Metaphorical distancing via name change

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songbirdrosa

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Metaphorical distancing via name change
« on: July 08, 2017, 04:08:52 PM »
I suppose this one counts as trying to "move on" and distance myself from my abusers, so I guess it can go here.

I've never really liked my surname. It used to be because people pronounce it wrong all the time, but lately it's taken on a darker and more sinister undertone. To me, it doesn't feel like it's mine. It's like it was foisted upon me, and it doesn't really fit me. It's my father's name, and to me, my father doesn't have any right to be a part of my life so intrinsically. When I was young, I used to joke about changing it, or say that I'd get married just so I could. But now, things are looking very different and I'm starting to seriously consider doing it. I know that it's a very big decision, and potentially quite a drastic move. Right now, it's no more than a passing thought every so often, but it's increasingly feeling like it might actually be the right step for me. Further down the line in my recovery, of course.

So, has anybody else done this, or thought about doing it? Is such a bold and overt break from my family a good idea, or is it possible that I'll be more at peace with it after I've discovered myself more? This one is really confusing me  ???

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Elphanigh

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Re: Metaphorical distancing via name change
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2017, 04:21:46 PM »
I think it is a wise thought to at least think on.  It seems like you need your father out of your life, and maybe changing names will give you that kind of closure. I have not experienced this, but I can recognize how important a name is, it is our identity in a way. I can see how changing it may give you some distance farther down in your recovery.

I am glad you recognize it as a big decision, but I think you are wise to think about it. Recovery has to be individual, and what is best for each of us. Maybe that is right for you. Don't rush the decision you have the grace of time

Side note: I really love your little personal message. I am a musician so seeing Hugo's quote made me smile

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woodsgnome

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Re: Metaphorical distancing via name change
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2017, 05:23:40 PM »
Songbirdrosa asked: "...is it possible that I'll be more at peace with it after I've discovered myself more?"

You are discovering yourself, daily...at least it appears so from what you share here. And part of your realignment might benefit from a name change. I have some experience with that.

I did just what you're contemplating, but didn't go all the way (partly out of apprehension about losing benefits which derive from when I actively used the birth name). But for all practical purposes other than "official records" I'm known by a name which came to me, suited me, and seemed wholly appropriate and perfectly acceptable to those who knew me. While I have 2 older siblings who've figured it out, they've backed way off from ever coming for me again (they tried, but I'm an adult now, with boundaries that I nurture, guard, and enforce).

While I still have that tinge of regret about not going all the way, it was wonderfully liberating to feel free, for the most part, from that albatross of the old name, and all the associations with it. This isn't saying it will work wonders for anyone else, but I suspect it might at least feel soothing and a boost just to know you were pro-active about what you can still control.

Obvious caveat...a name change won't heal the wounds, but it still feels good on the other side. Just take your time, I guess, and see if what you move on to seems like a good fit.

 :hug:

« Last Edit: July 08, 2017, 05:27:22 PM by woodsgnome »

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Lingurine

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Re: Metaphorical distancing via name change
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2017, 06:24:41 PM »
Songbirdrosa, Interesting, I thought of this myself, again, this week. Did you look into the proceedings you have to go through? To me it sounds like an amazing opportunity to make our own lives. To be free at last and never look back. I'm NC with my father and having to carry his name forever is something I don't want as an inheritance. When I decided to not have children I was glad that as a side effect, his name never would continue through me or my offspring.

 I am curious what you decide and what possible problems occur if you want to persevere. Will you let us know what you decide?

Lingurine
« Last Edit: July 08, 2017, 06:28:21 PM by Lingurine »

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sanmagic7

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Re: Metaphorical distancing via name change
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2017, 11:06:10 PM »
hey,

my nc daughter changed her name.  she carried her birth father's name for a few years, as did i, but when i got remarried, i took my own name back.  when we signed the marriage certificate, i simply signed the name i wanted.  he then adopted her and we gave her and her sister hyphenated last names.

a few years ago, she decide she didn't want that.  i did a little research, it seems that it doesn't have to be a big legal deal to change your name.  she began using her first and middle names, and no other last name.  since i'm nc with her, i don't know how the legalities have been worked out or anything.

i get the idea of a name not 'fitting'.  i took my first hub's last name, but never felt comfy with it.  when i took back my own name, it felt right.   i'm sure you'll figure out what's best for you.   big hug.

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songbirdrosa

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Re: Metaphorical distancing via name change
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2017, 02:51:27 AM »
Thanks everyone for your insight. It's truly valuable to me :)

...it was wonderfully liberating to feel free, for the most part, from that albatross of the old name, and all the associations with it.

My name has some associations along with it, too. My grandfather was a minister in my current town for nearly 20 years, and even now - though he retired way back in 1998 - people still remember him and ask if I'm related. My father also has a less than stellar reputation around here, one might even go so far as to say he's rather notorious. So I'm usually either assumed to be the perfect, sweet, good little granddaughter of a minister, or a ruthless and conniving liar like my father. Either way, I have to prove that I'm more than my relations.

Songbirdrosa, Interesting, I thought of this myself, again, this week. Did you look into the proceedings you have to go through? To me it sounds like an amazing opportunity to make our own lives. To be free at last and never look back. I'm NC with my father and having to carry his name forever is something I don't want as an inheritance. When I decided to not have children I was glad that as a side effect, his name never would continue through me or my offspring.

 I am curious what you decide and what possible problems occur if you want to persevere. Will you let us know what you decide?

I have looked into it, and it seems to be quite easy where I am. Just provide them with my birth certificate, fill out a form, and pay a fee. Seems almost to be too mundane for something that represents a seismic shift in someone's life!

