Billy covered his head with his blanket again. He always covered his head when his mother came to see him in the mental ward – always got much sicker until she went away. . . .
She upset Billy simply by being his mother. She made him feel embarrassed and ungrateful and weak because she had gone to so much trouble to give him life, and to keep that life going, and Billy didn't really like life at all. (5.23.3-4)
So the Americans put their weapons down, and they came out of the woods with their hands on top of their heads, because they wanted to go on living if they possibly could. (5.27.14)
Billy didn't want to marry ugly Valencia. She was one of the symptoms of his disease. He knew he was going crazy when he heard himself proposing marriage to her, when he begged her to take the diamond ring and be his companion for life. (5.28.4)