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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
jberna

The People Who Stare

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What i dont get and this likee makes me totaly feel wierd is how kds have no trouble coming upo and asking questions and just being KIDS . It's the adualts whop sem to be freaked out and you got to seee what some grown ups will do to their kids whewn and if one come over and asks something . Maybe it;'s mee ort maybe oi just don't know about living in the real world or some stupid thing like that but the last time i looked , i / we are the SAME as anyone else / everyone else and NO , we will NOT infect anyone or casue world destruction so like if you have a question , i know i don't bite .

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I was on holiday in Spain about 6 weeks ago. On the coach journey and on arrival there were about a dozen men and women of pension age using walking sticks, getting the driver and courier to carry their luggage. When I arrived I was wearing my leg, after checking in, my wife and I went to our room and I removed my leg; it was getting painful. Later we went to the bar, my leg was still aching so I used my wheelchair.

In the bar several of the 'pensioners' were getting other people to go to the bar for them. When we got to the bar, they more than most, not only stared at me, but their stares were accompanied by the look of disgust.

My wife noticed this as well. I just ignored them.

A couple of days later we were sitting at a bar by the waterfront and several of the pensioners strolled by, no walking sticks, no obvious mobility problems. And yet they 'hobbled' about in the hotel getting people to get things for them. In the retsaunt there were several tables 'reserved' for disabled (wheelchair users) with 'reserved for disabled' notices on them. Of course the 'pensioners' had taken those tables, which made it very difficult for me and the waiters to find a suitable table. After a couple of days the management told the 'pensioners' not to use the 'reserved for disabled' tables.

The 'disgusted stares' I got from them was amazing. A couple of them even hired wheelchairs. But wasted their money because they couldn't use them properly. And everyone else had 'seen' through them, so nobody would push them.

Overall, my experiences lead me to believe it is the people of pension age and above stare at me the most.

Best regards

Steve

thats interesting,

i get the most evil looks when i pull up in the disabled parking spaces.......

and thats mainly from pensioners.

:ph34r:

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Just wanted to add my two cents worth.

Ignorance causes some of this stuff but also curiosity.

Any time people see anything out of the "norm" they tend to stare a bit (take my word for it I'm way beyond the borders of "norm"....LOL), especially kids. I usually find kids easy to deal with cos they are just curious and most love gross stuff lol.

So my question is......supposing it's partly ignorance, curiosity or just plain dumb rudness.....Whose job should it be to educate people about us?

Should this sort of thing be taught in schools? By us? Who should bear that responsibility?

Here we have a program where kids are intergrated into primary schools. It's for 2 reasons. One, to give kids who may never have been able to join a "normal" school a chance to actually do it. Two, to educate our kids that all sorts of different people live in this world and how to deal with that.

Just thought I'd see if anyone had an opinion. :D

Cat

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I just think the more attention drawn towards ‘difference’ (as in how and what kids should be taught ) the more isolated and odd it becomes. If kids are exposed to other cultures, lifestyles , opnions etc. on day to day basis without being ‘artificially force-fed’ into them the more natural they approach the situation later on in life. It mainly lays in the parent’s obligation as to who they become as adults. Opening the child’s horizon is a benefit not only for the people/situations they confront later on in life but also for themselves to become happy, open and honest individuals.

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I am the subject of stares. I try not to let it bother me but it is very trying at times. When I am in chair mode, I realize that the sight of a legless man is rare. I personally fight this but wheeling as fast as I can (and I am very fast) through the crowds at the mall causing havoc with some of these people. Additionally, I have developed a habit of looking directly in the eyes of any who stare = it really makes them go away. I guess it is a bit of personal power.

ED

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Hi Ed

I couldnt agree with you more, I do the same. I just carry on staring into the eyes that are staring at me, and you can almost see them cringing

Until a short while ago I wouldnt go out without my prosthesis on, but due to circumstances I have had to use my wheelchair ( or stay at home ). Its getting better or should I say I am getting better at it,dont feel so embarrased about myself cant abide the stareys!!!!

Cheers

Jenny

South Africa

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In addition - when these people stare - I know that at some time in some of their lives - they will be in the same place as I sooner or later.

ED

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Guest onelegwendi

I like the stares then I get to talk about what happened to me. I just don't see it as rude. I guess it is if you follow Proper manners but hey I figure they , whoever they are, are just curious. I have a friend whose daughter is 14 and she can't understand how I don't mind wearing shorts or showing off my leg. very embarrasing to her. But htis is also the age group that thinks EVERYTHING mom and dad do are embarrasing. I figure there are things to be embarrassed about but having a neat prosthesis is not one of them.

