I tried calling my mom on her cell earlier to remind her to stop by the bank. The call connected, but I couldn’t hear anything on her end, so I hung up and tried calling back.
My dad answered, and I could hear him but he couldn’t hear my end. After a “hello? hello?” or two on each side, he tried addressing me… by a name that is no longer mine.
I had forgotten just how fucking much it hurts to hear that sound. Twice, like a stab to the gut. That syllable repeated, an echo of a little boy I used to be, a firm reminder of the little boy he still sees. He started to say something else — I figured he was going to let me know that my mom was driving, which I already had assumed since that’s the only reason someone else would answer her phone.
I sent a text saying why I had been calling, with a little silly note about technology being unreliable. I pretended I hadn’t felt anything. Hours and hours later, I’m awake in the middle of the night and it all hits me again.
I want to shout at them — especially him — “My name is Sophia. My name is Sophia! MY NAME IS SOPHIA!” I want to show them how much it hurts. The angry part of me wants to hurt them back, to make them know my pain. The compassionate rest of me — the part I listen to because they taught me to trust that compassionate voice, taught me that love is so much stronger than anger — wants to hold them close and look them deep in the eyes and show them how much it means when I speak my full name, first, middle, last. I want so very, very much to hear them speak my name back to me, to know that they see me; that they understand who I am.
I can’t be who or what they wanted me to be. I can only be who I am, and I am who I must be. And I don’t know how to help them see that. I wish, but wishing never made it so. I hope, but hope seems to fail me. I try to show them love, but I need their love in return because I can’t keep endlessly giving away that love if it never comes back to me.
It hurts. It hurts so, so much.