Questions you’ve always wanted to ask twins, answered.

​Well, these past few days have actually been pretty eventful. As some of you may know, that’s because every year from August 3rd to the 5th is know as Twins Day. Every year since 1976 there’s a ginormous gathering of twins in the city of Twinsburg, Ohio. And as even less of you know, I myself am an identical twin. Yep, you might’ve seen some pictures in the gallery and thought I just had a similar-looking brother (that has happened before, by the way). But I am indeed a twin, and as identical as they can get.
Now, the one major thing that comes with being a twin is something that becomes apparent at a very early age for most. All the time, when meeting someone and they find out you’re a twin, a specific battery of questions is bound to follow. Not that it bothers me–most of the time–it’s just that it’s the same exact questions every time. And some of these questions are so asinine that I physically groan every time I’m asked them. Of course, I  always try to answer out of respect for their curiosity, but still, I sometimes cannot help but to be annoyed. Here are the most common questions that I and my twin brother have always been asked, answered with honest and candid responses from my point of view.
What’s it like being a twin?

Now, it took me a good while to understand this question. “But what’s it like though? Having another actual copy of you running around”. And at first, it didn’t make sense to me. What did they mean “what’s it like”? They’re just there. I literally don’t even think about it half the time. I couldn’t comprehend why people thought it was so monumental and life-changing that there’s somebody who looks like me. But then I gave it some thought. I’ve been a twin for my entire life; they’ve been a twin for none of it, and they never will be. Something unique and relatively uncommon is something bound to ask questions. And while it may seem normal to me, it raises a lot of honest questions from others who haven’t experienced it. So I’m more understanding.
Honestly, there’s only one good answer to this. Just imagine for a second that you have a sibling. Now imagine that the sibling is the exact same age as you. Now imagine that that sibling looks pretty similar to you. That’s exactly what it’s like. It’s not like a mirror-image, carbon copy. Step into a futuristic cloning machine, and what comes out will NOT be a twin. A twin is a completely separate person with a completely separate personality. When you look at your twin, it’s not like looking at a mirror. We’re “two and the different”, as I’ll put it. 
There’s only one intrinsic benefit of being a twin that I can think of. At any stage of life that you’re in, you have someone else there with you alongside you, that’s always been alongside you, and that is also in that exact same life stage. Because of this, twins have some of the strongest and unbreakable bonds there is. That’s the part that I’m most grateful for.
Which one is older?

Well, in my case, I’m the older one.  My younger twin brother, Travis, was born 5 minutes after me. 
This is one of the first questions people ask usually, and thinking about it, I don’t know why that’s the case. I mean, it’s not that important really; the time between the two is mostly insignificant. 
The average length between twin births is about 17 minutes, although there are extremes. It can be as low as a few seconds due to c-sections, and can go up to 3 hours and beyond if the woman is having difficulty. The record, however, is 84 days, 87 depending on who you ask. That’s very rare and absolutely astonishing, though.
Which one is smarter?

This is one of the ones that I genuinely don’t like being asked. It’s not like we went and got our IQs tested just so we could tout the numbers during some meaningless icebreaker. What’s the point of even comparing that? Would you only ask questions to the smarter one? Would the dumber one seem like the weaker one? Subconsciously that’s probably it, so I usually just say “probably me” and we both have a laugh. But it’s truly a dumb question. The differences in our intelligence have just as much to do with each other as the same differences between us and any other person.
Which one is the good one?

This plays into the stereotype perpetuated often by TV, movies, and video games. The one that there’s a clear dichotomy between the personalities of the two twins, and that one is clearly the sweet, charming, and ultra super cool one, and the other is the dark, loner, secretly plotting to murder your family one. Sure, there have been some cases of people murdering their twins and stealing their identities, or one becoming a millionaire and the other becoming a felon. But all of that mostly stems from mythology and common tropes. The true differences in our personalities, and thus the decision as to which is ‘good’ or ‘bad’, is so very subjective.
Which one gets more girls?

We get this one a lot, and it’s so stupid that I’m not going to dignify it with a response.
Do you guys ever switch places?

Eh, it varies. I’ve heard various stories of other twins doing things like switching places with their twin during a date or messing with rarely seen family members. There are some heavily fictional parts, though. People say that I’m lucky cause if I don’t want to take a math test then I can tag him in. Even if that could work, which it probably couldn’t, if I wouldn’t want to take a math test then he probably wouldn’t want to either. 
Do you feel each other’s pain? Do you read each other’s minds? 

This one is debatable. There have been studies suggesting minor links between the mindsets of some sets of identical twins. But that’s often greatly exaggerated in people’s minds for some reason. Shoot Travis in the foot while I’m not there and I literally won’t feel a thing. If you’re talking about emotionally, though, that’s definitely a thing. It’s pretty psychological; being around someone so closely linked to you makes your emotions pretty much in tune. 
Do you complete each other’s sentences/say things at the same time?

