About six years ago, a man who later became my ex-boyfriend (and even later became my ex-best-friend’s baby daddy) and his crazy friend met up with me at a bar. Said crazy friend was older, but that was something I’d always found attractive. Not only was he tall and thin (I’m so superficial!) but he was funny, charming, and a closet insecure basketcase. You could tell he had daddy issues (Is it “mommy” issues for men? I’m not quite sure how that works.) ’cause he was the most fake secure person I’d ever met. Needless to say (mental problems/instability = fixer-upper), I developed a gigantor crush in 4.2 seconds. His surname? Thorn. Anonymous Thorn. (Mr. Thorn also later became known as an ex-roommate’s best friend’s boyfriend–and later still, ex-boyfriend.) When he mock-married me by placing a hair tie around my wrist (something he claimed was a wedding ceremony in the Aleutian Islands–and the only reason I know that the Aleutian Islands exist), I mentally adopted “Thorn.”
Whether I told Mr. Thorn that I didn’t like my first name or he chose to re-name me himself (should I have been insulted?), I don’t know. All I do know is that he continued to call me Cassandra throughout our brief few months of collaborating in the same social circles. He ultimately had to let me down easy, explaining that he would later be more interested in a red-headed slut than myself (okay, he didn’t explain that and he didn’t know he’d fall for the red-head, but I know now, and I can say whatever I damn well please). He did, however, let me down, the only person who was truly honest enough in my life to plainly tell me they were just not interested. And no, he didn’t know I called myself Thorn in my head–or those few months would have been shortened to a few days, undoubtedly.
But there it was: the perfect pen name. I especially liked the idea of being a thorn–of sounding inconspicuously dangerous. And when I took my Greek Mythology course, I was sold on Cassandra as well. Cursed by Apollo (for being all, “y’know, I’m just not that interested…”), Cassandra, one’a Priam’s girls, was cursed with the ability to see the future (awesome, right? how could this be a curse?), and have absolutely no one believe her prophecies (sucks). This is much like my life, and not unlike part of my “please accept me into your amazing clinical psychology program” statement. I see so many things so very clearly, but I’ve constantly been met by defenses that lead to self-doubt. So it’s slightly different than Cassandra–she knew she was correct. I, on the other hand, know I’m correct…except for those times where I think I could be wrong (read: all of them). Regardless, if the name fits…
…but that’s my question, ultimately. Did I adapt to fit the name I had created for myself, or is the name/personality connection merely coincidental? (Self-fulfilling prophecy, or chance?)