Mollie McKay was 19 when her mother and, five months later, her father died. These events undermined a sense of security, which had never been strong. She was surprised to find herself pining for the parents she had lost and felt that she was experiencing the disaster that she had dreaded through most of her childhood, that her parents would die and leave her unprotected from the dangers of the world. She became extremely apprehensive and inclined to panic. She attempted to relieve the tension and anxiety with alcohol, but although this gave some immediate relief she found herself becoming increasingly dependent on this drug.