Loneliness and the Vanishing Twin Syndrome
Categorised in: Professional Resources
Loneliness is an unnatural and painful emptiness which haunts all human beings from time to time. People who have dissociative identity disorder [DID] suffer in the same ways as mono persons do, but also have the added confusion of thinking alters are adequate substitutes for other people. We were made for relationship with our Creator God, Jesus Christ. When we are not in relationships with other people we can be abysmally lonely. We can even be very lonely in a crowd. I want to share usual reasons DID people suffer this problem, reasons which many of you may be well acquainted and address the vanishing twin syndrome which is not as well known.
A DID’s lack of trust due to a majority of life experiences being full of untrustworthy people, makes it difficult to have healthy relationships. Trust is a foundation for any relationship.
Ps. 17:6,7 I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God…shew thy marvelous lovingkindness, O thou that save by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them.
Some people get healed to a certain stage and then stop. They believe there is no one for them to have a friendship with and have depended upon an alter/s for that socialization. This thinking is based upon their history. They need encouragement to believe that some of alters actually caused problems which they may not have been aware of at the time… usually thinking they were protecting the original person [OP]. That is not likely to happen after healing and integration.
Even after integration, they may choose to disintegrate themselves in order not to be lonely. This is fallacious thinking because the alters are one and the same person and there is no true relationship actually occurring.
Some people have not learned good social skills during their healing. These skills are necessary for relationships. They are vital because dissociation is a coping skill which needs to be replaced with other healthy coping skills. Dissociation works well for a child but not an adult.
The book Success is the Quality of the Journey by Jennifer James explains the difference between loneliness and solitude. She says both are chosen.
I like You Because by Albert J. Nimeth says people are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges. When we judge others as rejecting us, being less or better than us, we do not build the bridges to be their friends.
It is important to teach the value of all people and our design by the Creator to be loved and to give love. We were not designed to judge. Omniscient Almighty God is the only one qualified to judge others. Helping them to identify their judgments against others and teaching them the freedom which only forgiveness can bring is essential for healing. Many people do not want to forgive or do not understand it.
We highly recommend As We Forgive Those by Charles F. Finck. It is extremely reader friendly.
There are many different triggers which drive us to loneliness. A picture, movie, song, smell of certain foods or scents, a place, certain weather, a news article, a phrase or observing people in relationships are a few which can provoke that empty, often self -pity, hollowness.
Loneliness can also be a result of low productivity. When a person is not involved in something deemed important and purposeful to them there is a sense of not belonging or being connected.
Our job is to educate the DID person to the fact that they are not alone.
Our job is to educate the DID person to the fact that they are not alone.
God has told us that He will never forsake us and that He is always with us and available to us. It really does not matter if we feel His Presence…although it is super great when we do. It is important to talk with Him as though we see Him there with us. We need to teach them listening prayer. It is helpful to teach them little exercises, such as one we have published on video entitled “A Favorite Tool: Chasing the Blues and Connecting with God.”
Ps. 28:6 Blessed be the Lord, because he hath heard the voice of my supplications.
- The lonely people we care for often will report the following signs and symptoms:
- feel excluded
- destiny malaise
- need control
- feel like a failure
- non -competitive
- overly competitive
- feel abandoned
- feel great grief
- others do not relate
- fear death
- feel lonely
- have death wishes
- perform for value and love
- have survivor’s guilt
- take responsibility for others
- sabotage relationships
- believe they do not deserve good sweetness of life
These are also classic reports of people who are twins or a part of multiple conceptions. Although these reports can, in part, be attributed to many other conditions, most of the above are experienced by people who have experienced a vanishing twin.
The vanishing twin syndrome was first discovered in 1945 upon examination of a placenta without a twin along with a singular birth having its own placenta. The fetal tissue had been absorbed by the other twin/multiple [three or more] placenta or the mother.
With the advent of ultrasonography more and more fetuses were observed to seemingly spontaneously vanish. The ultrasound could detect a twin in the first trimester but with repeated tests there was no twin. Prior to the 1970’s it was common medical practice not to tell patients the whole story, which explains why some parents did not know their child had a twin who did not survive. If the parents did not know, they would not be able to tell the other twin of the fact.
It is estimated today that in 1980 there were 70,000 vanishing twins and in 2009, 140,000. Questions arise about this always being the case and we are now able to observe it or is this a newer problem for the unborn? Risk increases with age of the mother. If the mother is 20 years old or younger the risk is 16/1000 live births. If the mother is over 40 years old the risk is 70/1000 live births. A fetal death in the second or third trimester is considered a high- risk pregnancy for the surviving twin.
