I had a chat with Mom last night. She confirmed that there was an expectation for me: I was the rock-steady kid, the low-maintenance kid, the one who didn't need a lot of work. She didn't know that I had picked up on this, and made it true by hiding my feelings and suppressing my emotions. She had no idea that I was suppressing my emotions, especially the most painful ones, and not learning to deal with them at all. There were probably a few outbursts in the 9-11 year old range, but by the time I was a teen I had all my emotions completely suppressed outwardly. I still felt the pain of a disappointing experience, but I kept it completely to myself, and didn't let on that I was miserable inside. I held to the image my parents wanted. Consequently, my childhood sucked.