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chakra

im so scarred

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Hi Claire: I think it's great that you have found this bunch of friends and that you felt able to "reach out" to us. Everything has been said already to you but I will tell you one thing. I was an amputee at 18 months old. I would trade anything to have 27 years with two legs. Even just one day, would make me happy.

It does get better and the stronger you get the better you will feel.

Lynne

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Hi, Claire

I can relate to everything you are feeling and going through. I lost my leg to bone cancer at age 12, and spent most of my teens and 20's keeping it from people....especially guys..... because I was so sure I would be rejected. Thinking back, I have to laugh at how good I was at "hiding" my leg, even in intimate situations! :rolleyes: There will be some men who do choose not to date you because of your leg, but that is their loss, and very indicative of a shallow person. I met a few of those in my dating life. But you know, I'm not even sure that's why they stopped calling....sometimes it was probably because I was not honest with them and comfortable about myself.

So please, take all the wonderful advice here to heart, and live your life to the fullest! I remember being in therapy and part of a group that met weekly. One day I told them all the story of my amputation and how I felt about it. We had been together for months and no one had mentioned it, including me. I can't tell you how shocked I was that no one freaked out or treated me differently! And then I felt really FREE! I started to be more open about my leg; wearing shorts, etc. Eventually I met the man who later became my husband. He considers me to be a totally normal woman in every way, and says he feels proud and lucky to be with me! And my two little girls also see me as a normal mommy.....they enjoy telling their friends all about my "leggy" and how it comes off and has a robot in it., etc.

So that's the secret. Of course, you must mourn you leg, but when you are ready, walk proudly and be free. Hugs to you {{{{{{{{{{{ Claire }}}}}}}}}}

Karen :-)

AKA

Orlando, FL

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Excellent post, Amy!

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Amy, i really enjoyed reading your post too. I can relate to what you said (accept for I have a few more years to go until hitting naughty forty … :lol: )

Claire, allow your self the time to develop and find out who you are either through hobbies or interests (what makes you happy and stirs your soul :) ) And by doing this your confidance grows (and glows…) This eventually reflects on the people around you and they will be hovering around you like moths to a light.

Try to please yourself first before having to please other people!

The point is not finding a partner who will accept you being an amputee. It’s finding someone who will be accepted by YOU too. Finding someone who will allow you to shine and supports your interests and enriches who you are as a person and allows you to grow, this is where the challenge lies. Being an amputee is really quite insignificant on the grander scale of things. The prothetics available today can allow you to lead a very full life. ( I am very PRO cosmetics and make sure the pros not only functions well but looks good too!)

Please note though, all this comes from having lived with this for 24 years (Like Amy, I was a child too when I lost my foot in a car accident) So TIME is also a major factor. So allow yourself the time to heal too.

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I second that Amy, you have a wonderful outlook on life and that's great. :)

Hi Claire, you sure have some wonderful ppl here who truly care about you and only want you to care about yourself, b/c life IS definitely worth living. It's ok to feel down every so often, that's to be expected, but please try not to stay there. :( We've all been through many different emotions, which take us up and then down. but trust me, one day you'll see that the downs will be far less often. Only you must have the patience and the positive attitude to reach that point, and you can, but YOU must believe in yourself enough know, that life is worth every second, minute, hour, day, month and year, so PLEASE don't ever give up!!! ;)

First, you DON'T have to measure up to anyone!!! Who you are is not the person on the outside, that may be who people see at first, but once they get to know you, it's the person on the inside who will leave the biggest impression. You've lost a limb and have scars, but your heart is still intact, please don't let that become scared as well. :(

Second, you can and WILL learn to accept this, by given yourself sometime, don't try to take it all in at once, or to soon. I found that when things became way to overwhelming, it just depressed me more and felt like I was never gonna see the bright side again. But once I learned to take it a day at a time and be thankful for the little thingsI coudl do, you'd be surprise how much better I felt, by not being so stressed out all the time. I was always one that wanted things to happen.... NOW!! Well guess what, it doesn't work that way, at least in this situation, b/c it'll only happen when it's time and with lots of determination so DON'T ever give up, k? :D

