What’s in a name? My own name is important to me but perhaps not in the sense that most people would feel that their name means much to them. I have changed my name quite a few times during my life. I feel I have needed to do this precisely because I’ve never had a solid sense of identity to represent the person I show to the world and the individual that I feel I am at a given phase in my life. Sometimes, I have changed my name to metaphorically, run away from myself, usually for some emotional reason.
I don’t give my birth or last name here because I want to retain the anonymity of my blog. I don’t share my blog or my blog details with any of my family or friends – only my readers and followers.
When I was a teenager my life changed very radically in that the sexual abuse I had suffered since toddlerhood finally ended. As the months went by and after the initial sense of trepidation wore off, I began to feel safer in my own body, and I decided I didn’t want to be called by my birth name anymore (I didn’t want to connect with that abused child inside).
I then begged my parents to let me change my name and eventually, they agreed that I could use my middle name and so at the age of seventeen, I went by that name. However, I can’t say I was terribly happy with that either, but it was as far as my mother and father were prepared to go, so I settled with that, at least, for the time being.
After I had married, I was free to go by whatever name I wanted. I chose carefully, not rashly nor hurriedly. I changed to suit who I felt I was at that point in my life. It goes back to that fundamental core lack of identity. During my young adult years and in the short time before I became a mother myself, I was Rachel and Jacqueline. But, I think I was still running away from myself as I was never really 100% happy with either of them. Of course, when I had my children, I kept my name, Jacqueline (although often abbreviated and then the spelling altered from time to time), more for their benefit than for mine and did so until they grew up and were no longer living at home. My life altered again then as I got used to living alone without a partner (I wad divorced by then) and without my children with me.
And so, as the subsequent years followed, I changed as we all do throughout the different stages of our lives. Then, finally, in 2014, I began writing this blog, and through the course of writing, I’ve discovered who I am inside. I’m Ellie. I should have always been Ellie – I’ve never felt so comfortable in my own skin. I love my ‘WordPress blog world’. I still don’t share it with people in my outside life. This is my reality; where I can honestly express myself freely. This is where it’s safe to share my secrets. I can write about what’s in my heart and what’s in my mind, and that’s exactly what I do.
At times like this, when I feel truly free, freed up in the course of my writing – in fact, then I have wings. I have wings and can fly. Perhaps, my next name (if I were going to have one), should be Tinkerbell! x 😉
(Photo credits – imarcade.com and cartoonbucket.com)
14 thoughts on “WHAT’S IN A NAME?”
You do sound a little like a Tinkerbell, Ellie! But, of course, you must be whoever you feel you are. Names are strange things, really. I doubt any other animals give themselves or each other names – I imagine they must think of themselves as composites of sight, smells, feelings, fears, etc etc. And that is what we really are. Like most people, I would think, I have wondered what name I would choose for myself if I decided to change it, but always felt that I would then become something that wasn’t me any more. I have become used to my name and it has become used to me.
Not having a name at all might be the ultimate freedom!
Names are interesting. I think the name changing gene must run in my family as my aunt, my cousin and my sister all changed their names. My sister, many years later, changed hers back again!
I hadn’t thought about animals but I think you’re right there and I guess, to a certain extent, humans view other people based on similar composites – we judge others often by how we feel and see their behaviours and we use our gut feelings and instinct to ascertain whether they are friends or foes.
I agree that your name suits you. However, if I were to give you another name, I think it would be Alistair. No idea why other than having based my ‘decision’ on how I see you, both from your photo and also your personality as I know you from your writing and your comments!
Names are indeed strange and complicated so perhaps you could be right – it might be simpler not to have them at all but then we might end up er-ing and umm-ing more frequently! 🙂 x
Alistair, eh? I’ve never been accused of that before! Mmm…no, I don’t see myself as an Alistair but, as I said, I don’t see myself as ever having another name. I obviously feel my identity lies with my own name – or none.
But, I wouldn’t want to er and um any more than I do already!
I think you were smart to give yourself a name that feels right!
It is funny how most people tend to stick with the name they were given at birth, whether they like it or hate it. It’s a good idea to find a name that suits us. I think you chose wisely. Ellie is a very nice name!
I was quite lucky with my name in that other people took to calling me Bun (pronounced Boon) as a pet form of my own name and I really liked it. Who wouldn’t like being thought of as a “boon”? It’s almost like being called “Blessing”!
It’s a bit tricky on WordPress, though, because of the spelling. It’s clear from occasional puns and jokes that other Bloggers sometimes make that they think my name is pronounced to rhyme with sun or fun. It’s not their fault. That’s how I would probably pronounce it too if I only had the spelling to go on. I do like the idea of being a boon rather more than that of being a bun, though.
Thanks for your comment, Bun. I’m glad you like your name – I personally feel they that pet names are very much terms of endearment. I don’t think a blog written by a writer called ‘Blessing’ or even ‘Gift’ would have quite the same ring to it so I would stick to Bun if I were you. Mind you, I have to confess that I do sometimes think of you as Bun (like sun or run) as that sounds quite affectionate too.
I’ve definitely got very attached to ‘Ellie’. The ‘sofia’ bit of Elliesofia is the name I chose as my middle name and the end part of the title of my blog. I think if my blog had been simply called ‘Ellie’, it might have got lost amongst all the other Ellies out there in WordPress world. I am so glad you approve of my name – I think it suits me much better than Jacqueline or Rachel 🙂
I think it was a good idea to add a middle name to Ellie. Of course, given the meaning of Sofia, I guess it was bound to be a wise choice. 🙂
I love your name. I always say I’d like to change from our birth name of shirley to my own name of Carol anne but I never do mostly because well I wonder what would my familys reaction be. xo
Sorry for my late response, Carol anne – I’ve just been so busy with everything going on in my life currently that I haven’t had a chance to drop in on anybody else’s blog for a while. I will post about all that as soon as I get a chance.
Thanks for your comment though. Changing your name can be a bit of a dilemma. However, I think that once you have made the decision to do so, people do get used to it after a while, even family members who have known you by no other name since birth. It might even upset them initially, but you do have a right to be called something that you are entirely comfortable with and are emotionally connected to also.
Personally, from my own experience, it does make a difference to how you feel, and I’d say, “if it feels right – go for it”. Lots of luck with it if you decide to go with it and I hope your family accept it if you do too.
Hugs, Ellie xxx ❤
I totally get this. Cathleen isn’t the name I was born with (it was a horrible bimbo name that never fit me). And I like Ellie. It’s intelligent and friendly. Good choice. 🙂
Thank you for your kind comment about my name (I like it too … but then, I guess I’m biased). Cathleen is a lovely name too. I connect it with my best friend’s sister who is a charming lady.
Isn’t funny how we sometimes connect names with other personalities in our lives – I know of a famous female celebrity who has the same unusual name as the bully who tormented me at my grammar school, and I can’t help but wonder if this celebrity has a similar personality underneath. I’m usually far off the mark with that one though and probably, just as well too! 🙂
I have never thought of my name as something that can be changed. Have always thought of me responsible for the credentials of my name and not vice versa. So this post totally intrigued me. Glad you found a name that you feel good in.
Agree that this (wordpress) is a wonderful space to be in.
Thank you for your comment. Sorry for the delay in replying – I’ve not been on WordPress for a while. I’m glad you enjoyed my post. I do think I’ve ‘found’ myself now and believe I should have always been Ellie. I don’t feel the need to search for myself any longer, and finally feel that I am ‘in the right shoes’. I’m glad you feel connected and settled with your birth name. Ellie x