One of the things my anxiety loves to do to me is try and convince me that everything is my fault.
Of course, this only applies to the bad things. When good things happen, anxiety brain likes to remind me that I just got lucky or that this stroke of good fortune can’t possibly last. Good things are a fluke, and bad things are completely and utterly my fault—and if it’s my fault, it must also be my responsibility to fix them or be punished for failing to fix them. Anxiety brain can really get out of hand with what qualifies as “bad” and “my fault.” I’ve had to pull a slew of coping mechanisms out of my tool box to deal with anxiety brain trying to punish me for the actions of the American government barely three days into 2020.
We see those tendencies crop up for Alexis in Chapter 13 of Author x Audience as well, especially in relation to her relationship with her mother and being home again.