Sunday, 31 January 2016

Nerd Church - Care Some

I've read two blog-posts recently that made me think about the book Angelfall by Susan Ee (US - UK.)

The first was the fabulous post on +Emily F (aka the Paperback Princess)'s blog, about diversity in YA. This led me to a small rant... more on that in a sec.

The second post was a review of the book by Laura @ P.S. I Love That Book. (A very good review, may I add.)

This is a book that I myself have read and reviewed before, and to be honest I have a tendency to go on and on about various points that can be made with this book as an example.

So, on to the rant...

Reading these posts made me think more about Angelfall - a book which really resonated with me because the main character, Penryn, acts as a carer to her mother and her sister.

I actually really appreciated having a character that I could relate to in terms of caring - that part of my life is something which a lot of people don't understand.

stock photo (man)
I've been a full-time carer for a relative in the past, leaving me with lasting depression issues - and I currently act as a part-time carer to other relatives.

And then I thought... why aren't there more carers as characters in books? There are a lot of carers in life, after all.

Why don't people include diverse situations more in books? There are people out there who are hugely under-represented in popular culture.

And then I thought... why don't people know more about carers in general?

This definition of a carer comes from The Carer's Trust website:

"A carer is anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who due to illness, disability, a mental health problem or an addiction cannot cope without their support."

Believe me, being a carer is something which affects everything about you - the way you think, the way you act, and your sense of self. There are also literally millions of carers in the UK, and hundreds of thousands of those are aged 16-24.

The Carer's Trust can offer support to carers in the UK - please use them if you need them; I wish I'd known about them when I could've done with a helping hand. There's a ton of practical advice on the site - whatever your age or situation.

Carers do an incredible job - but rarely ask for anything in return.

My own theory is that we don't want to cause worry or distress to the person/people we're caring for - or cause any embarrassment for them because they can't manage various tasks themselves; but then, we forget to take care of ourselves. And that doesn't end well.

You probably know quite a few carers - you just don't know you do.

Nerd Church is a space where I have a small chat/rant every week about 'issues' of various sorts in a friendly setting (non-nerds welcome!) Feel free to continue the discussion or start your own, but please link back to this blog ;)

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  1. I'm glad my post sparked this interest in you! I will fully admit, I do not know much about carers because of the fact that they are never really featured anywhere in media. They are truly strong people, but I don't think they get the recognition they deserve!

    1. I certainly agree with that! And your post was fab - which is why I linked to it ;)

  2. I'm not an official carer but I could see myself as one because I have a younger sister who is physically disabled and cannot walk and struggles with handling things due to her hands being curled. According to the definition, I think I would be one? I haven't read the Angelfall books before, but I own number one and I really want to do so soon! Oh, and I agree. They should be mentioned more.

    1. as long as you do things to help her out, you *are* a carer. That's part of the problem - carers don't realise that they're carers. Even when I was acting as a full-time carer to my mother, I didn't claim carer's allowance because I didn't think I'd be an 'official' carer - never mind that I was in control of all her medication and doing all the housework and shopping, as well as making her lunch etc and helping her back to bed if the chemo had made her too tired. I enjoyed Angelfall - though I did have a few issues with how mental health problems were portrayed.


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