As a twin, I have to endure living with a shadow of my self. This has been for 17 years, and will be endured for many more.
First off endurance is the ability to endure an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way. This is us in some cases, but some not. We live together, breathe to same air together and go through most major things in life together. Sometimes we can piss each off but then other days we sympathize with each other and enjoy each other’s company. Every day we have little petty fights whether it’s about clothes, school, and even boys but we always are there for each other in times of crisis. We have to endure living with each other, seeing one another nearly every minute of the day, but some days it feels kinda nice to always be around each other.
On the morning of October the 4th 2000 our parents had the privilege to called us their twin daughters. (Samantha) I was born first at 10:45 am and I was born at 11.00am, This means that we are 45 minutes apart. This is a very long time for identical twin births. We are called identical twins, meaning “a pair of twins who, as a result of developing from a single fertilized ovum, are alike in all genetic characteristics (including sex) and typically very similar in appearance.” “We are mirror twins”. This means, that I am left handed and I am right handed, I have uneven skin tone on my left thigh, I have uneven skin tone on my right thigh, but the determinate factor that made us realize we were mirror twins was out teeth. For instance, SAM: when I got this tooth out, I got this tooth out (so on). When we were younger we had cryptophasia. The definition of cryptophasia is a phenomenon of a language developed by twins that only the two children could understand. From the moment we could make noises to 4 years old, we had our own secret language that no one could understand but us. Both of us didn’t talk English till we were 4. We had the help of a speech therapist for a couple years till we actually became able to speak an official language.
Enduring the first 5 years of our lives was easy, cause we were so young and didn’t know what we were doing. It just felt normal for us to be around each other most of the time, for all we know we were just sisters that looked alike. The idea that we were twins didn’t really sink in till we were 5, where we went to school, when we made friends and when the teachers and principal couldn’t tell us apart it worried us. When we were around 8 years old we did everything thing together until we placed in different classes at school which allowed us to find our own individuality. We had different friend groups and different ways of learning which helped us become more unique instead of twin-like.
When you are born, a baby tag is around your foot and usually the baby tag is cut off your foot. But for us our parents asked the nurse to not chop off baby tags of our feet as there was no difference between us and they didn’t want to muck us up with each other. So until we were 4 months old our parents decided to keep our baby tags on so they could tell us apart. Another object we have to differentiate ourselves at primary schools was a pink breast cancer broach that Claudia/I would wear every day. Until the age of 7/8ish Claudia/I has to wear this so the teacher, principal and other students cols tell the difference between us.
Enduring the thought that our own parents didn’t even know the difference between us at a young age is slightly worrying. For all we know I could be Samantha and I could be Claudia, but I could be Claudia and I could be Samantha. Following on from this statement, when we were younger the most common thing that we would be called is “Twin”, and when either the name Claudia or Samantha is called we will usually both look as many get us mixed. We have to cope with this even to this day with many new people coming to school and in general meeting new people. At least I don’t have to wear a badge to tell us an apart. I feel that we have grown apart in our appearances and it is easier to tell us apart. Asking around, many of them said that the easiest feature they use to tell us apart is face shape, different mouth, lips and finally our hair length and thickness.
There aren’t as many twins in the world compared to other individuals. Many phrases that individuals say can get on our nerves time after time. Some like, “Whoa are you guys twins?”, “Can you feel each other pain?” this isn’t true I don’t physically feel what she feels. “Are you psychic?” Actually when we were younger we used to plan out a sequence of answers and trick people the thinking we were physic, So yes we are twins, but no we can’t read each other’s minds. “Are you guys fraternal or identical?” This is a reasonable question as people don’t know. But as we have already addressed you we are identical, not fraternal. “What’s it like to be a twin?” Our first and instant reply is “What’s it like not being a twin?” As we don’t know what it’s like not being a twin, like is their many differences, perks or cons of it? But being honest, being a twin is pretty cool as you always have a true best friend, without having to go out to meet with other people. We are always on the look out for each other, and share our emotions and sometimes both feel the same feeling, and finally, it’s double the fun.
We have to endure many awkward situations such as pretending to be each other. This is quite funny as we know so many things about each other that we can naturally pull it off. For one instance a couple of years ago, I was working at the Local Wanaka 4 square and a customer came in and asked where to find peanut butter and jelly were. He then said that I must have had a busy schedule because apparently, I was just working at Mitre 10 an hour ago, which was actually Samantha. Well anyway, I went on to tell him that I have two jobs straight after each other to gain as much income to get more money. This was all made up and a lie but he believed me and the day carried on as usual.
We need to give thanks to our parents as they had brought us up in this wonderful world. Strangely enough, years before our parent’s marriage, our mother visited a psychic in Christchurch, and her exact words said that was the vividly see our mother helping out her identical twin daughters. At first, she didn’t think much of this, until she received her scans years later with 2 identical twin daughters in her belly. Their first thought when they found out was the fear of how they were going to cope with 2 new borns and Jenaya, our 17 months older sister. Major changes had to occur, with selling a buying a new house for extra space, they had to sell their sports car for a station wagon for more room, change their itinerary and finally had to change the structure their whole life. As you would think, it was and still is a large financial drain on our parents, especially in the younger days. Now being individual teenagers we all have our own jobs and I have 2 jobs. At a younger age 2 of everything was needed to satisfy us, now not too much. But we needed 2 cots, 2 high chairs, 2 booster seats, 2 seater pram, double school enrolments, double formal tickets, double the dresses, double licenses, 2 laptops… etc. so you can see that this all adds up and creates a looming idea of debt which fortunately is under control with our father bring a bank manager and knowing the flow of the money in the household. Our parents had to endure the confusion and battle of trying different ways to tell us apart. Funny enough at 7 months I started to grow strawberry nevus. There are clumps of close and tightly packed blood vessel close to the skin. This causes me to sustain red marks on my body, one on my forehead and the other on my arm, where they are still faint remains of them that is visible. This became at easy determinate to stop all the confusion between us until 3. Our parents found it a struggle to treat us individually with presents and treats. As receiving the same gifts has become a norm for us as this is what we have been brought up thinking. Many presents are the same but different color when we were younger but now with different interests and eliminates this allows different ideas of gifts/presents.
At the moment the main endurance our parents have to go through is the license situation. Claudia and I are both on our restricted and so are Jenaya, so with 3 girls driving around is a scary thought for our parents. Our mother always says now we have ‘a license to kill’ as driving is a big deal and only at 16 years of age we are able to drive by ourselves on our own cars if we have them. I recently had a car crash, where a driver did not give way and I crashed into a tree, leaving the car ruined and unable to drive. So now and previously before the accident, our parents are very cautious about the times we drive and how urgent it is. As we are double, our parents receive double the sass, double the loving, double the hate and double the sweetness.
Endurance for our parents was a major factor they had to cope with every day. It was hard for them to make sure everything was exactly even, down to the same amount of chips in a bowl for a snack. Our loving parents would have to sometimes get an aunt/uncle or grandparent in to look after us so they can leave the house to be able to have to time out from their own children. This was a coping method they used to get away from us so we wouldn’t end up killing them with stress overload. Our parents have had to endure a lot of things when were younger and still to this day. We are very grateful for them as parents even when shit goes down at home.
To reinforce the idea that having a twin as a sister is crazy at times but is also a gift. I can assure you that being a twin is now our norm so don’t wish you had a twin as I have recently explained the pros and cons of it.