Thursday, October 16, 2014

Having CP and Being a Twin

It's been a while since I've posted a Throwback Thursday photo and story here.  

This is my sis and me, age six, after the Twins won the World Series in October of 1987.  We LOVED anything Twins-related.  The ball team (in name only - we were never big sports fans.)  The "Twin" Cities.  I felt all of it had to do with us, because we were twins.

This is another photo where I was photographed without my walker or crutches (before I had a wheelchair.)  I think part of my desire to have my picture taken apart from these things was related to me being a twin.  In my mind, twins were exactly the same.  And my sis and I are identical twins, which made me even more convinced that we had to be alike in everything.

While we heard about and read accounts of twins switching places, we could never do that believably.  Even if my sis pretended to use my walker, I always had to hold onto something nearby, which gave away which twin I was.

All that said, I like this picture.  Even though I'm holding onto a chair, our similarities are evident.  Not only in our clothing and jewelry, but our body language and posture.  I love that both of us are standing with the same hip cocked.

Why am I talking about being a twin on my disability blog?  Because I think being a twin has a lot to do with the way I view myself and my disability and the way I viewed myself growing up.  Being a twin drew my attention constantly to equality and fairness.  Too often, I was only satisfied when both of us were given the exact same gifts at birthdays.  If my sister got the same gift but in a different color, for example, I'd instantly feel slighted, and I'd be lying if I didn't say I think it had to do with my having more severe CP than my sister.  People would always spot our differences first.  Because of that, we could never "really" be twins.  It made me extra sensitive to any other differences between us, even as innocent and innocuous as Tara getting something red while I got yellow, or her getting purple while I got pink.  Didn't matter that I liked pink or yellow more anyway.  At that point, I hated being different from my sister...probably because I always felt different enough on a daily basis.

I've evolved since then.  By nine years old, I started asking for my own specific birthday gifts along with the similar ones.   In middle school I began to become comfortable having my hair cut in a different style and dressing differently for school.  I'd like to think that helped me start to accept my disability, but that has taken a lot longer to do.  

I know for sure, though, that I can't imagine my life without being a twin...and I can't imagine it without a disability.

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