Alicia’s Q3: Have you ever thought about how you’d feel if you were an amputee who had to deal with attention due to only that one attribute of yourself?
Paul: “Yes, I often have. I’m unable to ever really know what it must be for an amputee, but I do imagine it to suck and be very objectifying. I don’t see a wrong in letting it be a mutually accepted part of two people knowing each other well enough to not let it be ‘stump worshipping’ only, I also realise that isn’t so easy, and that it can easily go wrong. It’s very much a one way attraction, and one that the one being admired can have great trouble to grasp and accept. Seeing someone associate sexual feelings with the biggest trauma of your life can be a deeply offending thing.
I think I have much more feelings of guilt than I’m seeing other devs I interviewed have. Even when I’ve meanwhile accepted my dev feelings to be sincere, I’m still calling them somehow ethically wrong. My attraction requires the subject of these feelings to be disabled, and I don’t think there can ever be a moral justification for that. As a result, I’m in near constant conflict between the power of the attraction and what it must mean for the one I’m attracted to. And it’s something I feel a conflict in even without actually knowing any amputees in real life.”
Alicia: “Although I don’t get your attraction as I’ve said previously, I am glad to know that you understand an amputee’s side: ‘It’s very much a one way attraction, and one that the one being admired can have great trouble to grasp and accept. Seeing someone associate sexual feelings with the biggest trauma of your life can be a deeply offending thing’. One thing I think we can agree on for both dev’s and amputeees is your sentiment on how somehow and in some form (even if it’s consensual) it’s seen as ethically wrong because like you said, ‘that attraction requires the subject of these feelings to be disabled, and I don’t think there can ever be a moral justification for that.’”
Paul: “So, how do we go from ethical wrongness to mutual understanding then?”
Alicia: “Honestly, we don’t. I think even with all the interviews and talking we’re doing here, and trying to expose the world to, this isn’t something that will go from ethically wrong to understood anytime soon. This will be controverstial for a long time, just like suicide, racism, etc. We are talking about an issue here that will continue to be an issue way past both of our life expectances. That’s for the future generation to figure out and all we can do in the meantime is try to raise awareness and broaden knowledge about it because unfortunately, devoteeism is a taboo in society.”
Paul: “I like what you’re saying here. Despite your feelings towards devoteeism, you’re calling it unfortunate it’s a taboo. To me, that shows a willingness to come closer, to try and bridge a gap that may well be never really bridged, but is nonetheless worth bridging as much as possible. And I honestly think it would be for both sides. The vast majority of current dev’s is something amputees can well do without. With the taboo expunged hopefully making more dev’s behave more respectfully, things may look different. I’d agree that’s a very distant future thing though. But still.”
Alicia: “People can dream. It’s not unattainable, it’s just not probable at this current time.”
Paul: “Sometimes, things can change pretty rapidly though, and for mysterious reasons. Not saying it’s in any way comparable, but fifteen years ago in Europe, belly shirts were only for girls with a flat stomach. Now everyone’s wearing them, and I’d say it changed perception on not every figure being ‘ideal’ for the better.”
Paul’s Q3: A devotee you have become good and trusted friends with tells you he finds your stump genuinely beautiful and sexy. Can you envision yourself to ever really believe that?
Alicia: “My current play partner is a devotee and a trusted friend and he tells me all the time that I am beautiful and sexy, not my stump, I as a whole person. Yes, he does talk about my stump and tells me it’s beautiful and sexy, but I still have a hard time taking that answer and just accepting it.
I think when speaking about/to an amputee, you have to respect and regard them as a whole before getting into whether they have a ‘sexy stump‘, whatever the fuck that even means. I don’t know if I ever really could believe it unless it was coming from someone who I was really in love with me or I was in love with. I have never been in love or been loved by someone who is a devotee, so I’ll never be able to envision that unless it happens. Until that point, the idea of being told it’s sexy and beautiful is a matter of interpretation.”
Paul: “You can assume he’s not only a good and trusted friend, but also that he finds you beautiful as a person and physically attractive. And within that context he finds that of your stump as well. I put the question sharp because I think this is where devotee feelings essentially clash with an amputee’s feelings.”
Alicia: “I think the reason amputees and dev’s clash on their feelings is because most dev’s are not sensitive to the way they approach an amputee’s body. I think if the dev is of the sort who actually gets to know the person fully and not just for that part, then maybe I could believe it. But like I had said: it’s a matter of interpretation.”
Paul: “Not meant to question what you said here, nor to deny this is a very tough thing to accomplish, but isn’t there a part of this in yourself as well? This is not only about needing to be convinced within a context of being loved and otherwise appreciated. Again, not intending to make this your problem, but isn’t this also about ‘allowing yourself’ to be found beautiful?“
Alicia: “I do find myself beautiful in a lot of ways, just not in the way that a dev would want me to. Because be honest: you’re not talking about my overall beauty. This is a dev blog, you know you are talking about my amputation.
