Life as a “Cassie”

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Fasten your seat-belts kiddies because I’m about to throw you ball out of left field. That’s right, I’m actually going to talk about my feelings.

As a kid, I basically had to light someone on fire to get attention from my parents. I was a well-behaved, A student with the average moral compass of a straight-laced teen . I generally flew under the radar and due to my handy-dandy perfectionist personality, rarely approached the parentals for help. Their attention was mainly focused on my tornado of a sister and as someone who generally thrives on being a wallflower, this situation worked to my advantage.

Due to the lovely economy and the thrifty thing known as the journalism field, I became unemployed in January 2013. And in its absence, my body decided that it needed to create a new profession, a new way to pass the time, and it surfaced by way of an eating disorder.

I’m the girl who had to run out of her psych class because she couldn’t handle the video where the bulimic listed everything she ate in her last binge. I’m the girl who looked at pictures of anorexic models and scoffed at how anyone could think that was healthy. I was the girl who basically thought, “I’m way too smart for that to happen to me.”

Well, it did. And I spent six months in and out of rehab in an attempt to kick ol’ ED out for good. My first rehab facility should have been subcategorized as a prison because their no phone/laptop policy nearly killed me. As someone who hates to be inside their own head, music, movies/television, have always provided the perfect outlet in which to escape. I can safely say that these three things have helped keep me sane. I was officially diagnosed with anorexia (binge/purge subtype) and orthorexia in July and it’s been a downward spiral of misery.

A character I’ve been relating to a lot lately is Cassie Ainsworth from generation 1 of Skins. The oldest, mostly forgotten daughter, Cassie is introduced as fresh out of rehab for her eating disorder and still struggling with her urges to not eat. She goes as far as hallucinating the boy she likes giving her messages telling her to, “EAT!” Eccentric and stubborn, she would later flee to New York after the death of a friend. She’s always been my favorite character from the series, and one of my favorites in general. Her eating disorder is romanticized (which I don’t agree with, beeteedubs), she claims not to have eaten for three days so she “could be lovely” for a date. But I appreciate and understand her struggle.

In her centric episode in season two, Cassie voices this to her exam proctor, I stopped eating and then everyone had to do what I said. That was powerful…I think it was the happiest time of my life. But I had to stop before I died because otherwise it wasn’t fun. This exchange has been in my head for several days now and I’ve been working through why it’s resonating with me. I don’t consider myself a petty person, but I am stubborn as all hell. And as much as I hate to admit it, I got more attention from my family this summer than I’ve probably gotten in my entire life. This attention was completely warranted, and as an independent person I found it irksome, but underneath it was appreciated. Greatly appreciated. I am not suicidal. I do not have a death wish. And yet I still refuse to make the changes that will save my life. I’ve had enough therapists, dietitians, doctors, etc. giving me countless reasons over the course of the past year, but nothing has cemented. Nothing has permeated this shell. And it’s a thick shell. Cassie’s relationship with Sid helps her to focus on her recovery. I don’t have a Sid nor do I want one at the moment, but I haven’t found my symbolic Sid either.

Hi Kate’s Symbolic Sid Jenkins. It’d be great if you’d make yourself present. I’m a bit clueless these days so I’m going to need you to wave neon signs. I’ll be right here waiting.

[EDIT: As of April 16, 2014, I am making the decision to check myself back into inpatient treatment. Maybe my Sid is closer than I thought…

Follow-up: No Longer a “Cassie” ]

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25 Favorite Television Characters

My intense love for certain fictional characters generally stems from four reasons:

  1. I wish they were real so I could marry them,
  2. I wish they were real so they could be my best friend,
  3. We’re the same exact person except they have a significantly better wardrobe and a hot boyfriend,
  4. Their life is so shitty that all I want to do is reach through the screen and give them a hug.

There’s also a line between characters I genuinely like as characters and not because their portrayer was obviously created on a day that God was channeling The CW Network. Is Ian Somerhalder good looking? Uh yeah. Do I worship the altar of Damon Salvatore? No. Stefan5eva. And it goes both ways. So, taking in no (or as little as I could) consideration of how much I love/hate the actor or their face, these are my favorite television characters: In alphabetical order…

Andie McPhee
“Don’t play dumb. When dumb people play dumb, it’s very disconcerting.”