As far as you expecting others to accept this, that's not the way it goes, b/c if others care enough about you, and I'm sure there's plenty who do, ;) you won't have to expect anything, they'll just be there for you, like all your friends on here. :D

Third, you should be VERY proud of everything you achieve, rather it be big or small, pat yourself on the back and say, "there I deserve that"!! B) You know, sometimes I don't care for the body I'm in either, but you know what, I think of people who do have their body intact, only live in a wheelchair and have to be lifted around their whole life. :( I then say, how selfish of me, to not be proud of who I am and do whatever I can to keep myself moving forward, for those who don't have that choice. ;)

Sorry for rambling on, but I feel you're worth my time and if I made just a little bit of a difference, then the cramping in my fingers have never felt so good. :rolleyes: I'm so pleased you felt comfortable enough to share your feelings with us and don't ever hesitate, b/c we're all here for you, k? :D

Phew..... where's my bed!! :blink:

Sheila lbk

Maine USA

Keep Smiling :)

Hey Kaz, good to see ya back girl!!! :D

post-6-1132196081.gif

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Hey Sheila girl :) (not for long though...off to chopitty chop next week :( )

Great advice from you (once again, sheeesh..)

Claire, you should listen to our Sheila, she really knows what she's talking about ;)

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Kaz, does that mean you're having more surgery?

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Hi Marcia :) (my sister's name too)

yes, the operation is on Wednesday. The metal clamps that were put in my knee in May are being taken out again. Although i'm a bit nervous, i'm also looking forward to the outcome: Back to my sports in a few months YOOOHHOOO :)

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Good luck, girl. Nice to have you back.

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Thanks Kaz, much appreciate girl, now if you could just convince my hubby of that!! :lol: ;) I can only try and hopefully maybe one person will benefit from it. :) Of course, it may only be that I have a few more years of experience, then some of you younger pups. :P :lol:

Best of Luck with your surgery, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Sheila lbk

Maine USA

Keep Smiling :)

post-6-1132449110.gif

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Claire,

I am 28. I lost my right leg below the knee when I was 27 in the asian tsunami last christmas. I am a pretty, intelligent, chatty, slightly drunken (fairly often), 28 year old. I was the same before the tsunami (apart from the fact that I was 27 then...).

Losing your leg and looking the way you do is s**t. You will always have to cope with that. I spend a bit of my time still now wondering why the hell I decided to go to the beach on boxing day. But I did. And there is nothing I can do about it.

What I did, and what you have to do, is just get on with it. Go back to whatever you were doing before and get into it. You will stop thinking about the way you look and people will appreciate you for that. From that you will gain confidence and realise that people like you for who you are and not what you look like.

Cry when you want to cry - I certainly do all the time, and at the most random times. Talk to people. I talk to everyone. If you were an outgoing person before, be one again. That is you. Noone that knows you or cares about you is going to care in the least about what has happened because you are you and something awful has happened to you and they won't know what to say or how to treat you and if they are being funny that is why.

You have been through something most people can't even contemplate. But you will come through it. It is not ideal. But it is not that bad. You have your whole life to live, so do it, and don't let this cr*p thing get you down.

If you want to send me an email please please do and if you are anywhere near london I am more than happy to come to meet you for a chat.

All my love,

Fiona x x

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Hi Claire,

I don't know that I can add too much to what everyone else has said here. I lost my leg and horse in a car accident. Three days after my accident 2 friends of mine were struck by a car and one has a lbk amp, the other is still fighting to keep his leg. The thing is, they are both young men. One is 27 like you, the other just 36. Both are police officers. I don't know if you know any police officers, I am a dispatcher so I know lots. Most the men think they are the perfect male. Mike, the 27 year old, felt a lot like you. He was having a hard time dealing with the loss of his leg, the scar from skin grafts, and how they made him look. We were talking one day while we were still in the hospital (not the same one) and he asked how I can have such a positive outlook one everything. I know it sounds trite, but I could only say one thing. I'm still here. I am still young (yes 44 is young) and I haven't even begun to change things to make life better for others.

