MY AUTISTIC TWIN AND ME | Defying the Label
Narrator: Are you identical twins? Jenna: Yeah. Rachel: No. Rachel: We’re not identical! Jenna: We are identical, we are!
Rachel: No! (laughter)
Jenna: We look the same! Rachel: We look the same, but we’re not identical! Jenna: We are because we’re both the same age, it’s just split in two. Rachel: No, but we’re not identical, me and you don’t look exactly alike. Jenna: Not exactly, but we’re mostly alike. Rachel: No Jenna:Half (laughter) Narrator: Do you argue a lot? Rachel and Jenna both: Yes. We’re completely different. I don’t care what I look like. She does. I’m girly, she’s sporty. Rachel: I put…
Jenna: You should see how much make-up she puts on!
Rachel: I put… I couldn’t care less what people think about me. Rachel: Behave!
Jenna: (laughs) Okay. Sorry, I will. If they think I look ugly that’s their opinion. Rachel (sighing): Oh God. Jenna: Oh come on! If people can’t…
Rachel: I know.
Jenna: No. No. No. Jenna: If people can’t accept you for what you really look like, there’s no point in you bothering with them. Just cut them out of your life. Rachel: No. I never do wear make up, but at least I brush my hair! Rachel (tired): It’s a hot day. Jenna: He is, or you are? Rachel: Shut up! I mean the weather! Rachel: Will you just leave him out of this?
Jenna: It’s fun. Rachel: He’s just a new worker in the shop. Like a teen. Jenna (singing): Rachel’s new boy-friend!
Rachel: He’s not my…oh my God. Rachel: I just know a hot boy when I see him. You don’t. Jenna makes mimicking noises.
Rachel mumbles back. Rachel: Should we give him like a little nickname? One only you and me know about? Jenna: Tortoise face. Rachel: No, should we call him baby face?
Jenna: What face? Rachel (drawn out): Baby face!
Jenna: I’m gonna tell him you said that.
Rachel: Jenna, seriously I will kill you if you do! Jenna: Alright, baby face, here we come.
Rachel: Shut up! Don’t be (mumbling) Do you see anything?
No. Jenna: Next I see him I’m gonna ask him about his schedule so I can make sure Rachel comes down then. Narrator: What happens if you both like the same guy? Rachel: Well uh…
Jenna: I say to Rachel, you can have him. For all the time she wants him. Rachel: She doesn’t get the whole relationship stuff. Jenna: Rachel’s the popular one. Everyone likes her and she knows everything to say. I just sit in the corner and ignore everybody. Narrator: What is autism? Rachel: You’re the one who’s got it. Jenna: I don’t know how to explain it though. Jenna: What is autisim? Rachel: Well, I don’t want to say it wrong. Rachel: Explain it in your words. Jenna: I don’t know, Rachel. Usually I just say I’ve got thoughts in my head which isn’t always the best thing. Jenna: She gets annoyed because she thinks, ‘why does Rachel get it and I don’t? I’m her twin.’ Jenna: Sometimes I have trouble just thinking. Don’t say that out loud Jenna, just say the correct things. Sometimes it just pops out without me realizing it. Rachel: If it’s a physical disability, people see it. But with Jenna’s…I don’t think they know. Narrator: What are some of the things that you think you find difficult? Jenna: mmmm…Rachel. Jenna: Reading. Jenna: Writing. Jenna: Communicating. Rachel: Being nice to me.