This is the only one on here that’s pretty much completely true. I see it happen a lot with others, and personally, it happens with me and Travis a lot. Several times a week, one of us will be saying something and the other will be like “I was just thinking that!”, Or one will start saying something and the other might finish the rest. It’s a lot rarer, but we do say stuff at the same time a lot. Mostly it’s when people ask a question directed at both of us, and we both reply with the same thing at the same time. But it can be other things too, like both of us yawning at the same time or having the same reaction to a funny part in a movie. It may seem like I’m exaggerating though, so other twins, feel free to weigh in.
I wish I were a twin.

Honestly? You don’t, really. I don’t mean that it’s hell on Earth, but you gotta believe me, you really do get used to it. If you somehow became a twin right now, the novelty would wear off in at least a month, then your life would become boring again.
(in some cases) why don’t you have similar names?

That’s just a cliche that a lot of parents do. Some do and some don’t, but I most certainly prefer the latter. It causes confusion and is more of a novelty sorta thing. I knew two twins where one was named Alexis and the other was named Alexa. God knows how I could possibly tell them apart. If they didn’t walk together the whole time I would’ve thought they were the same person. It’s all in the parenting.
So as you can see, being a twin can cause a lot of social pressure at first meeting. Kinda like living in Los Angeles or being albino or something; people just don’t know, so they ask. Not that it’s impolite, we’re just blasé. So if you see a twin again now, or you’re thinking about that one time you passed a pair of twins and said “I’m seeing double!”, Don’t feel bad; feel aware.  

Frigid: Prologue

“Bundle up.”

 

That’s what he said to me.

 

I don’t know exactly what made me so fed up at that time, but I was. The discourse in my life, it had reached a level that was totally unbearable to me at the time. The shouting, the arguing, the fighting, crying, panicking. Logic eluded me at that time. All I wanted was an escape, and a solution. And I thought I knew how to get those.

 

I knew it was stupid, I knew that. Bt what else was a kid to do, being the victim of a narcissistic abuser like that, with no other options? CPS didn’t do anything. Cops didn’t do anything. Family didn’t do anything; they didn’t even believe me. And all the while I was fucking suffering every second. You haven’t felt it. A house with the floor made of eggshells upon which I tread softly but still reap the hatred. I felt the cracking every day, especially of the recent days. And what do you do when there’s a house floored with touchy materials? You leave.

 

My two accomplices were helping me. My friend and her friend, both of which I met online. Yanno, it’s a pretty damn shame when two people you’ve never met in person are designated to save you from one person whose been with you for 16 out of 16 years. The blood was really thin.

 

Earlier, a fracas ensued. Such had been waiting to happen since the hellish chain of events late the passing summer. It was now November and this conflict had come to a head. It was the beginning of the end of my depressive phase and yet, I saw this as my only obstacle. But my family, they were a real obstacle. They were an immovable object, and I was a completely and utterly stoppable force. I had to break through. And I had a plan.

 

The first friend, Alys, was who I considered to be my best friend. We’d met online a few years prior and had kept in touch on and off ever since. The other friend, Yanni, was someone I met only about a month prior, and he was the “boyfriend” of Alys (don’t ask why I put that in quotes. Alys told Yanni everything, and he was very willing to help me. He lived far away, but he had room in his house. I could lodge with him until things got better, I just had to be able to get there. After the argument–I can’t even remember what triggered it– I called Yanni. He and I both agreed that it was time for me to bounce. We spent about 10 minutes planning the logistics of it. I would leave, walk out the back door in the dead of night and arrive at the hospital. They would see my desperation, and there would be no way they’d have the heart to send me back to that house.

 

I only saw 1 problem: the bitter cold. It was around freezing those upcoming days, and I knew that the cold would bite my skin, almost as hard as I liked to bite myself in anger. So I brought that up to him. I said to him “it’s gonna be cold out. What should I do to at least prevent hypothermia or something?”

 

He just told me “Bundle up”.

 

And I fucking listened.

Shaving My Head: About a Difficult Battle With An Unknown Hair Condition

 

Hello everyone; I must say I’m excited to be posting again.

Last Friday (May 25, 2018) was one of the more eventful days as of recently. Emotionally, I had (and still have) been feeling better than ever than in the past few weeks, even months. My emotional state on the positive side, I’ve been having much more motivation to do things and a lot more ideas, as well. Things are looking up, and I’m grateful. But there’s one issue that has been sort of an elephant in the room when talking about recent months. And that issue is: hair loss.

At 19 years old, that’s most certainly an unusual thing for me to be dealing with. But still, that’s the hand I’ve been dealt. The causes have been going on for probably about a year now, but it’s actually accelerated in the past 3 months or so. In fact, in early April, there was a point where I had lost more hair in 2 weeks than in the previous 2 or 3 months. Eventually, it got to the point where my hair was getting weird and patchy, and of course, a lot shorter than I would have liked. It soon got to the point where I was forced to make a decision: start all over again and take good care of my hair and the situations causing the hair loss, or force myself to deal with my uneven hair. I was hesitant at first, for I hadn’t had a haircut in over 2 years prior, but eventually I decided that the aesthetic benefits would be much more better if I chose the latter of those options. And that I did.

