Reflection…Who Am I

           Who Am I?

Reflection, I think a lot us reflect over life, what we have accomplished, the struggles we have had and just how far we have come. Reflecting is what I am doing today, on the Eve of my birthday.  Tomorrow, I will turn a half of a century old, so today I enjoy the last day I will ever be in my 40’s.

You would think getting older and wiser, would make life easier, not necessarily true.  I can’t believe that I struggle with the question of “Who Am I?”, at my age, but I do!

The things that have happened in my life do not define who I am.  I really have struggled with my last name, since I got divorced.  I kept my married name, simply because I couldn’t decide what to change my last name to, given all the events in my life.

I didn’t really want to change it back to my maiden name, because I am not a “Dunn”.  I was raised as a “Dunn” but there is no blood relationship there except by marriage.  I respect the man that raised me, so why should I have a problem with changing it back to my maiden name?

I was born legally as “Austin”.   I didn’t know that my birth name was “Austin” until I was an adult.  The first clue was, when requested my school records that showed my immunizations.  That was the first time, that  I seen where my records had been altered regarding my identification.  The records had my full name as Susan Jane Dunn but it stated that I was born in Pike County, Indiana.  That is where my family was from, I was born in St. Cloud/Kissimmee, Florida which is a hell of a long way from Indiana.

When I got my adoption records from the court after my paternity test, that is when I got the confirmation that my birth name was “Austin”.  My name did not get legally changed until I was 10 years old and the court approved the adoption.  I had been living as a “Dunn” on paper but in reality I was an “Austin”.  This just adds fuel to the fire about the first 19 years of my life being a lie.

So, why not just go back to my birth name of Austin?  It’s my blood roots, it is genetically who I am.   Yet, I am hesitant to change my name to “Austin”.

There is another person that has tainted the name of Austin, which was my ex-sister-in law.  Her name is “Sue”, her given name was “Susan”.  So, there you have it, there was another Susan Austin in the family already.  Honestly, it’s a long story that I won’t go into in this blog, but I didn’t really care for her and the way she had treated by brother (Uncle) and his health issues.

The question of “Who Am I” brings up my biological father and who is he, what is his last name?  This creates a void within me but I have accepted that I may never know who he is. So, I am not holding out for that name either.

The last name I have now, it holds so many negative memories by association, plus I am divorced and don’t have any need for that name.  I would like to shake it off like a wet dog shakes water off…but what do I legally change my name to?   This is the dilemma that I am still dealing with?

I get it, none of these last names really define who I am.   The all do have a commonality of having painful memories of my past.  I try not to live in the past and that is why I feel like someone has stolen my identity.  I am hoping that along this journey I will figure it out because changing your name is not something you do  everyday.

I know the person I am on the inside, that person does not need a last name.  The world needs to identify me by my last name…maybe I should just choose a symbol like “Prince” did…  I heard people say that it was strange how “Prince” did that, some said he was weird or a freak…but maybe he had a hang up about his name too.

I know one thing for sure, this too shall not beat me down. I am moving on with my journey and into my 50’s feeling like I am wearing an uncomfortable pair of shoes.  I think, I will be spending my 50’s shopping for those comfortable shoes that is custom made to fit me comfortably.

Reflection is good, living in the past is bad, so don’t confuse the two. I am not living in the past, these last names are just memories, which are not good ones.  I am thankful that these last names do not define me.

So, good bye 40’s!  Hello, 50’s!  I am ready for you, so bring it on!

You’re not alone, you are loved,

The Girl that was Abandon




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