“A good name is better than riches.” ~ Ecclesiastes 7:1
There’s something to contemplate … ‘a good name is better than riches.’ I can’t tell you how much I thought my given name wasn’t good. I suppose its because of the way I felt by the way the name was used by my mother. There was not a whole lot positive about that name. And when I was little, I was often teased because of my name – that didn’t help at all. I came to hate my name.
Even though I used to be proud of being named after my father, it soon wore off the older I got. As I grew older, I could tell after awhile that the way my mother often said my name, there was no love there. I was always trying to earn her love but it didn’t matter how much I did or what I said, it was never enough. I tried again and again to love her into loving me and it just flat out never worked, in fact, its like it made her despise me even more. She made me feel like a despicable human being.
Her non-existent love for me was always there, it just took me to grow up to really see it and I didn’t want to believe it. It became painfully apparent when I became a mother. I really thought that when I had kids of my own that then I would come to understand why she ‘treated’ me the way she did. I expected to have this amazing epiphany that revealed what a great mother she was. That didn’t happen – quite the opposite really. It took me time to finally come to accept that she did not love me. She never did. Oh, sure … she said the words (‘I love you‘) once in awhile, but it was only for show as to try to hide her true feelings to others, but her actions were always indicative of a seething hatred and it was worse when we were alone. Very few people saw or picked up on the abuse.
The way a person’s name gets said or used can make someone feel either valued or despised. The name I wore made me feel like a despised low life … all the time. Whenever I heard the name in my head, or my mother’s accusatory voice in my head, saying my name – I associated my name with dread, rejection and self-loathing and to loathe oneself seemed natural to me because, after all, my mother loathed me very well and I copied that. She showed me my worth was nothing … and in turn, the name also came to have no worth. It too came to mean nothing to me. To me, my name made me feel like an empty void.
I hated my name as I hated myself. I was conditioned to believe that I was utterly worthless, completely unloveable. Was it any surprise then that when you hear that name in your head, you feel that sense of worthlessness and being unloveable, over and over and over again like a tape recorder being replayed over and over again?
About three years ago, I changed my given name – because I felt as though I couldn’t heal or even see myself as anything other then the despised person my mother made me out to be and made me feel to be. It took some time after changing my name to correct the negative and accusatory voices in my head, but over time – it worked!
I no longer see myself as the terrible person my mother made me out to be, the person she made me feel I was, through things she’d say and do. It took some work and, you know, I love my new name (thanks to a dear friend who helped me choose it.)
I felt my name was bad and I associated it with being bad as a child. When there’s such a terrible association with one’s name, its hard to view oneself as valuable or as a treasure. I cannot tell how much I, when I was a little girl, dreamt of being a ‘princess in secret’ and how someday, someone would come rescue me and my life would then be happily ever after.
I’ve come a long way in the last four years and I have to say that I now love my new name for I have also finally been able to love myself which was pretty hard to do with a name that had no love attached to it. It was a struggle. I mean, imagine how hard it would be to love oneself in a healthy way when even your mother doesn’t love you?!
I feel I have a good name now. This name is not associated at all with my mother’s accusatory and negative voice in my head – her voice in my head has greatly diminished to the point where I have finally been able to move on with my life … and, believe me when I tell you, it IS better than riches! It is new life.
~ Saoirse Quill
POST NOTE: January 19, 2014 … I came across this article … and I cannot tell you how elated to know that I’m not the only one!! And I could so relate to her in a big way. Read on: