Let me begin by saying that I have never shared the contents of this post with anyone. Like no one. Ever. My intention in writing this post isn’t to seek any pity, so no need to be sad-faced reading this. I wrote this post with the intention of opening myself enough to connect with anyone, AMputee or ally, who identifies with these feelings. If you are reading and this resonates with you, know that you are not alone. ❤
Last week a close friend of mine asked me what my insecurities were as an amputee. Without hesitation I responded,
“That, I will never be enough.”
He asked me what I meant by my statement, but in that moment, I honestly didn’t even know. In an effort to find some much-needed answers, I decided to take time to really explore my feelings.
After a couple of days of deep thought, I realized the extent of what I actually meant. My greatest insecurity is that I will never be whole enough; that I will never be perceived as physically, mentally, and emotionally whole enough to be accepted for the entirety of my humanity. I sometimes fear that I will never be pretty enough, accomplished enough, intellectual enough, or sweet enough to be considered equally as completely human as my full-limbed counterparts. Don’t get me wrong, I love myself and my body, but I don’t love how my body warrants treatment that is distinctly different from that of people with all of their limbs.
“That I won’t experience enough of life.”
Growing up, I learned quickly that my life experiences would be extremely different from others. While most of the time I am completely fine with that, sometimes I’m just…not. I often think about the future, and the little things in life that I’ll never experience. Like how when I get married I’ll have to explain why I’ll have to wear my wedding ring unconventionally. I also sometimes I think of how I’d just like to sit and hold both hands together with only the finger tips touching, to clasp both of my hands palm to palm, to interlock the fingers of both my hands to pray, or just twiddle my thumbs! Other times, I think about how I’d like to be able to wrap both my arms around the ones that I love for a full embrace. On rare occasions, I wonder if my relationships will be able be enough for me to fulfill my needs, or if I’ll have to settle for less than I deserve simply because I am an AMputee.
“That one day I won’t be strong enough to handle explaining why.”
Before anyone even asks my name they usually ask for an explanation of why I was born an AMputee. In at least 90% of my interactions, I’m approached by strangers who want to know when, how, and why this happened to me of all people. I’ve seriously had people ask me every question from ‘Did your mother used drugs while she carried you?’ (She most certainly did not -_- ) to ‘Why won’t God heal you?’ While some questions are easier to answer and move forward, the “why‘s” often linger. Consequently, I often wonder if someday my explanations for my body won’t be enough for my partner, my children, or even enough for me to truly understand exactly why I am the way that I am.
Though I am a proud AMputee, I am a human being first. I will not always be strong. I won’t always be innocent. I won’t always defy the odds. Like everyone else, I have emotions, dreams, and fears. Like everyone else, I am human.
***If you have any questions (no matter how simple or outrageous) you’d like me to answer in my future posts, please comment below and I’ll provide my honest perspective. 🙂