What's in a name? Sunday September 24, 2017
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose.
By any other name would smell as sweet;"
Shakespeare's quote implies that it isn't the actual name that matters or characterises an object or person.
Some years ago, when I worked at a till, a customer brought a book to my counter. He told me proudly that he was mentioned in the book, but one couldn't tell as the author had used a synonym!
Of course, he meant a pseudonym, which have been challenged lately in Moodscope comments. I think the consensus is that for Moodscope purposes; where many write so honestly about very personal or sensitive subjects, pseudonyms are used as a protective measure, either for ourselves or for our families.
There are some brave keyboard warriors, aka trolls, who hide behind pseudonyms on many social media platforms so they can anonymously spout vitriol.
My point is that they, and we, have chosen our alter-ego. It hasn't been forced upon us.
While we were in no position to choose our 'given' names, these were generally bestowed upon us at birth, and chosen out of love. I do acknowledge that there are exceptions.
Our names can very much be a part of our identity. Some people love their name, others intensely dislike them, and yet others are quite indifferent: it's just a name.
I always think my name is so 'of its time' and a bit ordinary. My mum is the only person who ever called me by the full version of my name and, even as an adult, I often felt like I was in trouble! Since mum died, even that unloved version of my name has taken on a certain poignancy.
But what if someone else decides we must address ourselves in the manner that they want us to? In a recent 'friendship', that I have now painfully emerged from, I was told that I was 'so sensitive', so felt I must acquiesce to prove otherwise and refer to myself in the suggested way. Because of the nature of this correspondence, which was ostensibly for my benefit, I did occasionally protest and was grudgingly addressed by my own name 'if I preferred'.
Nevertheless, I convinced myself that this form of address was one of endearment and friendship. This ultimately turned out not to be the case and was cited as a means of keeping a distance from me; not to become overly-involved. Even though there was much to suggest otherwise.
So along with losing my sense of self and identity in trying to conform, I felt as if I wasn't worth knowing as 'me'. I wasn't sweet enough by own name, and the alternative was a means of control.
The harshest of lessons that I have learnt from this is to be true to myself. No matter my thoughts on my name or my struggles with being me, these are not for anyone else to disrupt or determine.
A Moodscope member.
Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.