I have healed all my addictions – food//cigarettes// shoplifting// making up stories that would inflate my life.. but I have not healed this one place -name – my personal kryptonite. Twenty years ago, my friend and mentor Jan Bell came over to my home and said ‘my name is now Andrea Vlachos Christos, Jan is dead.’ And while I did not think it was a good idea to kill off a part of one’s self, I got it. I have tried for twenty years, to re-name myself. I have spent thousands of dollars on I.D gold bracelets ( silver when my money ran low) and necklaces with “my” name on it. I have changed my name legally twice. I still can’t fucking get it. I was a pack a day smoker for twenty years. The day I  found out I was pregnant I stopped. Over..  Serious food challenges for almost forty years. Healed.  Shoplifting was done occasionally and only in high stress moments, long long over..I have changed my behaviour from crazy to calm and still and still this one fucking elusive thing eludes me to this day. I thought that once I was published (book coming out in November) and HuffPo stuff, that I would be ‘cured’. But no..I was name obsession free for about a week, and then I read a review of Harper Lee’s book and thought ; hmm… maybe Harper? Fuck me and my mother..I thought I was healed of this naming insanity. But this is bigger than conscious me. I get it , intellectually a name is not going to bring me a good mother, or safety or — but still , I search. I am sharing this  here because I want my  friends to know that I am flawed and fucked up but always, everyday , trying to be better.. whole -er, happy -er, truthful -er ( because I came from a family that lies like they breathe.) so this is me, trying to be transparent in the hopes of A. Writing this might help someone else and B. Writing this might help me. My little hopeful bunny self is slightly excited today, because this morning I realized I was out of coffee and went to Starbucks in the Village (Jew village, not Gay village) and because it was Forest Hills they had specialty limited offer coffee and I had to buy it because it was small and cute and came with the letter R on the front. I immediately thought “This is my letter!” (I am not certain that thoughts need quotation marks but just in case).  Perhaps I have pertinent information now. I have been praying to the Grandmothers for help  in this painful place, to find my true name. I believe they are showing themselves here; because my parents named me Rhona after my great grandmother Rchl (it’s Yiddish and Yiddish does not have vowels). My favorite ex had written a story about us, and in her story, gave me the name Rowland. Perhaps I can go with that, after all I AM A SURVIVOR! ( Kelly Rowland Beyoncé Michelle Williams)

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