You’re going to see a lot of Type A personalities on this list, because I have a great love for the straitlaced constantly stressed workaholic who is always on the precipice of a complete mental breakdown. Enter Andie, the future Harvard medical school grad who finally cracked under the pressure of being a severe perfectionist and started hallucinating her dead brother, Tim.

Annie Edison
I’ve been worried about how uptight I am and how I’m no fun. And then I was worried I wouldn’t fit in here or be able to hang out with you guys. But you know what? Why don’t you ever ask yourselves whether you can hang with me? Why am I always the one who has to adapt?

Forced to attend community college after suffering from a nervous breakdown and narcotics addiction, book-smart Annie has always been my favorite member of the Greendale 7.

Caroline Forbes
“So youre saying that now I’m basically an insecure, neurotic, control freak on crack?”

Prior to joining the League of the Undead, Caroline Forbes was my least favorite character on TVD. Seemingly shallow yet overwhelmingly insecure, the future vamp was not my cup of tea. Since being turned into kick-ass Vampire Barbie, that title has been passed on (congratulations, Bonnie!) and Caroline has become my favorite. Who knew all it took was becoming a night-walker to make me like you…

Cassie Ainsworth
I stopped eating, and then everyone had to do what I said. That was powerful. I think it was the happiest time of my life.

Generation 1 of Skins will always be my favorite, thanks in large part to the eccentric but lovably innocent, Cassie.

Chandler Bing
I’m not great at the advice. Can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?

Each Friends character is amazing in their own right, but Chandler is hands-down my favorite. I’d never want to date a Chandler, but as my BFF4LYFE? Hell. Yes.

Chuck Bass
“So you’re finally learning there are upsides to pissing off your family?”

Chuck Bass is an ass. He sold his girlfriend for a hotel. He wears purple sparkly suits. Worst of all, he bumped uglies with Jenny Humphrey. And I could seriously care less.

Cristina Yang
“I have an MD and a PhD. I’m a freaking cardiothoracic surgeon. I’m supposed to be studying for my boards, the most important exam of my life. And I’m locked in the bathroom crying because of a boy!”

It took three seasons for me to appreciate Cristina Yang. I was a big fan of her and Burke, but after he left her at the altar and she was so happy to finally be free, that moment made me a Cristina fan. Yes, she can be callous, emotionless, and, well, a bitch, but she always means well.

Debra Morgan
“We can play who’s the better asshole. But I guarantee you I’ll win.”

Deb is a character that grows on you. Her dropping an F-bomb every five seconds was initially annoying as all hell and her bitchy, cold demeanor seemed impenetrable. But I guess falling for a serial killer aka your adopted bro’s real bro and then almost becoming a victim of his tends to soften people up…spoilers?

Hannah Rogers
“I’m not beautiful. And that’s okay, because I’ve got other stuff. And eventually I will remember what that other stuff is and why it’s more important. It’s just taking longer than I thought.”

As much as I wanted to like Amy, the lead female character of Everwood, I never found her particularly relatable. Her “nerdy,” deer-in-the-headlights bestie on the other hand? Instant favorite.

Jack Shephard
“But if we can’t live together, we’re going to die alone.”

I have a tendency to like characters who are hated by the general viewing population. And it pains me that Jack is one of them. The Man of Science turned Man of Faith had one of the most compelling arcs on LOST and if his ultimate sacrifice didn’t make you cry the Pacific Ocean, we can’t be friends.

Jason Stackhouse
“Sometimes you need to destroy something to save it. That’s in the Bible or the Constitution.”

He’s pretty. He’s dumb. He’s pretty dumb. And it’s one of the many reasons why I love him. A serial ladies’ man with a heart of gold, Jason always has the best of intentions even when he eventually effs everything up.

Jesse Pinkman
“For what it’s worth, getting the shit kicked out of you? Not to say you get used to it, but you do kind of get used to it.”

I’ve never wished happiness for a character more than for Jesse. Poor guy has had it rough. Yeah, he’s a murderer, a drug dealer, and an addict, but he’s also been playing the role of Walter White’s bitch for far too long.

Jim Halpert
“A lot of people told me I was crazy to wait this long for a date with a girl I work with. But I think even then I knew that I was waiting for my wife.”


Oh Jim Halpert. You have set the bar for my future husband so impossibly high. I would brave the Dunder-Mifflin offices to work alongside Jim.

Matt Saracen
“You don’t care about me. You left me for a better job. Your daughter left me for a better guy. Carlotta left me for Guatemala. My dad left me for a damn war. Everybody leaves me. What’s wrong with me?”

