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.