I thought I should give a little of my own background, especially about how long I’ve wanted a leg amputation and how it’s affected me until now.
When I was 9 years old, I was out grocery shopping with my parents. When we were heading back to the car, I saw someone who had an amputated leg (I don’t know how they lost it – veteran, maybe? Industrial accident?) and was fascinated. I wasn’t shocked or repulsed or anything like that. I vaguely remember asking my parents about the man and his missing leg, but I think they just passed it off as an unfortunate thing that had happened to him. I wasn’t convinced that it was a bad thing – what was wrong with him? He got around fine. It wasn’t the defining moment of my life – not a significant realization or anything – but it did kind of cement the idea that amputation was possible, just a thing that happens for some people, and not necessarily a bad thing.
Over the next few years, the idea of only having one leg came and went. I regularly tied up one of my legs (always my right one) and hopped around my room. Once, my parents caught me doing it, but I said I was playing pirate or something. Even then, I knew that only wanting one leg was strange and not normal, but yet it felt right when I did it. After that, I had a few scares with nearly being found my older sister and younger brother and stopped doing it so often. The last thing I wanted to happen was them laughing at me, even though I felt good pinning my leg up.
The feelings of wanting my leg gone never went away through my teens. In fact, they intensified. The older I got, the more I thought I was crazy – I’d never heard of anything like it. What kind of person wants to get rid of their own leg?
We didn’t have the internet yet, so it would be a few years before I could search the web and see what was wrong with me or if there was anyone like me in the world. I didn’t want to tell anyone because I was so ashamed of what I want to do. Keeping it to myself has been a huge part of my anxiety, but yet I know that that’s how I’m supposed to be.