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Often, she witnessed glimpses of how those around her saw her. It tore her apart. Could she really be that cold, calculating and manipulative? Shrewd, selfish and bitter? She refrained from accepting their thoughts. After all she couldn’t change how they perceived her. But their impressions sent her on a negative spin, one she couldn’t avoid. Time and again, she failed to control the chaos that ensued. She digested their opinions of her and collected her own thoughts about herself. One morphed into the other; she was impressionable that way.¬†She turned the microscope on herself again. She spent inordinate amounts of time analysing how to ‘fix’ herself. Finally, she caved and pretended for a while. Eventually growing tired, she withdrew her pretense and turned cold again. The cycle continued. Nobody understood. She alienated one and all. After a while, even she didn’t know if it was their opinions of her or her imagined opinions of herself that perpetuated this pattern. Contorted, confused, she became comfortable in the complexities of her mind; she resisted change from outside and refused to do the spring cleaning herself.