You have an opportunity here to take this experience and change the world! One small step at a time, but you will do it! Claire, you have so much to offer! No one else is experiencing exactly the same things you are because our maker, whomever that may be, made each and every one of us different. We have similar experiences, we may look similar, act similar, etc. I'm sure you get my drift, but the thing is, only you can effect the changes that you see a need for. Your beauty, intellegence and wisdom is needed for all of us that may not know what you do. And at 27 you have had experiences that a 17 year old has not.

You made it through an experience that hurt you, yet you were able to tell us about it after it happened. You are a very strong woman, Claire, and I admire you for that. I also admire your honesty. Strength and honesty, how many of us have struggled for those very traits as we face our demons. You are an inspiration, Claire, even if you don't realize it.

As you can see there are a lot of wonderful people here that care about you. Trust in your strength, Claire, and allow yourself to feell like crap at times. We all do. We all will for the rest our lives. But so will those beautiful women that seem to have no worries. We are all flawed. No one escapes that. Not even men who are more interested in the bloody way we got some of our scars than the beauty that lingers within.

Please take care and allow that it is perfectly normal to question everything. Think of how boring life would be if we didn't?

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Hi Claire,

Can't add anything to what has already been said -- and good advice it is too.

But please you've got to "hang in there girl" You seem to be very down -- remember the only way from that is up. Things will get better and remember " who loves ya babe"?? Every one on this forum and your family and friends too. Thats who loves ya--and thats a lot of people. Give life your best shot for them and yourself

Every best wish with hugs.

Sorry I can't help in any other way.

john

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Hi Claire

Some very sound advice from everybody.

All I can add is if they wnt to stare, stare right back. If they are kids, it's curiosity and harmless, if they are adults, it's ignorance and harmless. I found what helped me the most was to flaunt it (although my wife isn't to thrilled about that.) If certain people find your amputation and scars offensive, then they are not worth having in your life. Your better than that! Don't buy in to the pefection BS. It's a myth! I know it's somewhat different for a guy, but the same principles apply. You are you and you do not have to appologize for yourself. I have always felt that I would rather go out with a woman who looks like a warthog (I know this may sound sexist but there are mail warthogs too, me for instance) as long as she is real, honest and loving. I have gone out with women who were concidered quite catch and found them to be shallow and boring. You sound like a wonderful person and the scars and amputation cannot change that. let yourself shine through and you will find that the people who really matter will respond to this.

From a pretty scared up male

Tomcat

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:)

Hi Claire,

Now that time has gone by since your accident, how do you feel now? All of the advice that you received here is genuine and honest. I am a lbk 51 year old woman who became a new person on Dec., 05.

Let me let you know what my main concerns are today:

1. Losing weight

2. Getting my hair cut

3. Nervous about starting college again (today is my first class)

4. What clothes to wear tomorrow

5. Figuring out what to fix for dinner

I made the decision 2 weeks ago that I was going to get my "normal" life back. I have had my prothestic for exatly one week. With 3 therapy sessions behind me, I am confident enough to use the walker more and I can balance my weight on the residual limb (stump). I still have to use a wheelchair at times, mainly at home, strict therapist and legman rules! I very rarely think about the missing foot. I am in a much better frame of mind, healthier and happier since the amputation. Of course my circumstances are way different from yours. I had a life-threatening staph infection from a "Charcot Foot" which a percentage of diabetics get this condition.

So, I am curious as to how you are dealing with this today. Let us know.

Till later..........

Deb B)

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hey Claire,

Hope things have picked up for you xx I know exactly how you felt, I felt the same. I'm fortunate enough to have a loving husband but until recently I was sure that he wouldn't ever find me attractive again. The truth is, other people arn't the problem are they? It's you.......you have to learn to love yourself again, I know that sounds corny but it's so true. Until you work through this (the hardest part), you wont hear any compliments, no matter how genuine. You'll only hear pity.

I remember my turning point, I was trying to explain how i felt when people stared at me to a friend. She said ''well bloody stare back!!! You have to be a 'dude with attitude'!''. I always think of this especially when i'm swimming and people are try to have a look at my damaged legs.

