing. I would have a nice house to stay in and I would wear nice clothes and I would be able to wash and iron my own clothes. I would have more of a life because I would join up to twitter/facebook (the reason I donít is because I donít have anything to say like my friends have sky tv I donít or my friends do stuff that I donít and also I donít have any pictures to put up, so my accounts would be boring and practically dead lol) I would be able to wear make up and have my hair done nice (the teacher has had kids and so knows hot to do hair and makeup) I would be able to revise better for my exams since the environment would be quieter and warmer in the winter. I could tell this teacher anything, like when my boyfriend dumped me, she was sympathetic but when I told my mum literally an hour after he had dumped me she had told me to get over it, which my friend said was a bit harsh. And she is interested and my hobbies but my mum isnít. I would be more confident and I wouldnít have the habit of playing loud music which I am terrified is wrecking my ears because she doesnít like loud music (I play loud music nearly every day for years so I am worried that I am damaging my ears but Iím addicted and its hard to break this habit).
But then I stop and think. The teacher probably wouldnít let me live with her and what kind of a family member would I be just to drop everything and abandon my family? When my mum depends on me to listen to her go on and on about everything and the big sister that my brother depends on me to be. And then I just think maybe I am making a mountain out of a mole hill. Maybe I should be happy for the life I have. But thatís hard, when all I ever wanted to do was be normal and my life is far from happy or normal or average.
So thatís about the end of my story. There are many other things as well that I would like to say, but they are not as important.
If you donít know what to say thatís fine.
Any advice or comments would be grateful- even criticism is welcome. The only advice I cannot take is go see a doctor/psychiatrist/psychologist/counselling/therapist or if you tell me to talk to my mum about how much this is stressing me out because that wont work either. Sorry.
   
  (#2 (permalink)) Old
PSY Offline
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Re: My life - October 19th 2010, 07:59 AM

Wow! That WAS a really long post. I'm glad you finally decided to share your story with us, though. =)

First of all, I'm sorry to hear about your father's mental condition. Please know that you are NOT to blame for your father's mental condition. Scientists may not know the exact cause for Alzheimer's, but they do suspect a number of biological/genetic and environmental factors. Focusing (or not focusing) on your father wouldn't have increased his risk for developing Alzheimer's.

Secondly, you seem to be aware that care-givers experience a great deal of stress. That is certainly true; however, when it gets to a point where the care-giver is threatening to stab their patient, or where they are trying to push their patient down the stairs, it's time to seek extra support. It seems that social services has already become involved, but they are probably not aware of how abusive your mother has become toward your father. You may not have been able to do anything about his Alzheimer's, but you may be able to help him get the care he needs by telling a social worker about your situation at home. You CAN have him placed in a residential care facility or receive additional help from a mental health professional, even if you are struggling financially.

Lastly, I am sorry to hear about everything that has happened over the course of your life... the general disarray of your house, wishing you could live with your teacher, not being able to have as much fun with your friends as you would like, etc. I can only begin to imagine how difficult all of that must have been for you. The good news is that you will be turning 18 in the near future, which means you will become an adult and have more freedom/control over your life. Now, I know this is one of the things you said you CAN NOT NOT do... but I am going to suggest it anyway, because I honestly believe it is the best thing you CAN do.

Please talk to a social worker, or whoever is working with you through the Young Carers project. You may see driving as a scary experience... and that's okay! I know I was terrified when I first got behind the wheel and started driving. But while you see this as a negative thing, the people with the Young Carers project see this as a positive thing. By obtaining a driver's license, you will have that much more independence from your parents. Essentially, the agency is attempting to prepare you for adult life. They may not know everything about your family, but I'm sure they are aware that you are coming from a difficult family situation. It's natural to feel scared and helpless, after everything that has happened to you. They are just trying to empower you, so you can go out into the world and create a better life for yourself when you turn 18.

So ask for help in achieving independence. You will get as much out of programs like these are you are willing to put into them. If you want to learn how to drive, apply for jobs, create resumes, look for affordable housing, seek government aid, etc. then you will be able to find individuals who can show you how to achieve all of those goals. If you don't reach out, then you'll remain exactly where you are now... and from what I can tell, you aren't satisfied with life as it is right now.

I wish you all the best. Please don't hesitate to continue reaching out to us on TeenHelp. =) Take care!





   
  (#3 (permalink)) Old
Celyn Offline
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Jeez, get a life!
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Re: My life - October 19th 2010, 05:07 PM

Hey, thanks PSY for taking the time to read it all- I honestly didn't think anyone would read all of it lol. I, too, am glad that I finally shared my story- I really felt like I needed to.

We are thinking about putting my dad into a care home, after he succesfully had respite, but there is a bit of the problem with the money side of things, but we are sorting that out.

I am planning on like being a better person when I am 18, but I am so pesimistic- usually everything I plan, doesn't happen lol. But I'll try!

Oh and by the way, the teacher doesn't know anything- she is blissfully unaware (or I hope, after I bumped into a cleaner that worked in the school and I had to ask her where the young carers were meeting). I didnt want to tell her because I didn't want her to worry about me and even though I want to be, I am not her responsibility lol.

Anyway, thanks for your help- you actually made my day
   
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Re: My life - October 19th 2010, 08:54 PM

You're quite welcomed. I hope that everything works out financially with your father, sooner vs. later.

As for things not going according to plan... that will be the story of your life for quite some time. xD No 18-year-old has their act together... not even the ones who have their college/career planned out. All sorts of things can go wrong or get in our way, but we make the best of it and find a way to carry on. I'm not saying the transition from adolescence to adulthood is going to be easy (I'm still working on that myself, and I'm 21!), but you CAN start preparing for that transition. The more you know, the more competent you'll become, and the more confident you'll feel. =)





   
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