It’s been a while since I posted about telepathic twins and other freaky twin stuff, and it’s time to return to the world of the weird and wonderful. Unfortunately the trigger for this research is an unhappy event… my poor little boy has been in a cast past the elbow these past two weeks, and I’m not entirely sure when he’ll be free of it. He’s coping brilliantly, but I have been surprised how his accident has affected his brother. Is it possible twins feel each other’s pain?
It was bound to happen eventually… our first proper injury. But I wasn’t expecting something so dramatic at such a young age. Poor Arthur at 17months amputated the end of his finger using a chair. Yes, a chair – that can happen, and apparently we are not the first. Does it make me a bad person that hearing another child has lost a finger in this way makes me feel better as a parent? If you’ve ever had a child injure themselves you’ll be familiar with that Matrix-style circular slow-motion phenomenon, as you watch events happening before your eyes, yet you just can’t get there in time to stop it. While playing with George on the grass in the back yard, my attention was away from his twin brother for a moment. He was instantly up on the patio chair, stood, it tipped back with his figures curled over the back… and bam… a finger sandwich between patio chair and concrete. In total panic the missing piece of finger went on ice and the entire family bundled into the mom-wagon and headed for the ER.
We were all hysterical; but between two 17month-olds, a seven year old who’ll melt-down over a paper cut, and a Dad that suffers with anxiety and panic attacks; Mom was left trying to keep it together. But as the situation began to calm, and Arthur was in good hands at the hospital, one of us was still extremely distressed. And it wasn’t Arthur – it was his twin brother George. Was he just feeding off the air of emotions? Was he just wanting attention while we whirled around Arthur? Or is it possible twins can feel each other’s pain?
Twins claiming they share pain
Identical twins Angela King and Elena Gatt insist twins feel each other’s pain. From accidents, to morning sickness, to operations, they share it all. When Angela had her tonsils removed age 8, her sister was totally unaware and stayed with her grandmother during the operation.
‘Elena screamed at the exact moment they were removed,’ Angela said. ‘Grandma called mum and said there was something wrong with El because she was in a lot of pain.’ (Cindy Tran, Daily Mail)
While Angela happily recovered in hospital, Elena struggled to eat at her grandma’s house, because of her continued pain. They recall a similar story where Elena injured her knee while on vacation. Angela felt a sudden pain in her own knee and called immediately to check her sister was OK. To read more about these two, check out the Daily Mail article.
Sally Keeble and her sister Helen, were always skeptical of stories of twin telepathy and weird connections. However, when Helen fell pregnant, her identical twin sister started to experience morning sickness, 100 miles away. Sally then experienced sever stomach cramping in the middle of the night a few weeks before her sister’s due date. When she called to check on her, sure enough her twin had been experiencing early labor pains. Two weeks later Sally felt excruciating abdominal pain, following by dizziness. She remembered the time it happened because she was in the process of leaving work. When she got home, she had a message that her sister had indeed given birth at that exact time. For more on this tory, head over to the The Guardian.
In Telepathic Twins and Other Freaky Twin Stuff, I tell the story of Gemma and Leanne Houghton and the shared connection that saved Leanne’s life, have a read and see what you think!
Is there any science behind the idea that twins feel each other’s pain?
Identical twins are created from the same fertilized egg – no-one knows what causes the split, although there are theories. Is it possible that having the same DNA can connect you in such a way that you experience the same sensations at the same time? Despite much anecdotal evidence that suggests twins feel each other’s pain, science continues to find little evidence of such a phenomenon. And there are plenty of twins claiming there is no way this type of connection is possible, because they have been totally unaware when something traumatic has happened to their beloved sibling. However, there is a theory to explain this:
‘Researchers at the University of Indiana have studied thousands of twins and have noticed that the later they divided, the closer they become after birth. So it seems likely that this is the group most likely to experience telepathy’ (David Jones, New Dawn Magazine)
So a twin shouldn’t feel bad that they had no idea their sister was being mugged last night, you may have just been an early egg splitter. Of course, some twins never completely split, creating conjoined twins, and one of the earliest records of how twins feel each other’s pain is that of a pair of conjoined twins separated by an operation just after birth:
‘However far apart we are now we still have one and the same body, so that whatever impression, physical or mental, one of us perceives has its after-effects on the other’ says one of the Corsican Brothers back in 1844. (Benjamin Redford, Live Science)
Historically, the idea that twins feel each other’s pain has been ridiculed by science, and I get it… it’s a pretty wacky idea. In 2010 the Nobel prizewinner Brian Josephson was shunned from speaking at an event he was invited to, after it came to light he had been researching a connection between quantum theory and telepathy. His research was written off as an interest in the paranormal, and it was suggested that fellow physicists would no longer take him seriously. Now, anyone that’s read up on quantum theory will know it is some jaw-droppingly crazy sh*#; yet it is widely accepted enough to teach at school these days. So who knows, maybe telepathy and the idea that twins feel each other’s pain will too one day?
My own experience…
When it was time to sew the end of Arthur’s finger on, Daddy took George and Big Sister out to the waiting room to avoid more mass hysteria. It took some time to get sorted, because he was drugged to help keep him still and well… stuff in hospitals just takes forever doesn’t it? As the doctors were busy sewing the finger on, Arthur’s drugs began to wear off, and myself and a very large man were busy using our body weight to hold him down (don’t worry, the pain meds were still working, just not the dopey stuff). My phone starting bleeping with multiple messages that I was not in a position to answer…
“Can we come back yet?”
“What’s going on?”
“George is going mental… I don’t know what’s wrong with him”
We had already spent a number of hours in the hospital and both babies had understandably been a upset, but it was the very moment Arthur was having his finger stitched back on that George went crazy, despite being some distance from the room. Weird right?
That night, we made it home and were all exhausted. We managed to squeeze some chicken nuggets into the littles and off they went to bed. Arthur fell into a deep sleep, exhausted from the days events. George went to sleep but repeatedly woke up through the night, unconsolable unless I held him. All my kids are good sleepers, and I can’t remember the last time I had to get up in the night to go into the boys room. He just wouldn’t settle, and was so sad and miserable I ended up bringing him into bed with me. I am no co-sleeper, even my husband is told to move away when I want to sleep… I’m just not a cuddle sleeper. But George needed love and closeness, he was clearly experiencing some kind of trauma, and whether it was purely emotional was difficult to tell. He was so distressed I honestly considered giving him a dose of Tylenol, because he just seemed to be in pain. I didn’t, and he eventually went to sleep, but I can’t help thinking some kind of Twin Thing was happening.
Poor George has had to come with me to all Arthur’s doctor’s appointments which has been very stressful for him, but I presume he just can’t bear seeing his best bud and partner-in-crime suffer. Whether he’s experiencing physical sensations is impossible to tell at this age, but I look forward to questioning them about it when they’re old enough. For know, I’m just happy he’ll healing… we’re on our third cast and look forward to getting back to normal soon!
What do you think? Is it possible twins feel each other’s pain?
- Telepathic Twins and Other Freaky Twin Stuff
- Identical Twins: Why does the Fertilized Egg Split?
- Do Identical Twins have the Same DNA?
- 8 Things you may not know about Identical Twins;
- How to Tell Twins Apart;
- Questions Twin Moms are Repeatedly Asked and the Quickest Possible Response;
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