I get angry at the stares for parking in a handicapp parking place. People assume since they can't see my prosthesis if I have pants on that I am not handicapped. and they don't feel that blister or pimple on my stump that hurts like hell. sometimes with those stares I feel like saying " would you like for me to drop my pants and show you my handicap? but I have not done so YET

Cyall

wendi

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Judy!

I am glad you mentioned that, because I have been through the same situation as you have, but its a little different, I am 18 and your older, but when I wear shorts, it feels like the whole school is staring, but I have to be strong and think that if they had the same situation they wouldnt be staring at me. But I feel as if they think they are so "perfect" that when anyone is different they have to look down on you as if something is so wrong with you. but I also love my leg, it makes me stronger because I have been through this

Lesley

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I think people stare because we make them uncomfortable. I have some so called friends who avoid me and I think it's because it makes them uncomfortable. After all, if it happened to me it could happen to them. And as much as I wish this hadn't happened to me, I know I am a better person because of it.

I also think my 2 little grandchildren, ages 6 and 4, are probably better for having me as I am. People who are "different" don't l seem so different to them because of me. After my amputation, I was worried that they would be scared and/or uncomfortable with my appearance. My daughter, their mother, who is an RN, said, you know what, they'll get over it. And you know what, they did.

Often people who haven't seen me since the amp will say, you look really good (like they thought I would lnow be a freak) and I tell them, well, my looks never was my problem. That usually makes them laugh. It seems to be my job to make others comfortable. I'm sure most of you have that experience too.

I didn't mean to ramble but I certainly did go on. Anyway, staring is rude, but the people who stare have the misfortune of being ignorant. We, on the other hand, have had quite an education!!

Have a good week everyone. :D

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I was on holiday in Spain about 6 weeks ago. On the coach journey and on arrival there were about a dozen men and women of pension age using walking sticks, getting the driver and courier to carry their luggage. When I arrived I was wearing my leg, after checking in, my wife and I went to our room and I removed my leg; it was getting painful. Later we went to the bar, my leg was still aching so I used my wheelchair.

In the bar several of the 'pensioners' were getting other people to go to the bar for them. When we got to the bar, they more than most, not only stared at me, but their stares were accompanied by the look of disgust.

My wife noticed this as well. I just ignored them.

A couple of days later we were sitting at a bar by the waterfront and several of the pensioners strolled by, no walking sticks, no obvious mobility problems. And yet they 'hobbled' about in the hotel getting people to get things for them. In the retsaunt there were several tables 'reserved' for disabled (wheelchair users) with 'reserved for disabled' notices on them. Of course the 'pensioners' had taken those tables, which made it very difficult for me and the waiters to find a suitable table. After a couple of days the management told the 'pensioners' not to use the 'reserved for disabled' tables.

The 'disgusted stares' I got from them was amazing. A couple of them even hired wheelchairs. But wasted their money because they couldn't use them properly. And everyone else had 'seen' through them, so nobody would push them.

Overall, my experiences lead me to believe it is the people of pension age and above stare at me the most.

Best regards

Steve

thats interesting,

i get the most evil looks when i pull up in the disabled parking spaces.......

and thats mainly from pensioners.

:rolleyes:

"i get the most evil looks when i pull up in the disabled parking spaces.......

and thats mainly from pensioners." Peggy.

That exact thing happened to me yesterday, and yet i still feel guility.

Si.

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It's funny but I'm more self concious now I'm wearing long trousers than I was a few months ago wearing shorts.

When I was in shorts I didn't mind sitting anywhere to add socks but feel more embarrassed about it now ... roll on summer then I can show off my latest socket :)

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I don't think of it as staring... it's just looking at something that's a bit different... I look at things that I see as different, it's natural, and that may include people who have obviously odd looking legs etc. I'm no different from anyone else...

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Hi. I just ignore the stares. Going to get a t-shirt that says " Keep staring...I may do a trick." The children are the best they look and then say to mom " that man has no legs, what happened or why". Some have even asked me. I don't mind. I tell them I had an accident, and lost my legs. Really the thing I notice most is how many more people say hello or how you doin'. More than when I wasn't in a wheelchair. And not to be racial, which I'm not, but a lot of Black/African American, men and women say hello. Not sure why but thats whats been happening. Just thought I'd share that with y'all.

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For Byteme12 (Vince):

In reference to your comment, I too would ahve to agree. When I was in Jamaica last I had a mountain of black people (ya I know - the population is black) come up to me and talk. More than normal anywhere else.

