I'm Cora, 33, surviving half of identical twins.
I seem to have a few things in common with Ashlee, whose story I read just now. I don't know if Mum knew she was having twins early on in her pregnancy, but from the third month on she did. Both Rianne and I suffered brain haemorrhage at that moment; she much more severe than I. Mum threatened to miscarriage, but somehow the doctors managed to stop it. From that moment on, or perhaps even before that, Mum spent her time flat on her back trying not to lose us.
At 6.5 months we had to be delivered. The doctors began to induce delivery on Friday evening, and in the early morning of Monday we arrived -- the sac still intact. There was a big black star in the sac on Rianne's side, and we were both born black with lack of oxygen. I don't know how I crawled through the eye of the needle there, but I did. Rianne died minutes after we were born. I don't know who was first.
I don't think I ever had a fascination with twins, but like Ashlee described I *knew* something was missing; I felt incomplete. I grew up looking for that something, not knowing what it was I was looking for, and never able to fill the hole.
I think it's about 7 or 8 years ago that Mum and Dad told me that I'd had a twin, and suddenly it all fell in place, much more still when a few months later they told me that we were identical twins. She was part of me as I was part of her; of course I felt incomplete! It's only been a year or 2 that I've known her name, and knowing it has somehow made it easier.
I too went through an episode of sexual abuse, which ended as recent as 1998, which is when I met the man who's now my husband. Meeting him eased the pain; it felt as if something fell into its place. The whole's not fully filled, it never will be, but the healing has begun.
It is strange. Last year I had a major crisis related to Rianne, coinciding with a critical moment in my mother's fight with cancer. At this very moment I fear for my father's health, and there she is again ... It almost seems as if my grief for Rianne acts as a kind of replacement for the pain and sorrow I feel for our parents ... as if my grief for her is easier to cope with because it is so familiar ... does that make any sense?
I'm doing a lot of thinking at the moment; looking for answers. I've always thought the soul entered the body at the moment of conception, but since identical twins are the result of a break-up of the embryo, that theory doesn't hold ... does the original soul split in two as well? And is that perhaps the cause of the physical split? Was the original soul too strong for the body, and is that why it split? So many questions, and never a firm answer ...
Do you guys ever think of who you'd have been if your twin had lived? How different would you have been?
I know Rianne foresaw the strife and struggle that lay ahead of us, and that she knew only one of us could make it ... I used to feel guilty for surviving, but then my husband gave his point of view: Rianne sacrificed herself so that I might live... It made me feel better.
I know I need to deal with my grief ... I can't keep running from it. I'm thinking of writing about it; a diary of sorts; maybe letters; I don't know. Something along the lines of Who would I have been if Rianne had lived? Where would I be? What would I be doing? And not just me, also Mum and Dad ...
I don't think I'd be here right now, if she'd lived. If she'd lived she would have been severely disabled, and I would not have grown up the way I have now. Mum and Dad would've had to share their love between us, and logically spend a lot more time with her ... I would probably have grown up jealous, and not the caring, openminded person that I am now. Or maybe I would've, and would have lived my life by her side, looking after her. IF ... that'll be the title of this exploration of grief.
Anyways, signing off now; I've got an early start tomorrow. Just want to say how glad I am to have found this group!