Possible Womxn 13/12 Cassie – Widow, Mom To 3
I bet you were all surprised when I announced that the last babe was not me, but in fact, was Cassie. I couldn’t think of a stronger, more resilient, brave, powerful, and magical womxn to end this project on other than Cassie. When I heard her story, I felt like the earth shook. I couldn’t image being in the actual presence of someone who had been through so much. So much heartbreak, so much pain, so much trauma. When I heard her story, I knew she needed to be a part of this project. We came into each other’s lives just months before I was scheduled to wrap up the Impossible Boudoir Project. After hearing her story, I knew she needed to end this project. I knew her story, her trauma, would resonate with many other womxn out there who have gone through some of the same things Cassie has. I knew her magic and her power would shine a light and hope to others out there. To show people, to show womxn, that a beautiful life can be possible after tragedy. Beautiful things, beautiful moments and beautiful people will still come into your life and change it for the better. Cassie has an army of supporters and love and she deserves nothing less; her kids deserve nothing less. I cannot think of anything better to say about this womxn other than she is one magical warrior.
Her story involves death, suicide and a traumatic pregnancy. I just want to forewarn anyone who continues to read that there are some triggering parts in this blog that might be too much for people to read, or relive in their own personal case. Continue at your own caution and your own pace. This is why it has taken me over 2 months to write this blog. I needed to be in the right headspace to tell Cassie’s story and do it justice and also write in a way that was honoring her and the people she has lost.
We’re about to go on one emotional journey, but it’s a story worth reading. This is Cassie’s life, her reality, her pain and also her joy. Proceed with caution if you need to and also remember to hold tight to the ones you love.
I would also like to dedicate this blog to Cassie’s husband, Sol. He was a great husband and a great father from all the things I have heard from Cassie. I want to respect Sol and his legacy as a husband, a human and a father as I write about part of his life even though he is not here. Sol, thank you for leaving your family with such a wonderful home and fond memories and thank you for allowing me to share part of your story and your wife’s story here today. I respect and honor you, even though I never got the chance to meet you. Thank you for allowing me to do this.
“I feel more empowered and sexier than I did on my wedding day.” – Cassie
My first question to all the ladies post session, how do you feel? Cassie gave me one of the most thoughtful responses ever. She has quite a large following on IG, because she’s magic and plants are magic, and she wanted to make sure that before doing this session, before she was a part of this project, that she was choosing that right type of imagery that she wanted to present to the world. She, like many of us out there who do boudoir sessions and post these photos, is sometimes worried about just feeding into the male gaze. During her session Cassie never once thought that she was contributing to that whatsoever. She never stopped and thought, “Is this too sexy and will someone be looking at me not in an empowering way? Or am I just helping to perpetuate and feed into this narrative?” The thought never crossed her mind. (YAY- this is what it’s all about, being you and feeling free to be your sexy self. For those of you wondering, yes, womxn think of this stuff all the time, not even when we post sexy photos of ourselves. It’s what we wear out in public, how we present ourselves, everything.)
“I want to be able to stand behind what I choose to do.” – Cassie
“I feel like I just gave my daughter this huge example of, I’m thirty-eight, I’m a Mom, it’s ten in the morning on a Tuesday, I’m going to rock hardly anything because I have a body and it’s gonna die, so let’s just use it.” -Cassie
Growing up Cassie was taught that her body was her own. In a somewhat religious household, like many of us out there, her family never put any real emphasis on her body. They never said anything bad about her body, but they also never said anything positive either. Today Cassie not only tells her own daughter that she is beautiful, but also that she is a friggin awesome person, which she is. Met her, she’s a damn gem, just like her Mom.
“Who you are is an amazing person and you also look so cute today.” – Cassie
Cassie remembers her parents, especially her Mom as always being on a diet. She herself has dieted in the past too because that’s what she was taught for the longest time and shown from her parents as the right thing to do. Never mind your genetics and just the simple fact that some people are just shaped and built differently. The same two people can go on the same diet and get completely different results. I think a lot of people in the past lost sight of that fact that being the size 2-6 is the only way to look and be considered or deemed as healthy. Someone who is 4’11 and someone who is 6’5 are going to look a lot different in their bodies because we are all built in our own unique way.
“I grew up in a body shaming culture. I was born in the 80’s and the 90’s were all heroin sheek and all about being wafer thin.” -Cassie
“He was fed a lot of toxicity growing up in the 80’s and 90’s and being taught how a womxn’s body should look and be used for.”-Cassie (Cassie talking about her husband Sol)
Cassie thinks back on how the relationship with her body was with her husband, Sol. She said there were times where he made her feel like the most beautiful womxn in the world and times where he made her feel inadequate and not good enough. To his own credit, Cassie says, she also felt the same way about her own body. Being a womxn, outside of the average beauty standard Cassie has already felt not good enough.
“Now that Sol isn’t here, I’ve had a lot of womxn, womxn ‘xn’, show up for me more than I ever had when I had a husband.” – Cassie
The womxn that have showed up for Cassie since the death of her husband Sol, have completely empowered and changed Cassie. One of the first womxn Cassie has met on IG who helped changed her perspective on herself and her body told this to Cassie that has stuck with her. “Sexy is a state of mind.” Hearing this after Cassie had just lost her husband, just had a baby and just turned thirty-five, was at first, a little weird, but then understood the power in that phrase. You’re hot, if you don’t believe it, no one will. Sexy is a state of MIND! Today this is what gets Cassie through her days. She says to herself, ‘Sexy is a state of mind’ at least once a day. Cassie had been with her husband from the age of 18-34 and relates her dating life to being a 36 year old womxn trying to date for the first time. This phrase is also what has given her the confidence with men and putting herself out there again after the loss of her husband.
“I’m fucking hot in my sweatpants and you’re lucky to be able to see me today at the Grocery Outlet.” -Cassie
Cassie met her husband Sol in college and they got married when they were in college. He was all she has known for her entire adult life. Cassie tells me that when she met, she knew Sol was different. Looking back on it now and their first moments together as a couple and as husband and wife before the house and before the kids, Cassie knew that Sol had suffered from PTSD. Cassie explains that there was a multitude of things that contributed to Sol’s PTSD. One main one being a traumatic brain injury when he was younger resulting in cerebral palsy. He had this his entire life and his personal experiences with having cerebral palsy had also greatly contributed to his own trauma. Cassie goes on to say that when she was young and naive and fist married to Sol, she just assumed that these things he was going through, could be mended and repaired by seeing things a little differently. Looking back on it now, she knew she was young and still learning so much about life and others and knew that how she thought then was very naive and myopic. (We are ALL, CONSTANTLY, learning)
“The things that I didn’t understand about his inherent struggles, he also didn’t understand about my inherent struggles.” -Cassie