Seems that a lot of comments were about my soul or spirit. Stuff like " I can see it in your eye's yaman". It seemed like it all fed off some ancient voodoo thingy.

Additionally, here in this part of Canada, there are a lot of "native" persons who, for whatever reason, seem to identify with me.

ED

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Yesterday DH and I were on the road and stopped off at a service station. I went ahead to purchase fast food meal to take back to the car. The food was upstairs and there was an escalator up, which was fine. Purchased food which was put in a bag and had a drink in each hand. Looked for the escalator down and there was none, decided negotiating stairs would be tricky with no hands free. Saw a lady in a wheelchair with partner leaving a table so decided there must be a lift and would follow them. Anyway the lift turned out to very tiny, (thro.a heavy pull door both ends), obviously only room for two. The couple didn't say a word but gave me very strange looks, obviously because I was using the lift.

Ann

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Well Ann:

I think you can take that one as a compliment. Apparently, you "look" like you didn't need to be there. Funny how peole are all so differnet once they have been buggered.

ED

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Murray, it is funny you should mention being more self concious wearing long pants...I also miss wearing shorts. I feel like in shorts its "out there", up front, everyone knows right away....and it IS much easier to add socks! I was just telling my husband two days ago, "I LOVE the winter, love the snow, am just a cold climate person...but one thing I do miss in the winter is the ease of wearing shorts...it is SO much easier to have an artificial leg in shorts!"

I find I wear track/athletic pants around the house much of the time because jeans are just hard to get over my socket. Lovin' this winter stuff...but look forward to spring again! ;)

Judy

LBK

Utah

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In the UK the weather is not shorts friendly for most of the time so generally I wear long trousers. I also have to dress fairly formally for work.

So when the real hot weather does arrive and the shorts are on I find that I am more self conscious particularly around people I know. I'm not talking about close friends or family whom of course are aware but casual acquaintences who are perhaps not (neighbours, friends of friends etc).

My wife attends a coffee morning with a number of other mothers of young children and mentioned it in passing during the course of a conversation. When she was picked up on it there was some disbelief that I had lost a leg to such a degree that she had to get quite cross for them to believe that she was not pulling theirs. I take this as encouragement for my gait.

It can come as quite a shock where people know me but have had no idea I am an amp and they see me for the first time. I'm not too bothered about about complete strangers when I am out with my two young daughters, for some reason they give me extra strength and courage but when I am on my own I do feel uneasy (this is something I still need to work on).

Why is it when I am away from home on holiday I couldn't give a stuff yet am more self conscious when in my home town?

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The whole stare thing is a bit bizarre. At rehab everyone gets around the same and no one gives a stuff-it's all so normal there, or at least everyone is the same. If it's hot I wear shorts and yeah I get some odd looks but even though I know its rude human beings are creatures of curiosity.

I was shopping the other day in shorts and a little boy (around 5 years old) walked straight up to me and said "did you snap your leg off" with a huge grin on his face. He wasn't being rude and I cracked up laughing. How honest and beauitfully innocent kids are

Mel.

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I agree with Mel:

Kids - it doen't matter how old they are. I am always suprised at the looks I get from the really young ones. Shows you how aware they truly are at just a few months.

ED

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Hi Judy

YES it is ignoranceand I'm sorry to say, just treat it with the derogatory contempt it deserves

Keith :blink:

I agree. Young people these days have no respect. I am female, aged 19 myself, but I am ashamed to be associated with that generation and try to avoid being around teenagers.

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Hi Judy

          YES it is ignoranceand I'm sorry to say, just  treat it with the derogatory contempt it deserves

                                                  Keith :blink:

I agree. Young people these days have no respect. I am female, aged 19 myself, but I am ashamed to be associated with that generation and try to avoid being around teenagers.

Stunning.... you've got a problem, not them... look at yourself and stop blaming a whole generation....

You must be joking.... surely, go on, admit it... look at what you've written and admit you were joking, some people will take you seriously you know.

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Why would I have been joking? Far from it. And I don't have "a problem" as you so bluntly put it, except with the lack of respect and disclipline displayed by the youth of today.

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Why would I have been joking? Far from it. And I don't have "a problem" as you so bluntly put it, except with the lack of respect and disclipline displayed by the youth of today.

I wasn't asking if you had a problem, I was stating a fact...

Saying ALL the youth of today have no respect is plainly ludicrous and offensive... try and think a little bit more positively, it'll help you more than anyone else if you do.

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