I hate my name. I hate my name. I hate my name. I hate my name.
My first name is Amber. Many people tell me that the name is fitting for me especially given that my hair is golden-red. However, I am not exactly a fan of the name. I’ve never understood until recently why I dislike my name so much other than the fact that hearing it literally makes my ears buzz and ring.
I’m sure that I am not completely aware of all of the reasons that I loathe my birth name but through my (C)PTSD recovery journey I have begun to recognize that my name conjures up horrific memories from my abusive childhood. I mistakenly confided this vulnerable information with abuser M when we had first met and I now realize that he immediately seized the moment as a way to take control of me… through my name.
Abuser M instantly took advantage of my vulnerability and suggested that he give me a “pet-name” that only he could call me. That sounded rather nice to me over repeatedly hearing him call me the name that makes my ears ring. And so he gave me the first pet-name that I acquired while under his control. He dubbed me “slutpet”.
He called me my new pet-name lovingly. I now see the contradiction as a simple oxymoron and one way of many for abuser M to take control of me mentally. Abuser M created a heart shaped pet tag encrusted with pretty pink swarovski crystals to display my new degrading pet-name for all to see. The tag was engraved “SLUTPET If FOUND CALL SIR (###) ###-####”. He attached the tag to a collar that he had obtained on Haight Street in San Francisco and gingerly clasped it on my neck. I now see how forcing me to wear such a bold and clearly degrading sign on my neck was just another one of abuser M’s manipulative and calculated control tactics.
How original… but I grasped on to the degrading name because I wanted him to love me. It is now horrifically sad for me to realize that I had prefered to be called slutpet over my birth name of Amber. After I embraced my first pet-name I knew that I would take on whatever name abuser M would give me. I now realize that abuser M further used pet-names as a form of control over myself.
Eventually I was given a second pet-name by abuser M which ultimately became the pet-name that he would regularly call me in private. At this time I cannot quite remember how or even why he came up with this new pet-name but the name now gives me the shivers. The second pet-name that abuser M gave to me was “cuntly”.
Of course abuser M called me cuntly as if it were an honor for me to wear his degrading name. And yet again a custom collar was created for me that clearly spelled out my shameful pet-name CUNTLY. Abuser M said that this collar was only for “play” and I would rarely have wear it outside. However, he would often threaten to force me to wear the degrading collar in public as a form of punishment if I had “disobeyed” him in any way…I only wore it in public a few times but those few times were enough to realize that I did not like to disobey abuser M.
I am uncertain why, perhaps it was shame over time but abuser M eventually transformed my pet-name cuntly into a short and less publicly degrading name; he began to call me “c-ree”. C-ree to abuser M was a more publicly acceptable form of his favorite pet-name cuntly which he would rarely call me in public. I now see that abuser M realized his horrific treatment of me was rarely accepted in society… unless you are a member of the BDSM community where nearly anything flies.
Another public pet-name that abuser M would frequently call me was “Red”. Yet again, I am uncertain when abuser M began calling me this name but I do know why. It was my “professional” pet-name. He believed it was acceptable for him to call me Red in professional situations such as business meetings, events, etc. I even had a personalized email address through his IT consulting business… red@abuserM.com. Of course his slave, his pet had to also perform as a girlfriend and eventually fiance in public and professional situations.
I absolutely dislike the pet-name red. Why? Because the name reminds me of Galina Reznikov aka Red from the Netflix Series Orange Is the New Black.
After I told abuser M about loathing my birth name, there is only one instance that I can recall where he had called me Amber out loud in public. The only time that he acknowledged who I really am by calling me by my name was in court where I had taken him at the end of our relationship to obtain a Domestic Violence Restraining Order. In the court in front of a female judge, he clearly called me Amber. Of course he could not show his true self and call me the names he had always called me so “lovingly” such as slutpet, cunlty, c-ree, or red in front of a female judge. It almost didn’t even sound real, like I had never heard my name come out of his mouth ever before. The sound of abuser M saying “Amber” out loud was almost a shock and a blow to my ears… because my name does after all bring up horrific flashbacks.
On the bright side of all of this – because of the abuse that I endured I now have the opportunity to confidentially and legally change my full name to whatever my heart desires. I already have the name picked out but I want to sit with it for a while before I finalize my decision. It is quite exciting for me to take this opportunity, it will be a chance to renew my sense of self and to become who I want to become without any inhibitions. I like to tell people that I am simply upgrading my name. I cannot wait for the day that I am able to accomplish this important step in my recovery. It gives me something to look forward to, almost as if I have a new future ahead of me.
March 4, 2016 at 7:00 PM
I have just read this after reading you later post about your name. Oh dear. I have so much compassion for you in my heart. None of this belongs to you. None of these names are yours. You can release all the abusive (pet) names because they don’t belong to you.
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April 7, 2016 at 9:44 AM
I changed my legal name and now celebrate my birthday on the date of the legal change. My old birthday was always a really sad day full of disappointment and abuse. It felt liberating to choose my own name, cut ties and become my own person. Every year I celebrate with my friends. I wish you every happiness in your new phase of life.
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April 7, 2016 at 9:50 AM
That’s an awesome idea, thank you very much for sharing.
August 11, 2016 at 1:13 AM
I shortened my birth name because it just reminds me of my religious upbringing and how much pressure I always felt to be “good”. I hope you enjoy changing your name- mine’s not legally changed, but once yours is, you might want to celebrate it like a second birthday- one for you. My ex used to abuse me under the guise of BDSM too, and it was only when I had left him I found out that the BDSM community would have had a heart attack at what went on. X
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August 12, 2016 at 3:47 AM
It took a great deal of courage for you to reveal all this. There’s a hymn I love called, “He Knows My Name”. It spoke to my brokenness. You might want to check out the lyrics. I wish you much joy w/ your new name. ❤
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August 12, 2016 at 10:50 AM
Chills. I can’t imagine the kinds of things you’ve endured. Praying for you ♥
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January 8, 2021 at 4:49 AM
My spouse has asked me to give her a pet name and at first I was a bit hesitant because I NEVER want to be degrading to her. She loves me to refer to her as my pet and call her kitten or kitty which is innocent enough but she also likes to occasionally be “punished” with me spanking her or slapping her face during sex. She likes me to feed her treats in public when she’s being good.
I know for a fact she had an abusive childhood and maybe this has something to do with that. I just try to make sure she controls the situation even though I am playing the dominant one. Right now it seems fun for both of us but I worry she may eventually regret it as you did.
January 8, 2021 at 6:22 AM
Hello Blaro, thank you for the comment.
It sounds like you love your wife a lot and want her to be pleased and satisfied. I am reading that she desires for you to treat her like a pet and she enjoys it when you do. From what you are describing, it sounds like a consensual form of play which is healthy for a relationship.
In my situation my abuser didn’t give me many choices. I felt trapped and I felt that I had to do as he wished. Many of the names he called me, he picked because he knew they disturbed me and he liked that.
Your situation sounds much different, loving and healthy. It is important to keep open communication about this kind of play and to have clear set boundaries. You could even tell her your worries about the play and have an open dialogue about it. Perhaps her desires are cultivated from childhood trauma. But if you are both consenting and happy with the situation then you shouldn’t have much to worry about.