I was reading (translation…looking at pictures) in a Country Sampler magazine this afternoon. I love antiques and lean toward a fairly country / primitive style, so I enjoy checking out the way people have decorated their homes with these kinds of furnishings. It’s fun to daydream; you know, like if I were to someday win the Publishers Clearing House contest and become a millionaire…how I would redecorate my home. So I was actually enjoying myself, putting the dark cloud of unemployment and pending homelessness out of my mind for a few minutes. Having a grand old time. Until I saw an ad for some signs. Signs that incorporated your last name. “Johnson Home, established 1983.” That kind of thing. Which brought me unexpectedly crashing back to reality. It was a hard landing. I know, it shouldn’t have bothered me. Shouldn’t be a big deal. But it hit a sore spot. You see, I kept the last name that I got from my ex-husband when we divorced 9 years ago. I kept it because I didn’t want to go back to my maiden name…the last name of my abusive father. The one who hit me, sexually abused me, rejected me, demeaned me, taught me that I was less than a person, worthless, ugly, weak, incapable. I didn’t really want to keep the name of my ex either, but considering the alternative, I didn’t feel like I had a whole bunch of choices. I guess I could have made something up. Just pulled one that I liked out of the air and decided to call it my own. But that didn’t seem right either. I felt like I should have a name that meant SOMETHING. And I just couldn’t come up with anything…remember, I wasn’t exactly at my best at the time. I drew a blank. So I wound up keeping what I had, even though I was fairly uneasy about it. It seemed the lesser of two evils.
Now, I feel like I’m stuck with it. To legally change my name at this point in time would be a big hassle and it would be costly. Plus, I still don’t know what I would call myself. Robin Nameless? That’s the best I can come up with. Somehow, I don’t thing that would fly.
I have no name. I don’t belong anywhere, with anyone. I am Robin No Name. And as my true name indicates, I am utterly alone.
Most people don’t even give their last name a thought, I suppose. And maybe I shouldn’t think so much about it either. It’s probably not productive. But it’s one of those niggling things that kind of gets under the skin and hurts. A name tells you your place in a family. It tells you where you belong and who you belong to. I don’t feel as if I belong anywhere or to anyone. I can’t even make up a name that will allow me to belong. Because I don’t. I am completely without ties and connections. My roots are gone. Love does not bind me to another. Friends have their tight family units. I have my dogs.
Robin Rootless. Robin Alone. Robin No Name.
My dogs both come from the same breeder. She requires that each of her dogs, whether pet or show quality, bear the name of her kennel. So my girls both have “Daystar” in their registered name. It tells the world where they came from. They came from a very good home. They were extremely well taken care of, loved, socialized and nurtured. Bearing the name of the Daystar kennel is a badge of honor. But my maiden name is a name of shame. It speaks of abuse and rejection and neglect and pain. I don’t want to bear the name of my parents…that would be even more onerous than bearing the name of my ex-husband, the man who rejected me and left me for another woman. But it’s humiliating to carry his name. Knowing he never loved me. Never wanted me. Found me to be never good enough. Always lacking.
I cast about for a word that would fit me. One that would feel right. Have some meaning to me, if to no one else, even if it didn’t tie me to anyone. But I haven’t been able to come up with anything that rings true. I am completely and totally alone and lost in isolation. Try as I might, I can’t come up with anything that seems to define me or anchor me. So I carry the name of the ex who cast me aside, a badge of shame. And every time I say my last name, I remember, painfully, that I do not belong. That I am not attached to anyone, anywhere, on the face of this earth. No one claims me, so I can’t claim any name. It is a continual reminder of the emptiness of my world.
I am without connection. Alone. The unwanted one. She who has no last name. Nameless. In this incredibly huge universe, I haven’t a tie to anyone. I guess it shouldn’t matter…but it does. I suppose it shouldn’t hurt…but it does. I’m very tired of the emptiness of my world. I want to belong with someone. I want to grow old(er) with someone who loves me; who I love. I want a name. I don’t want to die nameless and unwanted. I want the name on my tombstone to mean that someone out there cared for me and perhaps even shed a tear when I was gone. I want my life to matter to someone.
I don’t want to die nameless. I don’t want to die alone.