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Carrying That eXtra Burden

By , Texarkana, AR
As a teenager you never expect to have to take care of someone. You never expect to have to be a mother…to your mother. My first year of high school many things happened to me that were unexpected, and I’m not talking about the ‘’usual’’. My mom began a journey that wouldn’t fair easy on me. So many things were discovered about her. The worst part wasn’t any of what was wrong, but the pain that it caused me. We found out my mom had several diseases. None of them that would be able to get better.

When it was first discovered that my mom had Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia I didn’t know what to do. I was only beginning the ninth grade, merely a child myself. It felt like the end of the world for me. All the drama from Jr. High was finally going away and then this had to appear. It took a lot of getting used to. I had to get used to trying to control her and a lot of the time she would tell me, ‘’Your not my mom!’’. I had to get used to it. She would walk out at nearly anytime of the day just walking somewhere and when asked where she was going would only reply with some babble that wasn’t understandable. I often felt I had no control and it hurt me when I would have to raise my voice to get her to listen to me. It was about the only thing that I was able to do for her to listen to me.

My dad had just started a job at the prison on the outskirts of town. He worked twelve-hour shifts, four days on, then four days off. I don’t think it would have been as bad for me except that he worked at nights. That had to be one of the rougher parts of it. I’ve been woken up once at five in the morning by the police to be told that she had wandered off. Some of the things that have happened have scared me out of my wits.

Dealing with her scares me in many ways. Many of my nights have been spent awake. It scares me that if I go to sleep and she gets up while I’m in bed snoozing that she’ll walk off and get hurt. You see, I can put her in bed and get her to lay down, and then five minutes later she’ll get up and start wandering around the house. It has taken me hours to get her to sleep before.

One of the only ways I’m able to get through this is because of my friends and family. Especially my friends. Nobody could find any better friends than mine. Their always by my side when I need them, I’m able to count on them, and when I just need a smile or encouraging word I can find more than one.

I’m going to be a junior this year. There are some things that I don’t know are wrong with her yet because I’m frightened to ask my dad about it. I just recently found out she had brain surgery and there is absolutely nothing I can do about any of it. However, the one thing I do know is that I can face it with a smile, think positive thoughts, and count on friends and family to get through it.





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