In the morning the front page of the local paper told everyone I was in hiding with my mother.

Mum called a dear family friend, while we sat in the car in the hotel’s carpark, and begged me to speak with her. Without being able to prepare her friend, mum passed me the mobile.

Gabriella was a gem and spoke with me for well over an hour.

In my mind, Gabriella was part of the conspiracy against me to exile me from life. Somehow Gabriella convinced me to go to hospital.

Mum developed severe breathing difficulties and chest pain. I believed They had caused me to accidentally poison her. I drove with intent to the hospital believing mum had only moments to live and that I would be responsible for her death.

I noticed a yellow sports car following us. I weaved through the traffic, crossed a double yellow line and parked in the ambulance zone. We went to emergency and mum was admitted quickly because of her symptoms. I told the doctor what I thought I’d done while they checked mum’s vitals.

It was diagnosed as a panic attack. I have a daughter and can’t imagine what seeing your child act like a stranger must be like. I don’t want to.

Because of my odd remarks and what mum explained, we were asked to remain in the emergency waiting room. A message kept flashing up on a sign hanging from the ceiling: “In triage the most serious patients are seen first”. For me, this said ‘you’re not sick, you’re a fraud. You’re wasting our time.’ I didn’t consider leaving. Shame and humiliation were my punishment.

My ex-boyfriend agreed to wait with mum and me. Shaun was calm, concerned and completely unfazed by my endless chatter of apologies and conspiracy theories. I am grateful for Shaun’s support at the time. I felt I didn’t deserve his empathy, but his quiet calm gave me moments of peace in a world that felt completely alien and hostile.

Poor mum. She was the enemy. I blamed her for everything and wanted nothing to do with her.

Given that I was driving while psychotic I thought the following article would be informative. Andrea Paquette explores the responsibility for their actions of those with psychosis.