My parents wanted to make sure I had everything I needed to feel like everyone else and so they thought prosthetics would provide a solution. But, prosthetics didn’t make me feel like everyone else. I felt uncomfortable wearing them.  When I was a sophomore in high school I stopped wearing my prosthetic legs. Not because they “weren’t doing their job” but because they were cumbersome and uncomfortable and didn’t make me feel like me. I don’t remember all the details, but I do remember it was my choice to not wear the prosthetics anymore. In fact, I remember having conversations with doctors that I didn’t want to wear the legs anymore. Instead of telling me that I had to wear them he asked me why and what I did or did not like about them. He wanted to know how to make them better for someone else.

It made me realize that I can be just who I wanted to be without wearing fake stuff and he accepted me that way.

I didn’t stop wearing my arm until college. I remember my mom used to tell me “you have to wear your arm to school today” and I would say I don’t want to wear my arm. I remember asking my mom “Do I have to wear my arm today” and she would respond “yes you have to wear your arm today.” Is it really weird to look back and think that I had to ask those questions? How many people can honestly say that they’ve had to ask the question ‘do I have to wear my arm today?’

When I was a freshman in college I stopped wearing my arm.  My then boyfriend kept saying to me, “I notice that you don’t wear your legs anymore. Why do you still feel it so important to wear your arm?” And that was a good question. I didn’t wear my legs was because I was comfortable being the way I was. I did question why I wore my arm. It was uncomfortable, I couldn’t wear certain outfits because my arm would show and the straps of my arms would show and that would make me self-conscious.  He got tired of me whacking him with it and in my defense, I kept my arm is so I could use it as a weapon,  So, the reason he didn’t want me to wear it anymore is that he didn’t want it hitting him. It made me realize that I can be just who I wanted to be without wearing fake stuff and he accepted me that way. That was my first validation of being accepted just like I want to be. This is how I feel like everybody else.

Outside of Me