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Teen reveals heartbreaking reason she hates her first name

By Merryn Porter |

There is certainly no right way or wrong way for parents to grieve the loss of a child.

But most would agree parents should try to move forward despite their grief, if for no other reason but for the sake of their other children.

Now a teenage girl has asked the internet for advice after she told her parents she hates being named after her dead sister.

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'Jess' says she hates her name. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The 16-year-old girl took to Reddit's popular "Am I the A---hole" advice column using the pseudonym 'Jess' to explain she had three older siblings, 'John' and 'Julia', who are twins, as well as 'Jess', who was about three years older than her.

Calling herself shallowthrowaways, she wrote, "Jess had a lot of medical issues as a kid according to my parents, she was born too early and had a lot of breathing issues etc.

"Two months before I was born (when Jess was four and the twins were seven), Jess died. My parents were distraught and when I was born I was named Jess, after my older, dead sister."

She said being directly named after her dead sister had caused problems.

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The girl has lived in the shadow of her dead sister her whole life. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

"My older siblings refuse to call me by my name, they call me by my middle name or just don't refer to me at all ¨C and as a kid, I always wanted to be friends with them, but they're a good seven years older and have apparently already bonded enough with the original Jess, that they don't really want to interact with me.

"My parents are even weirder. They put out photos of original Jess on my birthday and look like they're about to cry whenever they say my name."

The girl said her parents "constantly bring up Jess" and compare her to her sibling.

"If I get a bad grade, they'll go on about how Jess would've done so much better, or if I said I was feeling sick they told me that I couldn't be as sick as Jess was and to stop 'faking it for attention'," she said, adding, she "can't live out the shadow of original Jess, which sounds horrible, but honestly it's true."

She said things finally came to a head a few days earlier when her mother found a letter from her old school where they used her middle name.

Things came to a head when the mother found out she had been using her middle name at school. (Getty)

"My mother blew up on me. She called me ungrateful and said that I was ruining my sister's image and good name and destroying her soul or something," she wrote.

"And I blew up on her too, explaining why I hated using the name Jess and how it was stupid naming me that and how I can't keep living in the shadow of a kid who died nearly 17 years ago (harsh I know but I was so angry)."

She said her parents, their family friends and her own friends thought she was "the a---hole here," while her siblings sided with her and thought she "said what needed to be said, and to be honest I like having their approval".

She ended the post, "Am I the a---hole for telling my mum why I hate my name?"

In an edit, the teen said she loved her parents and they had been great "except for the name thing," even moving across the country so she could go to a performing arts school.

'Jess' wonders if she is wrong to have told her mother why she hates her name. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Most commenters thought her parents were in the wrong.

"Honestly I think it's super twisted that they named you after her. They robbed you of your own identity because they hadn't processed their grief," wrote one.

"My thoughts exactly, the parents are awful for doing that."

Others said it reminded them of a creepy story. "I hope that they can find some peace and that she continues to use her own unique middle name. Also, good on her siblings for standing behind her on this issue," wrote one.

Others thought the constant comparisons to her dead sister were strange.

"She was four... how TF would they have known she would have done better in school? Especially being medically fragile, which can lead to lots of time out of school for medical reasons¡­ it's shitty and stupid to compare them anyways, but comparing a teen to a four-year-old?" wrote one.

Teenage girl sad sitting on stairs
Most people agreed with the woman and said it was cruel. (Getty)

Some encouraged her to change her name legally.

"Change your first name legally when you turn 18. Get your siblings input, they could be helpful," said one, while another agreed. "This. Change your name to what you want to be known as. You are your own person, and not a replacement or a reminder for a tragic life lost before you were even born. Shame on your parents."

"I'm so sorry your parents did that to you. If I were you I'd cut contact and change my name the second I turned 18," said another.

Others said her parents needed to change their ways.

"They messed this child up from the beginning. It's like they didn't even give her [a] chance. And to be so blind as to not see how damaging it is to be constantly compared to a dead person. This is tragic. Eventually they are going to lose the second Jess."

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