Once upon a time, I wrote about how my old name may or may not be like He Who Shall Not Be Named. I had said to a friend, jokingly, “You can say my old [male] name! It’s not like it’s Voldemort.”
I’ve been thinking about that idea since then, and of the power of names. And I realized that I don’t want people saying my old name. A coworker of mine, who met me after I was living full-time as Rebecca, knows my old name because she gets the office mail and random catalogs and things occasionally arrive in my old name. I was telling a story to a friend that needed to use my old name, and felt uncomfortable when I got to that point in the story.
I’m starting to feel a bit claustrophobic in my current job, where I’ve been since before I transitioned. And in a building that I’ve been coming to for classes and to teach and work since I was nine. In the city where I grew up. Surrounded by people who knew me before I transitioned.
I also don’t want to totally cut myself off from pre-transition life, from the friends and family and memories. But I’m floundering right now, having a hard time keeping my head above water, and I’m wondering how much my surroundings have to do with it.