I’ve been thinking about which words have touched me, and I think for me it has to do with what I’m called! My parents gave me a name that they thought couldn’t be shortened into a nickname, but they did give me a middle name (Elizabeth) because neither of them had one…!
Anyway, the word that literally raised my hackles as a kid was being called ‘Hel’ or even worse ‘Hell’s Bells’ as a shortened form of Helen. I hated it! As I grew up though, I wished that I could have a nickname, but couldn’t see how this was going to happen. However, A. found one for me, quite accidentally, very soon after we got together. He calls me “hep” after my initials and I really like this monikier, ‘hep’ makes me think of the word happy and I like hearing him say it, it sounds soft and gentle!
I remember consciously changing my signature sometime after this. I always used to sign as Helen Palmer, but I now sign as HePalmer to include my middle initial and my secret name! I also use HeP to sign emails as well. I’m sure this was always why I didn’t change my name when I got married, I wanted to stay as HeP not become a HeM!
When I think back to my childhood I also realise that my Dad always called me HEP except he pronounces it as 3 separate letters – Haitch Ee Pee!! So, Alan and my Dad, plus my two closest girl friends call me HeP and I like the fact that I finally have a nickname and I like the fact that only my ‘family’ use it! I like the fact that I’ve retained and used my middle name and these are the words which make me feel happy and make me feel loved, cared for and special.
Just don’t ever call me “Hel”....
What great homework, thanks KatColorado :-)