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#197400 - 12/31/07 01:43 PM Is it Common to Change Names/Identity?
evanescentjoy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/28/05
Posts: 46
Hello again and Happy Holidays to all of you ~

I just received a message from my survivor friend... He has again changed his name to something else. This is the 3rd or 4th time he has changed his name variation/preference since I have known him (about 5 yrs) and it puzzles me.

Is this fairly common among survivors? If so, how do I interpret it? Is it a sign of progress or regression?

He seems to be progressing, in general, from what my friends have told me and he is more dependable and responsive to me than in the past, which is good.

Is changing names a way of distancing oneself from the abuse? Is it a way of splitting oneself from past self to present self?

**PS -another thought - It seems like regression, in a way, because I thought that one of the goals for survivors was to integrate these split pieces of self into a "whole" self?

**Edit: Do you think this could be a symptom of DID, when someone asks me to call him by another name?

Any thoughts or experience with this, anyone? Your comments are much appreciated.

Thank you.


Edited by evanescentjoy (12/31/07 07:11 PM)
"Become who you are." -Nietzsche

#197453 - 12/31/07 07:07 PM Re: Is it Common to Change Names/Identity? *DELETED* *DELETED* *DELETED* *DELETED* [Re: evanescentjoy]
GeorgeMartin Offline

Registered: 12/29/07
Posts: 205
Loc: USA
Post deleted by Douglas Lloyd

#197461 - 12/31/07 07:54 PM Re: Is it Common to Change Names/Identity? [Re: GeorgeMartin]
GateKPR4 Offline

Registered: 10/28/07
Posts: 955
Loc: North Carolina, USA
I don't know if it's common. I never thought of it before, wish I had. Knowing what I do now it really would not matter. But if I want to be left alone and not want my perp to be able to find me again I would definitely consider it. He is in jail and won't get out until 2011.
There are some people I would not like to meet up with again because I really don't know how I would handle it. Someone might get hurt!
My thought is that maybe he is in hiding from the perp.

I'm a normal person dealing with abnormal experiences.
The greatest discoveries we will find within ourselves.
|| || || || || || |

#197470 - 12/31/07 08:28 PM Re: Is it Common to Change Names/Identity? [Re: GateKPR4]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Hi EJ,

My b/f was called by a nick name of his given name by his family. His ex-wife, who knew him from when he was a kid, also called him by the same name. The day his divorce went through he began calling himself by his given name and never looked back. To this day, if someone calls ****, he shudders and gets ready to bolt just in case it's someone from the bad old days. So yes, in my b/f's case it is a very clear case of distancing himself and cutting ties to the past.

ROCK ON..........Trish

If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

#197481 - 12/31/07 10:02 PM Re: Is it Common to Change Names/Identity? [Re: Trish4850]
GateKPR4 Offline

Registered: 10/28/07
Posts: 955
Loc: North Carolina, USA
I did that Trish, My Mom and siblings called me Ricky, when my life fell apart in my late 20s I moved to NC and I choose to use my birth name Richard. Ricky was a good kid and still is. That is why my signature has Ricky and not Richard. I am honoring my inner child the good person that always was and always will be.
It's a start to integrate the good of my genuine self with who I am today. I need to have Richard understand that Ricky is Richard and we are one, we are good people dealing with bad things that happened.
I used to shudder when I would here Ricky but now its changed.

I'm a normal person dealing with abnormal experiences.
The greatest discoveries we will find within ourselves.
|| || || || || || |

#197487 - 12/31/07 10:26 PM Re: Is it Common to Change Names/Identity? [Re: GateKPR4]
WalkingSouth Offline

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16269

I believe what you describe is definitely an issue among abuse survivors. I have personally known a number of individuals over the years including an ex-finance who have changed their name. As it turns out every one of them were survivors of sexual abuse. Also, every one of them were female. That does not mean males don't do this as well, it just means the folk I've known who did it were female. I'd never given it much thought and simply believed it was a trait of female survivors. Thanks for straightening me out on that! \:\)

"Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting 'Holy Shit! What a ride!'" ~Hunter S. Thompson

#197517 - 01/01/08 10:56 AM Re: Is it Common to Change Names/Identity? [Re: WalkingSouth]
Caetel Offline

Registered: 11/05/03
Posts: 322
Loc: Paris, France
sorry deleted for legal reason !

Edited by Caetel (02/18/08 09:56 AM)
Mitakuye oyasin ! We are all related !

#197572 - 01/01/08 05:47 PM Re: Is it Common to Change Names/Identity? [Re: Caetel]
Eric5 Offline
New Here

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 27
Loc: Pennsylvania, USA
To Evanescentjoy, never considered it an easy task to legally change names so much. But, I relate more to the online identity changing. With remorse, I tell you I have done this to cover up embarrassing posts laced with fakery and acting, all realized as I read about the effects of being a survivor: having to fit in or impress others, or generally to be someone I am not. Dont know if that helps but that has been my experience with name changing.

#198954 - 01/10/08 07:49 PM Re: Is it Common to Change Names/Identity? [Re: Eric5]
Little_E Offline
Member & Volunteer
Registered: 11/14/02
Posts: 169
Loc: London UK

I use either my middle name now, but mainly go by my nick-name which I got when i was 17. I really dont like my first name, and dont use it ever!

I guess thinking about it, now it's been brought up. I discounted my self from the abused child i was, by changing who i was, creating a whole new me. A new start, a new name...makes sences.

...Never really thought about this before...ummm.....

If your not livin on the edge your taking up to much space!


#200190 - 01/19/08 03:56 AM Re: Is it Common to Change Names/Identity? [Re: Little_E]
Still Offline

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 7011
Loc: FEMA Region 1
My old T said it was not unusual that I messed with names and identities the way I do/did.

Robbie is the little guy who could not survive the abuse intact.

I conciously became "Christopher" when, at 10, my mother told me that that was to be my name until my father pulled a last minute change at the hospital. There was no way I could remain Robbie or Robert and survive..NO way.

In High School "Bob" stuck to me without my approval, but it was a chance to easily change identities (but I was still a mess).

It was not until Grad School that I became Rob. And I literally mean "became Rob." It was another entire life shift. It was my "human version," (because all other versions were non-humans).

I've known some people all their lives and have NEVER seen such a shift...(and I look for it). I've definetely (and I mean "definentely") have seen distinct, identifiable shifts in identities like this with others who experienced traumatic childhood.

I clearly remember discussing it with one neighbor girl when we were 11. She informed me that she was now to be known as "Jody," and that "Susan" was no-more in existence.

As for DID? Not sure about other people...but two of my identities manifest as DID for me. I will not even remember becoming Christopher again. But I will notice a disturbing gap in time and realize that someone else took over for me.

Maybe one of our resident Ts can comment for you as well.


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