Those feelings of erasure? The empty, lonely question of “why doesn’t anyone believe me”? The mental calculus that weighs “people understanding me and my experience and my trauma and my pain” against “how is this disclosure going to affect my career/ my status/ my credibility”?
ALL of that is something that ALL sufferers know - whether you have been victimized by the predation of some malignant narcissist or the stubborn, broken state of your own body.
Chronic pain narrows experience in a way that was hard for me to grasp - even as a sufferer - until the return of this more ferocious pain reduced my focus (and in some ways, my self) from many facets of life to the singular drive towards the light at the end of the tunnel - the relief of pain.
...[I]it is not a stretch to say that this denial is *actively* harmful. It feeds an unhealthy cycle which layers shame onto expectation onto varying degrees of worthiness and my beliefs of my value as a human and bakes it into a shitty croissant of self-loathing.