Deserve. It is so painful just to write that word. Why does it have so much power with all that I have learned and all that I have overcome so far?
Today I met with a therapist who specializes in skills training which includes mindfulness, radical acceptance, and willingness.
I want my degree; I want to teach; I want to impart what I have learned.
Then there’s that word. I have a hard time believing I deserve all of this, any of this. It’s not that I feel I don’t deserve good things or that I don’t work for and go after things I want, and yet to say, “I deserve this,” sounds and feels so wrong. My body even had an intense reaction to hearing and contemplating that phrase.
Of course that ended our time together, so I left her office confused. What in the world was this all about and why did it carry such a strong message and trigger such an intense reaction. If I don’t feel like I don’t deserve things, then why is it that I don’t feel like I do deserve things? Then I start wondering about things I believe that I only believe in my mind and the things I believe that make it down to my heart.
So I am driving to my next appointment rolling all this around in my head and many images from my past sexual abuse start popping up in my mind. Do I feel like all I deserve is the abuse? Well, not in my rational mind I don’t, but what is at the core? No, I don’t believe I deserved to be raped anymore than I believe any woman deserves to be raped, so what is all this going on in me?
All of my abuse was accompanied by words telling me how worthless I was; all I was good for was sex, that I was bad, and for proof, that if I wasn’t bad these things would not happen to me. Tie that together with the childhood message that good girls deserve good things and bad girls don’t deserve anything and voila…I don’t deserve because I was bad.
Since the current rape sent my mind back to my childhood rape, I know I took on the message that I was raped because I was bad. However, I thought I had come to terms with that and realized that it was not my fault, bad things happen randomly. Then I hear that word deserve, and my mind goes flashing right back there. So much influence and so much distress contained in one simple word.
I get to my appointment with my psychiatrist and he asks me if it is okay for me to have the things mentioned above. I tell him it is, so he suggests that I just change the word. If ‘deserve’ is triggering, use ‘okay’. Then he explains that people used to adamantly believe the world was flat, some kept the belief even when they received proof otherwise. He said that I believed for so long that the world was flat and now I have people in my life trying to teach me it is round. What I choose to believe is up to me.