### Finding a Name, and Self Image Issues

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In case you missed it, I decided to change my name. Yes, my legal name. I am getting married next year, and Jenny and I want to start fresh. I have my reasons for not wanting my father’s last name, so we decided to change our last names together. I have known for years, since I was a small child really, that I would change my whole name. I’ve flirted with different ideas for literally decades. We decided on {redacted} for a last name, but I was left with the opportunity to pick whatever name I damned well please.

But, I’m obsessive, and the name has to be just right. I’ve been doing all kinds of math on the subject. Yes, math. Because everything in the world comes down to the math that makes it up. I have evaluated each letter based on:

• The numeric position in the alphabet (1-26)
• The frequency in which the letter is used, low to high (1-26)
• The position of each letter when seperated into 9 categories (too complicated to explain without spelling the whole damned alphabet out for you, so whatever)

I then started the long process of adding up all those numbers, including a few more (like how many letters are in each name). I computed hundreds of combinations, all starting with Rory, and ending with {redacted}. I filled pages and pages with these calculations. Then I picked it back up on Tuesday. I found the list of the 27 middle names I’m considering, but I couldn’t find my initial calculations for Rory or {redacted}. So I just did them again real quick.

Then I did it again, because the numbers were completely different from what I got the first time. Then I realized that I had done all those calculations with the wrong fucking values. This may seem little, but I spent DAYS writing out every combination of those names possible. That’s about 200 possibilities, by the way. And I had calculated all of them by hand because I don’t trust calculators (I’m OCD remember?).

So, it was pretty damned crushing. I had done over a thousand calculations, and eliminated outlier possibilities. I had agonized over which names had more significance than others, sentimentally (like my grandfather’s name). I had picked it apart, and had it down to a very small number to choose from. And then I realized I had to start all over. So, I did the preliminary calculations (the ones for each name alone), and went to bed.

Yesterday morning, I had to do other things, but the looming task of starting all over was hanging over me. I ran errands, and worked. I was getting progressively more sick feeling. I realized I had been taking too much Ibuprofen for my headaches, because I was used to taking more than usual because of my dental surgery. Also, the weather is screwing with my equilibrium.

So I spent most of my morning swaying in place, trying not to be sick, while I did things that had to be done. After my last errand, I came home. I got a pillow, a blanket, and an audio-book, and went to my office. I laid down, head under my desk, and listened to my book for a few hours.

When I stood up, I realized something was wrong right away. I had about half a second to realize that I couldn’t actually stand. Inside my head I was screaming like a man on fire, panicked and scared. I just knew I was going to slam into my computer tower, or my statue of a turtle (which is the size of a large terrier, I know it’s weird, but I love Eddy). Instead of smashing things, however, I gracefully sat down with a small sound.

For those of you who know me in person, you know I don’t look or sound “distressed” all that often. I just plain don’t express my discomfort most of the time. Like, ever. I don’t cry, and I certainly don’t cry out. But that small sound escaped me. And just like that, Jenny was no longer in another room talking to the kids. She was by my side looking at me with concern. I’m not entirely sure she heard me, but she knew something was wrong, and there she was.

I was trying to hold myself together. There’s nothing more embarrassing than realizing your body just won’t do something it normally likes to do. I was on the verge of breaking down, but of course, I calmly told Jenny that I had lost control and kind of fallen over. I kept talking to her as I regained my composure.

To explain something: A friend of mine broke his arm when I was younger. I saw it happen, and it was kinda insane (stay with me here, I’ll come back to the falling over bit). His arm was all mangled, and bloody. I could see it in his eyes that he was terrified, and didn’t know what to do, but he calmly stood up, staunched the bleeding, and walked inside the house. He never cried. Not once, and I went to the hospital with him. But in the car ride on the way home, he just lost it. He sobbed and hiccuped and sobbed some more.

When I feel like I’m losing control of my emotions, even a little, my brain does that. I keep my composure. I regain the ability to do stuff so quickly, that it never even seems like I was frozen up inside, even though it feels like years inside my head. So, when Jenny came to check on me, I responded like normal. I talked, and she talked back. I eventually got my courage up, and stood back up. My knee had fallen asleep. That’s why I lost control of myself. My damned knee couldn’t hold my weight right.

I did some stuff, went on with my day a bit, and then returned to my audio book. I listened to it nearly non-stop for the rest of the day. Every time I took a break, I was overwhelmed with self image issues. Now, there’s a distinct difference between self-esteem, and self image. If you don’t know the difference, let’s basically say this. Self-esteem is a measure of how capable you see yourself, how smart etc. Self image is basically what you think you look like. Any day of the week, you can ask me what I think about myself, and I will give you one of these two answers:

1. I am healthy, brilliant, and I am gorgeous. I have a great smile, my body works, I know a lot of shit, and I’m funny as hell.
2. I suck. I am the worst kind of person ever. I’m not worth the time to piss on, unless you count that time a guy pissed on me to help with a jelly fish sting – you know what? never mind, you get the idea.

So, back to self esteem/image. #1 is my self image. #2 is my self esteem. Normally, I can get myself through a lot because I am healthy, and my body works. But yesterday, my body wasn’t working. My brain was all fuzzy because of the weather, and I kept trying to throw up at random intervals. For the record, I only threw up twice.

With all this going on, my self image was in the shitter. I was broken, stupid, and sick. I had not paid enough attention to my meds, or to my body, or, well, anything. I felt defeated, and the only thing keeping me from physically breaking down and sobbing was a freaking audio book.

In the end, I listened to the entire audio book while I put all the new numbers, and the appropriate calculations, into a spreadsheet. I didn’t want to do a thousand more calculations either by hand or incorrectly again. I finished both about the same time. Everyone was in bed at this point.

I lost it. I just sat down and sobbed. I shook, and slobbered, and hiccuped and sobbed some more. There was snot on my shirt, and I just couldn’t stop crying long enough to do anything about it. Then I heard someone coming up the stairs, and presto-change-o, I was all better. All composure back in a flash, just in time to deal with a simple concern from my daughter. She went back to bed, and I stared blankly at the room for a while.

Then I went to bed, and I’m hoping today is a better day. Carry on, dear reader.

P.S. We are not changing our names to {redacted}. Jenny just used her considerable clout (and basic sentence structure) to remind me that we are not announcing our name until the wedding invitations have already gone out…just in case we change our minds. About the name, I mean, not the marriage.

Share if it spoke to you!

1. #### K

Some days just suck like that. The best we can hope for is that our breakdowns occur in private and not at work or school. But even if they don’t, it’s not the end of the world. As long as we live to fight another day. I really wish there weren’t so damn many bad days, though.

Indeed.

2. #### zooey

You are inspring me to write about some of the emotions around Self Image. Also, what it’s like to lose it emotionally and what happens the. Thanks for that even though your day sucked donkey dicks (and yes, I just used that phrase). Hugs and take care. It will get better RobiGoldRoryRedacted

• #### Rory

I so much love you. You are amazing. Hugs and take care back.