09 January 2011


Few people understand the difficulties of being a surviving twin. Fewer understand that sometimes it's hard to cope with knowing that someone who should be there isn't, and even though you've never met him, he's a massive part of your life.

I've been thinking about him all day today. A phone conversation with my mom sparked it, and the flame hasn't gone out yet. It might take the rest of the night, or even the rest of the week for my mind to settle back into the groove of being half. It's hard. It's really hard.

I have no idea how to cope. I've never known how to cope. But even with all the long talks I've had with my mother, and the therapy I kinda went through in high school (for a completely separate incident; and that, BTW, is how I found out about my brother), and the soul-searching and wondering and crying and anger...I still haven't really come to terms with the fact that this other part of me, this half that I've never even met, is still gone and isn't coming back. I've never seen his face, never heard his voice, never smelled his cologne or teased him or hugged him, and he affects everything I do every day. I finally realized that I can't live life for us both, but dammit, I'm going to try. And I try too hard, and I fail, and then I get upset. Because I can't do it for us both when I can barely do it for me.

When something weighs this heavily, maybe it's a good idea to try to get some of it out... I don't know. All I know is that it's hard. Especially when my mom brings it up so flippantly. Especially when she waited until I was 15 to tell me, and told me during a therapy session. With my therapist, whom she started seeing WITH me for some unknown (i.e. forgotten) reason. My mom and I do everything together, even therapy, apparently.

What started all this? Today, nonchalantly, she said, "Guess what your father told me today?"

With my dad, it could be any number of things. Funny things, strange things, sad things... "What?"

"He told me that one night when you were 3, he was rocking you, and you looked up at him and asked him where your brother was."

Pang of sorrow, ache of regret.

"And he said, 'Honey, you have a sister. You don't have a brother."

You don't have a brother.

"And you said, 'Yes I do. Where is he?'"

I sat in a stunned silence. How could I know at 3 and then not know until I was 15? And HOW could they not tell me about him for 12 years?!

She droned on about him while I fought back tears, making small comments to push the conversation away from him. But nothing would dull the ache that I'd no doubt carry with me throughout the rest of the day. Rest of the week. Rest of my life.

My life. His life. Even without him physically here, our lives were still as intertwined as they'd have been had he survived.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood...

Two lives separated by happenstance.

And sorry I could not travel both...

Sorry I couldn't have you and life, too...

Sorry that you couldn't experience what I feel, see, hear, smell...

Love, sorrow, hope, beauty, emptiness.

I miss you.


agirlintheworld said...

Nothing I can say will bring comfort to your grieving heart. All I can say is that I, too, am grieving someone I have never met, who died before I could meet them. Society doesn't prepare us for this kind of grief. How can you possibly move on when you can't properly grieve? When you have no one to talk to about your sorrow?

*hugs* I am sorry for your loss. I hope you find a way to cope with how you're feeling.

All that aside, I found this website that I thought you might find interesting. It even has a forum/support group for fellow surviving twins. http://www.twinlesstwins.org/HOME.aspx

If you're not interested, I completely understand.

lexcade said...

OMG, thank you. Thank you so much. I didn't even know that there was a website for this. You have no idea how much it means to me that you would post it. Thank you!

agirlintheworld said...

Anything I can do to help. :-)

Deb Salisbury said...

Hugs! My heart goes out to you. I hope the website helps.

lexcade said...

Thank you, Deb. I've been reading a few articles on the site, and even though I've been crying through most of it, it helps to know that other people have experienced this and actually gotten on with their lives. The entire concept is intriguing and speaks to the itty-bitty psychologist in me. Already plotting a new novel.

Tracy said...

Aww, Lex. :o( Unfortunately, there isn't anything I can say to give you comfort, since I have no idea what it's like to go through what you are.

But it sounds like you're a little stronger, and have a little better handle on this, than you give yourself credit for. I think you WILL make it...for the both of you.

lexcade said...

Thank you, Tracy. I really appreciate the kind words. It's difficult, but it's just one day at a time. I had to finally tell myself that I couldn't live my life for us both, and that helped remove some of the weight. I've been reading a lot on the website agirlintheworld suggested, and it's had a pretty sizable impact on me. I think it'll help.

Kath said...

I can't begin to imagine how this feels and I'm sorry for your loss.

I agree with Tracy when she says that you are stronger than you give yourself credit. Although, I do think you are putting a lot of additional pressure on yourself, by wanting to make your life meaningful and successful for the sake of two people, rather than just yourself. So, cut yourself some slack from time to time. You are only human.

lexcade said...

Thank you. It's difficult to remind myself that I have to live for me and not for him too, but I am definitely working on that.

dana said...

AFTER my father died, my mother told me this story: "When you were born, your father picked you up from your cradle and said: 'this is the only new thing I've ever had'." Personally, I hated her at that moment. All those years, keeping his early feelings from me; constantly belittling him to me, and only AFTER there was nothing I could do to let him know how much I had cared...

It was hard for me to feel close to her after that. What seemed casual to her, well...she should have known what her words felt like: Betrayal.

lexcade said...

i had a lot of resentment toward my mom for a while. that revelation was only a couple of years after my parents separated (they got back together only a couple of weeks later, but still). everything piled on top of everything else led to a very chaotic mentality for me, especially since i was the one caring for her after she got fibromyalgia. i did a lot for her, and i tried to make excuses for her. i love my mom, i really do, but sometimes, she just doesn't understand that it's not as easy for me to talk about him as it seems to be for her.

i hope you and your mom reconciled.

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