Day 78: It's not a Want, it's a Need!
There was a blog post that felt like truth reaching into my chest and grabbing my heart. I requested permission from the author to post it in its entirety. Here is the post, followed by my own thoughts about what it means to me.
I read someone's very wonderful blog post this morning, and it illuminated something that I want to spend some time exploring. (I'd really like to create a link to it, but for some reason that's not working for me right now. I'll come back later and try again.)
For me, it comes down to a question. Do I downgrade my needs to wants? Do I further downgrade those needs to wants-that-I-don't-deserve-to-have? I think I do.
If I revisit some things from the past, I can see that (in self-defense) I decided that there were things I simply didn't need. I would be just fine without them - thank you very much. Some examples would be:
I didn't need to be comforted.
I didn't need to feel safe.
I didn't need care if sick or injured.
I don't need compassion.
I wanted these things, but I decided that I must not need them. There must be a reason I didn't get them, so they must be wants rather than needs. We don't always get what we want after all, and it's selfish and immature to expect such a thing. (I don't have this distortion when I look at others, only when I look at myself.)
In addition to this, I find that there are certain conclusions I draw about myself.
Where intimacy is concerned, I am a thing to be used. I have no say.
Where pain is concerned, I am exaggerating and attention-seeking.
Where illness is concerned, I am faking it.
Where my responsibilities are concerned, I am lazy.
If I convert those 'wants' back into 'needs', then it turns the world on it's head. The first view is so harsh. The second is so compassionate. The first view is full of shame. The second has no shame.
I need comfort
I need to feel safe
I need care if sick or injured
I need compassion.
It changes the conclusions.
Where intimacy is concerned, I am person, a participant.
My pain is real.
When I'm ill or injured, I go to the doctor.
Where my responsibilities are concerned, I can only do what is humanly possible given my circumstances and resources.
So different - so very different. I'm glad I chose to explore this a little further for myself. I notice a lot of hurt and grief stirring around. I feel the tightness in my ribs and the numbness/tingling in my hands and feet. So this is very significant on some level.
The last two lists at the end made my heart race as I read them. I had an intense, visceral response to reading this posting and recognized there is important learning for me in its message. (As an aside, I find it intriguing that if my T said these things her words wouldn't have the same impact.) These lists made me wonder if I have other entries as well.
I also realized there were further downgrades I accomplished. Need -> want -> not deserved -> not wanted -> does not exist. I ended up believing the source to meet these needs didn't exist in the world for me.
Things I didn't need:
- I didn't need to be comforted.
- I didn't need to feel safe.
- I didn't need care if sick or injured.
- I don't need compassion.
- I didn't need safe touch.
- I didn't need to be believed.
- I didn't need food every day.
- I didn't need to sleep without being woken to satisfy someone else's sexual needs.
- I didn't need attention.
- I didn't need to be spoken to gently.
- I didn't need to be free of bruises and cuts.
- I didn't need to have control over what was done to my body.
- to be comforted.
- to be safe and to feel safe.
- to be cared for when I'm sick or injured (both at home and by going to the doctor)
- safe touch.
- to be believed.
- to maintain adequate nutrition.
- to sleep undisturbed.
- to be spoken to with love.
- to be free from cuts and bruises caused by others . . . and myself.
- to be free to choose what is done to my body.