The death of the self image
Trauma Healing

The death of the self: on toddler troubles, being human and name change

Sounds like an absurd combination of things and what does it have to do with the self? So here’s what happened last week – a mush of emotional turmoil, child’s excrement and personal transformation.

My 2 1/2 year-old son Sylvian woke up in the middle of the night with a dreadful cough. He was wheezing and it sounded like he was barely able to breathe. I’ve never heard him like that, it sounded like he was suffocating. Together with my partner we wondered shall we go to the Emergency department. A short while later my son went back to sleep, still wheezing but at least able to breathe.

In the morning the first thing to do was to go to the local clinic for a check-up. He was still coughing, which sounded more like barking, and somewhat enjoying himself listening to the funny noise he was making.

Just a day before Halloween and when the seasons are changing, you can only imagine how frantic everything was, especially clinics. I heard on the radio that at this time in Ireland the GPs have about 4/5-day waiting lists! We had no choice but to try to get in and wait for the doctor on duty to see our kid. This usually works and after waiting for about 30-40 minutes you can be seen without an appointment. Every parent knows that this often is the case with the little ones – when they get sick they need to be seen immediately.

We were instructed to wait, hoping that he’ll be seen. We waited nearly an hour (and that’s A LOT for a toddler) only to be given an appointment later on in the afternoon.

As it usually happens on such days, when you’ve barely slept during the night because of your sick child, you’ve rushed off early in the morning, you’re worried and tired, the little prince refused to go down for his nap. Tired and wired, soon we had to go out again to the clinic.

In a nutshell, Sylvie is a child bursting with energy and could not possibly be still for more than 15 seconds and any sorts of distractions usually fail after that amount of time. The only thing that works for him is movement.

So we are up and down the stairs in the clinic. And the cherry on the top – he does a poo, in his pants! Wrong time, wrong place, but you gotta do what you gotta do, even if that means you have to put his soiled underpants in your bag! Of course I’m thinking we could be called any minute and leave the door of the toilet halfway open so my partner could find us if we’re called.

My partner couldn’t find us. We did miss our call. So at that point I’m fuming – tired of waiting and smelling of sh*t and ready to take out my anger on anyone and anything. It’s already 50 minutes waiting and at this point Sylvie has broken free from the building. I’m about to lose it while my partner is trying to extract him safely from climbing the railings outside.

I make an attempt to talk to the receptionist. I am visibly upset and unable to hold my feelings back. The response I get is, “We already called that name”. And I’m thinking, “And?” But I don’t say anything and turn my back to the people staring bluntly at their computer screens. I sit down and continue waiting for another 10 minutes. Then I get up, walk way, and declare to my partner, “I am never coming to this place ever again. Never!”

We go to another place where they have only 2 doctors compared to 7 at the first place. We are welcomed and reassured, and although we don’t get to be seen straight away, we are treated with compassion and understanding.

At the end of the day, that’s all you want – a bit of humanity. Especially when the patient is an anxious little boy with a breathing difficulty.

We get back home and I feel like all I want to do is drink wine and eat crappy food – drown the feelings, suffocate the emotions. We get through the evening somehow and after Sylvie goes to bed I want to update some info on my blog.

I have been thinking of coming up with an artistic name and changing my blog’s URL address which uses my birth name. And here comes the subject of the self.

In one astrology book I read about a planetary aspect that I have which is described by an irresistible urge for change. In any possible context. And often in my case – a change which involves the destruction of everything that has existed prior. That planetary aspect sometimes also manifests as a change of names.

Oddly enough I have thought of changing my birth surname before. Being a carrier of a very long Bulgarian surname makes it difficult when you live away from your home country. My partner and I are not yet married, thus he and our son both have a different family name from mine – a very common Irish name. And you know what, I don’t want to be the foreigner and stranger (even in my family) anymore!

I love my father’s name – Svetoslav, and we named our son after him. But carrying this name is also part of my old self and if I’m to make a change and move on, maybe I do need to change my name. First in the artistic field and then in real life.

So I went on and I changed my blog’s URL address. As a result, I lost all my social media statistics. All the hard-won Facebook and Twitter shares I had on my posts were now extinct.

When I realised what I’d done it felt like being back in the doctor’s waiting room. Something happened, I did something, and it was gone. First my appointment, then my social stats. I was losing it.

I went to bed with no decision what to do. But my partner did mention that this might well be saying goodbye to my old self. Ironic and symbolic. I could’ve gone back to reclaim what I’d lost but that would mean going back to my old name, my old self.

Or I could stick with my decision that I need to move on and embrace the new, even if that means sacrificing my social credentials and changing my GP.

So it was a shitty day – literally! I lost my cool, I lost my doctor, I lost my social shares. I felt lost. But I did make a tiny step towards a new beginning.

A new self.

Have you ever felt a part of you is dying? And that you need to let it go so you can move on with your life? Do you believe every death is a rebirth as well? Share in the comments!


Vilina Christoph is a spiritual writer and uses the power of words to help others on their journey of healing and recovery. She distills challenging life experiences into meaningful lessons and practical wisdom. She believes that finding our voices and speaking our truth empowers us to transform our lives and reach long-lasting fulfillment.

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