Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Langley Annex

   I coulda been a spy!

Funny how you can have those sudden epiphanies as you look back on your life. (Had Daddy really planned to marry my stepmother, or did he only do it to gain custody of me after I basically ran away from home?)

          I just realized the other day that my sister and I gradually developed spy abilities over the years. Our mother was an alcoholic, with all the mercurial changes in personality that can involve – charming and caring one moment, unkind and undependable later.

          I learned how to travel through the house and the day quietly, waiting to see what the lay of the land would be, the less attention I attracted the better. I still don’t bang cupboard doors or curse loudly when I stub my toe.

          We both became skilled at reading people, a trait I would sometimes see in the teenagers I taught and worried about.

          I never invited friends back to my house, since who knew what would be happening when we got there? And information about my life at home was doled out minimally, on a need-to-know basis.

          While living with my father and stepmother, I remember a time at the dinner table when my stepmother commented on my chattiness. I was 13, before the onset of the silent moody teenage years that everyone hits. I’d had a great day at school and must have gone on and on about this happening and that happening and it felt safe to tell someone about it.

          Now I have to remind myself sometimes to just stop talking already!



  1. That would have been tough for you, but you did develop some impressive coping skills.

  2. Well, you certainly learned how to write and bring my attention along with you! :-)

  3. You learned to cope and it's helped you through your life. Some kide are devastated and destroyed.

  4. Learning coping skills early in life would be a bonus I'd think.

  5. Thoughtful post, life, in retrospect, can make one wonder about choice. Sounds like you did ok. Cheers.

  6. It is interesting to consider the ways we all grew up and how that may have affected our personalities.


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