When her mother drank, Jane felt there was nothing she could do to make her happy. Sometimes, Jane’s mother would fly into rages where she told the children that they had ruined her life, and she wished they had never been born. Jane’s mother especially seemed to hold contempt for Jane—tripping or hitting her, and then kicking her when she was on the ground. Jane’s mother even ordered Jane’s sister to kick her. Meanwhile, Jane’s father would leave the house or go into another room and shut the door. “Just try not to upset your mother,” he told Jane.
As an adult, Jane finds some sense of normalcy and even comfort in chaos. A healthy relationship seems boring to her. She has an exaggerated startle reaction, and when someone raises their voice or yells, she checks out and goes into a dissociative state. Jane compensates for feeling inadequate by throwing herself into her work. Some of her friends have called her a workaholic. She recently lost her job, and she has entered a downward spiral.