More on Vanishing Twin Syndrome

January 15, 2011

The more I read about Vanishing Twin Syndrome, the more I believe it is the reason why these people show symptoms of borderline personality disorder. Imagine the sense of loss a survivor must feel when the other sibling is lost. This is all happening right as the mind is being formed:

There is a great deal of speculation about the psychological and emotional impact of Vanishing Twin Syndrome. Due to a deep longing for some undefined, missing part of themselves (it seems no mate can quite fulfill), single twins (survivors) may experience problems with:
…. relationships and/or even with their sexual identity
…. often suffer from unreasonable feelings of responsibility or guilt
…. may experience troubling, recurring dreams of their twin
…. fear of sleeping alone
…. fears of sudden loss or abandonment
…. profound loneliness
…. eating disorders
….“hearing voices”
…. extreme emotional sensitivity
…. even schizophrenia or multiple personality disorder

Looking at this laundry list, it’s not hard to figure out why relationships seem impossible with someone like this. No partner could possibly be expected to fill this void. It’s not hard to figure out why they rush into commitments and why the fear of abandonment is so intense that it triggers a flight/fight response. And while they may blame their partners for triggering their insecurities, the truth is these are all primitive instincts forged before the twin survivors are even born.

The Lost Twin

8 Responses to “More on Vanishing Twin Syndrome”

  1. janice said

    That explains a lot of my feelings. I absorbed parts of my twin ( complete third kidney system, extra vertebrae). I feel a sense of abandonment that even a spouse can’t fulfill. I try hard to be a people pleaser for fear of losing someone. My entire right side is where all my ailments arise from head to toe. I think that is where my twin was in utero.

    • savorydish said

      Thank you for sharing your story Janice. That’s interesting how your ailments are on the side your twin was. Sorry for your suffering, but maybe this tells us how profound the loss of a twin can be.

      • janice said

        Thank you for your response. Another thing I’d like to add is the personality factor. There is a lot of conflict going on as to whether I continue my life style as is or be more adventuresome. Part of me is screaming to be on my own. My kids are grown and as I said my spouse can’t take away these feelings. I started out wanting to be independent instead due to turns in life I ended up going the married with children route. I wonder if this is a psyche inherited from my twin that needs fulfilling.

      • savorydish said

        Hey Janice,
        From what I understand, the symptoms of VTS mirrors BPD. If that’s the case, then such feelings could just be a fear of intimacy. (a result of losing your twin) It is not unlike borderlines to rush into marriage because of insecurities. But once they are in it, they feel trapped and suffocated. Believe it or not, this is the fear of abandonment that is making you feel tied down. You have emotionally detached to protect yourself, which is why the marriage has lost meaning. On the other side, you may have developed an addiction to honeymoon high. Once the honeymoon is over, there isn’t enough intimacy to keep the excitement going. Be careful, because this need for adventure may be an impulse to sabotage the relationship. It’s kind of complicated. But it can be broken down to this: love=pain=detachment=boredom.

  2. B said

    This piece actually helped me, I was diagnosed with mild BPD a couple of years ago. Before I knew I had lost a twin, when I was little, I would get angry because i didn’t have a twin sister, I would think I was being punished because I couldn’t have a twin.

    Since I started playing with crayons I would repeatedly draw half a face, always one side missing,this continued until college, I was fascinated by twins, even envious at times, and eventually my mom told me about her “miscarriage” and I finally understood.

    I’ve dealt with the difficulty to get attached, the jumping to commitments, the feeling of not being whole, and the constant search for something to fill the void, but I’m slowly learning to deal with it and control it.

    It was great to read this, thank you for sharing.

    • savorydish said

      I’m glad it helped. It’s a shame that the medical community has yet to acknowledge the connection between BPD and the lost twin. But to those who have experienced it, this knowledge is a relief. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Ciny said

    I am thankful to read this. I’ve always felt like something is missing. As I was growing up, I sometimes felt a deep sense of grief. I would cry, then my mom would ask me what is wrong. I always told her that I did not know. Then when she forced me some more to get answers, I told her I felt like half a person. Other times I would tell her that it felt like there should have been two of me. Of course she just thought that her child was silly or something. In high school it got worse. It turned into depression. Relationships don’t last and I get bored so easily. I don’t want to tie myself to anything. When guys get too close I push them away. It’s like I am always on a roller coaster ride. For months I feel like I don’t want to see people, like I can just live my life in isolation, then I will go out and not get enough of partying. It’s like I don’t have balance and I don’t know how to fix this. This year I have discovered the meaning of VTS. I have found that my mom did not know that I was part of a twin, but I know now for certain after the research I have done,I have always known! I have to tell you that love=pain=detatchment=boredom is what is making sense to me at this moment in time. I am currently struggling with major love issues.

    • savorydish said

      Thank you so much for sharing Cindy. It’s hard to believe the medical community has not yet confirmed what so many other people have. I know your life hasn’t been easy, but hopefully having this info out there helps makes sense of it all. Have you looked into DBT treatment? It seems to work for people with BPD. It could also work for VTS. Good luck.

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