Changed my name and family not happy about it(39 Posts)
I've nc for this because it would probably out me.
I legally changed my name by deed poll 6 years ago, when I was 19. It was a very difficult to pronounce and spell unusual Welsh name. It's also a painful reminder of my very unhappy childhood years which were filled with anxiety, feelings of shame and humiliation due to severe social anxiety and undiagnosed autism. My name was just another thing that made me feel different and feel like an outsider.
My father is very black and white about things, possibly on the spectrum himself and has been very unsupportive about my name change. I just sent him a picture of my degree certificate - which I worked really hard for (it has may legal changed name on it). He told me that it was basically forgery because I'm X and always have been and always will be X. I've explained to him how it makes me feel but he said it's disrespectful and a slap in the face because he chose that name.
My mother and stepdad are also very black and white about things, and also refuse to call me by my current name. None of my family call me by my new name. The only people that call me my preferred name are doctors etc.
I don't have anybody else due to many years of MH issues and it all just makes me feel powerless. When my mum introduces me to one of her friends, she introduces me by my old name and I wince when I hear it, all of those feelings of humiliation and shame come flooding back and i'm just reminded that I'll always be known and remembered as X, the socially awkward child/teen/young adult.
I honestly don't know what to do. Family have been begging me to change it back but I don't want to. I like it and I feel proud of my new (ish!) name.
Firstly congratulations on your degree!! Don't change it back - especially as it has many connections to bad feelings!! It must be hard with your family asking you to keep changing it, but it's your life!!
The only disrespectful thing in your post are those who refuse to consider your feelings and call you the name you identify yourself with.
I changed my name (nc with all family, so no one knows it isn't my birth name unless I tell them) and it's a breath of fresh air. If it makes you happy and proud, carry on.
Congratulations on completing your degree and if I knew your name, I would use it to wish you well.
I also have an unusual spelt name I used to hate it and still do at times. The amount of people call me by the English version and a&e or drop in clinics asking if I'm sure I've spelt my name right! Only good thing about it is I don't get any tatty mug's and other personal gifts
Please name your children a normal name
Congratulations on your degree! Don't listen to your dad's comments on it being a forgery; you did the work, you sat the exams, that achievement is all yours.
When your mum introduces you by your old name, are you able to say something like 'I'm sorry, I'm afraid my mum is having difficulties coming to terms with the fact that I've changed my name. I'm xxxxx, nice to meet you.'
If they introduce you as X I'd just interrupt and say actually it's Y. Always correct them, even when they are talking to you. One would hope that they'd get the point eventually, even if it is because they're getting pissed off with you always correcting them.
It must be so frustrating for you, I can't imagine. Many congratulations on completing your degree.
I have tried to correct them before but they correct me and tell me not to be so ridiculous, I'm X not Y. My stepdad can be very horrible and cruel and if I correct him, it usually ends up with me having egg on my face. I have nobody to back me up and fight my corner.
They also think I changed it due to attention seeking, which is the opposite of what I wanted to achieve.
YANBU at all OP. I also think you should correct them every time. If you correct them and they still call you your old name, could you ignore them until they use your correct name? Or repeat that you will not answer or respond to a sentence in which they call you by a name that is no longer yours?
It sounds like you would do well to reduce contact with your family, they are not helping you.
I'd go no contact until they have enough respect to use your preferred name.
For now, they're all I have. I hope that one day I can change that.
YANBU. Congratulations on your degree, and name. Your name is what you choose to be known by. Agree with Liara, your family do not seem to be helping you. Perhaps you could gain momentum by using your name elsewhere, and start building a life away from your family, with people that value your independence and uniqueness more.
They may be all you have, in terms of family, but ask yourself - do you need this kind of treatment? Wouldn't it better to go it alone, or at least drastically reduce contact - then you can be yourself, be exactly who you choose to be, live the life you want.
You can keep the door open for them, but they sound controlling and, frankly, quite abusive and are unlikely to change. You changing your name is you taking back some control and they obviously don't like that.
In your shoes I would focus on widening my social circle, finding some support groups so that your perceived need for your family's approval can go on the back burner. It does sound as though they will only "approve" of you when you are toeing their line!
