BPD and Identity Issues Around Your Name



For most of my life, I've felt a lack of a sense of connection with my name.  While this can be true for many people who don't have BPD, I have connected with many people over the years who have Borderline Personality Disorder and have also had this experience.

A conversation today got me thinking about this issue on a personal level, and I'm wondering about your experience of having a connection with your name and how this ties in with your identity.

Check out this video, and I look forward to hearing about your experience.





Thanks for reading and watching.
More Soon.

14 comments:

  1. I can totally relate.
    My name is Elisabetta, when I'm in Italy I think it's awkward and too long, when I was in the US I changed it into Elizabeth or Beth, when I lived in Spain I was... ISABEL! My mother is British so during my life many have asked if it was in honor of the queen, but actually it was my father who chose my name, so I felt even more disconnected from my origins and more confused. The issue around my name is huge! :-S

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing. I find it interesting how the different places that you lived internationally affected what you preferred to be called. ♥

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  2. I can completely relate also.

    My name is Amanda & once I went through my schooling I realized in high school "Amanda" seemed to be the most popular "girls" names in the early 1980's. I thought back to primary school and being surrounded by other "Amanda"'s but never noticed the popularity then. It wasn't until I met my best friend (middle school), who had the same name, then in high school I realized I was in classes with 2 to 4 (even 6) other Amanda's. By that time I had three other friends with the same name.

    I never felt a level of "uniqueness" and before posting this I realized that some of my identity crisis could come from that fact. I never knew who I was because I was in a crowd with so many others with the same name, a crowd in which I was the only one with mental illness/BPD (perhaps, since I made sure not to get close to others not even best friends).

    Since the generations have changed, baby names have took a while turn. I feel more connected with something unique yet true to my family (who had three Amanda's in it by the way.) My mother is doing family genealogy and we found out that "Mourning" (spelled correctly) had been a traditional family name in the 1800's.

    As soon as I heard of it I felt connected and as if I belonged, I felt it was a solid attachment to my family and to myself. Kinda an odd story but a fitting name for reasons much deeper then it seems, like myself.

    BTW - My mom wanted to name me Rachel.

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    1. Hi Amanda,

      Thanks for commenting and for sharing your story in such detail. I wonder how you would have felt had you been named Rachel. I often wonder that about "Wendy."

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    2. I've thought that also. Would we have been different people?

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  3. My parents put a fair amount of thought into my name, but I've never liked it. My name is Stephanie, and there were always 2-5 of us in every class I had until university. I was always part of the Stephanies, but this always made me feel like I was being compared to them, or that I wasn't unique. I hated the nickname "Steph", but everyone called me that, despite my numerous protests. I really hated "Stephie", until I got to junior high and my two good friends made me like it more.

    I remember being as young as six and trying to figure out another name for myself. At first, I tried variations of my name, like Stevie (ala Stevie Nicks) or even Annie. No one bit. I thought Serena or Sarah were lovely names, and Sarah was my first alter ego (not a multiple personality thing, just sometimes I'd pretend I was Sarah and adopt a nicer persona). My best friend thought I was like Rebecca Bloomwood from Confessions of a Shopaholic (I had a major binge-spending problem in high school), so she calls me Bex. Her whole family does the same because they can't pronounce Stephanie with their accents. When I signed up for social media, I used the name of one of my favorite characters, Vala [Mal Doran, Stargate], and most people actually now know me as Val or Vala. Sarah resurfaced when a boy in my class misheard me and thought that was my name. Some people call me Belle because of my family name.

    I actually even introduce myself frequently by saying, "I'm Steph, but I'll answer to anything."

    I don't know if I would ever change my name. It seems like a hassle, and I'm used to it now. If I did, I'd have too hard a time nailing down one name. Do I choose Bex or Sarah or Vala, or do I go completely random with a name I love like Meg or Melanie? My therapist made me name my BPD once, so maybe I should call myself Mercy, because I feel like little more than my disorder a lot of the time. They're all parts of me, and there's too many. Stephanie should be the whole, but for now she's the empty space where Sarah, Vala, Rebecca, Mercy, and all the others live.

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    1. Hi Stephanie, thank you for sharing about your connection with your name (and at times, a sense of lack of connection). I hope you know that you are WAY more than your diagnosis. Thank you again for taking the time to comment.

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  4. I started having dysphoria with my name at a very young age. Because I developed a definite sense of identity that was tied to that name, and I became so ashamed of that person that I needed to get away from the name. When I hear or think about my name, it reminds me of my devastating relationship with my parents as well, I hear and feel their presence in my name, and I just want to sever it like a gangrenous limb. It's funny because other girls can have my name and I think it sounds better on them. I make anyone I don't work with call me by a nickname... I once quit talking to someone because they used my real name in every sentence. It is at least comforting to know I am not the only person who experienced this.

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing your experience with this. ♥

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  5. I loved this video, and now I love the blog version. It's kind of funny because I knew I had identity issues associated with my BPD but I never specifically looked at my name. When I was young, I made people call me by my middle name. Then during one of those change of identity moments I converted to Paganism and chose a new name; I did that twice. I'm learning to accept that i am me and how to stop myself from switching to one of my fake selves.

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    1. Hi Erin. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and for sharing your own personal story! ♥

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  6. My father apparently wanted to name me "Anna" but somehow (my family doesn't recall details) things changed and I was named after my godmother, Alexandra. She goes by "Sandra" and that's how I always remember her. Somewhere along the line, family and friends started calling me "Alex" which I thought was fine, until they shortened it even more to "Al" yuck, not for me, lol.. in my late teens, I would introduce myself and request to be called by my full first name. It was only in my early 30s that I thought about going with "Lexi" and it was more for fun than anything. That's my name story :)

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    1. Interesting! Do you feel a connection with your name, Lexi, or do you see yourself as more of an Anna?

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    2. I can't say for sure how it happened (nature vs nurture) but I think "Alexandra" ended up being the perfect name for me - it means "defender of mankind" and that has been, through experiencing mental health issues myself, the best outcome and match for me. (Also, I have memories of family/friends saying things like: "You should be glad you didn't grow up as 'Anna Banana'" sigh...)

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