Throughout her memoir, Susannah very explicitly ties her apartment in Manhattan to her sense of adulthood and independence. She treats it as very literally a symbol of her independence and is distraught when her parents refuse to allow her to return to it when she begins suffering seizures and needs constant supervision. She's similarly upset, even if she struggles to admit it, when she's forced to move out of her apartment for good following her release from the hospital. This is a heavy blow, as it drives home the fact that Susannah is wholly incapable of living alone. Though she struggles with the transition, Susannah finds her independence again when she moves in with Stephen. This move also reinforces the fact that Susannah has truly reentered adulthood and taken the very mature step of living with a romantic partner.
Apartments Quotes in Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness
Though my behavior was worsening day by day, it was still difficult for her to reconcile the old image that she had of her daughter as trustworthy, hard working, and independent with the new, unpredictable, and dangerous one.
In many ways, during that recovery period at my mother's home, I associated the pills—and the fights they engendered—with her. In a practical sense, I needed her to portion out the pills because it was far too complicated a task for me at the time. In a more emotional sense, though, I began to feel that she, like the pills, embodied my contemptible dependence.
It was one thing to live at my parents' house for a few months, knowing that I had my own place just a train ride away. Now my only home was with my mom; it was like a complete return to childhood.