Yes, I changed my name. I no longer carry the name I was given at birth. This might upset people or hurt their feelings, their egos. I ask them to take some time and think about why exactly they are upset by this. Perhaps it feels like they lost a possession, or I may now seem selfish to them. Allow me to explain my reasons.
With my old name, I am a victim. I’ve gone through so many traumatic experiences—experiences that I will forever have to work through. While changing my name doesn’t erase my past and my traumas, it allows me to feel like I have control over who I am. It allows me to be the person I want to be.
My old name tied me to the family that ignored those traumas. The family that should’ve protected me, that should’ve been there for me. Instead, I was left to deal with it all on my own, and I had to try to protect my brothers from it all. It’s not something a child should’ve had to do. And those memories don’t go away.
My new name allows me to make better experiences. It allows me to introduce myself with a name that doesn’t have the bad memories clinging to it. I can say this name with pride, because it doesn’t hold brokenness. It allows me to breathe a sigh of relief because it’s a step towards a better future. I get to decide who I am.
My new name allows me to be a part of a family who showed me the love I thought I didn’t deserve. A family who encouraged me to seek help when I needed to. They show me all the time that they are proud of me. They listen when I’m struggling and acknowledge my past.
I’ve gone through hell and back. Now I get to look forward and find peace.