Monday, September 19, 2011

DZ survivors - a fear of abandonment

Experts (who do not know about womb twin survivors) have given a name to the complex of psychological effects that characterise womb twin survivors, the name is "Borderline personality disorder" and the commonest effect is a fear of abandonment.  (See full description here)

(It surely does not have to be said here, that this group of psychological effects if not a "disorder" of any kind but a perfectly normal response to a rather unusual pre-birth situation - the lost of a twin before birth. )

 Here is a quote from a BPD sufferer:

A lot of people with BPD do experience this. I know when I had BPD I often felt that way too. What I learned in my own recovery was that the reason I felt so alone to begin to with, and the reason I'd feel even more alone when with or in the company of someone else or others was because I was emotionally disconnected. When one is emotionally disconnected and more or less wrapped up in aspects of their own experience, experience that in BPD is highly negative, more often than not, it's like there is an invisible wall of glass between you and others. It is a painful place. It is, at least, in part a protective response to abandonment issues that remain unresolved.
The "abandonment issues that remain unresolved" are of course the sense of being left alone when  your twin died or was miscarried and left the womb entirely. 

The fear of abandonment leads  to what has unfortunately been called an "attachment disorder."  In particular this is anxious attachment,

This was written this week by a womb twin survivor who has kindly allowed me to publish her story :
When I read or think about a twin dying, I feel incredibly sad. Very very sad. To the point of tears, I tense up, my stomach has a horrible feeling, I get goose bumps, it's terrible. Its been that way since I was 7 and read a story about a set of twins, and one was missing in a forest. Apparently, they used their 'twin connection' to find the missing one.. my mother explained it to me, I felt like I already had a great, full knowledge of what she was saying.  I can't explain the feeling.  It's like my physical self is missing.. like I should turn around and find something to make this go away. Like there's almost a skip in my heart beat.  You know the feeling when you realize something, like, say you went on vacation and left your wallet at home, you get on the plane, and remember that you dont have your wallet. It's kind of like that, but deeper.....
The sense of abandonment is like  the twin connection has been broken by events, but the heart connection remains.

The healing is to realise that this connection can never be broken, for love is stronger than death. 


  1. My youngest has a very strong attachment to me (I'm his mother), my older two have a an equal loving relationship with me and my husband, but my youngest is all me. He literally adores me, loves the way I smell, always smelling me and for a 6 yr old is very good at paying me compliments too. I belong to him. I know I lost his twin at about 10 weeks and I have always felt his attachment to me was making up for the loss and he feared another loss or abandonment.

  2. When a boy child loses his twin sister before birth, his mother makes a good twin replacement. It is important that he separate his feelings for you and his feelings for his lost twin, so that you can be his mother and not his sister and he can get on with being your son. Check out the Womb Twin Kids project for ideas.

  3. That's really interesting, thank you, as I always felt I lost a girl (even though I have no proof) & I even gave her a name.