small thing bothering me


this is not a big thing but it is bothering me so thought I'd come here and tell you all about it.

As you may remember, my difficult child 1 is an exotic dancer but doesn't know that I know (I found out from her sister). Okay, I don't really care about that, she is supporting herself and can do what she wants. But I found out today (long story, not worth going into) that she is using the stage name Molly, which is her sister's name!

She has a strange relationship with Molly--was very jealous of her when she was born and was physically and emotionally abusive to her when they were young. Molly developed a dissociative disorder as a way of coping and now is having to "unlearn" those coping methods in order to function in a normal way.

Last summer Emily got a tattoo when she turned 18 and it Molly's name, tattooed on her wrist. That bothered Molly somewhat--and I thought it was weird--feels like it is a way to still have control over Molly. Now she is using her name, gives me the same sick kind of feeling. The good thing is I don't think Molly knows about it and I sure hope she doesn't find out. I'm sure it would feel very invasive to her and also embarrassing since she finds what her sister does to be disgusting.

There's nothing I can do but I do see that Emily is still crossing boundaries and still has some sort of unhealthy thing about Molly. It is very much a love/hate thing, always has been.

Thanks for listening!

You know, it could be as simple as:

~She is safer using a stage name
~She already has the name Molly on her wrist
~It looks less weird to choose the name Molly than to pick yet another name to go by

I know, it has an ick factor of about 8.2, but I'm thinking it was due to lack of thought as opposed to a great deal of thought.
"Oh, there is the name Molly, I'll just use that name."


Thanks, BBK, I hadn't thought of those simpler things! I do know they all use stage names, which makes sense, but you are right--she already has Molly on her wrist--maybe some guy would notice that and think that's her name anyway.

I'm glad I have you guys to talk to--makes me feel better!



Well-Known Member
I do not think Molly would consider this a small thing. I think it does stem pretty far back and is a control issue. I am the victim of a jealous sibling. It took many years for her to be able to not be jealous of me. It always strained our relationship, caused me not to share things with her and prompted my mother to favor her over me - I think some sort of compensation thing. My sis was a difficult child for sure. The good thing is she did mature and is not so jealous - counseling helped I think.

If I found out my sister used my name while exotic dancing - it would have been unforgiveable to me.


Hi Busywend,
you are right--this would not be a small thing to Molly. By small thing I meant that there is no crisis or "big thing" going on but it was something that was bothering me. I wish I hadn't found out--a co-worker and I were looking at her employer's website because her son had gone there this weekend and we wondered if Emily had been the one to give him a lap dance (he is mildly retarded, just turned 21, this why his mom even knows he was there--he tells her that kind of thing). Anyway, we were looking at the names they use and I saw Molly and just knew that had to be Emily in reality and it was.

Have to go--just wanted you to know that I know this would be a big thing to Molly and I don't mean to diminish its importance in that regard and I do think it is a control thing with Emily, not sure how conscious she is of it.



No real answers to life..
Having the tattoo on her wrist.....maybe somebody just started calling her Molly. She then took it as her stage name.

I wouldn't read that much into it, but don't know all the facts of the story. I hope that the real Molly doesn't find out, but she could figure it out the same way you did....If she does find out I would really try to downplay it......

Sorry she is dragging her sister's name into it.....sounds like she really wants to be Molly......


New Member
Another vote that Molly was a name of convenience rather than an act of sibling rivalry. It could even be that one of her co-workers or her boss suggested she use that name because of the tat.

However, I would tell Molly what is going on. You could explain the theory of convenience and that might make it a little easier for her to accept. I know if my sister had done this, I would rather find out at home from my mother than by a friend or by accident in public. It would just be too humiliating to find out in public to me.


Active Member
I haven't been around enough to know your family story, so take what I have to say with a grain of salt.... My thinking has become very jaded due to our difficult child. I tend to see this as sibling rivalry myself. My difficult child is very jealous of her easy child sisters. I could just see your difficult child using her sisters name as a passive aggressive act. I would let sleeping dogs lie and not mention it to your easy child if I didn't have to. Hopefully, their paths don't cross often. I would try to spare my easy child any further pain. Hugs to you!


Hi Mom to 3,
I think you are right--nothing Emily does is "innocent"--there is extensive family history involving her extreme jealousy of Molly. Recently, I found a journal she had been writing in a couple of years ago and in one entry she began writing about how wonderful Molly was, only to turn against her suddenly and call her horrible names. This was all in one writing--very strange, but very telling. She seems to love and hate Molly at the same time.

I do plan to just let it lie and their paths don't cross often now. I will be allowing Emily to come over tonight to burn some cd's but it will be while Molly is away at her tutoring. They talk occasionally on the phone but it is very limited. Molly's therapist does not want them to have much contact because Emily is such a trigger for Molly's dissociative problems and also Molly needs to feel safe in order to be able to work on other ways of coping. Emily knows very little about Molly's life at this point--she doesn't know Molly is struggling to complete schoolwork so she can go on to 11th grade, she doesn't know Molly spent a week in the psychiatric unit at our hospital back in April, she knows very little anymore. This is how Molly wants it, she needs to be protected.

Oh, another thing Emily did that disturbed Molly--she and her boyfriend bet on Molly losing her virginity at age 16. Emily is very invasive of Molly's privacy and you got it right--she is very passive-aggressive where Molly is concerned. She does not seem to be capable of a healthy relationship with Molly. I am able to keep my own boundaries in place and she doesn't impact me anymore but Molly is still learning how to do that. Emily controlled her for so long, it is hard for her to deal with her.

Thanks so much to everyone who replied--it means a lot to me,

scent of cedar

New Member
Jane, is it possible for Molly to begin using her middle name, or if Molly is a nickname, to begin using her given name from here on in? If the sister was callous enough to bet on when Molly would lose her virginity, I think you can assume the sister will spring the way she has used Molly's name on the real Molly when she is most vulnerable.

I had a friend whose given name caused her to identify so strongly with past abuse that she changed her first name as an adult, and began going by her middle name. She found that the name change enabled her to respond to events in her life in a much healthier way, and has never gone back to using her first name.

Perhaps this is something Molly could discuss with her therapist.

This must be tearing you apart.

Sending strength.



Hi Barbara,
I don't know if Molly knows that Emily is using her name--I don't think she does. So, I will let it lie for now but I think using her middle name (Suzanne) is a great idea if she does find out and wants to do that--or wants to for the other reasons you mentioned. I am going to keep it as a possibility to bring up with her if the occasion merits it, I think it is a great idea!