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The Dream of the Womb

Althea Hayton

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.

Real events

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.

An imprint

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.

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