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Anybody else ever change their name? I did for a while.

Old 03-16-2014, 01:35 PM
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Anybody else ever change their name? I did for a while.

I mean, change your name for reasons other than a woman taking her husband's name when she gets married, or, in these days, a couple hyphenating both their last names.

I have a first name that is very unusual. For about a decade, I told new people in my life to call me by a different first name, one which is old-fashioned but quite common.

I stopped doing that some time ago, and have for some time gone by the first name that's on my birth certificate.

I've read that sometimes incest survivors change their names, but I think it goes further than that. I think it extends to other kinds of abuse. I've been sexually abused, but not by family members. They doled out other kinds of abuse, though.

Anyway, I also read that changing your name in such a case is a way of saying that the abuse happened to somebody else.

I also used to think that if my name were different, I'd be different, and people would regard me differently.
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Old 03-16-2014, 05:49 PM
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Yup, I did. In grammar school. Grabbed a name out of the phone book and started putting it on all my school papers. Drove my teachers totally nuts.

When I grew up I got a job in Hollywood as a photographer. _Everybody_ had their own "artist names", so I made up one too. I never got famous, so it was kind of pointless, and a whole lot of trouble with any kind of official paperwork.

Many years later I became an artist, and actually made a little bit of money. Not much, but enough to make it fun. Then I formally obtained a pseudonym, got it registered and everything.

None of which did me any good emotionally. The name is just ink on official papers. It was a couple good therapist and lots of 12 step meetings that fixed up my messed up ACoA emotions. Now I don't care what name I use. It is _me_ that matters, and I am doing just fine, ty

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Old 03-16-2014, 07:21 PM
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I have a real unique name as well. My alcoholic dad always called me by a nickname but I would not let anyone else do that. So I was the official name and never let anyone nickname me, even with many requests because it was such a dumb name. Like it's a common name but misspelled and pronounced differently. Ha. So my real name sufficed because the nicknamer was the only one that didn't use it.
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:56 AM
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I changed my name from David to Dafydd... just the Welsh spelling. I still have it on the electoral roll and with the Tax Dept.

I use David now because Dafydd is almost impossible to pronounce. [Daav-ith]
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:54 AM
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Wow, interesting question! I've always liked my name, but I have to admit that I'm so turned off by my family that I am still considering legally changing my last name--which is quite distinctive. I'm not rushing to do it because if I get married again some day, I think I'd probably happily take my new husband's last name, and I don't really want to spend my life having a variety of different last names. But I do still think about doing it. I just have no idea what I'd base it on, in choosing a new last name all my own.

My younger sister has gone through phases of deciding she'll be called different variations of her given name. Not sure that's quite the same thing, though.
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Old 03-18-2014, 06:10 PM
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This is a really interesting question that I never really associated with my family of origin issues before. I changed my name in the 5th grade, had my teachers all change it in the books and everything. I honestly do not even know why, I don't even like the name I picked at the time.

Around this same time my 5th grade teacher tried to reach out to me with what I can see now was obvious concern over my erratic behavior, it wasn't the first time the school contacted my parents questioning what things were like at home, but as with all the previous times nothing ever changed.

I have so few memories of my childhood, I hadn't ever really thought about that name change in this context before. Thanks for the food for thought!
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Old 03-20-2014, 11:16 AM
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Interesting idea, I know of at least one person for who that would fit...changed their first name quite late in life.

My brother also changed from James to Jim around 17/18. I couldnt testify to any sexual abuse but life was unpleasant.

This is interesting:

Why I changed my baby's name | Life and style | The Guardian

Perhaps changing a name is a way of creating a new identity, or leaving one behind?

P
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Old 03-20-2014, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by paulokes View Post
Interesting idea, I know of at least one person for who that would fit...changed their first name quite late in life.

My brother also changed from James to Jim around 17/18. I couldnt testify to any sexual abuse but life was unpleasant.

This is interesting:

Why I changed my baby's name | Life and style | The Guardian

Perhaps changing a name is a way of creating a new identity, or leaving one behind?

P
I went to high school with someone who, as an adult, made a similar change, going to a different variation of his name. His wife did tell me it had to do with his father and family dysfunction.

I do agree with the changing identity.
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Old 03-23-2014, 03:55 AM
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Interesting Topic.

Yes - When I was a boy I wanted to take my mothers last name because my father (the alcoholic) was so abusive in every way and psychotic.

I learnt to accept and even appreciate my last name but I have used alter ego names when I went out on the town, like a clubbing name. It made me feel safer and more able to do things freely without having a mental breakdown. It allowed me to use it as a tool to detach so I could be around other men, around drinking, even to just let a man touch me.

Partly it was probably compartmentalising parts of my self but I am learning to honour the tools my mind created to help me survive.

In recovery I learn to be honest and gentle with myself and not hold myself on a scaffold of "shoulds".

There's a TV show called "Drag U" which you might find interesting. Drag queens makeover biological women and they have Drag names, there is the idea that when Plain Jane is dressed as Diva Kickass the qualities she feels PERMISSION to do as that character are really in her all along.

It reminds of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, it was never the red shoes, she always had the power.

Also of Iyanla Vanzant who change her name at some point in he rlife.

I still use online alter names rather than my real name (i.e. utopia) lol. sometimes an alternate name can remove oneself from the own rigid image you have of yourself and allow to explore the shadows within and shed light on them.

Alternatively, it is is nice to use the name I have when at meetings because people there understand as perhaps few others can.

great topic.
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Old 03-23-2014, 06:42 AM
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Just a minor change in the works here, but I'm gathering the paperwork to change my middle name to my wife's maiden name. Part of that is so we'll match -- but the other part of it is that it's a last eff-you to my Dad (our family tends to follow the ethnic tradition that you get your father's name as your middle name). If I were really mad at the guy -- like this --



-- I suppose I'd ditch my surname as well, but that's too much trouble, and also indicts the whole lineage, which (despite the generational nature of this whole thing) can't really be blamed for my FoO issues....

T
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