Thursday, November 01, 2012

Even the President of APPPAH met with scepticism when he discovered his lost twin sister in a "rebirthing" session!
Written by the president of APPPAH in a newsletter, 2011.

Dear APPPAH Members and Non-Members,
In celebration of APPPAH's 25th anniversary, I'd like to share the brief story of my entry into the prenatal and perinatal world. It occurred when I had my first birth memory, at the age of 28. I re-lived and catharted the trauma of birth, and its healing impact was profound, as you will soon discover. The healing created a certainty about the impacts of preverbal trauma, and propelled me into joining APPPAH, becoming a 27-year member (and still counting), a 17-year director on its board, and ultimately its president.

 The memory occurred spontaneously during a psychotherapy session in 1968. I was on a carpeted floor at Vanderbilt University doing breathwork (a reliable regression technique) when my body was triggered into an intense and unexpected upheaval. My feet pushed frantically against the wall, my body writhed and twisted, my lungs and chest spewed mucous. At first I was frightened because I thought I might be having a seizure, but soon I found I could control the intensity, and trusted that this was some kind of compelling and healing body memory. Suddenly, I had the astonishing idea that I was experiencing my birth, but I had never heard of such a possibility.

As my birthing-body moved toward the cervix, I became increasingly aware of my twin sister who was close behind me, and was much weaker and smaller than I. As the memory progressed, I became convinced she would die unless I intervened, and this provoked a depth of sadness I had never before encountered. I cried intensely and agonizingly about her impending death, but hoped for the best. My emotional and physical pain reached a peak when I reached back with my right arm in an attempt to pull her along with me, trying to rescue her before she died. As I stretched towards her hand, I felt a shooting pain in my right scapula and shoulder, a throbbing agony I had felt my entire life when playing sports or exerting my upper body.

I realized that in my failed rescue attempt (she died 12 hours after birth), I injured my right shoulder and scapula, and that this accounted for my ongoing scapula and shoulder issues throughout my life. In addition, after encountering and reliving the pain in several more regressions, I was pleasantly surprised there was no more pain, and that I had, for the first time in my life, pain-free and full motion in my right shoulder, that has lasted to this day. I also discovered that a childhood and young-adult pattern of rescuing others (particularly women) came to a pleasant end, providing a healthier basis for all my relationships. It was as if my rescuing had been an unconscious attempt to revive her, and to re-establish the intimacy of a twin. I was extremely discouraged and dejected when my therapist was disbelieving at the time of the session, and, after consulting with his colleagues, told me that birth memories were not possible, but only fantasies, and warned me about the dangers of fantasizing. But my student colleagues saw the changes occurring in me, as did I, and so we all believed something valid was happening. That was inspiring, and also a significant aid in my healing.

I share this story in celebration of APPPAH's anniversary, and pray that all of you experience healing in your lives. Please join us as members, as we can provide educational (conferences, journals, newsletters) and referral (APPPAH's resource directory) support for your healing journeys into the prenatal and perinatal world.
In your service,
William R. Emerson, PhD
APPPAH President

Did you encounter sceptidicm when you first realised how important the loss of your twin was to you?

Please tell us how it was for you:  leave a comment below or send your story to the Womb Twin site. 


  1. I don't tell everybody about the wombtwin I am. Some agree immediately but others aren't able to understand. I have no proof. One day somebody said he didn't believe I had a twin in the womb. This word hurt me and to me it felt that by declaring my twin "dead" he declared me "dead". And so it made me go search for proof and that's how I found wombtwin. So though I didn't like the words this person spoke, I do like the result in me finding WT and healing.

  2. Its hard when people don't believe, isn't it? I find being consistently jeered at by ignorant people a constant source of frustration in my work. I am so glad that as you are walking the healing path your twin is more and more real and you are more and more alive! The new healing book will be available by the end of this month - the ebook is all very well but this one is absolutely up to date with the latest research findings. It won't be long before the sceptics will have to admit there is something in this, when more and more womb twin survivors , healed and strong and ready for action, begin to take up the cause of making this more widely understood! There are millions of womb twin survivors in the world and there is lots of work to be done!

  3. When I found out, I decided to tell one of my closest friends. She told me she didn't think that was possible, and that I was probably going trough issues that I hadn't resolved because of other things that have happened in my life. It was hard to hear that from someone I was so close to. But I've come to a point where I'm ok with keeping this part of my life a secret. I don't talk about it, and just let people think what they want. So instead of talking to them, I write in a journal to my sister. It is very therapeutic! I encourage all WTS to try it!

  4. Scepticism is alive and well here in SA about WTS. The most sceptics are unfortunately in the Medical Field so it appears. About 6 months ago after a failed suicide attempt, I woke up to see a woman's face at my bedside. I said to her "I don't want to be here anymore", to which she answered "Yes my dear I know"! She knew nothing! I eventually told her, the
    (psychiatrist} why, and that the problems I had to come to terms with about being a WTS were to much of an added burden to my life. She answered "But your twin is dead"! Exactly! what did she think. That losing part of you means nothing? Even family and friends find it difficult to understand what an impact it can have on one's life, and some think. "Mmmm she is a bit crazy"! So yes I come across sceptics all the time. There is a lot of education to be done here about this condition.

  5. So sorry, Dee, that you felt bad enough to try suicide. I know, because I tried too 4 years ago. Right before I swallowed a boatload of sleeping pills, I told God in a heart-to-heart that I wanted to go be with my sister. I know He understood. The hell with all these naysayers and ignorant people who don't believe us (and don't even try to understand!) We just need to reach all those WTS out there who are adrift and feel alone. We know the truth!! Eventually, the people who choose to be enlightened (medical professionals and family and friends) will do so. Let's worry about ourselves and our community. God Bless you and all the other survivors.