4. How to hold a pencil.

God, this is an admission even for me but I hold my pencil in the strangest way. Always have done and have always questioned it.

I work in a school. I know how a child learns to hold a pencil. Most children come to school already with this skill. I remember writing and drawing as an infant so I must have learnt to hold my pencil at home however I’m 100% certain my parents never taught me this basic skill.

Why?

Well, it’s the same scenario with tying my laces. I hold my pencil completely differently to my family. My sister hold hers correctly as does my mother and my father never held it any other way than properly. So it leaves me puzzled to why I place the pencil between my middle and fourth finger on my right hand and not between my thumb and forefinger.

My father often teased me about my strange habit but when I asked him who I learnt it from, he would become enraged that I was accusing him of being an idiot. His answer was that I was the idiot as I could clearly not cope with the simplest of tasks. The only answer is that I taught myself and my parents never thought to correct me. Even if they did, it may have been too late as I had become adjusted to holding it that way. Was it neglect? Quite probably.

I often feel like a freak in my family. I stand out when all I want to do is fade in amongst them.

It can hurt sometimes if I write for too long, the pencil pressing against my fourth finger feels normal yet unusual although I’ve been writing this way for twenty seven years. I have tried to change my technique and write “normally” but I just can’t do it.

Is it so much to ask to be taught these basic skills? Surely it’s a child’s right.

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