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Anyone else the child of a twin?

(17 Posts)
NotSoSpecial Sun 30-Jun-13 20:39:54

I'm struggling a bit. My mum is an identical twin. Her sister is the 'dominant' twin. They lived miles apart when my brother and I were little so I don't really know my aunt very well, but now they are both widowed and in their 80's they are planning to live together, miles away from where I live.

This is fab - definitely a good move for them both as they hate living alone - except that I feel really pushed out by my Aunt. She is very dismissive of me and makes a lot of her ability to look after my mum, without ever discussing anything with me or finding out if I'm ok with things. My mum is not in good health (actually neither of them are but my mum is worse, having problems anxiety and memory and gets confused).

We had a bit of a family conference today with Aunt and Aunt's children, as they will now have two elderly relatives living on their doorstep. It looks as if the move will happen, but I feel like I'm losing my mum to her sister.

Does anyone else with a twin as a parent feel this disconnect?

Admiraltea Sun 30-Jun-13 21:00:04

Yep...mine non identical but understand the disconnect bit, though they would both argue the other was the dominant one. Sort of feels like I have 2 halves of a mum, and my aunt was hundreds of miles away when I was growing up.

They definitely sort of forget the parent child thing when they get together and any of us are around. More sort of chat doing the half sentence "oh yes" "hmmm" thing with no other actual aloud words said and look at us like we are aliens.

I think what helps me not feel like I am losing my mum is that I have had times where I have just spent time with my aunt or visited her on my own without my mum so I get which bits of her are like me too IYSWIM.

I am a single parent with 3 kids and the twins are on their own, they have a house each but sort of move between them, holiday together loads and when they get fed up with each other scoot off to their own houses.

The twin relationship sometimes feels more important to them than their children ....can't fathom it myself but I am grateful they have each other. Oh and my dad used to be really jealous and they just excluded him more.

QueenofWhispers Sun 30-Jun-13 21:03:07

I don't have a parent who has a twin, but I do have a parent who is ridiculously close to one specific sibling who makes me feel like I shouldn't ever be around my mother.

Growing up was difficult when it came to the two of them, she would call my mother 'mom' and often times make me feel unwelcome when the two of them were/are together.

Now that I've grown up; I've realised that my aunt is still quite jealous and territorial when it comes to my mother so I just let them have each other. It's easier to just act like I don't have a mother. From the moment my aunt arrived in my life (which was the day I was born) my mother has always had to make a choice between me or her. They would go off for days at a time leaving me with anyone who would take me, sometimes relatives, sometimes my dad (if he wasn't away on business).

I have never been able to call my mother 'mom' and mean it. I have never been able to go to her for comfort, go to her when I'm sick...never.

JustinBsMum Sun 30-Jun-13 21:05:54

Don't think you can do much OP if DM is just going along with all of this.

I, being a mercenary old bat, would want to know what is happening with regards DM's will. Will the aunt's family step in to help if ill health means that the twins can't cope? Who will pay for what such as carers and/or care home/s? Perhaps getting power of attorney (I think that's the term) to deal with DM's money if she is too confused might be an idea.

If things don't work out or one of them becomes poorly you might have DM back with you again in the not too distant future.

JustinBsMum Sun 30-Jun-13 21:07:22

things, not what! confused

boysrock Sun 30-Jun-13 21:15:43

Actually given your mums memory and confusion problems I would be more inclined to get her on her own and check exactly what information she has retained and what insight she has with what shes doing. If your dm knows exactly whats going on then great. If not I would be going to her gp and requesting an assessment of her. I would just want to check she was being bamboozled into things.

I'd also be concerned like justinbsmum as to what your aunts family is prepared to do as they both become more frail and require help.

If everyones happy and your happy then great if not then it may be down to you to advocate for your mum especially as she is becoming confused.

DeathByTray Sun 30-Jun-13 21:19:48

My mum had a twin brother. They also decided to live together due to my uncle's ill health and the fact his own home was in a shocking state.

