There are varying opinions on whether being a twin is a blessing. Parental opinions, sibling opinions and everyone else’s. I think most people feel that for better or worse you have a built-in, sometimes mirror image friend. Yikes!!!
My sister and I are identical twins. People always think that twins are best friends. They imagine how wonderful it is to have your twin as your best friend your whole life. Someone to travel with and someone to grow old with and someone to hang out with. I sometimes wonder if in their minds people picture twins sitting in rockers at the old age home, still dressed identically and looking identical. It doesn’t always work out that way.
While doing some reading, I learned twins are usually no different than regular siblings, of which we had 3. Disagreements, likes & dislikes, all that not so fun stuff siblings deal with as they grow up are front and center. To this I can attest having had these battles with all my siblings.
Sometimes it becomes twins battling for their voice to be heard and for their individuality, battles of which twin can outdo the other, just like regular siblings, no matter what the situation. The younger twin, like the youngest sibling, usually has something to prove.
At any rate, the comparisons between my twin and I, WOW! Believe me, no one wants to be dressed the same as another person even as children. People always cooed over the twins, how cute they were dressed alike, walking alike, the same hair style, the same voice (talk about freaky!) and reaching the same milestones. As a child we didn’t know any better but as adults, it wasn’t as much fun as people thought, constantly being on display and compared. But in the 60’s and 70’s we were children, so what choice did we have? All those things our parents wanted we did, even the same voice.
As they grow up, no one ever asks the twins what they want. The display continues and individuality is not even a thought.
Things changed when we graduated from high school as we took different paths. We had stopped all the sameness habits some years before. Finally, in our time to distinguish ourselves, it didn’t matter how old we were or how mature we had become; the comparisons, as I learned, would always be there. Ugh.
Like in any relationship, my doppelganger and I had periods of good & bad, mostly good times, but we tend to remember the bad instead of the happy or successful times. Days of fun and jokes in the same math class were sometimes spoiled. Our twin powers failed some days.
Twins, people expected, will get along and do everything well together…but we had known our battles and differences would eventually catch up with us. Skeletons in everybody’s closet always rear their ugly heads when you least expect it.
As adults, we developed the same commitment to helping others, something we had seen and learned growing up. The twin powers came to the rescue when our older relatives or siblings needed help. The two of us shared a home for 16 years plus a seasonal business. We still have the business to this day, but those twin disagreements and that individuality caused a lot of friction.
Other times we came together like most people do. Tragic times of loss within our family or when we saw the value in buying a house together when the market was low and living in it until the market rose again, then selling it for a hefty shared profit. Like spa vacations in the mountains or by the seashore in New Hampshire or a vacation in a cottage we owned in Maine. The twins did these together.
We have had our fair share of disagreements and moments of success that have changed our relationship. There is such a thing as too much togetherness with a twin. Sharing space, opinions, ideas or just coming to an agreement on things we shared became difficult.
Looking back, I see that we have outgrown our twinness and grown into a non-twin sibling relationship.
Life experiences and goals have changed our opinions and paths. Wanting, once again, to seek our own individuality, we sold that home of 16 years and went our separate ways. Today, we have separate condos, but they are right next door to each other. Separate but close.
Twins don’t think alike for their whole lives. Life changes people and things. We were no different. That happens with both twins and siblings. We need to take a step back and reevaluate We’ve lost what we had in common and the value of family.
Whether twins, siblings or friends, don’t wait until it’s too late to try to make amends. You can achieve harmony through communication, tolerance and understanding.