Stepfamily Issues

Personal stories about stepfamilies, childhood and general family issues.

January 08, 2007

what's in a name?

Paola believes that her start to life was cursed when her father insisted that she be called after his first wife who had died shortly after their wedding.

"I can understand how bad my mother felt about this," says Paola, "but resenting me for the name my father had called me was a cruel thing to do to a little baby."

"My mother refused to call me 'Paola' and called me La-La instead," sighs Paola, "but that only cursed me twice because can you imagine what it is like for me to go through life being called La-La?"

"It wasn't so bad before the Teletubbies came along - with one of them called La-La," explains Paola, "but now it's embarrassing."

"My father doted on me and always called me 'Paola' but my mother only used that name when she was angry with me - and she had a horrible way of making the name sound ugly and dirty and humiliating."

"I don't understand the dynamics between my mother and father," sighs Paola, "but I don't believe fathers should have the sole right to name children - especially when we receive our father's surname as a matter of course."

"My mother's choice of name for me would have been Laura," says Paola, "and I like that name - and I wish she had been allowed to call me what she wanted to."

"I have very little knowledge of the woman whose name I carry other than the fact that she died after my dad married her," explains Paola. "I don't think I'd like it if the man I married still carried a torch for his first wife - but marriage is the last thing on my mind right now."

"Half of my world knows me as Paola and the other half know me as La-La and now that I'm ready to leave home I'm beginning to feel that I should mark my independence with a complete name change - to something I want to call myself - in order to break this curse."

"The trouble is though," sighs Paola, "I fear that as long as my dad and mom live he will always call me Paola and she will always call me La-La."

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