Loneliness in Adult Twins

Last week my twin estrangement group discussed the profound pain, depression and emotional difficulties that loneliness brings to adult twins. Everyone in my group agreed that loneliness is an unwelcome side effect of estrangement.

In my own life experiences I felt loneliness and loss even after I got over missing my twin sister. When I was young I thought that we would work out our intense differences with each other. We spoke about missing each other profoundly but also wanting our own lives. I hoped that eventually the fighting would be over with, and we would be able to connect as we had as children. And I was wrong.

I felt that my problems were secondary to hers. And vice versa: my twin felt that I put myself first and should know how serious her issues were. There was no compromise.

I accepted that we would not be able to agree, but it lead to deep states of loneliness that were very confusing for me. I did not want to miss my sister or even see her. I knew she was ok without me and that we were just twins who could not get along. I wasn’t even sad. In fact I was relieved to close a chapter of my life that was far too hopeful and naive.

But the loneliness came spontaneously. I tried to tell myself I was not really alone. And truly, I wasn’t. I had a family and a career and lots of good experiences to look forward to. Even so, I still felt a desperate loneliness.

I racked my brain to figure out what was wrong. No one understood; even my most compassionate friends were baffled. Finally I found a solution that was truly soothing: working with twins who felt my pain and wanted comfort. It was healing. I no longer felt alone or a misfit.

The solution to my loneliness was to have friends who could identify with the feelings of emptiness due to my twin’s necessary absence.