Congratulations on your degree
Stand proud of your changed name and be firm. If introduced as X, correct them and introduce yourself as XX.
No one wants to carry on in life with anxiety and past fears hanging over them like a black cloud.
Your parents and family should respect you for the changes you have made, they see it as a insult to themselves as it is the name they gave you (understandable, maybe) but they should love and respect you for who you are not what you are named.
I think I would be inclined to reduce contact tbh but I know that's not always easy.
Have you had any talking therapy? It might help you come to terms with your upbringing. Because until you like yourself, youre going to struggle to form relationships with anyone else.
I know you dont feel ready to go no contact with your family, but would you consider low contact? Or less than you do atm.
Congratulations on your degree op
If you can't change the way your family members are behaving - and they are definitely BU - look forward to meeting new people who know you by your proper name, the one your chosen, and them calling you that. It'll feel really good
My children all have extremely unusual names. DH and I love the names. They all have very standard middles names with multiple options (eg think Alexander could be Al, Alex, Sasha, Xander etc) precisely because they might not like having unusual names when they are older. If they choose to be known by their middle names when they are older (or by another name entirely) I will respect that.
Your parents are being very unpleasant. You are an adult and can choose for yourself.
If you can, I would refuse to answer to your previous name.
Meet Rhiannon, my daughter
Nice to meet you, Sandra, my name is Jane actually.
<rant rant from family, ignore>
As I said, it's jane. What do you think of the weather today, Sandra?
Congratulations on your degree! -
have you got a plan or some goals yet? the world is your oyster :-)
e.g I plan to move away from home / start career in xxx
I plan to make friends by taking up a couple of new hobbies in xxx
Start making those plans for your future :-)
and if you want to start coming to terms with your less than supportive parents check out Toxic Parents by Susan Forward - I'm sure it's on Amazon and also check out the stately homes thread in the relationships section here on mumsnet.
I have so much empathy. I changed my name by deed poll to distance myself from a problematic family. Also just before I started a MA. At one point my Father called my university, lied about their being an emergency so he could speak to my head of department, and told them he was "worried" I was "mentally unwell" and had signed myself up for an expensive course under a "false identity".
you see why I no longer wanted a name in common with him
Family names hold a lot of power for some people, particularly people who want to own or control you in some way. Maybe it's hard for them to see you grow further away from them. My dad, in particular, was also poorly educated. My getting a degree in a new name tripped all his control / inadequacy issues. Not saying this is the same with your family by any means, just - I guess - trying to show that it might not be about you after all. In all any case, I am struck by how similar our experiences seem and just wanted to say you are not alone in experiencing a backlash for this choice. It was your choice though, one you are entitled to make. Be strong, stick to your guns, be proud of your new name. They'll deal with it eventually.
ChangedMyName90 have you posted about this before? I remember some previously who said something similar and I talked to them about my sister's Welsh name?
Was that you?
YANBU by the way.
Congratulations on your degree! Your family sound disrespectful and controlling. If you've recently graduated is this potentially an opportunity to look for a job in a different area and move away from them? That way you could start afresh on your own terms, and new colleagues and friends would never you by anything other than your legal name.
For what it's worth, I think that having changed your name to one of your own choosing shows a lot of strength. Given your past experiences that you've alluded to it's a real shame your family seem to want to undermine that rather than credit you for it.
Thank you all. I don't think going nc at this point in my life would be a good idea. They are very supportive regarding my MH issues strangely enough.
I'm trying to build up my confidence and start small as I've been agoraphobic for all of my teens and early twenties. Currently going to a support group for those with anxiety/depression. I also plan on going to other groups that may attract more open minded people and deep thinkers i.e meditation. I find it difficult to connect with people as I have very little in common with anyone. Never been drunk/don't drink, never been clubbing, never had a boyfriend, never had a job, no friends etc. I just want to talk about how lovely my little cat is and how I want to love and be loved.
I also want to do some volunteering related to my degree, which will hopefully lead to paid employment. Probably something to do with victim support.
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