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Might you be a lone-twin?
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Do you think that you might be a womb twin or multiple?
Yes - I'm a twin, 100% certain.
30%
 30%  [ 3 ]
Yes - I'm a twin and possibly a multiple.
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
50/50 - could be.
20%
 20%  [ 2 ]
Nope - definitely not, singleton and proud!
20%
 20%  [ 2 ]
This is barmy. What happens in the womb doesn't matter a whit!
30%
 30%  [ 3 ]
Total Votes : 10

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:22 am    Post subject: Might you be a lone-twin? Reply with quote

I've been thinking about starting this thread with a while. I found out last year that I'm a womb twin and it has made a significant difference to my life. Given the nature of the Kevin's Watch community my intuition tells me that there is likely to be a significant number of lone twins here.

A lone twin is someone who was conceived as a twin (or a multiple) but who was born alone. Due to advances (over the last thirty years) in medical science it has been discovered that up to 1 in 8 people are conceived as twins. Since only 1 in 30 are born as twins this means that a significant portion of the population (approx. 8-10%) are lone twins.

Here is a list of some of the psychological signs associated with being a lone twin:
Quote:

I am hypersensitive, both physically and psychologically
I am highly intuitive and very empathetic
I think a lot about death and dying
I am a very emotional person
I am always very busy
I love two-ness
I have a strong, imaginary inner life
I have some kind of problem with food and eating
I feel different from other people
I have been told I have a “personality disorder”
I have been diagnosed with schizophrenia or autism
I find it hard to let go
I know I am not fulfilling my potential
I know that my deepest needs are not being met
I know I avoid getting close to other people
I feel as if I am a “suffering survivor”


There are many consequences to being a lone twin, some negative, some positive, but most of the negative ones arise from not knowing that you are a twin. The main advantage of knowing is that it explains many feelings and experiences that are inexplicable to others and that seem 'crazy'.

The best website that I know of for information about the subject is Womb Twin.

A very good book on the whole subject is: The Twinless-Self by Jim Cogley. (It's a bit expensive, so I wouldn't recommend buying it, but if you saw it second-hand for a good price it would be worth checking out.)


Knowing that I am a lone twin has helped illuminate otherwise confusing and inexplicable experiences for me; my hope is that by bringing this phenomenon to more general attention others may benefit in a similar way.

ussusimiel.

[EDITS: to remove broken links and add a new one.]


Last edited by ussusimiel on Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:37 pm; edited 3 times in total
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So...they think that they can tell whether you had a twin that never developed because of psychological signs? I dunno...

If I did, I probably cannibalised mine. Twisted Evil

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This test is not very well structured. For "signs in my life" it requires you to select at least one option that suggests you think you might've been a twin. There's also no option for n/a or not sure for the psychological ones.
Quote:
So...they think that they can tell whether you had a twin that never developed because of psychological signs? I dunno...

The longer test (the one I took) didn't purport to have any diagnostic ability. Just collecting information.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I found that out after I took it. Then I took the shorter one, which was a sort of screening test, but it was only ten questions and the range of answers was much narrower (yes/no/not sure).

I am guessing I was probably not a lone twin. I only answered "A" to a couple of questions, and I know of other reasons for those responses.

Interesting topic, tho. Cool
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
So...they think that they can tell whether you had a twin that never developed because of psychological signs? I dunno...

That's the situation in my case. I've spoken with my mother about this and there were none of the physical signs. In my case the evidence I gathered is solely psychological. For years I looked for other psychological explanations for my distress: separation anxiety, personality disorders, birth trauma and so on, but none of them ever really fit. I would guess that it's a fairly familiar pattern with many lone twins.

Avatar wrote:
If I did, I probably cannibalised mine. Twisted Evil

LOL

And this is actually quite a common phenomenon among twins in the womb and can often lead to eating problems and relationship problems. The relationship problems come from wanting to 'swallow' the other person up. Been there Big Grin

Holsety wrote:
The longer test (the one I took) didn't purport to have any diagnostic ability. Just collecting information.

My thread title is a bit misleading. There is no test, as such. My purpose was to attract attention so that people would engage with the idea. Lone twins may find the material quite intriguing, for others it will be of limited interest.

aliantha wrote:
Then I took the shorter one, which was a sort of screening test, but it was only ten questions and the range of answers was much narrower (yes/no/not sure).

