On Wednesday 12th January 2011 I applied to have my name changed by Deed Poll.
It’s going to take time for the paperwork and everything else in my life to catch up with that. But I have begun the process to change from my current name to a new one.
The day I’d set aside to begin the process and apply for the Deed Poll was a very hard day which I had to take gently and in stages as I felt the enormity of what I'm doing in changing my name.
I began feeling totally overwhelmed at what I was going to do. I felt the hurt and pain of the total rejection of my family which I'm formalising by rejecting the name they gave me and starting over. Then I was able to think more clearly about it and think about the pro's and con's.
Eventually I was able to see it for the positive thing it is.
But what a process I went through to get there!!
It was really strange at Christmas travelling as "Helen Nicholson" because “Helen” is my first name and what's on my passport. I do not relate to that person at all. I don't know who she is. I am no longer her. She kept the family secrets and the family code as did “Fiona Nicholson”, the name I was always known by. I guess that’s why I no longer relate to either of those names and need to change to an entirely new name. I realised yesterday that was an untenable situation and I couldn't face travelling as "Helen Nicholson" again. For me that’s as good a reason as any to change my name.
The hurt and pain of knowing your family, your own parents and brother never accepted you, never loved you, dumped you and left you for dead is hard. The hurt and pain of knowing your family, your own parents and brother will never love you, acknowledge you and accept you is very hard. There are no words for how that feels! By changing my name I’m acknowledging that fact and formalising that estrangement/divorce.
I hope to have the Deed Poll within about a week, but I will need to get it signed, witnessed and then sent back for them to lodge an electronic version of it and send me all the legal copies I requested. I'm hoping by the end of January to have the paperwork sorted. Once I have the Deed Poll all legal I'll be changing Facebook accounts and email addresses as well as moving and establishing my “You Can Fly With Broken Wings” blog to a new URL under my new name. I already have new business cards printed. It's all exciting but daunting stuff!!
In changing my name not only am I cutting my final tie with that toxic abusive family – the name they gave me – but I’m also saying “this is me, this is who I am”. I am no longer the person they made me to be or told me I was. I don’t even identify with that person.
I am sticking close to my roots by my choice of surname because the name I’ve chosen is part of my Scottish ancestry. My choice of first name doesn’t have any links back to abuse or trigger any bad stuff for me.
Identity is still a big issue with me as it is for anyone with Dissociative Identity Disorder.
Choosing a new name for myself is the beginning of establishing my real identity.
It is the beginning of starting to define who I consider ‘ME’ to be. It is the beginning of getting to know who I really am under all the layers of hurt, trauma, false guilt, beyond the foggy confusion that the lies of my abusers created within me.
I am ME, whoever ‘ME’ is and I like ‘ME’ too, even if I can’t always figure out who or what ‘ME’ is!!!
There is so much to changing my name and so many reasons why I'm doing it. The transition is difficult but I'll be much happier once I've made that transition.