I deceided not to have the cosmetic finish on my leg and frequently wear cropped trousers almost to show it off. I think people admire my front because i get loads of compliments and attention.

so remember DUDE WITH ATTITUDE!!! :P now get out there and show em what yer made of (ie carbon fibre and aluminium tee hee). enjoy your difference, don't hide it. Don't try to pretend your not the strong gorgeous woman you have to be to walk through this and out the other side.

by the way , my councellor once told me that her leg was here sh%t deterrent, ie anyone who dropped her when they found out about it was sh%t!

Hazel ;)

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I just want to thank you all for your replies, I think I am getting there I still have my days when I think how I used to be, and wish I had'nt taken things for granted. I am trying desperately to move on. It is hard because I still have the solicitors battle over the accident (a drunk driver caused it), but I find myself thinking of other things alot more it does not consume me, I laugh alot more. Then I think to myself oh! this isnt right I should be feeling damaged and thinking about what has happened. The thing is feweling low had become normal, and so feeling good again began to feel not normal at first, if that makes any sense. I still feel envious, but see that most people have problems in some shape or form. I have definately become more confident, I sang in a karaoke last week, I never would have done that before the accident. I am coming out stronger but still get scarred. I have started a new job, still in social work, and am enjoying it, it gives me back my sense of perpose and identity again. I am still living with my parents at the moment as money is tight, but I hope for not to much longer. I keep thinking I have wasted time, but thing is I realise that I am wasting more time worrying about that, and actually I do have a valid reason. I actually bought a pair of shorts today, dont know whether I will have the guts to wear them yet, but Ive taken the step, I so wish I could have my leg back and walk around ormally like everybody else, there are no amputees around where I live, unless they cover up. I seem to be attracting attention from men again, but I was put of my last experience. Its like I think Im going to be found out, and they won't want me. I still seem to think that i should be greatful to anyone that likes me, like they are doing me a favour. Rather than thinking that they are lucky to be with me, because it is true there is more to me than my body, as a person, I feel happy, but i know these men could find a woman with an intact body and in that way they will be better than me. I am seeing a male friend alot, he used to be my boyfriend before the accident, I still love him, and he accepts me and asks no questions because he knows all about it. He still finds me atrractive and says he just sees me, i cant quite believe this, and dont want to push him away because of my insecurities, it is very true what you all say that 'we are our worst inner critics,

i will continue to try and win the battle

you all have helped me so much, what a great supportive bunch you are

lots of love claire xx ps i wont leave it so long next time, but sometimes i do not have anything else to add, you give such great advice

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give it a short while Claire and it will be YOU giving advice to someone who needs it babexx ;)

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Hi Claire,

I'm a left below knee amputee since 2002....

First off, the shorts,, good for you! I wouldn't of worn shorts before my accident for anything.. Now, if I'm going out in public in weather warm enough to wear them, I do.. or capri's....It's so much easier adjusting my leg if I need too.. Wear them at home on the farm all the time now too, depending on what I'm doing..

They have become a convienence item... I think a lot of amputee's feel the same way. Any way, I saw a whole bunch of people in them at the amputee conferences..I'm sure that you will have to deal with the stares, we all have. However, if you look at that person's eyes long enough, they will look to see if they have gotten caught starring... You will see the look on their face that they know they have. :o ... What satisfaction!!! :D :lol: :lol: I always tend to think that maybe, they will think twice before starring the nest time....

As for good day, bad days, I think we all have them. I don't think we would be normal if we didn't.

However, there is several different perspectives to them too... My father used to say," Woulda, coulda, shoulda, are just a lot of "ouda's" Weird but true... Also, in looking at situations... when you are thinking about how bad the outcome is from your accident, think about how much worse it could of been!!!

For me, I stood every chance in the world, that I could of been paralyzed and in a wheelchair permanently. I spent months in the hospital, not being able to move without someone moving me and I don't ever care to go back there again!!!. Now, if I need to be in a wheelchair, at least, I put myself in it, and can take myself out of it. As for the crutches, at least I am able to use them. I am so lucky that the only thing that I lost was my left foot. The thought of being paralyzed is a real eye opener to how bad it could of been. No matter how bad it is for you, it could of been worse..

