Posted by: Su-Anne | 2009-07-20

Changing my name

Hi Cybershrink

How are you today?

I wish to change my name, I am 44 already, however I wish to rid myself of my family name as it only has bad ties, bad memories and so on. (Dysfunctional family, abusive father, brother' s criminal record etc).

I am just wondering if this won' t be worse i.e. drawing attention to the very thing I want to get away from. I am also wondering about that having to advertise the change and the reason for it.

I am planning to state to those not in the know i.e. at work that my mother reverted to her maiden name (the monster we refer to as my father died in the 80' s) and therefore I decided to.

The thing is that I wish to break all ties i.e. change my first name too. My mother is highly upset and says that it is the name she gave me. She wants to additionally take on her family surname which I don' t want either. I can keep my first-name, its double-barrel and known of but still unusual in a way.

As for the surname I just want out to get away from the links and the ties. I am seeing a Counsellor to work through all the issues but I want to change my name.

Has anyone out there done this and then regretted it and why?

Thank you
Su-Anne (not my real name)

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

How am I today ? Among God's Frozen People, thanks.
Interesting question. The HOW of changing one's name is of course a legal question, but I understand your reasons for thinking of doing this. And apart from the legalities, I suppose you'd need to have a long think about how many people, and who, you would need to inform of the change, and get dozens of copies of the legal paperwork to get new ID's, credit cards, bank accounts whatever. But those are practicalities.
I think you may have to "advertise the change" only in the sense of an advert in the Government Gazette ( anyone else find it ridiculous that the Law assumes that everyone in the country reads this, every issue ) --- and maybe one local paper, though also in a section nobody reads excelt for a handful of people who really desperately need to get themselves a life.
I'd think the more important is that you are working with a good ( hopefully a CBT type ) counsellor to detoxify your current name, so that it carries none of the bad memories of the past --- other people may have made it a bad name when and where it applied to them, but you have made, and are making, it a good name as it applies to you. This would be worth doing, even if you DO go ahead and change your names, to ensure that the bad feelings and bitterness don't linger to attach in any way to your new names.
Choose the names that avoid bad echoes for you, and which will feel comfortable with you, preferably having some happy connotations.

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Our users say:
Posted by: CTMOM | 2009-07-20

Changing your name wont change your past, but if it can help you feel better about yourself, then do it.

You can apply at any home affairs, I think there is a mandatory waiting period (to ensure you not trying to avoid criminal charges etc) and then off you go.

I know of people changing them to their names to their mothers maiden names and really nothing changes but your signature and name on paper. You are still you, so there is nothing to regret as far as I can see.

Reply to CTMOM

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