Posted by: Old Sally Draper | December 25, 2010

The Watchful Child

 A Joyless Childhood

Set The TableDuring my childhoood, with the zen-like coaching of my psychiatrist Dr. Edna, I became a master at hiding my feelings from my mother. At that time my mother was effectively using cigarettes and lots of Scotch to crush her own feelings, so on the whole that strategy was was working out pretty well.

Unlike a lot of children, I became analytical and aware of others’ feelings. This awareness of others is probably because I was always watchful. I always had an eye on my mother. 

I learned several important lessons. One, always know what your adversary is doing and thinking. Two, never let your fear or disgust or sadness show. Three, don’t be observed while you’re observing.

It wasn’t a fun way to grow up. For a long time I hated my mother. Thank goodness for therapy. We get along much better now.

Previously published 12/15/10 on


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