Author Topic: One legged Freak  (Read 5230 times)

Offline ginger

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One legged Freak
« on: February 24, 2008, 01:44:46 AM »
Hi all.
  For the first time since my amputation, 8/07, my 9 year old daughter made this comment to me.
Oh my goodness, I did not know what to say to her.  It hurt me so deeply, is this the way she really thinks of me.
It wasn't like we were having a bad day or arguing.  She was sitting on my lap and I was tickling her.

  How do I handle this???????

   I am still trying to accept my situation myself.  I know that she is young and has to be having a hard time also.

   Please everyone, I need some advice.

ginger
Ginger Henneberger
38 YO  Strykersville, NY
injury 8/28/02
R AKA 8/07
Still recovering, but doing great

Offline pegleg jack

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Re: One legged Freak
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2008, 09:39:20 AM »
 :( Ginger, OUCH THAT ONE HURT; the only thing that i can come up with is for you to find another amp and have them talk to her. Here is one place that you can find that or ask your CPO (the person that made your leg), another is to go into AMPUTEE-COALILATION of AMERICA and click on peer support and go the group location and there may be one near you. Possibly that will help. hopefully she was just joking when she said that, so lets hope that is it, because i have found out the young children are the one's that are curious about it.
you-all have a great day.

Offline ginger

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Re: One legged Freak
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2008, 10:24:55 AM »
Pegleg,
She says she was joking, but it still hurts.  She has been really extra sweet since. Thanks for the advice. :-X
Ginger Henneberger
38 YO  Strykersville, NY
injury 8/28/02
R AKA 8/07
Still recovering, but doing great

Offline Steve C

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Re: One legged Freak
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2008, 11:34:44 AM »
I certainly wouldn't have liked hearing that. I suspect that as you two weren't fighting then it was said in jest. It seems that some of the slang today can be hurtful it taken literally.
Where ever I go, I'll always have one foot in Ireland   /   I'm not a complete fool. Some parts are missing.

jmoore

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Re: One legged Freak
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2008, 12:14:44 PM »
hi ginger sorry about that i bet that hurt i would just talk to her  i bet some kid at school made a comment or like Steve said just in jest or just trying to be funny and it came out the wrong way i know my daughter had a tough time with my amp she was 15 at the time she told me it was hard because her friends did not understand   when she would trying to talk to them about it, so i had her talk to a counselor at school and that really help her good luck and take care.

Offline Mitchee

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Re: One legged Freak
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2008, 07:45:02 PM »
Hi Ginger.  I'm sure that comment really hurt.  I'm sure that she was just being a kid and didn't realize that it hurt your feelings.

Today's kids are bombarded with slang and comments that they hear everywhere (at school, on the school bus, hanging out with friends, TV, radio, video games, etc.).  It's hard for them to know which comments they can say and when and if they are appropriate.  This makes it a very tough job to be a good parent. 

I would politely explain to her that comments such as that can be hurtful to people.  I'm sure that a gentle explanation will eliminate any future comments. 

I'm sure that your daughter didn't mean it to be hurtful and was kidding.  Sometimes kids have a hard time expressing their feelings, if she was kidding that might be her way of letting you know that she is okay with your amputation. 

Does she talk to you about your amputation?  Kids worry too.  She probably has some questions but doesn't know how to ask them.  I would suggest keeping her involved in your care.  Tell her when you are able to do something as an amputee that you couldn't previously do or tell her when you are able to do something that you used to do.  She will think the milestones are cool and she will like being kept in the loop.  Just keep it simple and positive and she will follow your lead.   :)

Good luck and please keep us posted.

Michelle


Initial injury:  July 1985
Amputation:  December 2006 - Ertl LBKA

"The journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step."
 -Lao Tzu

Offline herb

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Re: One legged Freak
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2008, 09:21:37 PM »
Hi Ginger - your daughter is only 9. It is unlikely that freak means the same to her as it does to you. I have 5 children and they each reacted in their own unique ways to my amputation. One of my daughters is capable of make such a statement, but I know her well enough to know that she speaks sometimes without regard for the feelings of others, but she does not really intend to hurt. You need to speak to her about how disability in some form comes to everyone eventually.She will come to realize that you are still the same mother you were before your amputation and with some adjustments life will return to normal. Good luck. Herb

Offline ginger

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Re: One legged Freak
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2008, 11:32:11 PM »
Thanks all for your support and  advice.  I have since spoken with her and she apologized and said that she didn't know that it would hurt me like it did, then she asked what freak meant.  She admitted it was something that she heard on the bus.

Thanks again for all your help.
Ginger Henneberger
38 YO  Strykersville, NY
injury 8/28/02
R AKA 8/07
Still recovering, but doing great

Offline Dick Stevens

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Re: One legged Freak
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2008, 03:09:35 AM »
Hi, Ginger:

Welcome aboard.  You're already getting a taste of what good this motley crew can do. 

