Saturday, July 02, 2011

Healing (1) Understanding your Dream of the Womb

Womb twin survivors spend their lives re-enacting their personal Dream of the Womb, which is created out of the imprint of events that took place when the neural networks in their brain were being laid down. Nothing, not even life itself, is more important than the Dream. The word "Dream" is hardly sufficient to describe the way this imprint in our brain drives our choices and shapes our emotional reactions throughout life. The imprint is so profound it feels more real than a Dream, and yet it is obviously not a Dream but a real memory.

Prenatal psychologists have realised that they frequently encounter the imprint of life in the womb in various ways while practising therapy with adult womb twin survivors. These vague impressions from the womb can be found in Dreams or under hypnosis, and can be re-enacted in symbolic form through creative activities or psychodrama. However, the Dream of the Womb is all-pervading, and subtly influences every moment of your life. It is not just visible during therapy or made evident in specially-created exercises. The impression is so vague and primitive that it feels as if it is deep down in your psyche and at the very back of your mind. I believe that this is not in fact the case: the Dream is right at the forefront of your mind. Here is how one person described his Dream.

Just in front of my eyes, my Dream of the Womb is like a matrix through which
I always view the world. This Dream is my way of being. In the light of day,
however hard I try, I cannot see through the cloud obscuring the meaning of
this Dream. It is with me always; I cannot remember a time without this
Dream. In the dark hours of solitude when there is no one there and all
there is is emptiness and stillness, out of the corner of my eye, I catch the
faintest glimmer of gold. It is elusive but it is always there, and it gives me
hope. It is like a light tempting me with the revelation of what came before
the Dream, but I am convinced nothing existed before the Dream. 
The Dream is all I have.

The Dream of the Womb is locked into the most primitive part of your hind brain, which was all you had when you were a developing embryo in the first few weeks of life. By the time you were capable of any kind of rational, logical thought, you were born and your wombtwin was long gone. Consequently, these vague, early impressions are beyond thought or description: the only way to express them is in a symbolic fashion, through patterns of behaviour. For example, it seems that the way womb twin survivors react to food and relate to others may be a reflection of their Dream of the Womb.

If you are trying to be your womb twin and be yourself at the same time, things get difficult. You are given to wanting to be two people at once and believe two things at the same time, so the only way to keep the Dream alive is to indulge in paradoxical thoughts. For example you may get the feeling that in some way you "don't exist" while being aware that you have to exist in order to be capable of thought. This is a kind of mental gymnastics, which is a sure sign of your Dream of the Womb at work. Paranoia is a common paradoxical idea among womb twin survivors: if the whole world seems to be out to get you, this enables you to feel like some kind of terrified, helpless victim, while in the same moment making yourself such an important person that everyone is watching your every move.

Womb twin survivors are not sure who they are. They spend their lives in search of themselves, and this is the basic confusion. They are in fact searching for their womb twin, who is a separate person but somehow feels like part of their most basic self. A fraternal twin of a different sex is somehow part of you, so you are unsure about your gender. An identical twin feels like the other half of you when in fact they are an individual in their own right. If you are a womb twin survivor, you are not sure who you are or what is really going on: - that's the Dream of the Womb par excellence!

There was no sense of time in the womb. The vague impressions are all jumbled up and in a mess, and everything is happening at once. This means you may feel as if you are somehow dead yet still alive; you may feel as if you are in a state of perpetually dying, or constantly fading. Yet there is also a grim determination to stay alive against all odds that is confused with guilt for having already survived. The identical twin that was formed when the zygote split feels like part of you and yet not part of you: part of you is here, and yet is gone.

Read more about the Dream of the Womb in this book


  1. Excellent summary- this is exactly how I have felt almost my entire life. Working on issues as best as I can. I follow your blog everyday and I am so grateful for really helps so much. Thank you.

  2. Happy to know that this helps. Keep going with the blog and the healing and remember I do provide personal support too, by email, skype or phone.