There is a person out there for you, be it the guy you are seeing now, or someone in the future. I think we always tend to find it when we stop looking....

This life that we have all learned to live, isn't the easiest, but it has it's rewards. I wouldn't go back to having two good legs, if it meant loosing the bravest, most couragest, compassionate, caring people that I have ever met...

Give yourself the time that you need, and stop beating yourself up so much.... One day at a time, and you'll get there...I'm sure of it!

Higgy

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Claire, you listen to Higgy....she has helped me soooooo :P :P :P much; probably more than anyone else that I know.

(eag)

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Hi Claire,

Give yourself the time that you need, and stop beating yourself up so much.... One day at a time, and you'll get there...I'm sure of it!

Soooo True.

John

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Dear Claire,

The feelings you are having are normal. Before my surgery I would stop an amputee that I saw and ask questions. 1 man bought me a cup of coffee and told me my life was not over.... Dancing, Friends, Dating and having sex etc. was not over. He was so right. I wear shorts and am often asked what happened and I explain and I hope I can pass the favor done by those that answered my questions. Swimming, Dancing, Hiking, Camping, Sex and doing the things you love and enjoy ARE NOT OVER! Just remember there is always someone who is in worse shape than you are. Prayers help also. Please feel free to email me if you need someone to talk to.

Hugs,

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[Hi Claire,

I just wanted to say that I have been to a similar place adn thoughtthe exact same thing, and I was wrong. I sevretly beleive that we are all a little overcome by our appearnace at first.

Bu time does heal all wounds.

I too thought no man would ever want me again,but I was wrong, over and over, this too shall pass.

You are not ugy just different.

I am unable to benefit form cosmesis, as I have been unable to wear a prosthetic for many years. So what you see is what you get. Yes it turns off some men, but as far as activities such as swimming go, what they think does not matter, please do not let the stares and comment (and there will be stares and comment all you life)stop YOU form living YOUR life to it's fullest.

If everybody let what people think about the way they look govern what the did or wore, this world would be a boring place.

Put on that swim suit (I swim at the YMCA twice a week) and be proud in the knowledge that otheres have done the same and that you are helping the next youg woman have confidence in her ability to face the world.

Put on a smile, and do wahtever the hell your leg allows you too. Don;t miss a single second of life. Becaseu that IS defeat.

You go girl.!

Also, you said something very interesting aobut you current"Friend" who used to be your boyfrind. Many amputees saty with old, worn out reationships becaseu the are afraid no one lese wil want them.The pattern is VERY COMMON among new amps. Perhaps you should think about what it means that he has become your friend and not you lover anymore. In time you will come to your own conclusion.

Good luck, face the world with a smile, it is still you oyster sweetie!

Unique

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[Hi Claire,

I just wanted to say that I have been to a similar place adn thoughtthe exact same thing, and I was wrong. I sevretly beleive that we are all a little overcome by our appearnace at first.

Bu time does heal all wounds.

I too thought no man would ever want me again,but I was wrong, over and over, this too shall pass.

You are not ugy just different.

I am unable to benefit form cosmesis, as I have been unable to wear a prosthetic for many years. So what you see is what you get. Yes it turns off some men, but as far as activities such as swimming go, what they think does not matter, please do not let the stares and comment (and there will be stares and comment all you life)stop YOU form living YOUR life to it's fullest.

If everybody let what people think about the way they look govern what the did or wore, this world would be a boring place.

Put on that swim suit (I swim at the YMCA twice a week) and be proud in the knowledge that otheres have done the same and that you are helping the next youg woman have confidence in her ability to face the world.

Put on a smile, and do wahtever the hell your leg allows you too. Don;t miss a single second of life. Becaseu that IS defeat.

You go girl.!

Also, you said something very interesting aobut you current"Friend" who used to be your boyfrind. Many amputees saty with old, worn out reationships becaseu the are afraid no one lese wil want them.The pattern is VERY COMMON among new amps. Perhaps you should think about what it means that he has become your friend and not you lover anymore. In time you will come to your own conclusion.

Good luck, face the world with a smile, it is still you oyster sweetie!

Unique

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