Ain't kids wonderful and full of surprises?  I'm glad you and she cleared the air.  Yes, at just 9, she probably didn't realize the power of that word.  I'm sure there's a few other words - like off-color ones - that she has to learn when and when not to use 'em.  The relationship you have before, during, and after that little incident will say alot more than the word that slipped out of her mouth.

She probably doesn't know many amputees, so it IS different for her.  As she gets used to Mom's "difference", she'll better appreciate other people who may have "differences" of one kind or another.  Here's just one more way she's broadening her horizons.

Dick Stevens, DBKA in PA

snowbear

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Re: One legged Freak
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2008, 09:10:21 PM »
  WOW! I just came across this topic. First maybe she heard it at school with some kids. Second use that moment to tel her about disabilities and how not everyone is the same. People have many different handicaps. Some lie out of sight and some are visible. then tell her how lucky she is to be  body able. And to never make fun of a person with a disability child or adult.

Offline Annie

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Re: One legged Freak
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2008, 04:35:52 AM »
Hi all.
  For the first time since my amputation, 8/07, my 9 year old daughter made this comment to me.
Oh my goodness, I did not know what to say to her.  It hurt me so deeply, is this the way she really thinks of me.
It wasn't like we were having a bad day or arguing.  She was sitting on my lap and I was tickling her.

  How do I handle this???????

   I am still trying to accept my situation myself.  I know that she is young and has to be having a hard time also.

   Please everyone, I need some advice.

ginger


Hi Ginger

I think that your daughter probably didn't mean to hurt your feelings and the fact that she said it in 'playful' situation reflects this. Children do say things quite upfront sometimes that are upsetting to parents especially if they are feeling emotional, I expect we all did it at some point or other, I can still remember a few things I said to my mum and now cringe at the thought of them.  If you listen to how children (esp little girls are) to each other in the playground, they are quite nasty sometimes to each other, and I think the fact that you were playing together she was caught a bit offguard and reacted the same way to you as she might of thrown off hand comments to friends when they were mucking around together.

The only thing I can suggest is to let her know how much the comment hurt your feelings, like you say you did, and let her know that that particular expression isn't very nice to say. Like you say, she didn't know what this expression really meant and your daughter is only nine years old, so I wouldn't worry unduly about it.  I remember when one little girl at one of my daughters parties we held at a well known fast food restaurant, she was aged about the same age as your daughter, made quite a loud comment about the colour of a member of staffs skin, which I found highly embarrassing and did have a quiet word with her.  That little girl is quite grown up now and would probably be mortified by the comment she made.

I had my amputations long before I had children, went through high school with them myself, so probably was quite hardened to adverse comments by the time I had my children, even so can't really remember them making any adverse comments, although I remember my eldest aged about three years old, used to tell everyone we met absolutely everything about my legs, my boys though were much less talkative about it. However, its difficult for you because its early days, I had years of coming to terms myself with my situation and really only had to think of myself, but you will find it easier to deal with as time goes on and your daughter will also find ways of dealing with other peoples comments too, because even in this enlightened world, at some point she will probably take some stick from another child about your leg and will find her own ways of handling that, maybe this is what led to her making this comment, although I doubt if she would tell you that, with mine I found its not always what they say, but what they don't say.

Offline Joe A.

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Re: One legged Freak
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2008, 06:52:20 PM »
Best advise I can offer is to not dump your psychosis / neurosis on your daughter. You have a problem. Don't make it hers. The damage done already may be permanent.
Private discussions regardless of topic are welcome by writing to kapunui@windstream.com

Offline Ervin56

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Re: One legged Freak
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2008, 03:12:35 PM »
Humor's a trip, ain't it? I live in southern NM, and nearly always wear shorts, so my "badge" is always showing.  Sometimes in public, I'll come across somebody that has a mobility issue, and I'll say something like "move it gimpy", and when they turn to find the smart a**,  I am always greeted with a grin when I follow my remark up with "hey!, I've got a license to say that!". Yet, I know that my remarks won't set right with someone someday, and I'll be questioning my own sense of humor. I guess my point is that we ALL take ourselves WAY TOO SERIOUS at times. Do you know that old cliche, "I'm not laughing at you, I'm laughing with you" ? I've got a new one! If you can't laugh at yourself, I will for you!! Ain't I funny!!???!!!!!

Offline Joe A.

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Re: One legged Freak
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2008, 05:24:57 PM »
Or what about, "I'm not laughing at you, I'm laughing near you"  Or,
"I'm not laughing at you... Well yes I am laughing at you". A nice perspective but now the child is twice baked for insulting and for hurting. That lady is going to be an amputee for the rest of her life. She neds to get her mind right. vShe needs to learn the difference between feeling sorry for oneself and self compassion. You do your crying in the rain. You don't dump it on a child to make yourself feel better.
Private discussions regardless of topic are welcome by writing to kapunui@windstream.com

snowbear

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Re: One legged Freak
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2008, 05:29:04 PM »
Within reason we all need humor and to make fun of ourselves time to time. It helps to get us through the bad stuff.! :)