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Identity and frequent name changes - HELP



New member
May 5, 2017

I'm just wanting to express something with regards to identity. I've legally changed my name around 8 times - I've lost count in all honesty! I am estranged from my family due to narcissistic abuse, and lately I've been feeling this sort of itch to change my name again. I am desperately wanting to break free of them, to cut the ties - thankfully I am married now, so my surname has been changed to my spouses and so I don't have to face the discomfort of looking at my fathers surname every day.

Initially, after changing my name, there is a sort of euphoria, I feel born again, anew; I've erased them and created a new version of 'me'. Only, in reality, I am still 'me' - whoever she is - and nothing really changes, the novelty inevitably wears off and I'm left feeling emotionally raw and filled with self-hatred because no matter how many times I change my name, I'll never be free of them and I'll never be free of myself. Along side that, there is the problem of no name ever feeling 'right' or like it fits me, I am unable to feel a connection to any name I bear, even my birth name. I am cursed to hear their voices speak my name, always. I feel smothered by them, smothered by myself ultimately, because where is the line that separates them from me?

Am I alone? Am I the only one who feels this way, if this at all makes sense? Has anyone else changed their name - once, twice, maybe more?
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Well-known member
Forum Safety Team
Nov 6, 2016
Hi sadplath

Welcome to the forum :)

I don't have any experience of name changing or anything like that....but I understand your reasoning behind your need to do it..

It seems like you are constantly trying to change your name in order to become a different person...
But a name really is only that......it's just a name..
It only gives us an identity in a sort of one dimensional way I believe... Basically it's just how people 'know' you.....

In my opinion its the person behind the name that's the real identity.. What you have been through in your life...how you feel.....how you see the world....how you relate to people....your wants....needs etc...

So in my own opinion again....I believe that its not your name that you can't accept....it's more likely to be something within yourself that you need to unravel..

I think its therapy you need to really look at your life.. why your name is such a problem... why changing it gives you an immediate sense of euphoria and then you seem almost angry with yourself for expecting it to have made all the difference to you when it didn't at all..

I believe you need to go back a long way into your childhood and unravel the cause of your pain...and hopefully that will help you to accept yourself and whatever you have been through....and by the end you will see that a 'name' simply doesn't make you who you are.... it's just a word..

I hope I have helped you in some little way...


Well-known member
Jan 2, 2012
Hi I changed my name for four years.
It just gave me a new start a new personality.
It didn't change me on the inside. The one person I can't get away from is me. I've learnt that now.
Therapy has helped me. Helped me to challenge my negative perception of me.
Could you be referred for some talking therapies?


Staff Member on Leave
Jan 25, 2012
Hi sadplath and welcome to the forum.

I've never changed my name, but I get what you say about being glad you don't have your father's name anymore, me too. I could have gone back to my birth name when I divorced but I didn't want that name anymore because I didn't want to be associated with it any longer.

I feel smothered by them, smothered by myself ultimately, because where is the line that separates them from me?
I think that's what narcissistic abuse does to you, it makes it hard to know who you are, and where other people end and you begin. I have experienced this too from my parents. I think Shadow-one is right that you need therapy "to go back a long way into your childhood and unravel the cause of your pain". This is what has helped me to get out from under the grip of my parents' influence and intrusion in my life, and on my mind and emotions. It is possible to get free from it, and from the self-hatred and damage that being subject to narcissistic abuse causes. It is possible to find out who you are, and to feel comfortable with your own identity, and learn to let go of self-hatred and self-blame. I hope you can find some help to do this. I think once you can find some self-acceptance and self-compassion, you will probably not feel so focused on your name and changing it.