In 1981 I was fifteen years old. My mother was having a psychotic breakdown. Over the course of that year, her fixations on me intensified. At first she said I 'was' her. She tried to convince me I would be the next victim in a string of imagined crimes. Most days, she'd describe the murder scene; how I would be killed. I'd listen to her with rapt attention, fearing that what she was saying might be true. I'd watch her eyes examine me and I never really knew if she believed the things she told me or if she just enjoyed watching fear consume me. I'd leave my house at night, my emotions in shreds, the fear and paranoia having settled in every muscle in my body. My heart raced and my brain remained constantly vigilant. In the midst of my trauma, I found another place. Drugs. Alcohol. Boys. I'd guzzle cheap wine and wait impatiently for it to dull my senses and grant me power. Sometimes I'd take LSD or get so high that I didn't remember blocks of time. I'd sit with my best friends on the hood of our car smoking cigarettes, our feet in high-heeled Candie's sandals swinging to the beat of another car's radio blaring Led Zeppelin somewhere in the nearby darkness. When the crowd began to disperse, I'd find one of the handsome boys, make out and bask in the kind of attention I never tired of. I'd extend the nights for as long as I could, the fear of my mother a constant flicker just beneath my consciousness. Trigger warning: this story recounts childhood trauma. Many of the scenes may be difficult for others who have experienced child abuse.