i see parallels to my own life in your story. pain is like abuse. when it’s a near constant, it is familiar; almost comfortable. we don’t even realize a life without is possible so we adapt and learn to live with it.
but when it’s absent, the idea of it returning is even more crippling than the actuality of it before. anticipation can be a horrible thing. waiting for the other shoe to drop is terrifying. it is how our abusers hold us captive and control our lives.
getting over that required, for me, lots and lots of outside help. I’m glad you recognize your reactions for what they are.☺