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YOUR OPINION: Changing my last name (because of deadbeat parent)?


rchubn
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I'm in my early 20s and I've never maintained a solid relationship with my father, he left when I was 7.

 

I'm always being contacted by family members on his side because I'm identifiable by my last name, this is triggering to me and brings back emotions that aren't present during my day to day life. I'm not in the position to ever get solid closure and I feel changing my name might close that part of my life or initiate closing that painful part of my life for good.

 

I've forgiven my father and I've moved on with life but my last name has never felt like it truly represented my personal story because its tied to a family I never had/experienced. It feels like I'm representing a group of people that have always tried to pry their way back into my life and leave me with discomfort.

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Has anyone else initiated these steps? Did you find closure?

 

I just want to close that chapter for good. I feel like my last name is forced and is there to keep me down and remind me of LOSS (not being a part of something/claiming something that isnt mine) instead of reminding me of FAMILY. My last name does not represent the people that loved and cared for me my entire life.

 

But on the other hand it feels like I'm throwing my identity away because I've used that name my entire life?

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Do it. I hate my first name, it's unusual and nobody gets it right. I wanted to change it when I got to be 18 but I didn't. When I told my then bf, now husband, I wanted to change it at about age 25 he said - don't, it's too late. I should not have listened to him. All these years later, I still hate it.

 

So, I say change your last name if you think it will help you. If you are an adult, go for it.

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It's really a personal thing. That said, there are a lot more people who legally change their name than you realize for all kinds of reasons. Anything from they don't like the first name their parents gave them to the spelling is too complicated to they have personal reasons like yourself. It's really quite common or rather much more common than most people realize.

 

Consider also that women change their name customarily when they get married. What I'm getting at is that your last name or even your first name is not your identity at all unless you make it so. If it's not working for you, change it. Nothing to feel guilty or weird about. You are one of many.

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Do it. I hate my first name, it's unusual and nobody gets it right. I wanted to change it when I got to be 18 but I didn't. When I told my then bf, now husband, I wanted to change it at about age 25 he said - don't, it's too late. I should not have listened to him. All these years later, I still hate it.

 

So, I say change your last name if you think it will help you. If you are an adult, go for it.

 

I changed the length of my name when I was about 20, not legally , but just started calling myself a shorter version of my name. I only use my legal name for legal purposes.

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Change it. In hindsight, I wished I had changed my first name long ago and now it's too late because everyone calls me by my name which I never liked. My last name changed when I married my husband and I like it. I too don't want to feel attached to my maiden name due to my alcoholic wife beater father who punched my mother's teeth out. :upset:

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I agree with the others it's personal so change it if you want to but do it for the right reasons. I wouldn't advise doing anything if you're feeling restless, upset or in any sense of heightened emotion (which seems to be common in 2020).

 

Having done a name change once, it's a process and something you have to be committed to. It's not as if you can't change it back but you'll have to answer to a whole lot more than family and friends like employers or if you continue to be a part of business associations or other memberships, you'll have to answer to any multiple changes.

 

It sounds like you have reservations. Don't do it unless you are certain. I think you should wait for a few more years, gain more independence and create your own personal identity but that's just an older person talking. There certainly were things (much more irreversible than changing a name) I did at 19 I don't regret so it's up to you.

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The people of whom I've know who have changed their last names always seemed happy about it. I know a woman who didn't want her deadbeat father's last name, and she also lost a lot of weight, so much that she had to have skin removed, and she also chose a new first name as well. I imagine it was cathartic. I know a couple who chose a whole new last name together when they got married that possessed the word "love" in it, in another language.

 

Just make a list of all the places you will need to officially change it, and place them in order of priority. When you accomplish one item at a time, say one per week, it won't be as daunting. Since people can be quite disappointing, (I have my fair share of irritating relatives) you might want to choose a non-familial name altogether. Take care.

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I changed the length of my name when I was about 20, not legally , but just started calling myself a shorter version of my name. I only use my legal name for legal purposes.

 

In Canada (don't know about elsewhere) you can call yourself anything you want as long as it's not for fraudulent reasons.

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This is a doozy.....

I was born with surname A. My parents were divorced when I was 12 , and I stayed with surname A until my mother married a loser when I was 14. She decided to change my Sister's and my surname to his, so I was now surname B. Not legally, no paperwork, just changed. I then met my ex Husband, and guess what, he had surname B too.

After 17 yrs of marriage I divorced him & decided to go back to my birth name of A.

I worked in a bank in a small country town, and knew everyone, so the lovely lady at the local RTA ( Australian place to get your license & car regos etc) changed my name on my licence back to surname A.

Things were all good til 9/11 and passports etc needed a lot more ID & paperwork. My Daughter needed a passport, but my birth cert said surname A, my marraige cert said surname B. I had to pay $350 for a change of name certificate to clear it all up & make it all legal.

 

The moral of my story is do what makes you happy. Even though I had no contact with my father & he was a loser, he wasnt as big a loser as my mother's husband or my ex husband, so I am all good with surname A.

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Wow! This is a tough one. I come from a family who was separated, even being separated from my sibling for 15+ years (they had 1 different parent) and their 1 different parent wouldn’t allow my sibling anywhere near our shared parent. (Trying to keep this private as possible, sorry I’m not using he/she’s) My non shared parent and our shared parent didn’t work out and I still always saw both my parents all the time. The shared parent wasn’t the problem, it was the my siblings non shared parent that was nuts. My sibling even got removed by social services because of the situation. But anyways, I’m not sure what happened on your end w/ your dad. I can’t imagine having a parent walk out of my life and never look back. It’s not fair for the child. My sibling was so eager to change their last name too. They actually did change it. I only feel like that added fuel to the fire though. Especially since the other side of the family noticed. If you have no interest whatsoever in seeing/talking to your dad ever again and it would give you peace, then DO IT! Do what ever is best for you no matter what anyone thinks. I’m so sorry that you’re having a rough time with all this and then making you feel old memories that hurt you. I hope you feel better soon!

