One of our readers wrote to ask what we knew on this topic. I was unfamiliar with it, but in reading the research, am totally intrigued. Not much has been done on it, but Althea Hayton is making it her life’s work. She has graciously agreed to share, and we’ve broken it down to parts that will run on the Bereavement page the next few weeks. As you read, as questions arise, please write to the Bereavement Editor. The questions will certainly be included in the interview.
Part 1 Physical Evidence
2 PSYCHOLOGICAL EVIDENCE
3 Emotional Evidence
4 Interview with Ms. Hayton
5 January 2011, a review of her book
This article sets out some of the many ways in which wombtwin survivors can
Part 2 - Psychological Evidence
SCHIZOPHRENIA OR AUTISM are included in various research reports on pregnancy problems as the possible cause of many serious psychiatric disorders. The loss of a twin in the womb is also due to pregnancy problems.
HYPERSENSITIVITY is often a characteristic of Wombtwin survivors. Extremely attuned to their environment, usually have acute hearing, and are easily distressed by too much activity, stress or stimulation. Wombtwin survivors are acutely aware of, and very sensitive to, other people and their moods, particularly around sadness or hurt. They react strongly to the atmosphere generated within a group.
STRONG INTUITION AND EMPATHY is an outworking of hypersensitivity.
Wombtwin survivors have an uncanny ability to “read” a room or a person.
Like so much in the life of a wombtwin survivor, highly developed empathy is both a blessing and a curse. Wombtwin survivors get tangled up in other people’s lives, take other people’s feelings upon themselves.
BEING CONCERNED WITH DEATH is not at all surprising if we consider that Wombtwin survivors’ first formative experience was being in a very intense, intimate relationship with Someone Else in the womb who died.
VERY EMOTIONAL. Wombtwin survivors can go “over the top” in the way they express their feelings.They may be described as “moody”.
SURVIVOR GUILT. Wombtwin survivors feel driven by some inner force to live life to the fullest and overflowing. They are very aware of the fleeting nature of time and the shortness of life. They are great initiators, as long as someone else can come and take over at a later date and bring the whole thing to fruition.
STRONG IMAGINARY LIFE. In their rush through life, wombtwin survivors can sit still and quiet. They can be patient people with a strong capacity for endurance and survival in difficult conditions. They may talk about “a strong inner life” that enables them to endure pain, long periods of forced inactivity or solitude.
PROBLEM WITH FOOD AND EATING. Almost invariably, wombtwin survivors have a problem with food. This is such a strong association that one is tempted to believe that all people with food issues are wombtwin survivors! Problems include sensitivity to various food ingredients, eating disorders and obesity.
FEEL DIFFERENT. Wombtwin survivors see the world differently from other people. Other people may notice this too, and many wombtwin survivors are seen as “strange”, “the odd one out” or even “weird”.
DIAGNOSED WITH A “PERSONALITY DISORDER”. Because wombtwin survivors think differently, doesn’t make them crazy. When the concept of wombtwin survivors is introduced into the diagnosis, then things become more rational and clear.
CAN’T LET GO. Some wombtwin survivors have certain beloved possessions that they could not live without. As parents, wombtwin survivors find it hard to let go of their need to feel close to their own children. They seem to suffer more from any lack of emotional contact with them than the average parent. They can survive on minimal emotional contact with loved ones, but a complete absence of contact causes extreme emotional pain: too much of a reminder of the loved one who was lost.
NOT FULFILLING POTENTIAL. Wombtwin survivors are trying to be two people at once and its impossible to do this without compromising one’s life. Wasting life, deliberately sabotaging any chance to ever make anything of life. There may be lower self -esteem with self – hate. Some wombtwin survivors take steps to sabotage their lives so their full potential cannot be met. There are many millions of people who, despite advanced years, remain immature and never seem to learn. There may be a sensible and logical reason for this behavior - they are wombtwin survivors.
DEEPEST NEEDS NOT BEING MET. Wombtwin survivors may deliberately choose not to meet their physical needs. They may starve themselves, dehydrate
or rob themselves of sleep. Wombtwin survivors may choose to upset their parents, landlords or employers, so they get thrown out of their home or fired.
Wombtwin survivors may choose not to engage in close relationships. They will give love, but have a problem receiving it.
CRAVE CLOSENESS AND INTIMACY, but don’t develop it easily. They may never allow themselves to have it, or may make commitments instantly.
NEXT WEEK: PART THREE – EMOTIONAL EVIDENCE
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