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Teen Balks When Her Numerology-Obsessed Mom Demands She Officially Change Her Name

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What’s in a name? Well, apparently for some people, a lot.

For those who believe in mystical things like astrology and numerology, seemingly innocuous things can effect the very fabric of your being—even your name.

So when Redditor michelletheory recently butted heads with her numerologist mother over her name, she turned to the subReddit “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) to see if she was in the wrong.

She asked:

“AITA for not letting my mom change my name?”

The original poster (OP) explained her mom’s obsession.

“So my mother is super into numerology. It’s the study for numbers and its coinciding events.”

“She believes in it while I personally don’t because it’s never been proven to work. She’s taken a few classes and is now a certified numerologist.”

“Now, she’s making everyone in my family wear random bracelets, wear specific colors and such to ‘balance our chakras’ and ‘bring in good vibrations’. I didn’t have a problem with this because it isn’t that big a deal.”

Things have recently taken a turn, however.

“But now she’s making me change my name and personality so that it fits her idea of what a good person should be according to numerology (there are specific numbers associated with your name and those numbers in turn affect your personality).”

“She wants me to write this new name multiple times a day and change it on official records (passports, ID cards etc), and that’s too much of a hassle.”

After the OP rejected the idea, her mom melted down.

“Being so annoyed and fed up with it, I told her politely that I wouldn’t do all this because I don’t believe in it.”

“She threw a big fit saying I was never going to graduate with good grades, get into uni or get a job because I didn’t change my name and ultimately struggle so much in life that I wasn’t going to go anywhere.”

“Obviously, I was very upset when she said my life would be a failure and so I went to my room and kind of distanced myself from her.”

“She then threw another tantrum saying I never listen to anything she has to suggest (which is false I’m Asian so my mom is VERY involved in my life) and saying this is going to make my life better.”

“I chose to ignore her and now she’s acting all sad and grumpy and telling my little brother what a useless and bad sister I am which made me feel like TA.”

“But am I TA?”

She later edited her post to clarify a few things about her mom and her culture.

“Many people say that she wants to change my name after she was the one that gave it to me—she wasn’t aware of numerology when I was born, hence her trying to change my name now when I’m almost an adult.”

“And also for those who think I posted this post for validation, please know I was raised in a very strict Asian household that deemed any backtalk to your parents as extremely rude and so I thought I was being TA here because of that.”

Redditors weighed in on the situation by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

They didn’t blame the OP for not wanting to change her name.

“NTA. As delicately as I can put this, I think your mom has issues that she needs to work out.”—CordellCarl

“NTA, your name is a big thing to you and you are well within your rights to not change your name to one that *has good vibes*.”

“Hope your mum can soon see she’s going overboard but it might be best to avoid/not engage like you’re currently doing for a while!”—Chuggacheep

“Definitely NTA. It’s nice that she cares so much and wants you to have a good life but you obviously don’t need to change your name for that to happen.”—runademic

“NTA – This is no different than any other form of religious bullying.”

“If she had joined a cult and would be demanding the same changes it would perhaps be more prominent what is happening.”

“I seriously wonder about your mother’s mental health. Please OP have a conversation with grown adults that love and support her about these changes she’s been demanding of people around her.”

“Best wishes going forward.”—ImFinePleaseThanks

Even people who believe in numerology were taken aback by the mom’s demands.

“As someone who is into spirituality and has studied numerology, wow is she placing too much emphasis on it.”

“These things can supplement your life but they certainly don’t dictate it. And if you aren’t into it, she needs to back off.”—Midaycarehere

“So, at the risk of being skewered here – I actually believe in this divination sh*t, it’s a special interest of mine. BUT your mom is still wrong.”

“Here’s the thing, the purpose of something like numerology is to give you information that can help you make choices to maximize your life, not to change sh*t.”

“That’s like me saying your astrology sign is bad so you’re going to write a new birthday lines and we’re going to change the day of your birth. Like, that’s not how this stuff works.”

“There’s two schools of thought in the way this stuff is taught. One is that OH NO you are BroKeN we must FIx you – hence the bracelets and whatever, with the goal being make you more like what we’ve decided is the ‘right’ type.”

“I belong to the other approach which is: there’s nothing wrong with you.”

“We have all the types we have for a purpose, everyone has value and purpose and our job is to help you maximize that value and purpose in a way you want it to manifest. i.e. I believe the goal is to make you more comfortable in your own skin.”

“In either school forcing someone who doesn’t want to change their [name] and then blaming and shaming them for who they are is a garbage approach.”

“NTA. Forcing others to conform to your beliefs when they don’t believe in it is also garbage.”—LimitlessMegan

One Redditor offered the OP some words of encouragement.

“NTA”

“But from one Asian to another who has gotten the ‘you’re a failure’ talk all their childhood—you’ve got a long climb ahead of you.”

“They honestly don’t mean it. They’re just afraid.”

“Have the words caused a rift—yeah. They have caused a formality between me and her and that just doesn’t exist with other friends and moms.”

“Still love her LOTS and IDK (I don’t know) how I’d survive with out her. But having an Asian mom that’s semi or super traditional in a western country means a different playing field.”

“It’s not that what she says is okay, it’s that we as their children have to navigate lives a little differently.”

“You’ll pull through and while she may never get over it, she’ll let it go. She really does care. She’s just bad at communicating honestly.”

“You’ll get in college and make it through. You’ll be successful by your definition and society’s.”

“Your mommy will be proud but she’ll probably not show it how you expect to. Honestly I think my mom would give me the world if she could afford it.”

“But she can’t so this is how it is—doing what has been done to her to set me up for success. My guess is this your mom too.”—PettyHonestThrowaway

Whether the OP’s mom is acting out of love or fear, hopefully the OP can find a way to stand her ground until she’s legally an adult and can make her own decisions without fear of what her mom believes to be true.

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Written by Brian Skellenger

Brian is an actor, musician, writer, babysitter, and former Olympian. One of these things is a lie. Based in NYC, Brian honed his skills in the suburbs of Minneapolis, where he could often be seen doing jazz squares down the halls of his middle school. After obtaining a degree in musical theatre, he graced the stages of Minneapolis and St. Paul before making the move to NYC. In his spare time, Brian can be found playing board games, hitting around a volleyball, and forcing friends to improvise with him.