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Firstly, are the family that reaches out *actually* bad people? Are they a family of organized crime kingpins/queenpins? Or are they regular people that are actually nice, but you have an overblown reaction to them wanting to connect with you? My cousin was a major dbag. he would date younger and younger women. He had two kids out of wedlock -- one he cut ties with the mother and the child was adopted by a stepdad and does not know him and the second kid, my aunt found out and told him in no uncertain terms that even if he was a deadbeat, she was going to be a grandmother. My aunt is gentle and kind. Her other kids are too. We don't really know how my cousin turned out like he did. He is better now, but if the child had reacted like you - wanting to reject any contact, assuming the worst, they would have missed out on people who wanted to love them but didn't have a chance to because my cousin gave them no opportunity. My cousin now has been married 8 years and has two kids under the age of 5 - and the two kids mentioned before are aroud 30 and around 23. I know the 23 year old and she has a relationship with extended family thanks to my aunt reaching out and including her.

 

I think instead of changing your name (by all means, change it when you marry - sure) out of trying to cut people off - I would set boundaries "hi, thanks for reaching out to me. becauseI don't have any relationship with my father, you will need to give me time for me to process you reaching out" or "I appreciate you sending me a note, but i want to make it clear that i don't want my father to contact me". As long as they abide by those boundaries, there could be people who just want to love you.

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I dunno, I don’t want to be part of my dad’s family, most are self serving dirtbags. Some just are that.

 

But not all families are. Some people have a black sheep. Even my ex, whose family were manipulative and abusive had extended family members on the mother's side who were lovely. They set healthy boundaries when it came to my ex's immediate family - i always felt welcome around them,, and deeply missed them. It may come with some maturity to see if that is true - that just because a parent abandoned you in their immaturity, their mental illness or what have you - it doesn't mean the whole family is like that.

 

 

At any rate, I think coming up with a boundary -- by telling the family you don't want contact or dictate what contact you except is far healthier because we can't go through life constantly changing our name or moving or getting a new phone anytime we don't like something. Maybe they are satisfied with just sending a letter with some family history that is pertinent to you or maybe its a chance to find out some family medical history that may benefit you as you grow older. Who knows. It might be that little small contact to know that you are okay etc and then nothing forever.

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Firstly, are the family that reaches out *actually* bad people? Are they a family of organized crime kingpins/queenpins? Or are they regular people that are actually nice, but you have an overblown reaction to them wanting to connect with you? My cousin was a major dbag. he would date younger and younger women. He had two kids out of wedlock -- one he cut ties with the mother and the child was adopted by a stepdad and does not know him and the second kid, my aunt found out and told him in no uncertain terms that even if he was a deadbeat, she was going to be a grandmother. My aunt is gentle and kind. Her other kids are too. We don't really know how my cousin turned out like he did. He is better now, but if the child had reacted like you - wanting to reject any contact, assuming the worst, they would have missed out on people who wanted to love them but didn't have a chance to because my cousin gave them no opportunity. My cousin now has been married 8 years and has two kids under the age of 5 - and the two kids mentioned before are aroud 30 and around 23. I know the 23 year old and she has a relationship with extended family thanks to my aunt reaching out and including her.

 

I think instead of changing your name (by all means, change it when you marry - sure) out of trying to cut people off - I would set boundaries "hi, thanks for reaching out to me. becauseI don't have any relationship with my father, you will need to give me time for me to process you reaching out" or "I appreciate you sending me a note, but i want to make it clear that i don't want my father to contact me". As long as they abide by those boundaries, there could be people who just want to love you.

 

They're not bad people but they're not acknowledging the pain in the situation either. My father was not a good man by any means. He had seven children with 4 different women but financially provided only for his step daughter. His girlfriend at the time didn't like how many children he had and actually gave him the ultimatum that he had to discard/dissolve some of those relationships with his kids because she didn't like all of us coming over at once. I was one of the children discarded because of him not getting along with my mother. Growing up he was a very scary individual in my life because of his demeanor and life choices. He's attempted to reconnect a few times but I was genuinely not interested, my other half siblings have on and off relationships with him but my younger sister and I are the only ones that maintained NO relationship after he initially left.

 

His family messaging me feels sparks fear in me. It makes me feel like he's zoning in on me and because I have no interest in a relationship I'm scared he'll target my mother or think it's because of something she said or did. I worry that he will use that avenue to reach out to me again, I'm scared that they'll update him or share my address or something.

 

Yeah his family has nice people but I've lived the last 10+ of my life safe and I feel unsafe when one of them contacts me and I question their interest in me and motives behind it because knowing the kind of person he is it seems like they're risking my safety and it feels like they're not thinking about me long term by not keeping their distance.

 

I thought about the name change thing because I tried not using my last name on social media but somehow these people find me and I've been trying to block for years but it feels like it's not working. As of recently the relationships have gotten A LOT closer to him, it went from random cousins to aunt's and uncles to women he's currently been involved/previously been involved with. I was hoping a name change would make some kind of statement or at least curve the amount of long lost family members so I'm able to fully evaluated if I'm in any danger

 

I understand it's just social media and I could be overreacting but this situation scares me a lot and on one hand I want to be polite but on the other hand it's giving me so much anxiety

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How are they contacting you? They can all be deleted from your social media, devices, messaging apps, contact lists, etc.

 

You can also make yourself much less public on the internet by resetting privacy settings and limiting posting TMI.

 

Your digital footprint is your responsibility. Social media and Google are data mining outfits that depend on people's content as click bait for ad revenue.

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