I am a carer and I found it difficult to deal with my own emotional needs as I couldn’t share them with my son.
He was already dealing with a lot being unwell, his hospitalisations and surgery, coping with his diagnosis, managing the disruptions to his studies, medication side effects, his own emotional and psychological distress, and the overall impact of being unwell on his life and socialisation.
I absorbed a lot of his distress, I was there when he wasn’t managing well emotionally (walking on eggshells and copping some anger), I sought out good quality medical assistance and support, I dealt with other agencies (social security, private health fund, public housing), I arranged for the support my son needed (re mould, housing, pulmonary issues), I facilitated him reaching out to university staff for support in deferring his studies, I moved us to a more suitable home, I researched and shared suitable findings with him, I kept our household running.
This despite being a sole parent on a limited income, already experiencing long-term chronic illness myself, requiring my own surgery and investigation of medical issues, and having absolutely no support and some scepticism from our immediate families.
Subsequently we have both sought psychological support. My son was suicidal a couple of times during this time and I facilitated psychiatric assistance for him too. He has benefited from a combination of medication and counselling. It has not been a smooth journey.