I talk a lot about my family on here, mostly about my nephews I spend a lot more time with them then I do with anyone else…
One person I don’t speak about though, is my twin.
It’s not like it’s something I’m hiding, It’s just not a topic I’d ever thought needed talking about. Today that’s exactly what I’m doing, I’m sharing a bit of my life, he’s my other half ( so to speak).
Growing up with a twin means that to everyone else you’re never one person, you’re always less than a whole. You’re “The twins” or “The kids” “They/Them”. We were defibitely punished the same – to my upset!
Whenever our sister would blame him for something I got told off too, even if he admitted it “well I don’t know who did it but I’m very upset with you both”. Even times when we had grown up, perhapd 18-20 I’d get told that “You’re more responsible you should have known or couldn’t you speak to him?” No matter what we did we still got told off the same – a stern voice is always enough to reduce me to tears.
Not that I grew up resenting us being ‘The twins’ thinking that at all. I loved having something that was for me, it felt like he was mine and I didn’t have to share him with anyone, we were the same. Can you imagine, having someone that has lived through life with you?
We had similar experiences (of course) so it made it easy to talk with one another. Although if he ever tells you the scar on his knee is from a fall at primary school he’s stolen my memory – I have that same scar.
As an adult and in my late teens it became more obvious to me that we had always been “the twins”. In primary school we were stuck together like glue (I found out very recently that my mum had wanted us to have a strong bond and asked for us to stay together).
We were split up
Eventually we were put into all different classes, he was put in the first and second classes and I was down to 3’s and 4’s. We had completely separate friends and only really spent time with each other after school, on the walk home. It felt like we had been given free time and our own identities and, inhindsight I think I felt alone now he had gone – he really flourished without me though. He was social and had tonnes of friends!
Eventually he became the smart twin which only left the other option, the ‘dumb one’. I didn’t mind though, he’s ridiculously smart.
As we grew up, we left school and our personas changed. His friends had moved to universities and colleges and that’s not something he wanted to do, he became the quite one and I was the outgoing one. We still had labels for us as people; Loud,Tall, Quiet, Smart, Fat.
You don’t think of your siblings as a ‘category’ of your family do you? So why do we do that for twins?
As we left school and college was barely even part-time, we grew close again and spent a lot of time together, both living at home and both enjoying similar programmes, debates and hobbies.
Ofcourse that gives us plenty of reasons to spend time together, other than the fact that he’s my best friend. So I started to notice something, we would meet family and friends and be asked “where is your twin?”. It was really odd, noone had really asked me before, they might have asked my parents when we were a lot younger why one of us was missing but no. They were asking me where he was, why he wasn’t there.. it’s just that they expected us to be together.
It happens all the time, I go out for a meal with friends and family and I’m asked why he’s not here, or what he’s doing with himself.
I wonder… do they ask him where I am, what I’m doing?
Let’s talk about twin memories, there’s a lot of talk about whether twins have a ‘psychic’ connection. Now, me being a science gal, I’m not one for believing in hocus pocus. The thing is, I do have a connection with him. I seem to ‘sense’ his emotions, one particular instance springs to mind…
We were 9, maybe 10. I was sitting in a class listening to the teacher talk about history, or something, all of a sudden this wave of emotion came over me and I felt myself staring out of the classroom door with tears streaming down my face. I wasn’t sad or sobbing, it was just the tears flowing and this sad feeling in my stomach.
It turns out he’d been told off for flicking his pencil, or something to that effect, and the teacher we had at the time had a particular dislike for him so he’d cried about being told off, she probably bawled at him as I know she had to other students. He never really got told off at school it was mostly at home, and as someone in a teaching role myself I know that children are vulnerable and to change the tone of your voice is almost as bad as raising it.
I had no idea this was happening, I was on the floor with a different teacher and he was at the table at the other side of the room. Something similar happened a few years later, he’d been hit in the face by another child and I remember saying to my friend around the same time that I felt like he was hurt or upset. It wasn’t until the evening that I found out what had happened.
It just makes me wonder why I felt that way, perhaps it was coincidence but it seems to happen a bloody lot for that.
Did you ever sit and wonder what life would be like without you?
Or what it’s be like to be in the royal family? What if you had blonde hair? Would you turn out any different if something you think of as ‘insignifican’t were to have changed your life?
Well I did and I often wondered what we’d have turned out like if me and my brother were just that…brother and sister. What if we had been born a few years apart.
- Would I have been more confident? Would he?
- Where would we be in life?
- Would we have the same connection?
That last one is a big one for me, I love my brother. I know that if we hadn’t have been twins there’s no way we would have spent the same amount of time together. We wouldn’t have the same memories and we wouldn’t be..”we” anymore.
I think that having a twin changes your character, you have someone that backs your corner. Meaning you’re never afraid of confrontation. Which might be the reason for my super-human feelings of over confidence. You have someone to talk to when no one else understands, so you never feel alone. You either become the one that’s confident or the one that’s shy..because someone has to talk first.
You sort of asign yourself roles as to who should speak to mom, because she’s more sensitive to you. Who should ask for ice cream because they’re more likely to say yes to you.
Although, it has it’s downsides, like expecting the other twin to talk so taking s backsest in confidence was a big issue for me. knowing that you have someone to walk to the shops with meant we never felt confident to go out alone, even now we still walk to the local shop for a loaf of bread together.
Being a twin means you’re stronger together and weaker alone and that’s what I call ‘The twin effect’.
Well, that’s my take on being a twin. He’s the alter ego in a way, he’ll say what I’m thinking when I feel I can’t say it. He’s quick witted, sarcastic and temperamental but he’s also so much more then that. He’s the most kind, gentle and honest person I’ve ever met. He’ll always listen to me, or anyone when they need it and (for the most part) he’ll give you genuine advice.
I love being a twin.