Jenna: Yeah. Jenna: People like her a lot more than they do me. Jenna: If someone asks to give their true opinion, Rachel would probably give a lie so there won’t be any chaos. Jenna: While I’ll tell them the truth. Jenna: And if they wanted to put up a fight with me, I’ll do it. Well, I like to think I can protect my sister. So say she goes for a boy… I always sneakily give ’em a little test Sometimes, I will admit, I did dress up as Rachel to see if he noticed the difference. I’d ask him things about my sister that he should know and see if he does. If he doesn’t, then that’s just poor communication. Rachel’s a very pretty young lady and it’s just the boys take advantage of that. Narrator: And what about you? Do you have boyfriends? Yeah. Narrator: Tell me about that. Jenna: (drawn out) bluwah. Rachel: She doesn’t want anyone to know what hurts her. She gives this tough image so no one will mess with her. But Jenna does hurt a lot sometimes about different things. Like when she had homework and she didn’t understand it. She can’t understand why I understand and she doesn’t. We’re the same age, we’re in the same year, doing the same things Jenna: I don’t really understand my own autism. Jenna: When my mom first told me about it, I was too confused. I didn’t understand. I got angry about it. I haven’t really asked her about it anymore. Narrator: You must know more about autism than most people. Now I do, yeah. Narrator: What do you mean? Well, cuz I didn’t even know she had autism until about six months ago. Narrator: That’s quite surprising, cuz obviously you’re so close… Rachel: Well, Jenna hated the fact that she had problems. Rachel: She never wanted to talk about it. She never wanted to bring it up. Now I realize why in the past she has acted the way she has. Now I realize that to turn around and be mean to her and stuff because of her problem. I realize I was really mean because of it. But I’m never gonna treat her like a kid. Or nor will I do baby talk with her, because she is not a baby. She’s a 16-year old girl who’s the same age as me and she has some problems, but so what? She’s still a human being. I’ve got quite a few good friends you know. There’s about seven of them. You know some people are friend with others and can be friends of a group of people, but others just don’t like ’em. I think some people don’t get along with someone. I’m not sure why, but that’s just the way it goes I think, or I guess. People don’t look to my real attitude, they look at me as, ‘oh she’s got a lot of problems’ you know or ‘she’s nervous around a lot of people, we’ll just turn it to our advantage and bully her. Well, I say something natural or funny or something just silly everyone will think, ‘oh you can’t say that you know you’re not funny… ‘You’re just a loser.’ I’m happy about myself. Everyone else’s, that’s their problem, not mine. People don’t normally get into our home unless I ask them to. Jenna: I don’t really open up to people much apart from Rachel. Rachel: Don’t walk into me. Jenna: Others would just suck up to me and say ‘oh that’s okay Jenna…’ Rachel: Not that far you idiot. Jenna: She always just says, “Right Jenna, I’m gonna talk to you about this or I’m just gonna leave you to get on with yourself.” So what, she has problems. It doesn’t matter to me. She’s still my twin sister, she’s still Jenna. And even now while I know what autism is, I don’t have to treat her differently. I don’t need to. Rachel: I’m really tired, will you help me? Rachel: Are you stroking me? Rachel: Ow! (giggle) Jenna: There’s this group of girls and there’s about, I don’t know, six of them and they’re all quite bitchy.
Rachel: mhm. Rachel: In the past there’s been a lot of people who just don’t understand her, and they don’t understand a lot in the first meeting and they just blow her off. Rachel: And its taken me a long time to understand her, but I’m glad that I do. Rachel: Her strength is being herself around people. Rachel: Jenna will be herself around strangers and people she knows. Rachel calls to Jenna: Don’t leave with me. Rachel: I’ve always been more afraid to do things than Jenna has, I still am. Rachel: But I wouldn’t be as confident as I was if it wasn’t for Jenna. Rachel: I guess baby face was in today.
Jenna: mmmm. Get his phone number. Rachel: Should I?
Jenna: Mhm. Rachel: We’ll get back in and get his phone number? Jenna: You go on. Rachel: I’ll just barge in and say, “Hey bitch, I want his number.” Jenna: I would. Rachel: Hold on. Jenna: I would if you fancy him. Rachel: I don’t fancy him. He’s just a nice guy. Jenna: Get his number then. Come on in. Rachel: Why are you coming back in? Jenna: Cuz I want to watch you ask the dude out. Rachel: You’re such an ass. Rachel: …you need to come back in with me. Baby face: Back so soon? Rachel: Yeah, I forgot to get my sister something. I’m nice like that. Baby face: Yeah, nice like that. Baby face: That’s 1.55 please. Rachel: Oh I have that change. Jenna (whispering): Ask him for the number. Jenna (normal voice): Remember the time in the store when you screamed. That was pretty funny. Rachel: She’s not good at…[ ]…that wouldn’t be good. Say, do you want to know when that’s on TV? Baby face: Yeah, sure. Rachel: Can I have your number and I can text you it? Baby face: Yeah. Rachel: It’s in my bag. Rachel: Thank you, and if I don’t text you, I’m not ignoring you, I probably don’t have credit. Rachel: I feel like Jenna’s the other half of me. I feel like by having her there I can be myself. (Jenna giggles as they exit the store)
Rachel: Shut up! He’s just a nice guy! Jenna (giggling): He’s lovely, I’m just saying it was that easy. Jenna: Some free dinners are coming up!
Rachel: Shut up.