The short questionnaire is not really of much use, but I included it so that people who didn't have much time could get a sense of whether this subject might be relevant to them or not.

Thanks for the responses, guys. I know this topic is fairly out-there, which is why I waited a while before posting it.

ussusimiel.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most online "psychological screening" tests or quizzes to see if you have something or are a likely candidate to have somethings are usually designed to produce a "yes" answer. The people who take them are either doing so for a laugh (the minority) or are really looking for an answer to a nagging question in their life (the majority). Those folks in the majority are more likely to believe something they read online and before they know it they have the symptom or condition or whatever it was the quiz was trying to see if they had.

Seriously? Womb Twin Survivors? That is simply another ridiculous psychological or pseudo-physical condition for people to have. I suspect that a pharmaceutical company will have a pill for this in only a few years...which means they are probably the ones behind this questionnaire and/or "study" in the first place--it is the first stage of marketing, which is to create the need or market for a product.

Why don't "womb twin survivors" view themselves as fighters and winners? Why do they have to have problems? They won! That is something to celebrate, not bemaon the "loss" of a "twin" who might never have existed in the first place. *sigh*

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hashi Lebwohl wrote:
Most online "psychological screening" tests or quizzes to see if you have something or are a likely candidate to have somethings are usually designed to produce a "yes" answer. The people who take them are either doing so for a laugh (the minority) or are really looking for an answer to a nagging question in their life (the majority). Those folks in the majority are more likely to believe something they read online and before they know it they have the symptom or condition or whatever it was the quiz was trying to see if they had.

Seriously? Womb Twin Survivors? That is simply another ridiculous psychological or pseudo-physical condition for people to have. I suspect that a pharmaceutical company will have a pill for this in only a few years...which means they are probably the ones behind this questionnaire and/or "study" in the first place--it is the first stage of marketing, which is to create the need or market for a product.

I agree that the questionnaire does tend to produce a 'Yes' answer and while there is no pharmaceutical company behind the website there are books and some services you can buy. However, in defence of the website (and the person responsible for it) I will say that its focus is mostly to provide information and there is a lot of free content. In my limited interaction (via email) with the owner of the website I have received valuable assistance for which there was no charge. I will also say that people I trust know the person involved and they assure me that she is on the level (I would not have included the link otherwise).

Hashi Lebwohl wrote:
Why don't "womb twin survivors" view themselves as fighters and winners? Why do they have to have problems? They won! That is something to celebrate, not bemaon the "loss" of a "twin" who might never have existed in the first place. *sigh*

Good point. Personally I prefer the term 'lone twin' (because it is simply descriptive) to 'womb twin survivor', which is obviously more loaded. However, again I will say that the term arises from the more negative feelings associated with the experience which can include grief, loss, and 'survivor guilt'. The more positive aspects of being a womb twin, such as: increased empathy, increased vitality (through the sense of living for two people), and a broader sense of the possibilities of life, generally can't be appreciated and embraced until the more negative apects have been acknowledged and dealt with.

I appreciate your input, Hashi. It's helpful to have a strong skepticism in relation to this kind of material so that a solid sense of perspective is maintained.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great post, Hashi. I was going to ask if thinking that this is utter bullshit was a sign that you're not a lone twin, but you covered it a lot better than my smartass comment.

Honestly, this reminds me of astrology. People like to think that there is a *special* reason for their perfectly normal feelings of alienation and existential angst, but unfortunately (or fortunately, depend on how full your glass is) this is just part of What It Means to Be Human.

Show me a scientific basis for this, and I might change my smartass opinion. Until then, I'll point out all the images I can see in the clouds.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ussusimiel wrote:
The more positive aspects of being a womb twin, such as: increased empathy, increased vitality (through the sense of living for two people), and a broader sense of the possibilities of life, generally can't be appreciated and embraced until the more negative apects have been acknowledged and dealt with.

