So this may seem odd (mainly because I’m not explaining it fully), but in therapy we talk about parts of me. Parts that were traumatized, that were hurt and still come up sometimes. Many of you know I’m changing my name. There are many reasons, but mainly because my birth name doesn’t feel like me anymore, it’s the person my abusers made me, its the name they used rarely with love. So I wrote a letter to that version of me. I am editing it keeping some things to myself. But here’s what I feel up to sharing:
I wrote a letter to the girl I was when I was being abused.
My decision to change my name is not in any way a reflection of you, or how I feel about you. I am not ashamed of you. You are the whole reason I survived the abuse, and the trauma and I wouldn’t be here without you. You just don’t feel like me anymore, you’re a part of me, just not who I truly am. I will always be thankful that you existed.
You were always enough. You were born enough and you never should have been treated that way. You never needed to feel sorry for existing, to spend all that time hating and hurting yourself because you weren’t getting the love from your family that you should have. That was never a fault in you, that was not anything to do with you or how you were built. My dear, you were built perfectly. You have your dads goofy sense of humor and love of music. You can be loud, brave and assertive. You can be edgy and fucking badass. You can love your body, regardless of its size. Its size doesnt matter. Its size doesnt change your beauty or your worth. Those dont change.
Growing up the way we did I was used to a world where I didn’t belong, one where nothing I could ever do was right. A world where I didn’t have a right to exist in, or be myself. Over time all the parts that were truly me were stifled, I had to hide them away because I wasn’t allowed to be that person. It wasnt safe.
Little by little I adapted, I became the person my abuser wanted me to be, the person who noticed every detail and possible red flag, the person who didn’t speak, didn’t take up space or make a sound. I didn’t stand up for myself and I sacrificed absolutely fucking everything for the people who didn’t even love me.
Rebecca, you got me through, but that’s not who I am anymore. You were the girl who never stood up for herself, never was goofy, didn’t let out her edgy assertiveness. You hid away because you had to in order to stay alive and stay safe. Rebecca was the me I was before I was safe, full of fear and shame and honestly, not destined to live much longer. Rebecca was the name they called me before they told me I wasn’t good enough, that I was ‘too’ this or that. Rebecca was said in a tone of voice that encapsulated the amount of shame they had of me, this tone of speaking that made me wish over and over again I was dead. ‘I’m so sorry you have me as a daughter/sister/granddaughter’ ‘I’m so sorry you’re stuck with me’ ‘I’m so sorry that I exist’
My new name is Billie. I’m just like you, but I’m the you who you always dreamed you could be. I’m the unapologetic, goofy, loud, brave badass you were meant to be. I’m still working at letting it all back out again but it’s coming. I’m not going to apologize for existing anymore. I’m not going to stifle my goofy side, or spend another moment being abused. I’m changing my name as a symbol of a new beginning. A symbol that I am finally me, the real me. And you, Rebecca, have done your part. I honour you and love you, and will hold you in my heart. But I don’t need you anymore, I’ve got this now.
I haven’t changed my name legally yet, it costs a bit of money and I need to find like…a doctor or something to sign it? If anyone has done this before message me please, I need advice.
Thank you for reading. I love you
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