“Words do not change their meanings so drastically in the course of centuries as, in our minds, names do in the course of a year or two.” —Marcel Proust
Flashback to February 2012...
Only good things right now:
-P, L & V
-Excessive consumption of Powerade
-Late night text conversations
I quite legitimately want to legally change my full name - first name and surname. I don't identify with my first name since my Dad used it as a weapon, and I've always hated my surname (it's way too long and hard to spell). I'm considering using my French room mates name as my new surname, and picking a given name that can be easily nicknamed...like how the Drehan sisters all have traditional names like Katherine, Geneviene and Madeleine, but to their close friends and family it's just 'Kate', 'Gen' or 'Mads'. Nicknames show that you are more intimately connected to someone, like their name belongs in your mouth. If you use a nickname that isn't yours to say, it always feel stilted, awkward or wrong.
I am so angry at him for ruining something as personal as my own name. Sometimes when people use it, it's like they are referring to someone else. I remember once I even looked round, to see who they were referring to. Or I'll cry even harder when the word is used to soothe, because it just reminds me of the daily torment of waking, walking down the corridor to the bathroom (which could no longer lock since he'd used a kitchen knife on it a few months previously), and hearing 'good morning Erimentha'. He'd say it as he glanced up from the morning paper, tea in hand. I'd feel heavy with sadness; I was too sad to speak, make eye contact, sometimes even to respond at all. On a good day, I might manage a wave or nod before disappearing to the toilet and the shower. How I responded to this simple morning greeting often moderated his feelings towards me for that day, or indeed, the weeks to come. The worst part of my day was the time between wake and school; anxiously darting around the house to avoid psychological landmines - if I was tired or sad, I was withdrawn and spoilt. If I was more expansive or empowered, I was disrespectful and self-obsessed.
“His face looked so scornful, so savage, and finally, gloriously, ugly. Not cute at all, just an ugly scornful boy face. I hadn't felt such disgust for a boy since the early days, when they'd tease girls on the playground, kicking us and throwing gravel and raising their voices in high screechy mockery. ‘They do that because they like you,’ all the adults said, grinning like pumpkins. We believed them, back then. Back then we thought it was true, and we were drawn towards all that meanness because it meant we were special, let them kick us, let them like us. We liked them back. But now it was turning out our first instincts were right. Boys weren't mean because they liked you; it was because they were mean.” —Daniel Handler