I appreciate your input, Hashi. It's helpful to have a strong skepticism in relation to this kind of material so that a solid sense of perspective is maintained.

ussusimiel


Well, I won't argue against those positive attributes since there is nothing wrong with increased empathy, a quality which, in all honesty, I lack (in case you couldn't tell). I have seen so many of these types of quizzes over the years, both online and in the self-help sections of bookstores (browsing the titles there is always good for a laugh), and typically they are targeted specifically to people who are looking for answers.

A true skeptic is someone who disbelieves the evidence of his own sketpticism.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hashi Lebwohl wrote:
They won! That is something to celebrate...


Laughing Right on. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
Show me a scientific basis for this, and I might change my smartass opinion. Until then, I'll point out all the images I can see in the clouds.

As is often the case, Z, you have spurred me on to do some research. I never thought to look for a scientific reaction to this phenomenon (as I assumed it would be trenchantly dismissive).

Twins are used in lots of studies as a control of genetic factors but few (if any) actually relate to studying the nature of twinhood itself.

In terms of womb memory studies have shown that babies are reponsive to classic conditioning and habituation from the week 30 onwards, but since the loss of the twin that I'm talking about generally takes place in the first trimester this is not relevant. The kind of memory I am talking about is prelinguistic and held in the body's energy field, which is why it is in the area of holistic and alternative therapies I'd expected this to be taken seriously (scientists will be busily cloud-watching Laughing ).

Probably the closest I could come to finding some sort of scientific recognition of the phenomenon was on the International Society for Twin Studies website:
Quote:
Twins and higher order multiples have unique: conception, gestation and birth processes; health risks; impacts on the family system; developmental environments; and individuation processes.

And this is only by implication. The quote refers to twins who come to term whether they survive or not. I do know that there are also some interesting consequences for the surviving twin in relation to the deceased twin's tissue and hormones but I can't find the links at the moment. If I find them I'll post them later.

Personally I am more interested in the psychological and emotional consequences of being a lone twin because, in my experience, these are the factors that have the most impact on people's lives.

u.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I took the second test and found it really vague. There was even a question that forced me to pick an answer slanted toward the twin thing with a no 'none of the above' choice. Based on the leading questions, I would say definitely no for me, if such a condition exists.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ananda wrote:
I took the second test and found it really vague. There was even a question that forced me to pick an answer slanted toward the twin thing with a no 'none of the above' choice.

Apologies, Ananda, if the title for this thread is a bit misleading. There is no test as such, I chose the title to attract attention so that people would become aware of the phenomenon. The questionnaire is a less-than-perfect way of finding out whether it applies to them or not.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At least with us this way some people will have taken the survey who weren't already convinced they are this twin survivor. I would think most people who find it did so because they were already looking for information on that topic and so probably had that tendency to think they were that condition.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2012 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Internet quizzes. Good for finding out what you think about yourself. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ananda wrote:
At least with us this way some people will have taken the survey who weren't already convinced they are this twin survivor. I would think most people who find it did so because they were already looking for information on that topic and so probably had that tendency to think they were that condition.

The questionnaire is probably designed more to collect information than make a definitive assessment of whether a person is a womb-twin or not. When I took the test it said that I probably was, whereas I am now certain that I am one, so, while the questionnaire ranges across a wide variety of signs, it doesn't delve in depth into them in a way that would increase its accuracy.

In my case the evidence comes from the patterns of my relationships. They are inexplicable in any ordinary sense, but apply the context of a lost female twin and it is quite easy to see what is happening.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ussusimiel wrote:
Ananda wrote:
At least with us this way some people will have taken the survey who weren't already convinced they are this twin survivor. I would think most people who find it did so because they were already looking for information on that topic and so probably had that tendency to think they were that condition.

The questionnaire is probably designed more to collect information than make a definitive assessment of whether a person is a womb-twin or not. When I took the test it said that I probably was, whereas I am now certain that I am one, so, while the questionnaire ranges across a wide variety of signs, it doesn't delve in depth into them in a way that would increase its accuracy.

In my case the evidence comes from the patterns of my relationships. They are inexplicable in any ordinary sense, but apply the context of a lost female twin and it is quite easy to see what is happening.

ussusimiel.

