Life Lessons with Monica: Grieving for Growth
Sometimes losses in life knock the wind out of the sails of forward progress. Losses aren’t always in the form of a person, sometimes they are with a beloved pet, a dream, a home, a car, and sometimes with a sense of self. Whatever the loss, take the time you need to heal. Healing is how we honor what we have gone through, what love we shared with another being or thing, and the lesson for growth we have learned in the process. All of life is a journey, it is up to each one of us to choose how to make the most of it, how to be our best selves, and how to lead by example for others in the world.
There isn’t a single means of preparation to find out that you are the surviving twin as an adult. Even as a child this information is not one in which you could readily prepare yourself for. In the summer of 2019, my health was taking a turn for the worse. Fear coursing through my veins every waking moment, the only reprieve found was in the silent evenings when I would close my eyes and drift off to a medication induced dreamless sleep state. My liver enzymes were elevating continually. My muscles began showing signs of wasting away. I was dropping weight and lacked an appetite. When I would eat I would be full after two or three bites of food. I was surviving off of water and running on fumes. Trying to recover from two back to back surgeries from the spring, and many complications after attempting to treat my recently diagnosed immunodeficiency, Common Variable Immune Deficiency, nothing within my body seemed to want to operate at its optimal levels.
I was consumed day in and day out with the thought: I am going to die. I am just barely into my 30s and I have three kids, my life has barely started, and now I am going to die.
First off, I didn’t realize at that time that my thoughts have power. All our thoughts have power, manifestation power doesn’t always work out for the best possible outcome, despite the desire of the Universe to do so for you. When you are stuck in the cycle of constant negative thoughts and expectations of negative outcomes, that is what you are attracting to you. Your mind has a greater power than you know. It was crucial for me to change the way I viewed everything. Yet I didn’t seem to be able to, because at the time I didn’t understand. Instead I spearheaded a journey in the medical arena, with the help of my primary care doctor, to find answers. There must be something internally that we were missing, something the laboratory studies just couldn’t find.
It was this line of thinking coupled with a sense of being too tired to continue fighting and simply wanting to throw in the medical towel on my life and live as a hermit instead that brought forth the suggestion to do a DNA genome study. “Let’s go to the root of things and see if there is something within your genetics to explain what is going on.”
That is exactly what I did. Ordering the test, getting it, submitting it back to be run, and then getting the reports that were printed from the results the sequencing lab found were all the small steps that would lead to a discovery, a truth, and an opening for deep healing that would forever change my life. It wasn’t until many months after the test results were in that my intuition was niggling at the back of my mind that I was missing something crucial. As is common during spiritual awakenings, this was one of those moments where something was bothering me continually until it consumed me. Going from website to website, one journal article to another, and writing down different genes that are tied to Immune Deficiencies, I then searched where they were located per chromosome, and pulled up the DNA Explorer program that was tied to the company I went through for my studies. After nearly a week of searching, I came across something that simply didn’t make sense, there was a Y chromosome.
I had had two bone marrow biopsies, one in 2017 and another in 2018. Both of which did chromosomal studies, both of which resulted in the same presentation of a normal female karyotype 46,XX. Sure, makes sense. I’m female, I have birthed four children in my life, so of course it would show that. Then why did my saliva show 46,XY? Naturally my first thought was, it must be because of a lab error. I reached out to the company. They reran the DNA submitted, and it came back as the same results, 46,XY. They attempted to run it for a third time, but there wasn’t enough of the sample remaining. They offered to resend it, but there was already talk of the implications of the information that the sample results had been verified, not to mention the major genetic variants found matched perfectly with the health issues I had dealt with in the past and at the current time. The conclusion: I have chimeric DNA due to a condition known as Vanishing Twin Syndrome.
