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Missing Identity

Updated on June 1, 2010

 

For as long as I can remember, my identity has been attached to someone else. As a young girl, I was my mother’s child and her parent’s first grandchild. That tag has continued on, they can never change, and a few more have evolved. When my mother remarried, I became her husband’s step-daughter. In high school, I was Jenny’s friend. Doesn’t anybody remember me or know my name? As soon as graduation was over, I shipped off to Great Lakes for boot camp.

After having prepared for the last four years in U.S. Naval Sea Cadets, enlisting was an obvious option. Not only did I feel that I had a fairly good understanding of what I was getting into, I was proud of myself for making the decision to serve my country. It was a decision that I will never regret. Never-mind that I became known by my last name primarily. Those that did not know my last name tended to refer to me as ‘the girl with the truck’ as I happened to be the only girl on base who drove one. What about my name? Why does nobody know my name?

Then it happened, I got married, my last name changed and I became HIS wife. It did not get better when we moved to his hometown. I was his wife, his parent’s daughter-in-law, and his sister’s sister-in-law. Unfortunately, my husband was not of an upstanding character and it did nothing to help me feel like I was not a failure. It was not an association I was proud of. I could not decide whether I was more upset or relieved that people there did not know my name.

When I moved out and started a new life, I quickly became known as my kids’ mom. Considering that I am the spitting image of my mother, people around here who knew her first put the resemblance together and I was, once again, my mother’s child. Just when I thought I was used to referring to myself by either of the two namesakes, I got remarried. My husband happens to be a very popular fellow known for his helpful nature. Not only am I now referred to as his wife, which I do not really mind, but people actually stop me when I am out in town and ask me if I am his wife. When I respond positively, I am either asked to convey either gratitude for some good deed he did or to see if he might know how to help them with their mechanical problem. For this, I am glad to help. Still it did nag at me that nobody knew my name.

I have resigned myself to the knowledge that my children will be associated with my mother as her grandchildren, with my ex-husband as his children, and with my current husband as his step-children. Not with me as my children. Somehow in the grand scheme of life, my individual identity has been overlooked and, you know what, I am okay with that. So what if nobody knows my name? I am proud to be mother’s daughter, my children’s mother, and my husband’s wife. It is a great identity indeed!

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    • mega1 profile image

      mega1 7 years ago

      Ha! didn't you ever think of acting real bad so people would hate being related to you? that's one way to get your FULL name and also your soc.security number permanently attached! Not that I did that or anything. And now here I am using a pseudonym because I don't want people to recognize me and make me take responsibility for some of the crud I write! haha! I'm sure you understand!

    • Chaotic Chica profile image
      Author

      Chaotic Chica 7 years ago

      Thank you Carolina. Sometimes it just takes a bit of a reality check to remind you of how good things really are! LOL

    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Yep.. you gotta be happy with all your identities !!!

      great post !!

    • Chaotic Chica profile image
      Author

      Chaotic Chica 7 years ago

      Ohox~I'm glad you enjoyed this! Thanks for coming by!

      Shelia B.~You are absolutely right! Thank you, also, for letting me know I am not the only woman to feel this way! LOL

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 7 years ago

      We do the same, though. The mother of our daughter's friend becomes 'Sally's mother'. I guess it's an old, old way we have, and that's why we have Johnsons and Gibsons. I remember feeling just the way you did, and coming to terms with just as you have.

    • ohox profile image

      ohox 7 years ago from Bandung, Indonesia

      fruit will fall near it's tree.

      i do enjoy this hub.

    • Chaotic Chica profile image
      Author

      Chaotic Chica 7 years ago

      Samboiam~Thank you for your encouragement. For a little while it irked me that people knew me not because of who I am but who I am related to. Then I stopped to actually think about the situation and realized that I'm associated with some pretty good people and I am fortunate to to be known as their relation. Yes, it does bring a quiet sense of contentment with that knowledge!

    • samboiam profile image

      samboiam 7 years ago from Texas

      Learning to be comfortable in our own skin is the beginning of contentment. Enjoyed this hub. Keep on writing.

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