We Deserve, But Are Not Owed

“The world doesn’t owe you anything”.

That simple sentence (and variations of it) has always had a way of instilling a sense of profound guilt within me.

When I say those words to myself, it’s meant as a punishment of sorts. A way of saying “so just get over it” or that I don’t deserve this thing or anything else for that matter. This is what I did in a previous post.

One of my readers commented on that post saying that “we do have the right to expect the therapist to still be a therapist” in response to my thoughts regarding the place I find myself in with my therapist. Those words were what made me explore this topic deeper. Explore my feelings. Because when I read those words, I felt a mixture of confusion, curiosity, and relief.

I realized what the problem was.

The right to, deserved, owed. I had lumped all those words together as meaning the same thing, even though the knowledge that they meant different things was buried somewhere in the recesses of my mind.

Whenever I hear the word “deserve”, I hear “owed”. But that’s not what it actually means. I particularly liked this definition that I found of the word. “Be worthy of”.

Deserve love doesn’t mean owed love. Having a right to something doesn’t mean we’re owed that thing. It simply means that as a human being we have a right to these things for simply existing. Just like clean drinking water is a basic human right.

But on the other side of the coin, just because we have a right to something, doesn’t mean we’re going to get it, either. And that’s the part that feels awful sometimes.

I’m seeing my therapist at her practice tomorrow. I stopped counting a while ago, but it’s about three months since I’ve last seen her or heard her voice. For some reason, I’m terrified. A big part of me wants to cancel, or just not show up. But knowing myself, I probably won’t. I can feel so many emotions simmering beneath the surface, just out of reach. I guess a part of me is afraid of what will happen tomorrow. What I’ll say, feel, or do. Right now, I can’t bear the thought of even looking at her. Guess I won’t be sleeping much tonight. Must remember my anxiety meds!

One of the biggest issues during this time has been the feeling of not deserving her or her time. I don’t get to be a part of her life. She’s so far away from me. Now that she has her baby, those feelings have only intensified. I’m thankful though that the past week or two I didn’t have any feelings toward her. I just realized something as I wrote that last sentence… I think part of my fear about tomorrow is reconnecting with her. With those emotions.

I wish I could believe that I do deserve her support and time. And while I did for a brief few minutes before I started this post, I’ve fallen right back down to feeling unworthy. Emotions suck. Just when I think I’ve made progress with eliminating all those past messages of being stupid, unlovable, and a waste of space, it all comes rushing back. It’s so frustrating.

Anyway, I’m off to watch Wonder Woman and WW1984 (my obsession films) to try to stop myself from thinking about tomorrow.

I hope I come out of it in one piece.

3 responses to “We Deserve, But Are Not Owed”

  1. You will come out of it in one piece. I’ll be you can remember similar worries and surviving those worries and the events. Your reflection on the question of deserving is, by itself, a sign of growth. Good luck tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Personally, I don’t believe I deserve anything, I just need to be the better person that I know is the right way to be and have zero expectations- that way I’m never disappointed-My self-care includes treating others the way I wish to be treated. I admit that I am a frightened selfish wretched creature and in so doing I am liberated to be otherwise.

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