Your name is important. It is your identity, after all. In Biblical times, people took great care in naming their children, much more than today. Names also were changed to show important changes in life, such as in the case of Abraham & Sarah in Genesis 17.
These days, that seldom happens, however I believe it can be beneficial to do in many cases of surviving abuse. I have read some stories of survivors changing their names recently. I haven’t legally changed mine, but the changes feel good anyway!
Although my parents named me Cynthia, they always have called me Cindy. My mother claims this is the correct spelling, & makes fun of those who spell the name another way, such as Cindi, Cyndi, etc.
I’ve never liked Cindy. To me, that name represents the person my mother created- someone dysfunctional, with no self esteem, my mother’s puppet. I don’t like her at all! Cynthia, however, I like much more. I created her- she is strong, independent & not my mother’s puppet.
Asking others to call me Cynthia changed my life. When I started going by Cynthia, I started growing stronger. It felt much more comfortable, & enabled me to separate completely from my narcissistic mother. I finally started to become the person God wants me to be rather than my mother’s puppet. On a funny note, I even developed a slight Southern accent, like my dad & his family. It highly annoys my Northern born mother.
What about you? Does hearing your name or a nickname make you cringe because of the bad memories attached to it? If so, that name is yours! Change it if you want to! It is your right! Ask God what to do if you’re unsure.
If you do decide to change your name in any way, some people won’t understand or like it. I had an old friend & some relatives flatly refuse to call me Cynthia. Interestingly, those relationships ended shortly after. I realized healthy people had no problem with my request, they just wanted me to be happy.
Also, I opted not to tell my parents. I really didn’t want to hear the nasty comments or fight about my name. You too will have to decide if you can handle your parents’ negative reaction.
Lastly, if you opt to change your name legally, talk to a lawyer or research the laws in your state. It is often an easy process, but many details will follow. You’ll have to change your driver’s license, mortgage or lease, social security card, medical records & much more.
Changing your name is a big decision, but one well worth considering.