Contact Me Here
This form does not yet contain any fields.
    « Toe Cuffs | Main | Concentration: Camp (part 1) »

    Concentration: Camp (part 2)

            Separation anxiety was not a term that I was familiar with when I was a kid. And even if I was, it wouldn’t have meant anything to me, because it’s too abstract a concept for most ten year olds. But it’s a very real, potentially traumatizing phenomenon. It’s understood much better today than it was thirty-five years ago. Which is great. Because that’s undoubtedly saved countless twins from experiencing the same psychological carnage that I went through.
            See, it all goes back to the womb.
            Twins come into the world having began life together. From the very first moment of inception. That immediately sets them apart form the vast majority of people who begin the process of life alone. The first existence I was aware of outside of my own was that of my twin brother’s. Maybe even before I was aware of my mother’s. This creates a unique connection, a unique circumstance, the impact of which should not be underestimated.
            Before Mike and I went to camp, we had spent most of our time together. We slept in the same bedroom. We went to the same school. Different classrooms, but he was never usually more than a few hundred feet away. And after school, we were always together. Well not always. Mike liked to be by himself a lot more than I did. But we ate together. Played together. Made shit up together. Watched TV together. For ten years, that was the way it was.
            Then one day, just like that, it all changed. I suddenly spent virtually no time with him at all. I only occasionally knew where he was. We no longer shared the same bedroom. Or ate at the same table. Or played together. Or did anything together. It was a huge change. A huge, sudden, traumatic change. For me. Mike seemed to be okay with it. Which I’m glad about. I wouldn’t wish went I went through on anybody. Least of all him.
            I didn’t realize it at the time (how many ten year olds can psychoanalyze themselves?), but that change freaked me out beyond belief. It fucked me up big time. And that was just one in a long list of childhood issues that came charging to the surface the day I started camp.
            My intense separation anxiety makes perfect sense. When we were born, after spending nine glorious months together inside the Womb Hotel, Mike went home. I went to a metal incubator for three weeks. I got separated from my mother. I got separated from loving human contact. I got separated from him. That was the original separation anxiety that I was reliving at camp.
            I needed to be with him, because I lost him in my first moment of birth. He lost me as well, but I can’t speak for him. And he, thank god, went to be with his mother and father and family. He went home. I got shipped out. I got abandoned. Completely. Right from the first moment that I could be. And that has made me very different from him. Especially in how I deal with relationships. In how I deal with myself. And in how we deal with each other.
            At camp, of course I was terribly homesick. I missed all my friend’s in the idyllic summer community of Nyes Neck, North Falmouth. Any kid would. I missed my parents. I missed my older brother, who I idolized, and two older sisters. I missed my sister in law, and my beautiful little niece who I absolutely adored.
            But most of all, I missed my twin brother. Being away from him was what I had the hardest time with. I know this for an absolute, verifiable, experimentally proven fact because one year, in their infinite authoritative wisdom, the chuckleheads put us in the same cabin together. The result? I had a great time at camp. I actually liked it. A lot. Then the next two years, we were separated again. The result? Pain.
            You think the powers that be would have learned something from that year we were in the same cabin. Here’s a kid who, for three years is a candidate for “the most miserable camper on earth” award, and the next is having the time of his life. And all you did differently was put him in the same cabin as his twin brother. You’d think they would have figured that out. But they weren’t really paying attention. They were sticking to dogma. Well wake up, jerk-offs. This is what you do for a living.
            Yeah, I still have some anger around it. It’s not up much, but writing about it raises the pain, which raises the anger. Which is good. Because it reminds me that I still have some work to do on it. And the people weren’t really jerk-offs. They just weren’t enlightened. They were not accepting new information. They were too closed minded.
            I like to think the world has come a lot further since then. I know I have.

    ©2009 Clint Piatelli. All Rights (and a womb full of Wrongs) Reserved.

    Add to Technorati Favorites

    Reader Comments (2)

    "...and my beautiful little niece who I absolutely adored." missed you too. You let me play in your room with your dinosaurs and listen to your KISS albums and used me many times as a human target while watching Wrestling matches. Sometimes I miss those days! But I'm enjoying the blogs. Your honesty is refreshing and inspiring. Love to you and your exploration of yourself... it's a lifelong journey.

    April 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLeanne

    Leanne, my god, is that really you? My beautiful niece, if it is, please contact me. I miss you and Angelina so much. I would love to see you. Email me through this website or at I'll give you my phone number then, or you can give me yours - whatever works for you. I would travel across the country to see you. Thank you so much for your support. It is priceless to me. As are you. I love you...

    Uncle John

    April 8, 2009 | Registered CommenterClint Piatelli

    PostPost a New Comment

    Enter your information below to add a new comment.

    My response is on my own website »
    Author Email (optional):
    Author URL (optional):
    Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>