Mum has written another post, this time exploring her understanding of being a carer:

When I’ve been asked if I am Sarah’s main carer by various health professionals, I am surprised and confused. 

‘I’m her mum,’ I think to myself.

To me, being her carer denotes an unequal relationship: I am the carer, Sarah is cared for. This is definitely not the case.

When Sarah rang from interstate in her first psychotic state and my first encounter with psychosis, I immediately organised a flight to be with her as soon as possible.

She was admitted to hospital and on her discharge organised and carried out the return home. This included collecting personal items from work, arranging a removalist, collecting boxes and packing. I was merely her assistant. Sarah drove home, with me as passenger, over a couple of days. So you can see she is a very independent woman, even in those circumstances.

I do care for Sarah but definitely not in the way the oversimplistic bureaucratic term suggests.

I care about Sarah’s mental and emotional health and for the most part I feel I support her very well. Though we love one another very much, we don’t always see eye to eye. I can’t always live up to the responsibility of a carer, to always remain positive and supportive. It’s simply too hard for me to play carer every day of my life. Of course this tends to make me feel guilty and I have to reason with myself that nobody is perfect, even though carers are supposed to be. Life is more complicated and so are relationships.

Sarah is intelligent and also cares for me at times. She supports me as I walk and helps around my house with chores. Most of all she has given me a very precious gift, my little Gracie, who like my other grandchildren, is a perfect delight.

I think my mum is my carer in the sense that she is my emotional rock. Mum’s also great at helping me with Gracie probably taking on more than most grandparents during my ‘bad days’ and also because I am single mum and have no other help.

I’m so grateful for such a helpful mum and I don’t know where I’d be without her.