Role reversal

I have spent my entire life being everyone elses support system. In grade/high school I was the go to girl for relationship and parent problems. As an adult I became a Social Service Worker, Personal Support Work, Early Childhood Educator / Parent Support Worker and most recently a Developmental Service Worker. I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister, employee/colleague and friend. Being able to support, assist, teach and generally care for others defines who I am.

Since I let my world know about my AVM about a week ago I have received many, many FB messages, texts and emails from people in my life. I have know doubt that I am loved and cared about. The problem is I am not use to being in a position where I need anything from anyone. I have never allowed others to see me vulnerable. I am THEIR rock and I tend to collect people who need alot but have little to give. (I call it collecting crazy and my friends agree)

I don't know how to ask for help. I don't know who in my circle of friends is actually prepared to help.

I am getting tired of everyone telling me about how strong and brave I am. I don't feel very strong or brave. I feel tired, overwhelmed and scared.

Yesterday I wished I could turn back time and not know that I have an AVM. Continue to work, raise my family and live as I was before. Today I remember that I am blessed that I know (before a bleed) and there is a reason that I know. There is a reason that everything is happening so quickly even if I don't understand what that reason is.

I send warm thoughts to each of you on this journey. Thank god I am not alone.

It is hard to ask for help! Like you I am always the shoulder to cry on the one that everyone came to help sort out their problems. I found that just talking about your AVM and giving them as much info about it that you have brings them into the loop and an understanding that you will need their shoulder. I wish I had more/better advice to give you, but I still find it hard to say I need help and I need you to listen to me for once.

Although I am not the one that is directly affected by the AVM, I feel like I can really relate to you. I like the part that you said about collecting people who need a lot but have little to give. I feel like I also do that. And as you know, it does get extremely tiring at times.
I read your comment on my blog post about “losing” my Mom. And although I am so very sorry that you can relate, I am also thankful. My Mom has been the only one in my life that I have really ever let take care of me and now that she isn’t really able to, I feel completely lost.
I’m not sure how to tell you how to ask for help. I know that I am also on the same journey. Letting people take care of you is actually much harder than it seems. Especially when you aren’t quite sure how you need them to take care of you.
I also know that it gets tiring to hear people tell you how strong and brave you are, but I think it is important to know that you are. Know that you don’t have to feel strong to be strong.

I hear ya! I’m not one to “toot my own horn”, so people end up not knowing what’s going on in my world, but I also don’t want to bore them with details or send negative thoughts their way, so it’s hard to strike a balance between giving and receiving support. I just want people to talk to me like normal, but it’s like they don’t know what to say to me any more. Our whole lives are revolving around this thing and it’s hard for others to grasp that and deal with it.