By any other name

8 Nov 2018

It began when I heard of someone who was going under 4 different names, this got me thinking; what's in a name. We're told that a name can define us yet we rarely get the chance to choose (although sometimes we can). We are told that certain names promote success whilst others are prone to failure – now that's a thought... that we could be given a name at birth that could [possibly] define our future selves? The man was purposefully going under different names to evade capture but did I really have a different reason?

We moved when I was in my late teens to a place using a language I didn't speak in a time that was trickier to integrate into than now. I still had some time left at school which brought its own challenges; a confused teenager trying to work out who to befriend and who to avoid whilst the language barrier raged on... I decided, overnight, to go by my middle name.

My parents were confused (as was I), my brother thought it strange (as did I), my relatives forgot (as did I) and all in all it was a very strange couple of years but I soldiered on never fully understanding why I'd chosen to do it. It only came to me later; I had chosen a pseudonym, a mask to hide behind, a different person who could be stronger, funnier, more able to cope than Rosemary was!

A couple of years after I'd left school and embarked on a career path I decided the time had come to invite Rosemary back into my life. I was there all along of course, sitting quietly, patiently, waiting to be trusted enough to come back to the fore.

There was still some confusion for a few years; I'd bump into people who only knew me from my school days. I gave up trying to explain, an explanation wasn't needed anymore, not for me anyway, so I'd just smile and say "Oh I felt like a change for a while" I'd reconciled that I'd felt the need to hide my true identity (I also altered my appearance to try and fit in more) I was finally ok with it. The guilt at rejecting 'me' and pretending to be someone else had lifted.

There are a couple of things that intrigue me though.

The man at the beginning of this was avoiding capture – I believe I was doing a similar thing, I felt like I was quite cornered in some ways (even though I'd been in full [excited] agreement about the move) but I felt the new school situation had put me in a dangerous place emotionally and I just didn't know how to deal with it. I don't blame anyone, it is what it is.

The other thing I ponder is whether that was the pivotal point at which I could have altered my future health issues? Had I realised they were even an issue.


A Moodscope member.

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