The Dream of the Womb
Psychologists have theorised for a long time that our earliest experiences are hard-wired into our brains, and some open-minded psychotherapists are already witnesses to that truth. Piece by piece, a complex puzzle is being assembled from a wide range of disciplines. Scientists, psychologists, parents and thinking adults the world over are gradually coming to one inescapable conclusion: we all carry within us an imprint of our lives in the womb. For womb twin survivors, their pre-birth imprint is an extraordinary story of life, love and death that is distinct for each individual.
This variety of pre-birth experience has been a major problem for psychologists working with womb twin survivors. The spread of symptoms among them is baffling until one begins to reflect on the possible variety of womb experiences.
What’s in the Dream of the Womb?
Every person in the world has a Dream of the Womb, which is being constantly re-enacted throughout life. Nothing in the world is more important than that. The Dream drives our choices, fuels our desires and controls our fears. It is a strange place. It seems to be at the very back of your mind, as deep and primitive as can be, yet at the same time it is just behind your eyes and creates a kind of prism through which you see the world and everything in it.
It is a memory of long ago, yet it seems to be happening right now. It is a story about loss and being terribly alone deep inside, yet it is also a tale of love and intense happiness, once known but now lost. This impression of Someone Else There, and also of Someone Else Gone Away, is a terrible muddle. When you were an embryo, less than the size of a kidney bean and floating in half a wine glassful of amniotic fluid, you had a functioning brain but it was very primitive indeed. All you were capable of was a generalised vague awareness of your own sensations and things happening, without any clear idea of what was going on. For some the memory feels being in a bubble, closed off from the world.
However the Dream is a real memory of real events. It is a true story. Your Dream has in it certain general vague characteristics that reflect the original general vagueness of the impressions you were gathering. It is formless, timeless and beyond words. It is very difficult to discover, because it is so much part of what you have come to consider as your view of “normality”- whatever that means!
The Dream was built as your brain was built. The whole experience is “hard-wired" into the neurones of your brain. It is integral to your personality, written into your mind and seemingly inescapable. Your whole life so far has consisted of keeping your Dream alive.
When two or more embryos develop together in the womb, they are all being hard-wired for life in the presence of each other. This is how they can have some vague sense of one another, even in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. If you are a womb twin survivor, then the life and untimely death of your womb twin is in your Dream of the Womb and constantly re-enacted in your life.
This imprint of Someone Else lies somewhere just below the lowest threshold of memory, but I do not believe that it has passed out of sight and out of mind for all time. I have evidence from womb twin survivors themselves that the imprint is always held in mind. It is expressed in the body, mind and spirit of the survivor as a kind of lifelong, coded message. We now have the key to that code, thanks to ultrasound technology.
A twin pregnancy of about 10 weeks. The lower sac contains a live fetus but the fetus in the upper sac has died. The sense of Something or Someone being there for a while but now gone missing, will remain somewhere in the back of the mind of the sole survivor - the womb twin survivor.
This project, started by Althea Hayton in 2003, is the first project of its kind to explore in depth the psychological impact on the sole survivor when a co-twin dies during pregnancy or close to birth.
It would seem impossible that such an early event could leave an impression - but we now know it is true. So if you have always had a sense of being a twin, you are probably right, and above all, you are not crazy!
The Womb Twin Survivors Project pages are now maintained and administered by Womb Twin.
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Everything you ever needed to know about womb twin survivors. Womb twin survivors are the sole survivors of a twin or multiple pregnancy. This group, 1 in 10 of the population, includes survivors of a stillbirth, miscarriage, abortion and a "vanishing twin" pregnancy. It is a story of a twin bond broken by death, leaving a lonely survivor. Follow the links on this site and learn all about it!