Now as I mentioned in the video, there are two reasons that this whole thing started. The first and the primary reason is a disorder known as trichotillomania. Now this can be difficult to talk about sometimes, but I’m gonna do this anyways. I feel like I should educate the public a little, and be more transparent with what’s going on. Trichotillomania is a condition that causes people to have an impulsive urge to pull out their own hair. It’s similar to OCD, given that the urges are sort of a tick, or an “addiction”, for a real lack of a better phrase. It’s not something you consciously do. It’s not like I think “Okay, haircut time!” and start pulling out my hair. It’s different than that. It’s unconscious. It’s comparable to how you can have a bowl of popcorn next to you while watching TV and the whole thing will be done before you know it. You don’t particularly desire the popcorn, but you just keep on eating it, just because. That’s basically the same feeling, really, but instead of popcorn it’s tugging on hairs or small clumps of hair until they come out. Shaving all hair is the best option for many trichotillomaniacs, because 1) you run out of stuff you can pull, and 2) it undoes much of the damage done by the condition.

That’s the main reason, but not the only one. Additionally, I’m on a medication known as Lithium Carbonate. It’s commonly and most often used to treat Bipolar Disorder, which I have regrettably been diagnosed with. Things were going well for the first few months I was taking it, things were pretty good. But then, after doing some more research on the effects of medications, and I read that lithium caused hair loss for a lot of people. I didn’t think about it a lot at first, but then I started being more observant. Whenever I’d wash or rub my hair, tons of it would just fall out without much effort at all. That scared me a lot, and I eventually consulted with my psychiatrist. She confirmed that it was a side effect, and that if the hair loss persisted–which it did–that she’d half the dosage and proceed from there. So although I’m taking a lot less of the medication, I still feel like that was a huge contribution to my decision to shave my head.

But things don’t just stop now that I’m almost bald. There’s a series of other things I will try to do in order to make sure my hair grows back better, stronger and longer, and that I don’t fall back and undo all of my progress. Here are what they are:

-Using a fidget toy, more specifically a fidget orb, in order to keep my hands busy and away from my head

-Using a multivitamin or a supplement such as biotin, as well as using a special shampoo, such as Jamaican Black Castor Oil, which I’ve heard highly of

-Not washing my hair every single day. Doing so would dry out the scalp, damaging hair and making it break easily. Only doing so every few days will preserve natural oils produced by the scalp, moisturizing and keeping things soft

-When it gets long, combing my hair regularly, and possibly keeping it braided. Not doing so would cause tangles that makes the hair less healthy and easier to pick.

After all this, I’m still very optimistic for the future. Besides this, I actually feel pretty good. I think the biggest issue with this will be dealing with self confidence/dysphoria issues. That’s just another in a long line of things I need to work on, though. Needless to say, I’m gonna keep on trying, and a year from now I’m most definitely going to make an update. Look out!

3/14 – a poem I’ve been working on

​Hello all! Here is a poem that I’m working on and will continue to update! I’ve been working really hard on this one, so I hope you like it! More info to come later.

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For a time, I hoped.

Magically to forget; those few, these emotions.


Happiness veiling isolation, fit to few, hardship ever waxing.


My spirit lays dim, but recovery? Now, my meaning satisfies

Happy Valentine’s Day from Likewise

Hello everyone! I hope this Valentine’s Day has been good for you all.

I was planning to release a short story today that had to do with love. Unfortunately, due to how life has been for me recently, that didn’t happen. It’s still a really good idea though, so I’ll continue working on it and post it here when I’m done.

I hope you have a great rest of your day though! Even if you don’t have a valentine, you’re still so beautiful and deserve the best! Don’t let one day define your entire self-worth. I hope you live happy and lovingly and find great things!

Petrarchan 21st – A poem I recently finished

Hello everyone! Here is a poem I’ve been working on for a few weeks, right before New Years on the 29th, and just finished right before midnight on Sunday.

Writing this poem was a roller coaster. I started it then planned to post it on New year’s Eve, then decided against it. Then I tried to finish it but it was a lot harder than I expected. I felt like I had to get everything right, and I ended up changing the rhyme words several times throughout. I kept changing little things until I decided to settle with myself, and say “no poem can be 100% perfect”. And after 2 weeks, there became what you see below.

I hope you enjoy as I worked really hard on it. I think this is a good one and it’s one that I’ll look back on a lot for the effort it took.

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Quiet world, wake up and give way to me

My quietness has done harm and shaken 

Asleep in that which yet hasn’t taken

Laying in a place where my mind’s set free
Whence is where my life’s work has come to be

A dream from which I shall not awaken

Lucid, a notion to be mistaken

For what’s in that place is a sight to see
Weary remains the feet across my path

Bramble-laden with a rose at the end

I, resilient and tenfold bettered

Shall still persist through pinnacle or strath

And shall all else become untimely rend

The dream rose will still remain unfettered