We’re so grateful to Cassie for sharing her powerful story of healing during Journey to Wholeness, a breakfast supporting Insight Counseling Centers, on September 14, 2023. Watch the video to hear her message about finding purpose in life after trauma.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Advocates from the National Domestic Violence Hotline are here to listen without judgement and help you begin to address what’s going on in your relationship. Their services are always free and available 24/7. Get guidance and learn how to identify abuse at https://www.thehotline.org
Cassie’s Story Transcript
Hello, thank you for this opportunity. I’m not nervous at all and didn’t prepare this last night, so it’s going to be great. But in all honesty, I am happy for the opportunity to be here because, like she said, mental health is such a stigmatized topic. And knowing now what I know, what if you could go back in time and know everything you know now in your earlier years? What a life it would be, right?
So, I’ve been in therapy, many therapies for the past two years. Insight was my first, and Hannah saved my life. But I’m a teacher. That’s my background. I’m not a teacher, I’m sorry, I’m nervous. But my background is in teaching, and so I like when I’m a listener to kind of be able to follow along. So, I’m going to give you a little bit of a synopsis of what I’m going to be speaking about today.
The first one is an objective that I just want you to ponder while I speak. The second is my personal story, of course, my truth. And then I’m going to wrap it up with a purpose for you.
My objective today is for you to challenge your perspective on purpose. You know, I’ve searched for purpose my entire life through lavish things. I’d still like to do that as well. But, you know, two years ago, from the outside, my life looked absolutely incredible. I had so many people reaching out to me that they were jealous. I was in Miami one weekend, Las Vegas another. I was deep-sea fishing. I was at all the fancy restaurants, glass seats at the Preds. You couldn’t dream of a better life, really.
But behind it all, I was suffering a lot. I was being emotionally abused, and I thought that God could help him and save him, and that therapy could save him and help him, and that I could ultimately help this man stop being abusive. But unfortunately, that’s not my job. So, this great life and all of a sudden, my life shattered in one night. The man that I loved the most in this entire world, who was my partner, who I wanted to have children with, who I would give my life for, almost took it in one night. I had never been touched before that night, and so my entire world was completely gone.
So, where is my purpose? What happens when everything that you’ve built your life on and your social media and your existence is gone? So, all that to be said, trauma is a lonely, lonely road, and I just didn’t know what I didn’t know. And I used to judge women that cried in public, and I would think, “Oh, go home. Why are you here? What’s happening?” And then I became the woman that cried in public, and that was after being stuck in a home for six months healing. You know, I even wailed once. I judged people who committed suicide, “What a selfish thing. How could you dare do that to the people that love you?” But then I became those dark thoughts. And you know, you just can’t predict life.
But I will say that because of all of the help that I have received, specifically from Insight and Hannah, who saved my life, she gave me the validation that I needed so badly to heal. We just don’t know what we don’t know. I keep repeating that, and I apologize, but it’s because, for example, right after the abuse, I still missed my partner. We were together for multiple years, and I envisioned a life with him, and I lost my purpose when I lost him. And so, I told my friends, “I miss him,” after the abuse. I mean, permanent damage in the hospital. It was really bad. Their response was, “How could you? Who could dare love someone that did that?” And all the feedback I got was just, “You’re crazy. Don’t do that.”
Well, Hannah, I’m not looking at my notes at all, like, totally went off the wall. But Hannah, the first thing she said to me, and I’m broken, right? My life was shattered like a million pieces. I couldn’t pick up enough to see a reflection. I had no value. And Hannah said, “Cassie, of course you miss him. Of course you feel that way. Anyone in your space would miss the person you’ve been with for multiple years. You missed the fact that you loved him and that you did envision a life with him, and he did provide good things for you, and that’s okay.”
Validation is so important in trauma and getting that connection that we just don’t know about. I wish that I could give you guys my months of knowledge. I’ve spent a lot of time and money and, thankfully, resources that were able to be provided to me from donors. Today, I wouldn’t be up here, and I don’t know where I would be without Hannah.
But my purpose for you today is to think of where your purposes could be. I don’t think that it needs to be in your career, and it can be. It can be found in a lot of different things. I don’t think it needs to be one thing, and I don’t think it needs to be just children or just this one thing. You can find purpose in paying for someone’s meter. You don’t know what that could do for them. You could find purpose in opening the door for someone who may be struggling to get through it. Anything that’s as small as that or doing something huge like donating to Insight and saving someone’s life like mine was saved.
I had a lot of great points, but it was from my heart, and I’m just really thankful that you guys are here and that you have provided a space for me to be loved. That is what’s so important about mental health and the resources that we’re able to connect the broken to the loved. And Hannah, again, I will always be thankful for her, and she saved my life, and she’s from Insight, of course.
So, I appreciate the time. Thank you guys so much, and please continue to support Insight because it saved my life and many others. Thank you.