Amusingly, many of the twins who patiently answered the survey questions at my booth at the Twins Day Festival displayed a penchant for peeking at their twin’s paper to check out his or her answers. Most had no idea what they were doing until I laughingly pointed it out. Twins just do those kinds of things habitually—without thinking.
As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I was heartened to find out how consistent the survey findings were with the material presented in The Same but Different. For example,
- Young adolescent twins are most troubled by issues of identity and overdependence.
- Female identical twins struggle with enjoying their own successes when their twin sister is not doing as well.
- As twins become more independent and pursue personal goals, the issues of competition and ambivalence within the twin connection lessen.
- As twins age, they revere the twin connection even more. Their earlier conflicts, jealousy, and resentments pale compared with the comfort and security provided by their lifelong attachment.
I envision the twin connection as a flexible, tensile band, like a large rubber band. Each twin is holding one end, and both are attempting to assess how far they can pull without breaking the band. Each surface of the band has a particular significance. On one side is the twins’ wish to be forever connected both emotionally and geographically. On the other side is the desire to live as a whole and separate person, fulfilling individual longings and needs.
How much can the band give and still hold together these paradoxical desires?
Do you demonstrate a willingness to let go of or rein in the twin connection when flexibility and resilience must be exercised in the face of individual desires? Does your twin do the same for you?