The purpose of this information is not to be a professional paper but inform you of some facts which may be helpful to the person you are helping. History is vitally helpful to the healing process. I want to correlate the symptoms of your special person and the events in the womb.
Thomas Verny, M.D. with John Kelly wrote a remarkable book in 1981 entitled The Secret Life of the Unborn Child. It was based upon two decades of research. It explained that the unborn is capable of learning, able to warn you of medical problems you and your doctor may not be aware of, able to hear and respond to voices and sounds (including music), sensitive to parents’ feelings about him/her, capable of responding to love… an active feeling human being, not just products of conception. Their work stressed the importance of the womb experience affecting the remainder of a person’s life.
PS. 139:13-14 Thou it was who didst fashion my inward part; thou didst knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee, for thou hast made me with awe; wonderful thou art, and wonderful thy works.
In 1989, Elizabeth Nobel noted that the surviving twin often experienced despair, anger, grief and great loss.
The survivors often feel seriously lonely and like they are living life for two people. They may be confused about discerning between their destiny and that of their twin’s. They strive to be connected but on the other hand greatly fear that connection would be too painful, so they often sabotage relationships which are proving to be good! Life in the womb of twins is very intimate. Many of us have seen Youtube accounts of twins’ closeness even after birth. They know each other and communicate with each other in the womb. Many of us have witnessed them holding hands. You may be questioning this, but the spirit is quite mature at conception and people remember events in their lives even before their physical brains were formed. There is current research to be found on line regarding teaching infants in utero and other validations of our capable personhood in the womb.
There is current research to be found on line regarding teaching infants in utero and other validations of our capable personhood in the womb.
Since we know that certain things contribute to the death of a baby in utero, it is prudent to ask the survivor about events in their mother’s life. These are some things to ask about in their 1-4 month’s gestation:
- auto accidents
- hit in abdomen/stomach
- a fall
- high fever hyperemesis [violent vomiting]
- long labor
- history of twins in family
- uterine cramping
- symptoms of miscarriage
- bleeding and pelvic pain
- an extreme emotional experience i.e. a sickness or death of a loved one
It is believed that some of these deaths are due to abnormalities in the early stages. Generally in the first trimester, mom and baby have no signs nor symptoms and progress of the surviving twin is excellent but depends upon the factors that contributed to the death of the other twin. If the twin dies in the second or third trimester, there is a risk to the surviving fetus for cerebral palsy. A frantic sense of competition can develop to survive. Negative attitudes towards the vanishing twin and mother for their situation can also occur.
If the twin dies after the embryonic period of gestation, the water within the twin’s tissues, the amniotic fluid and placental tissue may be reabsorbed. This results in flattening of the deceased twin from the pressure of the surviving twin. Survivors often have serious survivor’s guilt or want no competition. This results in flattening of the deceased twin from the pressure of the surviving twin. Survivors often have serious survivor’s guilt or want no competition.
Once the baby has died, the mother’s body views it’s body as a foreign substance and produces enzymes to reabsorb the tissue. The other twin gets flooded with these enzymes too. This can result in many allergies or the sense of fighting for life! There can be great fear and shock. They may develop severe control issues due to fighting to control their environment to survive. They may feel great failure because they could not prevent the loss of their twin nor control of the environment. They were there while their twin was wasting away! What grief! What loss!
There could be great guilt for taking nutrition. As I wrote this, I think the Holy spirit alerted me that this could be a source of anorexia.
And now, how lonely!! They may develop a sense of not deserving and therefore be poor at receiving. They may be fabulous givers but sabotage any relationship which gives to them. This could result in money problems. Many of these survivors are in the caring professions i.e. nurses, physicians and social workers.
They may decide in the womb that they have to be perfect to be loved and therefore become performance oriented. Their need for safety induces parental inversion. They are afraid to bond for fear of the pain.
You will often hear that others do not relate to them. Well, certainly not the same way they learned to relate to their twin! They are often the child not chosen. They often relate better to older people than peers.
In conclusion, be sure to separate any personal grief from that of those we minister to. People can be greatly wounded and lonely due to losing a twin in utero. It is important to know the cause of this grief, to recognize its results in the person’s thoughts and to test if these thoughts and decisions are true. There is a need to bring forgiveness for all involved and especially the surviving twin who may blame themselves for the death of their twin. Give them permission to grieve the loss of their twin. Grieving is a necessary step in healing. Often Holy Spirit reveals the twin to the survivor…what a glorious event for healing.
copyright 2017 A.C.A.C.I.A. LLC
American Pregnancy Association americanpregnancy.org
The New English Bible
Verny, Dr. Thomas and Kelly, John. The Secret Life of the Unborn Child,
Dell Publishing, New York, New York, 10036, 1981.