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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    127

    Would you use an honor name after a person who wasn't... well, all that honorable?

    Maybe the immediate answer seems to be "no," but let me expand a little.

    Imagine you have a close (immediate family) relative with a lovely, meaningful name that would work nicely as a middle. You love this person, still have contact with him/her, and know that s/he will be involved with the child's life in some form or another.

    However, the relative is not really someone you'd want your unborn baby to take after - at all. We aren't talking the "makes bad jokes" or "procrastinates" type of flaws. It's someone who mistreated you badly for the majority of your life due to a serious, untreated mental illness. Later on in life you actually suffered PTSD and sought years of therapy to work out the after-effects of abuse.

    The person has never acknowledged anything or sought any treatment. Therefore you live a few thousand miles away and keep contact to a minimum, which allows the relationship to be cordial and kind. S/he is never allowed unsupervised around your pets or animals, but always treats them very well under these conditions.

    I'm feeling like the answer here is still probably going to be "no" for the majority of people; it might be kind of hard to fathom unless you've experienced it... but trust me that you can still love such a person very much.

    Anyway. Would you avoid such an honor name at all costs, lest the child find out what their namesake was really like?

    Or would you hope that the child could make the name his/her own, and the association would just be one of love?

    ---

    I guess it's kind of similar to naming a child after a dear friend who died by suicide. I've never experienced that situation, and I'm not equating the mental illnesses involved, but I do think it's safe to say you'd never want your child to wind up that way. Yet you might still want to remember the wonderful qualities of your friend. Tricky questions, huh?
    Married to my best friend since 6-30-11 ♥ Mama to two herding dogs, a wooly rabbit & a purring machine

    Current favorite combos for the women-to-be: Rowena Claire (Winnie) | Amabel Jane | Lilias Eve | Helene Iona (Lena)

    And the little men: Theodore James (Teddy) | Cedric Muir | Jude Peregrine | Henry Alcott

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    2,846
    You're right, my immediate response is no. You're really the only one who can decide because we don't know this person or how you really feel about them. Are you choosing their name as a middle because it sounds nice or are you deliberately naming your child after them? If it's the latter, then I don't see why you shouldn't. Just because they have problems doesn't mean your child will. In fact, it might be a great lesson in tolerance and understanding for your child. However, if you're choosing their name because it "would work nicely as a middle", then I'd choose something else.
    First baby due on September 7, 2015!

    Audrey - Beatrice - Clara - Daphne - Jane - Margaret - Susannah - Violet

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  3. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    1,172
    It depends in my opinion if you have forgiven the person. If you don't harbor any resentment anymore for that person you can absolutely use the name. I think if you DO resent the person in question I wouldn't use the name or you may regret it later. If you do decide to use the name I would suggest using it as a middle name so your child can have their own separate identity, and you don't always have the reminder associating him/her with his/her namesake.

    I have a friend whose twin sister died by suicide. She used her late sister's name for her daughter's middle name. I think it is a lovely tribute, it shows forgiveness and love.
    New username is @ truenature

  4. #7
    No, I wouldn't. I can kinda understand where you are coming from. My father and my maternal grandfather had the same middle name. It would be a cute way to honor both of them, if I was into that. However, one of them also had mental illness and generally was not a nice person, so no, it will never be.

    Better to give the kid their own name, he or she will be their own person. I'm named after two relatives, doesn't make me feel connected to them or compared to them.

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    763
    Tough situation.
    I say ultimately no. To me the main reason to say no is abuse and pain. I personally feel for you. I have some experience with this stuff. I think it's bad to honor someone who abused you. There are so many names out there. I think that while your child and the love for this person are good, it's still baggage. I say start fresh. I'd worry that your child will project the negatives things onto themselves. I also think that if this a genetic condition your child will worry about whether or not they have that condition.
    I have a friend who chose to honor someone abusive. It makes me uncomfortable thinking about it. I was recently visiting and they were talking and the survivor mentioned he hated the abuser while the namesake child was there. (Even though he and his abuser did sort of make peace.)It's just a bad, awkward scenario. I know that it's in the past, but it will come up eventually.
    I am especially concerned because this person has not sought help and isn't trustworthy. The fact that you felt the need to separate by thousands miles is a big concern. The way it sounds this person is still an active abuser.
    This is not just about the past, this is about the present and the future.
    I think your kid will eventually and sooner than you think find out that this person has issues. If this person's disorder is on-going and you have contact with them, your kids will probably see some of the behavior even if you whisk them out of there when it begins.
    In my family, various relatives have gone through drug abuse, unplanned pregnancy, teen pregnancy, depression, abusive neglect and a whole myriad of issues. My mother always from when as long as I can remember has never lied to me or covered things up. I think it is best to be honest. If this is a medical thing, then eventually your kids will need to know the truth.
    Best of Luck!
    Last edited by emilyva; September 25th, 2013 at 03:56 AM.

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