Ashton Carlie Dauphinais. That is my title, it tells you who I am. I got my name from a deal made by my mom and dad, my mom would be able to pick my middle name as long as my father picked my first.
My dad, who saw it out of a baby names book decided to name me Ashton. In English my name means from the ash tree or the ash tree settlement, and has no meaning in foreign languages. It has always been like a snowflake in a winter blizzard. I love the uniqueness of my first name, but I've always despised the confusion of my gender. My name displays me as a male on paper, which causes confusion when meeting in person.
My mom's decision was more personal. She decided to name me after my grandfather, Charles (a.k.a Charlie), giving me the name Carlie. My name has been living a double life. In its English and German life, Carlie is just a female version of many male names, but, in its foreign lifes, it had multiple other meanings. In Scotland and Gaelic my name means small champion and in Australia it means rain. It is like a mullet. Business in the front and a party in the back. I always thought my name suits me, the parts no one really sees. The part of it that is sophisticated and has everything together and organized, or the part that is full of spunk and just wants to explore.
My last name was inherited from my dad, and came bearing gifts. With the name, came a family. Dauphinais. Such an unusual and surprising name. It is simply a surname. It came from France, where it was given to prestigious families who lived by a popular landmark, may it be a stream or a large tree. It came from previous villages and towns. When my ancestors made their brave voyages to a new life, they arrived in Canada. Although many families changed their name when they moved to another country, my ancestors refused to lose their identity. This name means to hard to pronounce. It means you’re stubborn. It means you will stay true to who you are. I’ve adored my names different qualities, yet found it an inconvenience. Dauphinais doesn’t roll of the tongue, rather it claws its way through, damaging more and more as it travels. I’ve gotten accustomed to substitute teachers asking me how my name is pronounced, or entirely skipping my last name and just screeching my first while taking role. Or, occasionally the sub will attempt to say it correctly, but instead they sound like they sneezed while coughing.
All in all, I admire my name. I love the mixture of mystery, spunk, and pride. I wouldn’t be able to imagine myself with a different title. It has last me this long, I might as well be happy with it.
He left me when I was one year old. Then he came back… and tried to kidnap me. Then my mom and I had to constantly move. He would find where we were and there we went. He left and let rage lead his actions. He didn't care about getting me, he cared about not letting us move on.
I’ve gone to multiple counselors, one of which I have a theory of being crazy. She would hold crazy signs or fling her hands in the air for every word she spoke. Yes, she had good intentions, but I couldn’t find comfort in her wacky ways.
In third grade, I would walk into class crying. This would happen because I was tired, stressed, confused, and sometimes I wouldn’t know why, but most of the time it was because I blamed myself. I blamed myself for my parents divorce and my dad leaving. I blamed myself for everything that went wrong. My child mind couldn’t comprehend the fact that I don’t make others choices or that there are other components in the decision process.
Finally, the counselors came to a consensus: My wounds would heal when I was ready for them to. This frustrated my tiny mind. It was like trying to run that last lap, but your legs go out from under you. You can see the end, then you crash. I thought that it wasn’t my choice to be upset and hurt, but that it was my dad, that he was the one causing me this pain. I thought that it was up to him to tell me when to move on. I was a dog, waiting for the command to sit or roll over. This is what hurt me the most because I would look forward and long for the command, but it would never happen. Little did I know that the counselor's words would cause me to understand. As I grew up I started to realize that I was in charge of my emotions, that it was up to me to decide if I was going to forgive my dad and move on.
Then I met my new family, a family who would show me the good in the world. A family that forced me to move on.
Me and my siblings aren’t siblings. I say that I am one out of five children, but by blood, I am one out of two. My whole “family” is complicated. Just plain complicated. Two of my brothers and one sister aren’t related to me, they are just siblings of my other sister. They are the truly related four. It’s complicated.
My one true sister is the youngest out of the five, all of them being blood related to her. She is the favorite, like the whole family revolves around her seven year old mind. It’s complicated. She is the restless child, talking and singing every second of the day. She longs for adventure or constant movement, like a roller coaster on an endless loop.
The oldest is half related to everyone by blood, except me. He has the same father as the related four, but a different mother. He is known as the football junky, the one that dreams to be in the military. Him and I are the athletes of the family, the ones that wake up at four in the morning to go on a run. He is the oldest sibling, the oldest brother, the protector.
Then there is the second oldest, she dreams of being in the air force academy or an author. She has the same mother as the second youngest and the same father as everyone, except me. It’s complicated. She sits in her room playing video games or reading a lengthy book. She is drawn to anything that has words, if she can see it, she will read it. I think she does this because she wants to learn more about the world. know more about the adventures that are out there, the excitement within everyday routines.
The second youngest dreams of staying up all night playing video games and sleeping the day away. He has the same mother as the second oldest, and the same father as the others, except me. It's complicated. He is drawn to the screen, whether it be a computer, TV, or a phone. The screen captures him and holds him in captivity, never to see reality. He is the innocent child, the one that does something wrong because he didn't know it was wrong. He and I are the closest together and have built an unbreakable bond. We are one year apart, helping us to understand what the other person needs and what they are going through. He is the the person I know will be there for me, the one that I will run to if I need advice, or just to talk.
Then there is me, the middle of all of them. Even by age I am the odd one out. I have a different mother than everyone except for the youngest seven year old. I have a different dad than everyone too. By blood, I am not related to the other three, yet they are the ones I choose to call family. It’s complicated.
I met my soon to be “siblings” when I was three years old, and at that time, the youngest wasn’t even a thought. This family raised me. They taught me to love. It’s just complicated. This not related family molded me into who I am today. They taught me how to love and how to forgive. They taught me to lead with a big heart, and have others emotions always in view. Me and my siblings aren't siblings by blood. Me and my siblings are siblings by heart.