I am a twin. Or I was a twin for a short time in the womb. I had a twin brother, and he died. When he died I absorbed his DNA and his remains into my body creating an amalgam of DNA throughout my body, hard to pinpoint just what tissues were chimeric in nature, but knowing that at the very least my saliva showed my brother’s DNA and my bone marrow showed my own. The medical implications from that study are things I am still trying to come to terms with as well as attempt to solidify within a medical community that is designed to be as difficult as possible to find answers without costing a person their livelihood. Some things just aren’t worth finding answers on unless it is absolutely pertinent. What did need to be focused on was the part that too many people who are not Vanishing Twins struggle to understand.
I had always believed I was a victim of a vast karmic joke of the Universe. That I was meant to be a twin and that someday I would strike out on my own in search of the missing part of me I was convinced was somewhere in the world. Growing up, I had an imaginary twin best friend. I thought that was a normal thing, something that all kids felt and did, yet I would come to find out through this journey that it was not normal, it is a sign of someone who is a vanishing twin, also known as a womb twin survivor. When all this fell into place, looking back at my childhood, knowing that as a child I was a strong medium but there were events in life that caused me to block out my gifts, and thereby losing not only my imaginary friend, but my ability to see and speak to the spirit of my unborn twin brother. It would be years, 2021 in fact, before I had another medium who thankfully was able to confirm what I already knew, but needed to hear from someone else.
When you find out that you are a womb twin survivor, you have to face the loss. It requires a period of grief as strong as losing a sibling that you had grown up with and spent your life with. For a chimera, that is exactly what your lost twin is. The loss was so great that while you were in the womb, you couldn’t do anything to prevent it so in an effort to breathe life back into the life lost, you brought your twin into yourself, and on board for the rest of your life. In a big way, chimeric twins are with each other all the time, growing up together, experiencing life together, and when you find out that your twin was lost, you finally understand just why you have walked through life feeling a sense of permanent duality, loneliness so pervasive that nothing can remove it, and a sense of not belonging anywhere you are while simultaneously feeling as though there is somewhere or someone out there that you have missed but that you belong with. Knowing that person is not living, they are kept alive solely through the love you have for them and the imprint of their time in the womb with you upon your body, requires a deep healing and grieving process.
This kind of process is not one that is easy for others to understand. How can you grieve someone who was never alive? How can you miss something you never had? I honestly don’t have the how’s of these things, but I know that is what you feel, because it is what I feel, all day, everyday. Being a medium, I can connect, but I struggle with it. “Does he blame me? Does he feel like he should have been the one to survive? Does he miss me?” Many thoughts that are just like the thoughts you would have after someone you love dies and you realize there are so many questions you will never have answers to now. These are what you must heal. Everyone heals differently. They heal on their own time table, and in the way that is best for them. This is crucial. No one prepared me for the grief I would feel knowing my twin brother was real, had died, and was with me on the spirit side throughout my entire life. No one could prepare me for the depth of understanding myself that would finally come when I learned about womb twin survivors and what they think and feel, and know that I finally found people who understood that part of me.
You cannot prepare for grief, loss, and death. You can heal from it. Each moment that you allow yourself to slow down and feel the feelings that you don’t want to face, give them a name, acknowledge them, you begin to learn and grow from the challenges that you are enduring in life. All grief, all loss are difficult moments to make into something meaningful. You feel as though there is no sense that can possibly be made from a traumatic experience or from the loss of someone so meaningful in your life, but there is sense in it for in everything there is a lesson waiting for your discovery. Do not feel ashamed when you have moments in which you feel disconnected, lost, or even weighted down with sadness. Many people will see these emotions on a vibrational scale within the energy healing community or spiritual community as lower vibrations. I have learned that is not the case much of the time. If you are on a spiritual path and trying to maintain a high vibration during a time of sadness, know that your sadness is coming from a place of love and love is of the highest vibration. Sadness is a gateway for healing. Release anger and resentment, release confusion and doubt, embrace the sadness lying below the surface so that your healing may occur. This is how you grow through the grieving process.