This post was published on ‘A Dash of Jane’. It’s remaining ’cause I put a ton of effort into writing it. -.-
While Skins was a great series, “Jane” in my blog name does not refer to drugs. It’s a name; it’s called my “Jane project”, for lack of a more creative way to put things.
This blog is entitled “A Dash of Jane” because I grew up hearing how people needed a little bit of me in their lives.
Jane isn’t my legal first name, but I’d like for it to be.
In a way, I’ve never been able to be myself. I’m around certain people who played major roles in my childhood and upbringing, but I was never allowed to be precisely who I wanted to be. As a result, the more I try to be myself and work towards the person I want to be, as well as already am, I’m perceived as acting out, disrespectful or a disgrace.
I tried multiple times to get family to call me by Lizzy or Liz since middle school, but to no avail. I wasn’t allowed. Instead, I was told I had to go by my first name, but if I wanted to change my last name to be inline with my stepfather’s, then that was plausible. Changing my first name wasn’t an option; using a nickname instead wasn’t an option.
In high school, I really tried to get teachers to call me Liz, but in each of the two cities in which I attended high school (Forney; I later moved in with my dad in Euless), I had classmates who went by Liz, so…I gave up. I really tried to accept my first name, no matter how much dysphoria it made me feel.
But my first name wasn’t given to me by my parents; my dad wanted to name me after two car brands, and…gosh, I’d have probably had a totally different life if my name was Portia1 Alexis Lawson. My Mimi wasn’t having it, so she named me something else instead.
I was supposed to be a mini-me of my narcissistic mother, and was perceived as this utterly sweet girl, because I was soft-spoken and polite—but none of that feels like me at all, and when my PTSD came in like a wrecking ball, I couldn’t help feeling like I was in the body of someone else. The very person I’d desperately been trying not to be was the person everyone around me treated me like. It’s claustrophobic, and I feel as if I’m trapped in the same cycle.
Legally changing my first name is my way out; it’s my way of breaking the never-ending cycle and rebuilding the reputation various people in my life have attempted to destroy. It’s my freedom, which I define as being able to be who I am rather than what someone else has envisioned for me to be.
I’ve wanted to drop my first name for an extremely long time, and I learned it’s possible to do so about two years ago.
I just want to be me, and I’m sick of having to fit this rubric of expectations select people in my life have set up for me.
I should be allowed to be me. I want to be me. I want to define who I am—not what someone else spent several years brainwashing me to believe is my life’s purpose.
“We give her a new name, she will have a whole different life.”
~Lori, “Throw Momma From the Train”; Finding Carter
I’m on a mission to change my legal first name. I’m also on a mission to add my dad to my birth certificate as my father, since my mom didn’t add him.
P.S. This is one of my favorite #effystonem scenes. #freffy is just an added bonus. Also: language warning.
- Or Porscha? ↩