In the name

I have a very misleading name. As a Latina you wouldn’t expect me to be named Shannon Murphy and yet here I am. My estranged father chose my first name and obviously I have his last name. I don’t like my name. I really don’t. My mom wanted to name me Cleopatricia, and while I’m sure that would’ve halted some job opportunities at least it would’ve made for a nice clean split when my dad walked out. Every time someone calls me by my name I am reminded he exists and that sucks.

TLDR; on my relationship with Dad. We talk about once a year, I get foolish and try to contact him more, then he disappears, and I sit there wondering where I went wrong.

It’s a vicious cycle that I fall into every year since I was 15. I make the effort every time and then I get hurt, and I pretend I’m okay most of the time. I push his existence to the back of my mind and I go about my day. But then someone calls me and I’m reminded he exists, he has a new family, he probably doesn’t think about me much, and he chose that name.

Thai people love nicknames. My nickname with my family is Chanel. I don’t know if they call me this cause I’m just a fancy girl, or if they can’t pronounce my given name. But I don’t care that much, the minute they called me Chanel I felt relief in a way. I felt like it was a name that fit, regardless of how they decided upon it.

So what of a name? I’ve considered changing my name to Cleopatricia Berrios multiple times. I would rather honor my grandfather by carrying his name, and shed the skin of Shannon. I wouldn’t be a new person but I would finally have one less thing to remind me of my father. At least for two years my name will be Chanel.


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