What’s in a Name?

Let me  just put this out there:
I have always hated my name.

My given name is Tina.
It is NOT Christina, Albertina, Bettina or anything else other than TINA.
And to add insult to cliche injury, my middle name is Marie.

Find a woman with the name Tina and dollars to doughnuts sez her middle name is Marie.

So………….. WHY do I hate my name?
When I was little I always thought it was a “fancy” “girlie” name.  I don’t know why. Unlike other little girls, I was not into things fancy and girlie.  I have always been quite pragmatic.  I thought, when I was little , that the name “Dorothy” would be a good name for me.  It sounded sturdy.

Now here is the part of the story where I let you in on a little secret:
Mine was not an idyllic upbringing:
There was neglect.  There was abuse.  There were secrets and things NOT talked about by the light of day.

It was no secret, however,  that I had a very low birth weight.  It’s right there on my birth certificate that I weighed just under 4 pounds.  No, I was not a preemie.  Yes, I was jaundiced.  It was a story told over and over about how it looked like I could fit in the palm of one’s hand at birth.  And THIS is how I got my name.   Had I been a normal birth weight, the story went, then I would have been named Kathy. But I was TINY.  Hence the name, “Tina”.  Teeny Tiny Tina.  Get it?

yeah.  its a hoot, isn’t it ? (this last should be written in the sarcasm font, but my computer doesn’t have that.)

Flash forward a few years to a particularly nasty fight between my mother and I.

Well.  To be fair, I think SHE was doing most of the fighting, I was dodging verbal slashes and nasty remarks.
During this argument it came out that the reason for my low birth weight was that she tried to miscarry me by throwing herself down the cellar stairs. I was not wanted.
She only succeeded in damaging the placenta, hence the low birth weight.

Now, my oldest brother, whom I love dearly and would have been 7 or 8 at the time, says this is not true.
That he would have remembered it.  That it is only a story my mother made up to hurt me.
I say: either way, the effect is the same.

And so I hated my name.  I thought for a while that I would change it– but what a mess that would be!  Not just the legalities, but the pretension behind it and explaining why and blah blah blah.
When I did theater, I smooshed my names together so I became TinaMarie.
Still…….meh.
Thankfully, a slew of nieces and nephews came along.  It was found that saying “Aunt Tina” can be a little troublesome for young mouths, and so I became “Aunt T”.
T?!
Ooooooooooooooooooooooh yes please!! I LIKE IT!!!
T.
yep.  I go by T quite alot.  and I like it.

But this is a blog about Jack, isn’t it?
Ah, yes, Jack.
Jack  loves to say certain words. He plays with the sounds and the shapes of the letters.
When Jack says my name he says : “Teeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeena” or “TEE-nuh!” .
Sometimes, if he is urgently wanting chips it’s “TinaTinaTinaTina Teeeeeeeeeeeeena”
But  it is ALWAYS said in a sweet tone.  Never a reprimand.  Never anger.

And so, Jack has given back my name.
Jack has made it so I can hear it, accept it, and answer to it without anger or hurt in my heart.

After all…………..What is in a name?
Listen to THIS and you’ll know it’s love.

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