Helen recalls the memories of her father leaving when she and her twin, Ellen, were just four years old. The additional pain of being given up for adoption by their mother causes a lengthy battle with abandonment issues and a continuing fear of being left alone. The twins' mother attempts to care for them for a period of time after their father leaves, but can't handle the situation because of her alcoholism. The twins are adopted separately.

Now, Helen's own twenty-three year marriage is crumbling, primarily due to her husband's chronic drug problem and his inability to help provide critical guidance to their rebellious daughter, Alexis.