One weird thing about having been married a couple of times is a lack of attachment to one’s last name.
I know, it’s not that big of a deal. But it is, when you are struggling with your identity, and the name you have is associated with a person and a time that wasn’t really that great.
(And by “wasn’t really that great” I mean it was downright awful. Painfully, heartbreakingly, traumatically awful in a medication-and-therapy-required sort of way.)
I kept my last name because when I got divorced my kids were still little, and I thought it would be less confusing for them than my having a different last name. I think that part worked out just like I planned.
But now, nearly 10 years later, that name is still not mine. There’s no real logical reason to go through the necessary steps to change it, but it still doesn’t feel like it really fits me.
To further complicate matters, I took my maiden name as my legal middle name when I got married, so my given middle name is simply gone. As I work to reconcile the pains of my childhood, this has become an issue as well. I suppose it is a continuation of my struggle with “who am I?” – and also “who was I?” – both very serious questions.
These are the questions I’m trying to answer. I’m trying to be gentle and forgiving of myself, leaving behind the misplaced shame and all the while giving my inner child good hugs to make up for the bad ones. It’s hard sometimes, but it’s getting better.