Kramamma - I was like you. I didn't get an allowance for anything I did at my house when I was growing up. And like you, I was basically running the house by the time I was 8 or so. If I didn't get things done the way the step-mother wanted them done then I would get whatever she had in her hands. By the time I was able to leave I was paranoid of people being behind me and skiddish of doing anything wrong.
The best thing I can remember was working in tobacco with my aunt & uncle who lived next door. I would get something like 50 cents a hour and on Saturday afternoons my cousins who were a year older & a year younger and I would ride our bicycles to the store and spend 50 cents on a soda and candy. I would make sure I had a bottle for the deposit or find one on the way. The rest of the money would go to my step-mother to give me 50 cents for tithing each week and I have no idea what she did with the rest. She was a trick to say the least. Some things change while others remain the same. She is one who has not changed.