My child has changed first name and I'm grieving

(311 Posts)
ElephantsAlltheWayDown Sun 06-Sep-20 09:14:51

For clarity I'm going to use DC's birth pronouns here.

When DD was born I gave her a lovely first name -- the best first name I had ever heard and one I had been saving for a daughter ever since I came across it. It's unusual but not "out there", and has a lot of meaning to me and in general just sounds really lovely.

Last year she came out as a trans boy (along with her entire female peer group, but that's another story). She's struggled with her identity as trans and has questioned whether she really is many times, so I don't think it's likely to stick long term.

Yesterday we were chatting and she said that even if she detransitions she's not going to use her given name again because "it's just not her".

This seems like such a minor issue but it's hit me like a ton of bricks. I'm really gutted (for the record, I didn't tell her this). Am I being unreasonable to feel this way? It's her name after all. I feel like something has been taken away from me, which seems self centred, really. How do I grieve this and move past it?

OP’s posts: |
Grannyspecsandslippers Sun 06-Sep-20 09:16:17

Give it time. She may change her mind regarding the name.

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Sun 06-Sep-20 09:16:41

I haven't voted as I suspect you are piling all out other thoughts and feelings about the transition onto the name "issue". It's easier to focus on that one thing than on the bigger picture here.

LittleBearPad Sun 06-Sep-20 09:18:55

I can understand the hurt you’re feeling. I’m sorry

Yaottie Sun 06-Sep-20 09:20:05

How old is she OP? A name is such a deeply personal thing, if she's never felt like it's her then she can change it. If she's nearing adulthood maybe you could talk to her about how you feel about her name and how incredibly special it is to you. Maybe she would agree to keep it as a middle name. Otherwise there's not a lot you can do about it

Marmite27 Sun 06-Sep-20 09:20:09

I have a friend in the same situation, her child says they will never go back to their birth name, she says she feels like someone has died.

I have no advice.

Elsa8 Sun 06-Sep-20 09:21:54

YANBU to feel sad, I would be upset too. You would be unreasonable to be anything other than supportive to your child though, it sounds like they’re going through a lot.

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Yaottie Sun 06-Sep-20 09:22:20

By rejecting her name she's not rejecting you - she may feel that she just doesn't fit her name especially if it's a "girly" one and she's struggling with her identity anyway

SionnachRua Sun 06-Sep-20 09:23:37

Yabu but gentle yabu. His name, his life, his wishes, his dreams.

I get that it hurts you as you'd have had all kinds of wishes for your child yourself and the name was part of that. I think the pp who said you may be piling your thoughts on the transition into this issue could be spot on.

ChazsBrilliantAttitude Sun 06-Sep-20 09:24:24

What is really driving your grief? Did you imagine a particular relationship with your DD as she got older and now that has changed?

BlackWaveComing Sun 06-Sep-20 09:26:02

I understand. It's ok to feel sad. Don't let people make you feel guilty about that. Mums are allowed to have feelings too.

PenguindreamsofDraco Sun 06-Sep-20 09:26:54

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

WanderingMilly Sun 06-Sep-20 09:28:03

I am nearing retirement, so it's a long time ago...but I changed my name as a teenager. No trans or anything back then, just a plain name change. I never felt my name was "me" and I went to a solicitor's office as an older teenager and changed it legally (Statuary Declaration of Change of Name) - I felt no-one would take me seriously if I didn't have a form to show.

My mother wasn't impressed and my school less so when I marched up with a legal form and got them to change the registers. They thought it was a teenage 'wobble' on my part but it wasn't, I have remained that person ever since.

I know it must be hard for parents and you say you gave your daughter a lovely name you saved for her, but I would say from experience that she may not feel it is 'her'. She is an individual and as she grows up, will make her own choices more and more. Love her for who she is, don't be so invested in controlling what she is.... I don't know how old she is, this may be temporary or not, just let her choose and respect her wishes.

I have been married and had children of my own, I gave my children special (and unusual) names that I'd chosen. But they were always aware that if they wanted to change I wouldn't be upset, as they grew older it was up to them how they wanted to be called. If they'd changed I can't imagine why I would be "grieving" over a name, it wouldn't have bothered me at all..... Your reaction does seem a bit over the top.

NameChange84 Sun 06-Sep-20 09:29:48

If it reassures you at all, when I was a teenager I felt my name wasn’t “me” enough and looked into changing it by deed poll. No trans issues or anything remotely like that but by the time I was through all the teenage angst and taking things out on my parents, I realised I actually really liked my name and had no intention of changing it. A lot of my friends went through similar. So she may well go back to that name you love so much eventually...just give it time.

My parents didn’t react...just said “ok, if you find a name you like you can change it by deed poll, it’s easy enough”. I think if they had made more of a fuss, I probably would have changed it to piss them off!

frazzledasarock Sun 06-Sep-20 09:29:49

Don’t give a reaction. Let her carry on and wait and see.

I can understand your hurt. I’ve given my DC names that hold a great deal of personal value to us. I’ve always told my DC this and also told them how we decided on their names.

heartonastring Sun 06-Sep-20 09:29:52

I dont think yabu, your feelings are valid too. It's hard when our children make choices and take paths we never expected them too. In your shoes, I would try and support as much as possible and take my feelings out of it (easier said than done!) Who knows if this is a phase or a new way of life, but either way you will adjust. flowers

formerbabe Sun 06-Sep-20 09:30:27

I can imagine this is really upsetting, a name is such a huge part of your identity...I think I'd be devastated if my dc changed their first names

SionnachRua Sun 06-Sep-20 09:31:12

Message deleted by MNHQ. Repeats deleted post.

CasuallyMasculine Sun 06-Sep-20 09:31:17

Yabu but gentle yabu. His name, his life, his wishes, his dreams.

Isn’t it considered rude to assume someone’s pronouns these days? The OP said what her child’s birth pronouns were but didn’t say whether they’ve changed.

StillCoughingandLaughing Sun 06-Sep-20 09:32:36

Her name, her life etc, I think you meant. What with her being female and all.

Pretty sure you know exactly what the PP meant and you’re just trying to make a point.

CasuallyMasculine Sun 06-Sep-20 09:33:02

Nope, I meant what I said. I always use the pronouns a person wishes me to use about them.

Do you know the OP’s DC, then?

SionnachRua Sun 06-Sep-20 09:33:49

If it reassures you at all, when I was a teenager I felt my name wasn’t “me” enough and looked into changing it by deed poll. No trans issues or anything remotely like that but by the time I was through all the teenage angst and taking things out on my parents, I realised I actually really liked my name and had no intention of changing it. A lot of my friends went through similar. So she may well go back to that name you love so much eventually...just give it time.

You've just reminded me of a girl at my secondary who did the same thing! It must be somewhat common. Was a bit confusing for a week or so but I remember she seemed much happier in herself when the name change was made.

ChickenwingChickenwing Sun 06-Sep-20 09:34:25

I would be much more concerned about the trans issue than the name change here.

StillCoughingandLaughing Sun 06-Sep-20 09:35:29

Isn’t it considered rude to assume someone’s pronouns these days? The OP said what her child’s birth pronouns were but didn’t say whether they’ve changed.

Then why would she specify that she was using the birth pronouns?

SionnachRua Sun 06-Sep-20 09:35:33

StillCoughingandLaughing

*Her name, her life etc, I think you meant. What with her being female and all.*

Pretty sure you know exactly what the PP meant and you’re just trying to make a point.

Exactly. I'm not engaging with those types any further than that post tbh. Waste of time and mental energy, not to mention pulls OP's thread off topic.

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