Name Change & Healing

I was 12 years old the first time I recall informing people that when I grew up I was going to remedy the fact that I didn’t have a formal first name or middle name. From then on, the idea would ebb and surface though I never followed through. In the last two months, not only did I follow through with taking the steps to legally change my name, but the judge granted the name change. As I’ve been sharing my story with those close to me and we’ve all been adapting to the sound of my name, a few people have asked me why I prefer to be called Victoria now.

The truth is: abuse has a way of silencing people. Carving out their voice boxes until there’s nothing left but a shell of a person trying to tiptoeing through life, quiet and timid, so as not to upset anyone who might cause harm. Does changing my name take away all of that in an instant? No. But I feel whole. I feel stronger. I feel more connected to my adult self, my un-abused self than I did before.

I once read that inside of abused people is a little kid version of them, scared and worried. I can relate to that. There’s a sense of the bad guys hovering and lying in wait. When you want to make a decision or go somewhere or try something new or voice an opinion, that scared little kid takes over and begs you to hold back so as not to trigger more abuse. That same reading suggested the adult version of the person should reassure the little kid version that things are safe now, that no one’s going to hurt them. Well, that’s hard to do when the only person there is the little kid who’d been abused.

So here’s to that abused little girl. She’s safe now.

Why do I prefer being called Victoria? Because it’s my name.

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