I certainly will. I doubt I'll do it for quite some time, but perhaps when I've gone a little farther down this road, it may turn out to be the right thing to do eventually.

Side note: I really love your little personal message. I am a musician so seeing Hugo's quote made me smile

Thanks :). Music has always been my biggest emotional outlet so I really love this quote. I've even noticed that I sing much better when I'm angry, upset, or stressed about something.

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Candid

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Re: Metaphorical distancing via name change
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2017, 11:11:19 AM »
I changed my name on marriage, but after a few years I legally changed back to my birth name (yep, my father's name) because all my qualifications and most of my published work is in that name. I have no issues with my father, though.

When I told my older sister I was changing back, she said: "Why don't you make it something completely different?" I was gobsmacked. She couldn't have told me more clearly that she didn't want me associated with FOO.

I know a woman who dropped her last name because she hated her (single) mother. She's gone by her first and middle names for decades,

Quote
is it possible that I'll be more at peace with it after I've discovered myself more?

Definitely. When you're okay with Who You Are you'll embrace All You Are, including the name you were born with. That's still a hallowed goal for me, but I choose to believe it's getting closer every day.

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blues_cruise

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Re: Metaphorical distancing via name change
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2017, 09:06:59 AM »
I think do what feels best for you and makes you happy in the long run. I was thrilled to be able to change my surname when I got married and would never go back to my maiden name as quite simply I don't like the link to my N father. I know a lady who got divorced and chose to adopt her mother's maiden name rather than go back to her own maiden name. I'm not entirely sure why but I'm guessing it just felt right for her. I don't think there are any negative connotations to doing it.  :)

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Deb

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Re: Metaphorical distancing via name change
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2017, 04:45:38 AM »
Hi SongbirdRosa, I've been thinking the same thing about my surname! but am scared I'll regret it too. Its a big step. Its good to hear from someone else thinking the same thing xx

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CD76

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Re: Metaphorical distancing via name change
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2017, 04:43:45 AM »
 :heythere:

I completely changed my name a year (or so) ago... first name, middle names and surname to boot!

I wanted to send a very clear message to MYSELF and everyone from my FOO (those in the know - who knows? who cares?), that I am no longer a part of their family.

It was one of the most liberating experiences I've ever had and although there were a few people who had issues with my name change ("that's a bit weird, isn't it?") I kept reminding myself that this is MY life and I am in charge of living it. I am NC with my FOO and have been for over 2 years and my life has gone from strength to strength as a result.

My name change was the final thing to "change" and now I just work on my "stuff" as it arises... I'm free to be me.

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woodsgnome

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Re: Metaphorical distancing via name change
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2017, 02:58:17 PM »
Congrats, CD76  :applause:  :thumbup:   :yourock:   :yeahthat:

Honour your being.


Re: Metaphorical distancing via name change
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2017, 12:23:42 AM »
Man, it takes guts to change your name, ESPECIALLY your full name. Just thinking of all the paperwork you gotta go through...  :stars: But if in the end it all helps, that's great!
I would love to change my name, if only it was easy and wouldn't involve possible complications in the future. But well done on the name change, CD76. ^^ I bet it felt liberating.

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plantsandworms

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Re: Metaphorical distancing via name change
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2017, 03:30:05 AM »
songbirdrosa, I have also thought for a long time about changing my surname. Mine also comes from a father who really never was much of a father to me. I picked my own surname that I started using on FB and in other non-legal places about five years ago and I have found it to be a really liberating way to take control of my post-traumatic identity. I still haven't made it official legally, and I think that's partially because the compartmentalization of those two identities has been a helpful way for me to process who I am. I totally support you in doing whatever feels right to you! The process, in my state at least, is just to fill a form, pay a fee, run a notice in the paper, and get a signature from the judge. And hey, your name is yours alone.

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green tree sky

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Re: Metaphorical distancing via name change
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2017, 07:43:39 AM »
Such an interesting discussion - I have just had some stuff come up about name. I always remember hating my middle name so never used it and felt squirmy about using it except when I had to (legally) but the other day I spontaneously asked my recently found inner self/guide why I hated my middle name and it told me that I did it to stop being fully myself, it was a way to protect myself. The little girl knew that she could never be fully herself so cut out part of her identity in order to make it through. That made enormous sense!

I have begun signing any things I make with my full name in honor of the little girl who cut out part of herself in order to survive.

The name I mention is my full birth name - I do not want to change and did not when I got married. My surname is actually not the original family name - it was changed by someone a couple of generations ago something about not wanting to be always seen as the 'black sheep' - I rather like that!

Yes names are important and have meaning... I like what Plantsandworms said about compartmentalizing - that could be very powerful. You could start using the name you choose and test it out on friends. I know two people who have changed their names (one to a not very conventional name) and they both find it to be very powerful.

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songbirdrosa

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Re: Metaphorical distancing via name change
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2017, 12:13:35 PM »
Thanks for all of your replies guys, it's really interesting hearing so many different ways of addressing an issue like this.

After mulling it over some more, I think I've come upon a small solution. To test the water, so to speak. In the industry I work in, it's not uncommon to use a "professional" or stage name for credits and such (I'm an audio engineer/producer). Since it's still quite early in my career I'm considering, for the time being at least, adopting this potential new name as the one I use in my work. I guess the benefits of this would be two-fold. One, it would help maintain a separation between the person I have been and the person I'm becoming. Two, it would mean that I could have some level of anonymity and protection if I need it.

Maybe I'd make it official, maybe I wouldn't. But I really feel like this could be a good move for me.