Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The fraternal womb twin survivor (1) compulsive caring

Compulsive caring or helping is an addiction, at least according to the PROMIS clinic in London. They say:

What is the difference between helpful helping and compulsive helping?
.......... helpful is where we care for others in our life – but we do not step over into taking on their responsibilities for them, which is what happens when we compulsively help. When I compulsively help, it is in order to run A.N. Other’s life for him or her and to take the focus off running my own life. When I feel good because I am focusing on someone else and I am unaware of anything else except what I am trying to do for the other person in my life, whether family member or friend, whether addict or not, then that is compulsive helping.

The fraternal (dizygotic, or DZ) womb twin survivor is completely different from the identical (monozygotic or MZ) womb twin survivor in many ways, but the difference is particularly acute with regard to helping others. The DZ womb twin survivor is focused outwardly towards Someone Out There, whereas the MZ twin survivor is focused on Someone In Here.

This means that in relationship to others the DZ womb twin survivor twin will notice where help is needed, while the MZ womb twin survivor is focused inwardly and will not see the need for help -or if they do, will not have any desire to reach out and offer it, lest there be some negative effect upon them as a result. For example, seeing a mother struggling upstairs at a railway station with a push chair and baby, the DZ womb twin survivor will find it impossible not to offer help, whereas theMZ twin survivor, concerned for their own well being, may walk past rather than risk injury lifing the push chair, and may even be critical of the mother for taking the push chair on the train at all.

This story may make the DZ womb twin survivor appear to be"good" and MZ womb twin survivors to be "bad", but this is not so: each one is keeping alive their individual Dream of the Womb. The DZ womb twin survivor is keeping alive their little lost twin, who did not have the strength or energy to survive.

For example,David Winnicott, child psychologist and probably a DZ womb twin survivor himself, wrote a poem a about his depressed mother:

Once, stretched out of her lap
I learned to make her smile
to stem her tears
to undo her guilt
to sure her inward death
To enliven her was my living.

See this article for more:

The psychologists can talk about "malignant identification with a narcissistic parent" if they wish  -and after all who am I to criticise their ideas? But this idea does not make half as much sense as Winnicott being a highly empathetic womb twin survivor whose sister was lost before birth and whose mother ( the replacent twin sister) was very needy indeed.

Truly, new knowledge about the psychology of womb twin survivors is about to turn some well worn psychological theories upside down......I hope I am still around when that happens!

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