I’ll allow myself to see my stump to be found beautiful when someone worthy can show it to me. 28 years in and still haven’t found that. Not even with my play partner.
I live in this body everyday and haven’t commited suicide yet after 12 years. That’s allowing myself enough, I’d say, and I don’t need my own self acceptance at this point to be the reason someone loves me. My mom and friends loves me and have loved me for 12 years without me having to accept myself completely, so why do I need to have to acccept my amputation to have love from someone else? Everyone has flaws that they get to bitch about and not accept without guff, and yet I get shit for the one flaw I hate the most. Why’s that fucking fair?”
Paul: “You’re perfectly free not to accept your amputation. But your reason for not accepting your overall beauty yourself has as much to do with your amputation as others judging you by it, be that dev’s or non-dev’s. My point as to allowing yourself to be found beautiful was that it’d make you like yourself more, and be less sensitive to what others think of you. Your hating to have the amputation is not making it easier for others to see your overall beauty, is it?”
Alicia: “I think if people can’t understand why I hate my amputation and why I struggle with self acceptance, and that’s the reason they can’t see all my beauty, then they can go elsewhere to find someone. If anyone is going to fault me for having every right to feel the way I feel about the fucked up shitty situation that life threw in my face, then they can cut their own fucking leg off and see how it changes them.
For years it’s always been told how I need to ABC and D for someone to love me or find me beautiful, or how I need to ‘buck up and move on’ or else I’ll never get someone. Maybe I’m better off alone if that’s the criteria to find someone!
Why do I need to change again to have someone love me or find me beautiful? There are plenty of self hating people in the world who have found love and companionship, but I’m not offered that because of a fucking amputation? Why do I have to change more than I’ve already have been forced to, to have someone find me beautiful?? Why is that a fucking credential??”
Paul: “Maybe this is a case of both sides having a point? I don’t think anyone’s denying you the right to hate what you were dealt with. At the same time, not every concern for you should be taken as a wishing you to change, perhaps?
I’m just a guy from another part of the world who met you over the internet by coincidence. I’m also someone who came to like the person he interviewed, and who’d love to see you drag yourself out of this shitty deadlock. That’s got nothing to do with wanting you to change or anything. It’s simply what liking a person makes you think.“
Alicia: “You and whoever is gonna read this and judge me need to realize that this ‘shitty deadlock’ you see isn’t something I live 24/7. Do you realize I don’t live this hate 24/7?”
Paul: “This question is paying a lot of attention to it, so I’m likely getting a distorted picture here, yes.”
Alicia: “Exactly. You see it now because your interview is dragging it out. I don’t wake up everyday like ‘fucking hate myself’. It’s up and down. That’s why I’m on meds. I still feel like no one is factoring that in. I haven’t killed myself yet in 12 years, that says a lot, doesn’t it?”
Paul: “In a blunt way of saying, it does.”
Alicia: “So why is that not good enough for anyone but me at this moment? I’m not saying forever, I’m saying in this moment I am winning the fight enough for myself, and no one agrees with me. Everyone thinks I should fight harder and more. That’s all I’ve been doing for 12 years. I’m not some shut in who avoids life because I can’t stand daily life as an amputee. Everything everyone is saying since we started the blog is about changing who I am when none of them even fucking know me. I know me, and again if I really was miserable the way I’m being distorted as or whatever, I would have just killed myself. Why is that not clear?”
Paul: “This makes me think of a comment I read on your own blog, made by someone you met at that convention your went to. It said: ‘You know from the first time we talked that I see you as I see all of my friends. I only asked about what I asked because I thought I may be going through something similar my self. You are awesome and I love you because you rock you, not because you are disabled, or because you are an amputee, but because you live your life to the fullest every day of your life’. That’s a pretty different picture.”
Alicia: “It is! You and the whole internet are just meeting me. If you were to ask anyone from the last 12 years who actually know me, they would tell you I’m way more adjusted and happy than my writings would lead you to believe. You run a devotee blog. Posts are never about the fun shit I did over the weekend. It’s always gonna be about this, what we are taking about right now.
Yeah, if all we ever focus on is the amputation, it’ll sound like I’m angry and full of self hatred all the fucking time. So, for a dev blog that’s supposed to be about awareness, when do you start asking me questions that have nothing to do with amputee shit and just get to know amputees as people without the backstory?”
Paul: “Good point, and I’ll take it to mind. And you feel free to tell us about the fun things you do. You have the floor for it in the Diaries.”
Alicia: “Noted :)”
Click to Dialogue (4)