Without going into details, could you talk about the inexplicable patterns such a person experiences generically to put your conclusion in context with this condition? I am curious to know more about what you are talking about, but I don't really understand yet, I think.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ananda wrote:
Without going into details, could you talk about the inexplicable patterns such a person experiences generically to put your conclusion in context with this condition? I am curious to know more about what you are talking about, but I don't really understand yet, I think.

I appreciate the interest, Ananda, and I have been deliberately vague about the details of my own personal situation because I want this to be a thread that provides information rather than one that gets caught up in the more personal elements of the the experience itself (another thread maybe).

When I talk about patterns in lone twin relationships I suppose I am firstly talking about the primal pattern of who the other was in the womb. Whether your twin was a male or a female means that all your relationships with that gender will carry an extra importance and will have a greater intensity. (In romantic relationships there is a possibility that this could be related to the idea of a 'soul mate'.) It may be reflected in parental relationships where there is a more intense relationship with one parent than another, similarly sisters and brothers.

The pattern spreads a bit more widely as well, in that it is much more likely that lone twins will be attracted to each other for the simple reason that they will understand each other better and feel more accepted and understood. (When I now look at my friends I realise that they are probably mostly lone twins.)

The extra intensity of relationships with people of the gender of the lost twin has a really powerful effect the first time that one of those relationships comes to an end (due to death or a break-up). This is where the lone twin phenomenon, for me, becomes obvious. The initial triggering of the experience of losing our other half can be devastating and it is generally out of proportion to the actual relationship that has ended. In the case of the death of a parent it can cause extended breakdown and depression. In the case of a romantic relationship it can mean that the person can't seem to get over the other person and get on with their life.

In my experience the implications (of being a lone twin) for relationships are profound. It affects many aspects of relationships and it explains the intensity of certain relationships over others. While the effects can often be negative there are also an abundance of positive ones. The human potential for empathy and understanding is powerfully activated in lone twins. The ability to mirror and occupy the other person's place and perspective probably explains why so many lone twins become healers (or interested in sociology Laughing). A lone twin's angst does not arise from a feeling of separation from others or the world, but rather from a frustrated sense that the potential for real connection (as experienced in the womb) is not being properly activated and experienced in society (to everyone's detriment).

There's plenty more to say about this, so if you have any more questions feel free Laughing

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the examples. I think now I am wondering why the theory is about this lone twin thing and not just childhood experiences? I mean, how is this theory justified so that we can know this is the case and not genetic predisposition and early childhood experiences?
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ananda wrote:
Thanks for the examples. I think now I am wondering why the theory is about this lone twin thing and not just childhood experiences? I mean, how is this theory justified so that we can know this is the case and not genetic predisposition and early childhood experiences?

Good questions. I'm not sure how much (if any) research has been done to compare the psychological differences between singletons and lone twins. The phenomenon is still relatively new in scientific terms and has only really come to notice since early-term sonograms have become a regular procedure.

Distinct from a single-born person, probably the most important distress that a lone twin carries is the grief for their lost brother/sister. This grief is immune to all talk therapies because it is prelinguistic. It often manifests itself in works of art: paintings, sculpture, poems and music, so it does repond to the therapies that focus on the non-verbal. However, there is an crucial element that has to be addressed that can only be done in the knowledge of the lost twin and this is the cutting of the ties. There are many therapies that focus on cutting ties (especially the maternal ones) but unless the ties to the lost twin are acknowledged and consciously cut then the distress remains. (It also makes cutting the maternal ties virtually impossible if there is a lost female twin present. This has been my experience.)

Twin-loss is not a neurosis, which can be really annoying for the lone-twin because you can be psychologically strong and healthy and yet feel held back and hindered by an inexplicable distress. There is often a sense of unrealised potential which can lead to frustration and depression. The positive side to this is that self-exploration and development are almost enforced with a consequent reduction in egotism and an increase in spitituality. (Again, this has been my experience.)

On the less positive side because lone twins have lowered psychological defences and difficulties with boundaries, they are vulnerable to scapegoating (as in the theories of R.D. Laing) and to predators of all sorts. (Twin-loss may also be implicated in those romantic relationships, that seemingly defy any logic, where one of the people (usually the man) is abusive.)

In terms of genetic dispositions I am not really sure what these might be unless it relates to depression and in this case there would need to be some large scale studies done to see what the correlations were.

ussusimiel
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