A child’s name is sacred. He hears Mama’s voice; he knows her, and she is his world. She speaks to him softly, gently, lovingly; baby is her. She chose the name representing her soul’s desire, precious relationships, and future hope. And it is very easy to caress him with his name.
Baby cries, calling forth instinct primal, an urge to soothe, protect, and nurture. He belongs to her, part of her identity. She shall defend him forever. It is easy to honor his name.
So it is that baby’s first god is mother, and baby’s name is hallowed. As the offspring of a divinity, he is divine. It is easy.
But soon baby is capable of independence, developing abilities to express his preferences, and to pursue their fulfillment.
Baby’s name is Susan. Her name is liquid gold, fine perfume. It is very nearly her identity. But then the tragedy…
She toddles away, and mama calls her name softly, “Susan.” But she keeps going. “Susan,” again, with a rising tone, then “Susan!” more stridently. Yet again, with sharpness, “SUSAN!” It is not only the way her name is spoken, but the frustration with which it is charged. This new experience shall be repeated, and infused with resentment, even hatred, if left unchecked.
Mama has just abused baby for the first time. It is called verbal abuse, a horror, and more severe than mama imagines.
The name, meant to bless, was used to bludgeon the child.