"How much does anyone really know about the person sharing his bedroom?" asked the district attorney in an episode of Law and Order. The remark was related to a defendant who turned out to be very psychiatrically ill, her paranoia causing her to kill her college roommate.
What does that have to do with women in chronic pain?
It reminded me of the folks who refuse to believe us.
I am being somewhat redundant, coming back to a theme already used - but it is one I have no doubt I will be revisiting a lot.
It is an irony that our pain may teach us more about those we know than anything else we have ever shared with them.
A caring and adoring husband, a sweet cousin, sisters and brothers acting like good siblings, friendships tried and true. Normal loving relationships.
And then we become chronically pained.
The thoughtful husband grows quickly tired of his wife's pain complaints, of the "I can't's", the "I am in pain", the plaintive cries "Will it ever end?" The same for the other people in our lives.
It is hard for me to find positives in having the pain, in being alone through the majority of my fight. But positive there is. The chaff is separated from the wheat, the caring from the 'I am here as long as it isn't hard.'
The pain can be the most defining moment for knowing who that person is: the one we can trust, the one with whom we can share our confidences, our fears, our hopes, our secrets, the one on whom we know we can depend.
It is the ones who remain who deserve not only to share our space but to have the pleasure of having us in their lives. And them in ours.