People will often come up with jokes and mental exercises to cope with dangerous or painful things they’ve endured. It’s a common occurrence, though one that might look strange to an outside observer.
But when Redditor Not_a_muggle6523 made some jokes about herself, some other people took offense. So she took the issue to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.
The Original Poster (OP) asked:
“AITA for making jokes about my amputations?”
Her story went:
“I had an accident a little over a year ago and some of my fingers were amputated. I am a hobbiest woodworker and it’s one of my passions.”
“Someone on my local Buy Nothing group was asking for a laptop table for her wheelchair bound teen so he could do his homework while he was recovering from a brain tumor.”
“Anyway, I offered to make one and when I was almost finished I had an accident with the table saw. Lost my index, middle, and top of my thumb to the saw.”
“I’ve remained very optimistic and upbeat about it and don’t let it get to me.”
“I finished the table the day after I got out of the hospital and still do woodworking. I got a really cool prosthetic which you may have seen on Reddit in the past and I’m pretty body positive & open when it comes to my injury.”
“However this is where I may be [the a**hole] (TA).”
“I joke about my amputations a lot and when people ask me ‘what happened’ I will say something silly like ‘oh I lost a game of pull my finger’ or ‘the booger monster got them when I was picking my nose’.”
“I was even making jokes about getting a discount at nail salons now, while in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. Looking back, the paramedic didn’t seem amused.”
“Anyway.. Kind of childish but humor is what gets me through. I was recently told off for this by another amputee on TikTok who asked me what happened.”
“I was told I was being insensitive and that I shouldn’t make light of a very serious thing, especially when other amputees ask me about my missing fingers.”
“That it was triggering for them to see me be joking about something that mentally tore them up.”
I didn’t really know what to say so I just didn’t respond and now I feel like I may have been TA for joking around instead of saying what actually happened to me.”
Responses on AITA provide votes that are tallied to determine whether someone is or isn’t being an a**hole.
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
In this instance, people determined OP was NTA.
“NTA. You’re using humor to cope with YOUR OWN amputations. You’re not hurting anyone else by doing that, and if they can’t separate their experiences from yours that’s on them.”
“If you posted those same jokes on pictures of other amputees, that would be rude, but you have every right to make light of your owm situation if that makes you feel better.” – chiropterra
“NTA. You like this, and you are free to do this.”
“Maybe avoid it with other amputees just to avoid discussion. Personally I’d really appreciate your humor.” – Short_Instance1924
“NTA. I think that you making jokes about yourself and staying positive is a really healthy thing.”
“While everyone’s triggers are different, I don’t think it was fair of that other person to go off on you like that. They also need to respect that everyone has a different way to heal.” – catladywithallergies
“NTA – you can talk about YOUR amputations how you want. As long as you aren’t generalising or saying it about others it’s all good.”
“I make a lot of ‘bad taste’ jokes about my health issues.” – CleaRae
However, not everyone was convinced anyone was at fault here.
“I totally don’t think you’re TA. I’m going with NAH.”
“You have a right to joke about your amputation but other amputees can be annoyed or upset.”
“People lose fingers and limbs from disease and war all the time. It’s a little harder to laugh about when losing your toes could’ve been your life.” – Todayismyday98
“NAH. You are absolutely allowed to cope however works for you. But others don’t necessarily have to be comfortable with it either.” – 5-2blue
“NAH. I know a woman who is a double amputee. She doesn’t have legs. She used to use prosthetics and when she did she drove with them hanging out of the window.”
“Or those bloody fake limbs at Halloween stores. She thinks they are hilarious.”
“You aren’t making fun of anyone but yourself. If it helps, keep on, don’t let anyone stop you.” – wmreeves613
Others even got into disagreements, showing the nuance in an argument like this.
“NTA you are allowed to joke about your amputations the way you are comfortable. It’s unfair of people to put pressure on you to talk about things in a way that might make you uncomfortable.”
“You’ve found a way to talk about your situation that makes you feel okay. Don’t entertain the haters. And, not everyone who goes through something similar has the same reaction to said event.”
“So, screw those people for lacking understanding.” – rawsugar87
“Well… maybe also read the room a bit. People can get uncomfortable around amputees or any body parts that don’t look like they should.”
“If the jokes don’t land, dial them back and save the A material for people who appreciate it. OP shouldn’t have to hide [her] hand or pretend [she’s] upset about it when [she’s] not, but [she] can meet people halfway” – ohdearitsrichardiii
“Look if fellow amputees ask her to dial it back, then, fair play, but if someone’s just uncomfortable because she’s ‘different’? Nah.” – alicetheoboist
The general consensus appears to be OP can deal with her own amputation in a way that’s comfortable for her, but she should maybe read the room from time to time.