Thrust into the spotlight after the first string quarterback is paralyzed during a game, Matt Saracen overcame all odds to become the starting QB the small, football-loving town of Dillon, Texas, needed. He navigated thru the perils of wooing Coach’s daughter and the arrival of his MIA parents. And he was a good friend to the ever-annoying Landry, and that more than anything makes him a hero.

Michael Scofield
“Preparation will only take you so far. After that you got to take a few leaps of faith.”

He may hold a serious grudge and talk like a serial killer, but the guy’s kind of a bamf seeing as he broke out of two prisons, successfully broke his wife out of a third, and helped clear his brother of a murder charge.

Nathan Young
“We had it all. We fucked up bigger and better than any generation that came before us. We were so beautiful!”

A smart-ass with an even smarter mouth, vulgar-mouthed Nathan was my favorite Misfit from the start. Let’s hope he wiggles his way out of prison soon so he can return with all his immortal glory.

Phil Dunphy
“I’m the cool dad. That’s my thing. I’m hip. I surf the Web. I text. LOL: laughing out loud. OMG: Oh my God. WTF: Why the face? Um you know, I know all the dances to High School Musical.”

He knows all the dances to High School Musical. ‘Nuff said.

Quinn Fabray
“I may not look like the head cheerleader anymore, but I’m still her on the inside.”

I get the hate that Quinn gets, the former HBIC of McKinley was needlessly cruel at first to pretty much every member of glee club. But Quinn hasn’t been season 1 Quinn since well….season 1. At her core, Quinn is someone who was dealt a super shitty hand and just wants someone there at the end of the day. And I don’t think anyone can argue with that.

Ron Swanson
“I’m not big on charities. Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Don’t teach a man to fish and you feed yourself. He’s a grown man. Fishing’s not that hard.”

Ron Swanson is my best friend. But seriously. If my best friend worked for the city government and grew a mustache (amongst other things) she’d be Ron Swanson.

Schmidt
“Schmidt happens.”

Douche-bag characters are often one-dimensional and they remain only douche-bags for the entirety of the series. Luckily for Schmidt, douchey as he may be, the New Girl writers took a trip to the Wizard and blessed him with a brain, heart, and courage.

Seth Cohen
“Dude. You’re a Cohen now. Welcome to a life of insecurity and paralyzing self-doubt.”

Unabashedly nerdy and self-deprecating,  leave it to Orange County to make the tousled-hair, pop-culture enthusiast the laughing stock of the Harbor School.

“Stiles” Stilinski
“I’m 146 pounds of pale skin and fragile bone, okay? Sarcasm is my only defense.”


Stiles may be one of the only true “humans” left on Teen Wolf, but he has the super-human power of sarcasm to get him thru the day. And it’s not like every other word I say is sarcastic…not at all. Clearly, we were not meant to be bffs.

Summer Roberts
“Ew. But I like it.”

As Marissa started get more and more annoying with her drug and drinking problems, Summer got more and more endearing by falling for the nerd and showing off her geeky side (Princess Sparkle, helloooo). A tiny whirlwind of shopping bags and boho dresses, Summer, thankfully, easily overcame her rich bitch trope to become the best female character on The O.C.

Veronica Mars
“Congratulations, you’ve been named World’s Biggest Cockroach. This award is given in recognition of your unparalleled lack of humanity. Bravo. You’re going to die friendless and alone.”

If the voice inside my head manifested into a person, it would be Veronica Mars. Shamelessly snarky and unbeatably honest, it’s easy to see why she was either revered or abhorred by her peers. The teen sleuth had her character flaws: she was easy to piss-off, meddled in everything, held grudges like whoa, and served payback like a bitch. But in tandem, she was fiercely loyal to those who upheld the Mars Code of Ethical Behavior and was never afraid to put it all on the line for a friend.

Wes Mitchell
“I am way too hungry to be mature about something like this.”

I started planning my nonexistent wedding to Wes immediately after the pilot of Common Law aired. A former lawyer who swapped depositions for an LAPD badge after sending an innocent man to prison, Wes is a classic OCD-level perfectionist. He constantly clashes and bickers with his partner and (arguably) best friend, Travis, because of his laid-back stance on life. And while I feel like the show presents Travis as the guy we’re supposed to immediately root for, Wes’ personality is much more to my druthers. It also doesn’t hurt that he likes flashy cars and dresses like a GQ fashion spread, either.