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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
tesstay

feeling down

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Hey all!

My name is Tess and I'm a new member to this forum. I was born without half of my left arm at the elbow. I have wonderful friends and family, and grew up with much confidence and often cracked jokes about my arm. But starting about a year ago the staring really started to get to me and I've been very self-conscious of my nub and sometimes find myself trying to hide it when meeting new people. I get this idea in my head that once someone realizes I am missing an arm they will be freaked out or if I meet a guy he will no longer be interested in me. How does everyone else cope with these feelings?

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

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Welcome to the forum Tess.... I"m sorry that you are feeling down....

I'm a left below knee so, I would have no idea what you might experience being a below elbow, but I do know about stares. Hard as it may seem, I just take a deep breath, raise my chin up, and do what I have to do. Fortunately, as a child, I had a father that taught me that I am as good as anyone else, and I have never let things stop me by feeling less than anyone else...As far as body issues, I think that is something that we all go through at some point, and it is normal. It's just your reasoning that might be a little off, but, there is a world of people that are out there, that you are PERFECTLY NORMAL to..I think that we all deal with those same issues at some time, it's just your limb that you feel so insecure about.

It's not always easy, being an amputee... but life is so definitley do-able... we just do it a little differently. You sound like such a sweet, polite,young lady. Again, welcome to the forum, and thanks for the intro about yourself...Not everyone does that when they join...Make yourself at home.....

PS.... A little trick I learned... If you really catch someone staring at you because of your limb.. just keep looking at their eyes.. sooner or later, they are going to look up to see if you have caught them starring at you... and they will always find me smiling at them..... They know they have been caught starring... and they are usually the one then, to feel uncomfortable. :smile:

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Hello Tess,

Needless to say I get my fair share of stares. I either smile at them or look elsewhere and move on. The children are the best. They come back for 2 or 3 looks sometimes. The parents just about die if they ask me, "where are your legs?".

I hope you start feeling like your old self. I myself do not like looking in a mirror to see me in the chair.

I can tell you you'll get a lot of support and happy thoughts here. Hang in there. God bless you and your family.

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Welcome to the forum, Tess. I love the beach and the boat, so my biggest fear was people seeing me in a swim suit. Missing a leg definitely made me quit worrying what my body looked like at the beach! What I thought was, if I saw someone like me, I would think or say, "you go girl". So rather than think someone is staring and thinking how odd I look, I choose to think they are staring because they think I'm courageous! Because that's what I would think about someone else.

I will admit there are times here and there when I feel a little self-conscious. But I am who I am, and people (well, most people) love me just as I am. :smile: And they love you too.

Tammie's advice, as usual, is spot on.

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I'm with you Marcia. You go!!!

I don't give a rip what people think or how much they stare. I have a beautiful leg just to gather their stares.

I have a friend with pictures of his prosthetic leg in his wallet. When he finds someone staring at him, he just gives them one. LOL You'd have to know Wayne though. He's a crazy kind of guy.

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Hi Tess,

Welcome to the forum. I know this is a late addition, but end of term is crazy not only for student, but those who teach. I am getting caught up these wonderful postings.

I too am sorry you are feeling down. I am a BK amp and in the beginning I wanted to look "normal" again, so I wanted a leg covering. And some of the staring stopped, but I am so active I kept ripping the cover and that looked even more weird. Then I went to the Annual conference of America Coalition of Amputees and met lots of wonderful people who had "naked" legs and it really made me think. So, last year I too had a "naked" leg. Yes, people now stare, but for me it is a chance for education (I am a teacher all the time--I love to teach). I usually go up and pull up my skirt/pants and show them my beautiful leg--the socket is covered with great quilting fabric. If they don't freak out--few do--they learn something and that amputees are truly differently abled, not disabled.

This forum is a GREAT place to share feelings etc. I have found people here really listen and care.

Peace, Beth Marie

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