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I know you have something to say about this.
I was a willing participant in a campaign of disinformation.
That’s complicated way of saying, I lied.
But did I, really?
I’ve told you my name. It’s not the one I sign checks with, but it’s the one that was given me at birth.
Does that mean you don’t know me?
Certainly not, when I’m here, I’m Melanie. I’m just somebody else most of the time. We’re both real. One of us just got lost for about 30 years. You can’t blame me, they told me I was someone else. I believed them. I didn’t have any reason to doubt. I didn’t even know that I had another name.
I wonder why they didn’t tell me?
Did they think it would hurt me?
Did they think that she was still in there and might come out at the mention of it? That was good thinking. Birth names are like magic words. Knowing just that one little thing can change everything.
I knew I was someone before I was adopted. I knew that I didn’t start to exist when the adoption papers were signed.
I was real.
Does changing the name of something make it any less what is was before?
It changed me. I wasn’t what I was before. I was something different. It was far from inconsequential. But it didn’t change who I had been.
She was real.
What am I now?
I don’t really know.