Clearly, I think you really like this woman. She sounds like she has many wonderful traits, which I'm happy to hear 😊
But this is unchartered territory for you because, aside from this being your first date with a woman (right?), she seems to have shown empathy and kindness, which is something that you're not quite used to. You have no script for an empathetic response so you froze (btw I feel like this might be one of my talking-out-of-my-arse moments so feel free to jump in and tell me that I've gotten it all wrong).
As for being "deserving" of her or not, I feel Croix had some great insight. I mean, I realise a lot of it stems from your history, PTSD, etc so feeling "deserving" of a potentially loving relationship/partner probably isn't going to happen overnight. In Jack Cornfield's words, you gotta rewire.
Can I just add one thing (if that's okay)? This woman is sounding amazing from what you've told us, and for that, I'm happy for you.
I'm hesitant to say this as I'm worried it will upset you...but I've noticed that you have only had 1 date (right?) with her yet you seem to have elevated her to virtually demigod status in your description. I mean, people put their best foot forward on first dates (my ex boyfriend anyone?)
Now, I'm not saying that she isn't wonderful or anything like that but I am suggesting maybe give it more time before deciding how you feel about her (?) As Croix said
A measure of that person's wisdom, worth and affection will brobably be found in how she follows up having met you.
Of course I hope she proves to be as amazing as she has been on your first date. But maybe just give it more time (?) Sorry, if I've said anything out of line. I'm not sure if I expressed what I had in mind very well.
Jack Cornfield...your counsel is needed (when you get the chance) before Dottie digs herself into an even bigger hole!
Anyways, here's a big hug from me to you, Sara.
P.S. Croix, I don't think you're intruding at all (not that this is my thread). I also loved your contribution btw!