So, you have come to a point where you feel it is necessary to abandon everything and everyone you know to start over.
Maybe it was domestic violence that brought you here; or maybe it was other reasons like drugs, drama, or debt. You don’t have to justify yourself to me. I believe you.
I know because I’ve been there. Sometimes it seems like the only logical step is to give up your life, so that you can have the chance to live.
Good News, You Can!
You can get a new identity, a new life; free from the weight of your existing problems.
But Trust Me, You Don’t Want To!
Whether you are just beginning to inquire or are seriously considering it, here are 10 important things to know before you change your identity. The following points are only a brief description of some of the many issues you will face:
1) Anything Worth Doing Is Worth Doing Right: If you are not going to go all in, there is no point in changing your entire identity. The sacrifices are too huge and the losses too great for you to be not be fully committed.
2) Do You Have Children?: Pulling your children away from their family will cause irreparable damage! Don’t do it! They deserve to have family in their lives that loves them. It doesn’t matter how much you love them, they will want to know their other family. They shouldn’t have to give up their lives for your mistakes or give up you.
a) Your Children’s Family Will Not Honor Your Wishes: They won’t understand.
b) Your Children Won’t Honor Your Wishes: Steering clear of social media is an obvious sacrifice. Do you really think you can keep a defiant teenager off of Facebook? If your children are going to stay connected with family and technology, what good does it do to give up your life just to have your address posted on the internet by someone else?
3) Contact With People From Your Past: Your own friends and family, no matter how supportive they appear, will not be able to keep themselves from putting you in danger. Grandparents can’t share pictures online with their church groups. Old photos would have to be taken down as they are just breadcrumbs to your whereabouts. Furthermore, your family is not going to take the steps to remove themselves from society. So what happens when your past finds them, threatens their family for your information?
4) Clean Slate = Empty Slate: You will have no job history, no credit history, no education history. How old are you? Does it make sense that you have never had a reportable job, rented an apartment, or gotten a bank account? Where did you go to school? None of the hard work from your past will translate to your future. Now, there are thousands of high school teenagers more qualified for that McDonald’s job than you.
5)Biggest Myth of Them All: At least you won’t have debt, right? WRONG! You have to pay all your debts off before a judge will allow the change. It is against the law to make identity changes if it appears the purpose is to allude debt, escape the law, etc. If removing the financial burden of debt is in your plus column, just go ahead and move it into the negative column. Are you ready to pay all your debts?
6) Money Lost: You will lose some money though, like all the social security and retirement you have ever had taken from your paycheck. Add in any potential income like unclaimed property from the state, rebates, future inheritance, anything. That money is just sitting there waiting to be claimed, but you are no longer capable of using your old name to fill out the acceptance form.
7) Psychological Damage: You are pretty strong right now. All the years of protecting yourself has you in survival mode. When you stop running, all of your past catches up and slams into you like a brick wall. You have just lost everything and everyone you have ever known. You no longer have a support system.
8) Unexpected Complications: Almost every day of your new life will be accompanied by moments that threaten to make all your sacrifices for not. Seemingly random conversation with the grocery store clerk will cause anxiety, with you thinking on your toes to explain some simple thing. No matter how much you’ve prepared, you will encounter unexpected complications that have you jumping through hoops.
9) Future Relationships: I want you to take just a moment to imagine a conversation you are having with a friend or lover. Maybe you are talking about what it’s like growing up, or something as simple as where you are from. What do you say? At some point, in order to grow closer, do you come to a place where you expose your old identity? Did you lie in the beginning for protection? Most of us have experienced failed relationships, that were once so treasured. Is this relationship going to last forever? What will they do with their secret knowledge?
10) The Path is Pointless: In the end, all the sacrifices are worth it if you can just have a chance to live, right? To be able to take out your garbage without being afraid. To be able to live, truly and fully. SORRY! Changing your identity will not do that for you. In fact, it could only make it worse. You still can’t have your picture published or your accomplishments rewarded. Everything you do and everywhere you go, you will be trying to protect this new self from being connected to your old self. You won’t be living, you will be hiding. You can stay in hiding without having to make all these gut wrenching sacrifices.
The quality of your future life must be considered when the quality of your current life is the concern.
If you are still considering taking this drastic step, I’m sure you feel like you have thought of everything. So did I. I had all sorts of ingenious solutions to work around some of my problems. Follow along Free The Truth, Phoenix Falling, to watch as some of those solutions blow up in my face.
You will run into so many problems that you never considered. You will have to come up with quick solutions without having enough time to fully analyze the implications. You will likely make mistakes that compromise the entire integrity of your identity change. Mostly, you will be greatly effected beyond your imagination, by things you already understand to be inevitable.
Please consider staying in this fight and not trying to run from it. The consequences of fleeing may end up being far worse than the initial problem with no successful results to show for it. (In no way does this statement apply to staying in an abusive relationship!)
I know the title is misleading. If you continue to follow Free The Truth, I will explain the steps, more detailed explanations of possible problems, and some of the solutions I have found. First though, I am going to do my best to help you find other solutions.
If you have already taken these steps to protect yourself, I’m here for you. Due to the nature of changing your identity, there is not a large support group. You can follow along with my blog or reach out to me by email.
If anyone you know is currently considering such a change, please share this article and website with them. Your referral could ultimately prevent years of heartache.
Remember, where ever you go, there you are.