He moved in with my mum (my dad died 10 years ago so she was on her own) and they spent a couple of years together before he died. We supported their decision to live together. They came into the world together and it seemed right somehow that they were together towards the end.

They both changed their wills in that time. My mum stated that, should she die first, my uncle should be allowed to remain in her home until he died.

We had no problem with that at all. The only thing we worried about was mum's own health was not great and she was becoming more and more a full time carer. To be honest, towards the end mum was really struggling and they started to bicker a lot.

NotSoSpecial Sun 30-Jun-13 21:20:23

Just I have POA set up.

My cousin is great and completely gets where I m coming from. She knows my mum quite well because she lived with us for a while.

Aunt won't discuss any scenario other than my mum getting well as soon as SHE is looking after her. She discourages my mum from involving me in her health/financial affairs, so I have to be quite firm with my mum. I think I will just have to learn to be firm with Aunt.

NotSoSpecial Sun 30-Jun-13 21:23:39

boysrock I have made an appointment with her GP. I think the problem is that my aunt is poo-pooing the need for all this 'interference' so my mum gets confused. If aunt backed me up things would be a lot easier.

JustinBsMum Sun 30-Jun-13 21:27:58

That's good.
Some people live for decades despite being 'old' or 'frail', some people's health deteriorates v quickly and they have to be whisked into a care home, so who knows how this will play out so just go with the flow, if your cousin is on your side, OP, it should be ok.

boysrock Sun 30-Jun-13 21:31:57

No idea about the twin aspect of things but it is common for elderly relatives not to have insight into their relatives condition. If everything can be put in place it should he fine.

However these arrangements can also be utterly disastrous at times. That isnt specific to siblings- elderly married couples can run into just the same problems. Think your gp is a good place to start.

NotSoSpecial Sun 30-Jun-13 21:47:11

I do feel left out when I'm around the twins. Aunt is a big organiser. Mum defers to her. Aunt makes little digs at me all the time. Its wearing!

Until now I have been able to call and visit when I want. From now on I'll be a 'visitor'. sad

hillbilly Sun 30-Jun-13 21:55:39

Notsospecial - I have no advice but hope the best for you. QueenofWhispers - how awful :-(

NotSoSpecial Sun 30-Jun-13 22:38:15

No idea about the twin aspect of things but it is common for elderly relatives not to have insight into their relatives condition. If everything can be put in place it should he fine

I get this. The twins both scoff at their sibling's doctors' opinions. Seriously - its like, 'well, x doesn't run in the family so it can't be that', or, I expect I've got y because that what twin A had'. Overrules anything the doctor says.

Their mother had bi-polar and killed herself in her 40's. I get that they had a hard time and inevitably turn to each other for support.

onefewernow Mon 01-Jul-13 08:37:53

Yes, my mum.

She had a twin brother, and he was definitely the dominant twin.

She barely coped as a single parent, and ran to him for heaps of minor issues which she could have sorted for herself had she wished to take the responsibility


NotSoSpecial Mon 01-Jul-13 22:55:55

My mum copes well on her own, but as soon as twin appears its like she turns into a completely different person. Its almost as if we all disappear and become insignificant.

I find it hard to be ignored by such close family, and to have my children ignored by their aunt. I swear she wouldn't recognise them in a line-up with a camel and a sheep.

My mum, on the other hand, has often told me that we are all 'alone', that she has no need of family, doesn't understand my need to be part of a family, while all the time having her twin in the background. Its really confusing.

NotSoSpecial Wed 03-Jul-13 10:12:20

Back here to offload!

Plans for moving are going ahead, but after I went to see my cousins Twin has told my mum how I have upset everyone (she is a bit upset because I did raise the issue of how excluded I feel - Twin responded as if my feelings are completely unimportant). Cousin is definitely not upset - quite the opposite!

Now my mum is also upset and getting anxious about me helping with her house sale and move, while acknowledging that she needs help. Called me up this morning saying how put out she was that I had made appointments on her behalf.

I think I am going to have to get used to being the evil daughter/niece.

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