I'm a day late for Cassie, sorry guys. I've been sick with a horrible cold, and it's summer here. The body has a way of letting down defenses when stressed.
Did you read the last blogs about narcissism? If so you will understand why Cassie is having such a difficult time allowing happiness into her life. But she's been working on herself, maybe one day she will have that happy ending.
Here she is:
I think, finally, I understand me – a little bit. Am I the ‘me’ I could have been if I hadn’t fallen in love with Nathan, if events of my life hadn’t led me to him? Or is it because of what happened with him that I am the me I am now?
I shook my head, impatient at my convoluted thinking. This letter was about what I was learning about myself, not how I got here. At least I think it was. My deeper self always surprised the shallow surface me. I focused on my pen again.
I believe I am a good person. I did the things I did with Nathan out of self-preservation. I behaved the way I did because I was lost within the relationship, lost trying to fix it, to make it right, to make things the way they were. I was lost trying to find the Nathan I married, but that Nathan never really existed.
At least, that Nathan was the one he could have been, if he didn’t have his problems, if his brain worked the way it should. But it doesn’t, and it never will. I tried to understand, I tried to be the person I thought he needed me to be. I lost myself trying to understand him, trying to use reason with a person for whom reason has a different meaning – one nobody else can understand.
I finally learned that to use reason with someone who is unreasonable means insanity for the reasoned one – the unreasonable one carries on, not even realizing the damage he has caused. I finally understand that I have been carrying the repercussions of that with me all this time. I was not completely free, even though I thought I was. I was still tied, just a little bit, to Nathan. Still carrying the guilt with me over the failure of the marriage. Still thinking I could have done something to change things, something to make it right, something to fix it. Still thinking that I could find a way to reach him.
And, all this time, feeling that I do not deserve a good relationship because of the things I did. Feeling the guilt, feeling the shame. I feel shame for my actions, shame for what I did and who I became. Shame too because I was not strong enough to leave. It was Nathan who left. If he hadn’t, would I still be struggling along in the marriage even now?
That is what has stopped me from moving forward with Matt. I did not see clearly what was happening, I did not have the strength to change it. As he did all through the marriage it was Nathan who controlled what happened, and for months after it was Nathan who was in control.
And, when he wanted us to be friends, I let him take control again, and again when he manipulated me into inviting him to my New Years Party. Still Nathan in control with me the foolish puppet. So how, knowing that, can I ever trust myself to start a new relationship? How, knowing that, can I ever believe that I can stand up to Nathan, to stop him from controlling me, to stop him from sabotaging my new relationship if he wishes to?
I put down my pen, picked up my wine and took a sip, my mind still on the words I had written. This afternoon, after leaving my appointment with Sue, I had felt so light and free. Now, after writing this letter to myself, that lightness had gone.
Not wanting to reply to myself yet I went out onto my back deck and stood in the moonlight, sniffing the warm night air. The delicate scent of a night scented jasmine floated on the breeze. I loved the idea of a plant that released its scent only at night. I had no idea who owned it, someone in the street I supposed.
All was quiet, the dogs were snoozing in the laundry and Mark was in bed. I looked up at the sky, dotted with stars and only the faintest wisps of cloud here and there. It was a beautiful, peaceful night. But not inside my head. I sighed, sniffed the jasmine again, and went back inside to finish my self-imposed task.
You are being too hard on yourself, on us. You are not still trapped in Nathan’s web. You are free. Today you recognized so much about yourself and your reactions. You recognized what was happening with Nathan and now that you are aware it will not happen again.
You said yourself, Nathan always has an agenda and you cannot be friends. You know he was manipulating you, so he won’t be able to do it again. You can get past this, and you will.
You know now what you want from a relationship – what you want and not what you think you should give. Your self-esteem has grown, your strength has grown, your belief in yourself has grown. You know you deserve a real relationship and happiness in your life. You know that the failure of the marriage was not your fault.
You are a good person, you deserve happiness. You know this now. And, Matt is a good man who understands what you went through and who will support you and help you as you adjust to a proper relationship. A real relationship. Matt will help you stand against Nathan if you need to, he will help you in all things, as you will help him.
It's time, it’s really time to start your life again. You are free of Nathan, free of the guilt and free of the shame. My advice to you, to me, is to call Matt.
I put down the pen and stared at my own words. Even though I had written them they still seemed like they had come from someone else. And yet, if Saffron had asked me for advice – if she had been me – it was exactly what I would say to her.
I pulled a face at myself. Well duh, of course it was exactly what I would say, it was me who said it. This writing to myself was sometimes a bit schizophrenic.
I filled my wine glass and went back outside. Nothing had changed, the soft breeze was still warm and still scented, the stars were bright, the only sound that of the crickets. All that had changed was me.
I thought about my words to me, the words of my higher self to the self still struggling with life. Did I dare to believe myself? That sentence struck me, filled my head. Did I dare to believe myself?
If I didn’t believe myself what would happen? I’d be stuck in this circle, going around and around until even Matt gave up and found love with someone else.
If I did believe myself what would happen? Possibilities, changes – that’s what would happen. I would move forward, I would change, the future would happen but not on Nathan’s terms. No, if I believed myself, if I believed in myself, the future I wanted would open up to me, on my terms.
I felt dizzy. All that I wanted was mine already, I just had to reach for it instead of pulling away. Surprising myself (spontaneity is not my thing), I spun in a circle, my face up to the sky. I felt, in those moments, at one with everything, at peace with everything. I felt free.
Spin over – without a drop of wine being spilled in case you were wondering – I went back inside and picked up my phone. He was on night shift so would not get my message until tomorrow morning, but I was sending it anyway. My decision was