I Am Left Handed!
I am left-handed.
I was born left-handed, but everyone else in my family and most of my friends are right-handed. Some of them noticed the difference, but didn’t say anything about it to me. I noticed the difference too, but didn’t know what to make of it.
When I was young, it didn’t matter much. Everyone treated me the same, but as I neared puberty, I started to feel uncomfortable about being different from everyone else, so I decided the only thing to do was to be right-handed. It was strange and difficult and felt wrong, but I struggled through it. It got easier the more I used it and everyone around me was more accepting of me since I was now right-handed, just like they were.
In high school, I kept vigilant about my right-handedness and moved forward with my life. Occasionally I would see a left-handed person and be quietly jealous, but when my friends made fun of them for being left-handed, I didn’t mention it.
Soon I met a man who liked me a lot. He was right-handed and asked me to marry him. I had accepted that right-handed was what I was supposed to be, so I married him. Sometimes I had to hide my left hand behind my back because I wanted to use it, but I was ashamed and afraid of what others would think, so I didn’t.
Soon it was apparent that my right hand didn’t fit his right hand and we divorced. I thought there must be something wrong with his right hand.
After a few years, I found another right-handed man who liked me even more and I married him. Now, our hands fit pretty well together, not quite perfect, but I was willing to accept that. Several years later he found another right-handed person that he liked better and we divorced.
This time I decided I would be very careful about finding a right-handed spouse since, of course, all right-handed people are supposed to be married to a right-handed person. I waited a long time and found another right-handed man that liked me and I felt lucky to find him because I wasn’t sure I would ever find a right-handed man that fit with my right hand. Several years later he decided he didn’t like my right hand anymore and we divorced.
I was left feeling broken and somehow at fault. At first I thought there must be something wrong with these right-handed men, but after three tries and failures, I decided that there was something wrong with MY right hand.
I did a lot of thinking after that. I thought about my left hand, too, but didn’t tell anyone. No one would understand if, suddenly, after all these years, I told them I was left-handed. They would think I was crazy or confused or, worse yet, that I was FAKING being left-handed. So I said nothing and continued pretending to be right-handed.
A few years later I made a friend with someone new in town. We talked and laughed and had a fun time together. One day, I saw her using her LEFT hand. I was shocked. She was using it in front of people and wasn’t worried about them seeing her. I didn’t say anything about it to her, but I was jealous. I wanted to use my left hand, too.
The more time we spent together, the more relaxed I was about her and her left-hand. Some people would comment or say hurtful things behind her back, but most just accepted that she was left-handed and went on.
One day I got the nerve to whisper to her that I was left-handed, too. She was a little surprised because I had done such a good job pretending to be right-handed, but she was glad that I had decided to tell her. She also told me that I could be left-handed around her and it would be okay. That made me happy.
After I had built up the courage to tell her, I told another close friend, who was right-handed. I wondered if she would still be my friend. She was very surprised and told me I had done a really good job pretending to be right-handed. She also told me that she was still my best friend, no matter what hand I chose to use.
Soon, people started to notice that I had a left-handed friend and they started to wonder if, maybe, I was left-handed, too. At first this scared me because I didn’t know how they would act or if they would still be my friends or, heaven forbid, that my family might hear that my friend was left-handed. But, to my amazement, most people only talked about it for a little while, then stopped.
In the meantime, I started to get to know other people who were left-handed. Most of them had been using their left-hand, openly, since they were young. It was hard for me to understand how they felt so comfortable using their left-hand in public. I had always felt that it was wrong to do so. Some of them told me stories about when they were younger and people would make fun of them being left-handed. It was very hurtful. Some had even lost family members who could not accept that they were left-handed.
This made me start to think about my own family. How would my family feel about it if I told them I was left-handed? Would they understand? I decided to tell one family member and see how it went.
He took it very well and told me he was glad that it made me happy to be left-handed. He knew several left-handed people and didn’t think it was such a big deal. This made me very happy.
Next, I thought I would try telling my mom. I was sure that she wouldn’t understand, so I introduced her to a few of my left-handed friends first, just to see how she reacted.
She was quite friendly to them, but once asked me, privately, if I knew they were left-handed. I told her I knew they were left-handed and that it did not matter to me. She said it didn’t matter so much to her, either. This also made me happy.
One day, I was sitting with my mom and I decided to tell her that I was left-handed. It took a lot of courage, but I felt like I had to tell her because I didn’t want to hide it anymore. At first, I think she was confused. Or maybe she thought I was confused. We started talking about my right-handed spouses and how I pretended to be right-handed then. We also talked about how long I had known I was left-handed. She even asked me if I thought someone had MADE me left-handed. I told her no one had and that I had known all my life I was left-handed.
She then asked me if she ever made me feel like the right-hand was the only hand to use. I told her she had not directly made me feel that way, but it seemed implied all my life, so I just did it. I was a dutiful daughter and didn’t want to upset anyone by using my left hand.
She told me she loved me no matter which hand I used. She also told me she was glad it made me happy to be left-handed. How exhilarating it was to be in my mid-thirties and suddenly feel like it wasn’t the end of the world that I was left-handed.
So my journey begins; one of peace and discovery and happiness……just being left-handed.
I am left-handed!