Daily Prompt; Say Your Name

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Write about your first name: Are you named after someone or something? Are there any stories or associations attached to it? If you had the choice, would you rename yourself?

Photographers, show us  YOU.

For someone who was born without being wanted, my parents spent some time arguing about my name. My real name is Teresa Jane.

My Dad wanted a boy, at least that is what he told me through the years. He changed my nickname to Terry and spelled it like a boy.

My Mother who turned her back on me most of my life, wanted me named after her best girlfriend. I assume her name was Jane. She also thought that she had given birth to someone very special. So she named me Teresa.

Years later at the point I stand on this ground now, I am well-known as Terry. Still many ask me how do you spell it? Terrie, Terri? I always say the same thing. My Daddy wanted a boy so I got spelled like a boy.

Strange that he got his baby boy, and decided he was ashamed of him. He did everything to stay out of this baby boy’s life emotionally. I do know that my Dad was a good man. He had poor ways of being taught how to handle difficult decisions. He basically ignored problems and hoped they would disappear.

When I met my real Mother at 36, I had to wonder why the name she chose for me was such a big deal. She threw me out on the streets the first time I went to visit her. You will never believe the reason why either. I have your curiosity peaked, right? Alright, the truth shall be spoken.

I was almost 2,000 miles a way from my own home. I didn’t know my directions at all. It was Arizona heat.  She kicked me out and locked the doors behind me because I drank the last of her Crystal Light Lemonade.

Wow, talk about emotions. I was angry at her for causing me great fear in the dark streets at night. I was crushed that a Mother could do this to her own child. After all through all of our snail mail letters, she professed her undying love for me. During phone calls before we actually met face to face her words were always the same, I miss you and have always loved you so much Terry.

So, what is this? You toss me out on my rear end to fend for myself? I ended up flagging down a fire truck and in short story, I was returned back to my home safe and sound.

You would think that would have cured me with the I know my Mother loves me.

But it didn’t. It took four more trips so many miles  a way from home before I finally got it. Not all parents want to be parents. Some parents still live in the infant stages in their mind. My Mother saw me as that two-year old or younger.

When she saw me face to face and I was all grown up, something snapped inside of her. She later told me the guilt of  what she had done to Al and me was just too overwhelming.

Yes, I would have to agree. Passing my tiny body around to strange men so you can make some money is pretty sick old woman. What else did you to Al and me that I don’t know about? You sure do carry a huge amount of guilt.

So wow, she and Dad exchanged all those words about what to name me and here I sat with a real Mom who never wanted me, and a wonderful Step-Mom who cared about me the best that she could, since I was not her own.

Al’s name must have caused no problems. He is the seventh in line and now the last to carry his full name. A piece of cake, and yet he was shoved a way. You would think to honor him with a name carried through generations of family men, you would want to show this little boy off!

So what is in a name? For me, I take now the names my grandkids and kids call me. My good friends and their pet names. Because this is what matters today. Who I am, how I fit in to others lives. Who gives a hoot what my parents named me and Al, it didn’t matter at the time.

terry when she was little

28 thoughts on “Daily Prompt; Say Your Name

  1. Great post, Terry … you have some stories to from your life: tough and rough – but also great and gentle … Terry, I think is a great name – even if I know more males with that name than females. Only know you – but that is more than enough for me. *smile


  2. I also like the name Terry and think it’s interesting to have the maleness of the spelling. What a difficult life you have had and yet you survive and write through it. Good for you!


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  7. What’s in a name.
    Nothing. It’s just a word.
    What matters is who you are as a person and how you live your life.
    The past is over.
    Live your life in this present moment, because today will soon become yesterday and into the past.
    Live not for the future because the future may never come (in the way that you think it will).
    I just believe in today, and I try to live each day the best I can in the current circumstances.

    My Mother never spelt my second Christian name correctly (as it appears on my birth certificate) and often spelt my first name incorrectly (in old age).


  8. Well, I’m a dime short and a day late (more!) on this one, but I like the story behind my name. I was born in 1947. There are zillions of Lindas all in my generation. There was an actress, very popular at the time, named Linda Darnell. Also a song: “When I go to sleep, I never count sheep, I just count the charms about Linda,” So that is why, when I was in thrid grade, there were five of us in one classroom 🙂


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