Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Multiple Sclerosis

My Mum was diagnosed with MS in April 2011 and at first there wasn't really a change, but then house work got shifted onto me and my brothers. I'm okay with that because I know it's not her fault, but I feel like I've had to grow up a lot quicker than other kids my age and am being stopped from doing "teen things".
Something I'm not so okay with is the constant shrieking and expectancy to be able to do things that I have no experience with at once all the while having some form of a social life - but again it's not her fault. After an "incident", if you want to call it that, of shrieking, I usually feel terrible and take it out on myself but I'm not sure how to tell her this, what should I do?
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank you for your letter and well done for contacting me. It sounds like your mum being diagnosed with MS has meant a lot of change for you and your brothers over the last couple of years and I imagine that wasn’t easy.

It sounds like you really care about your mum and want to be there for her, but I can hear how hard it is to cope when your mum is upset and shrieking. I’m not sure from what you’ve said whether the shrieking is being directed at you but if that is happening, then that’s not ok. It also sounds like sometimes you perhaps feel like you’re being asked to take on more than you can handle and that too is not fair - you deserve to be happy and to have a life too.

I understand that it could be difficult for your mum to adjust to her illness and that it may get her down. It sounds like you try really hard to see things from her point of view. I’m concerned that sometimes her behaviour is leaving you feeling terrible and that you’ve been taking things out on yourself.

It also sounds like having to do so much for your mum could be frustrating and lonely for you at times, especially when you’re stopped from doing ‘teen things’. I can hear that it doesn’t feel fair for you at times. It sounds like you and your brothers are acting as carers for your mum so it might be that your family can get some extra support from social care or the health service. You should be able to get advice from YoungCarers. There is also more information and ideas on the young carers page in Explore and lots of young people have written on the message boards about their experiences of being a carer, which you might like to take a look at.

Maybe you could have a think about whether there are any other adults in your life who you may like to talk to about things at home - perhaps another family member or a teacher. It’s important that people are aware of that impact that things are having on you. There is always someone here for you to talk to at ChildLine. You can call on 0800 1111 (all calls are free and don’t show up on the bill) or log in for a 1-2-1 chat (it works like instant messenger).

Well done again for writing this letter and please remember ChildLine is always here to support you in any way that we can.

Take care,


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