My Deepest Insecurity as an AMputee

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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 “whys” 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.

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***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. 🙂

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32 thoughts on “My Deepest Insecurity as an AMputee

  1. This was a good read. You made me realize a lot of the things that many people (including) myself overlook. Like being able to make a full embrace, that’s not to say that being and AmPutee isn’t a blessing as well. I know this is coming from someone who doesn’t truly understand, but find the things that make this a blessing for you( because you are blessed) and in return you, your partner and your family will see you as someone who is special, someone who is blessed, and not someone who lacks anything. God put you here for a reason and your fulfilling that. I’m so proud of you. #groupie

  2. Hi Amber! Just found your blog and I’m truly impressed by how willing you are to speak openly about insecurities and such, it’s such a powerful, encouraging and impressive thing to do on a public forum such as this. I admire your work with this organization and respect all of what you are doing, and although I cannot personally identify with the struggles of being an amputee, I can certainly identify with those fearful feelings of ‘not enough’ that most of us go through, I guess it’s what makes us human and unites us in our differences and that is why I love to commend anyone who is writing and reaching out to people through this medium. I’m not at Wesleyan anymore but I really wish I had gotten to know you at school. (I am also blogging/writing openly about insecurities/life and such, check out my page if you’d like.)

    On a less serious note, you look great girl! A stunning example of the FACT that beauty comes in so many different forms/bodies. Regardless, it’s the inner beauty that truly counts. Sincerely wishing you all the best in all that you do, pumped to keep up with your blog!

    -coral

    • Thanks Coral! I was just reading some of your posts and its nice to know that someone is willing to be as open and fearless is amazing!! I’m following your blog like riiiight now. Lol. We should keep in touch.

  3. Barbara

    Hi, Amber – this is Barbara J. (one of the twins-Bible Way). As I read your story, it brought tears to my eyes… not of sadness or pity – but because of the wonder that you were so open in sharing your intimate thoughts for all to read (see). I think “you are something else!” Thanks for sharing… love you!

  4. Ann Roney

    I have often wondered what my son feels as an amputee. I know there are times when he was struggling with the fact that he was born without his lower left leg, but he never has expressed his feelings to me. As someone who has a disability, I can relate to a lot of what you both have, and are going through; however, what I have experienced is still not exactly what he or you have experienced as an amputee. Thank you for giving me insight into what it is like for people who live as AMputees everyday. Your courage and willingness to be so open will surely help others Amber. You are such a courageous young woman. Keep following your passion and you will find your bliss.

  5. Nash

    Love the transparency! The thought of not being enough is something most people deal with at some point in their lives and reading what that means for you is eye opening. You are amazing!

  6. Tammy Steward

    I have two autistic sons. I used to question how I ended up with not one, but two, special needs children. A person I love and respect told me a few years ago “Look around you. How many people do you know could be a great single parent to these boys and still accomplish everything you have?” From that moment on, I have felt beyond blessed to have been chosen to be mom to these two special angels. That’s how I see you after reading your blog. You were chosen. You are living! You are inspiring! You are beautiful! You OWN IT and I’m so glad my insomnia led me to your blog tonight. 🙂 May you continue to be blessed and bless others. Imagine how many other amputees you have inspired with your words.

  7. Serena Houston-Edwards

    Amber, your writing is amazing…so eloquent & inspiring. You are an awesome young lady… From an awesome family! You may not remember me, but I’m a friend of Pastor/Robin Norwood & use to live in Ga & attend Bibleway.

  8. Jasmine Davis

    Amber you are amazing in my eyes. I look up to you alot. In God eyes we reflection of perfection. You are beautiful, smart, humerous, and a sweetie pie. I Love You beautiful person.

  9. Such a heartfelt and wonderful post. I was searching for topic on a blog I’m writing called, things you don’t say to an amputee when I came across this post. You truly capture some of the pain and emotions many amputees have faced. Thank you for your writing, I hope you continue to write and know that you are enough.

  10. Lena Johson

    Hello. That was one of the most powerful things that I have read in a while. Very well conveyed. I would like to send you a brief write up and campaign that I have initiated……”Redefining Beauty. You can’t attache anything here. I would love to have you as one of the representatives.
    Thanks Lena

  11. Lena Johson

    Hello. What you wrote was very powerful and nicely conveyed. I would love it if you could join my campaign……”Redefining Beauty”. I can’t attach any docs here. To say that you would represent amputees well is an understatement. I can share everything with you. My email address is mslenaann@gmail.com You won’t regret it.

      • Lena Johson

        Hello Amber. You are definitely a very busy lady. Do you think you will be able to provide the photo. I really want to feature you one the handbag because your story is truly amazing…….writer, artist, etc.

  12. shelly l lee

    my uncle recently had to have his leg amputated and he is angry and feels the world is against him….. and i want to say the right things, can you help me? you are amazing to share your story……and thank you for any advice.

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