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Matures Herself

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Olivia says she was a strong-willed, curious, and intelligent child. She describes her mother as a weak, incompetent person who always had numerous problems and tried to gather pity from those around her. She blamed her husband, Olivias father, for drinking and pitied herself for being in such an unfortunate situation where she had to take care of two children and constantly worry about everything.

Now, as an adult, Olivia struggles with intimacy in her romantic relationship as she has found a partner who is emotionally immature and self-unaware, just like her father. She works way too many hours, oftentimes missing on sleep or overworking herself into terrible physiological symptoms because of lack of proper rest, an excess of coffee and energy drinks, poor diet, and chronic stress. Its an extension of her history of anorexia and self-mutilation that started in early adolescence as a response to her overwhelming home environment.

But Diana also had darker traits that were largely hidden from the world. "Her dark side was that of a wounded trapped animal," noted her friend Rosa Monckton, "and her bright side was that of a luminous being." Diana's inability to see past her intense emotions and her failure to understand consequences often overwhelmed the better part of her nature, harming family and friends and creating misery for herself. As one of her relatives said, "She had a perfectly good character, but her temperament overtook her."

"There was a tremendous fight all the time to believe in herself," said her friend Elsa Bowker. "She wasn't steady because she didn't believe in herself." Another longtime friend observed: "She had so many compartments, so many periods and changes. It is difficult to knit into a coherent picture. What was applicable for her in 1989 was not so in 1994."

In 1992, the Diana saga took a perilous turn with the publication of Diana: Her True Story, by Andrew Morton, a former tabloid reporter. The fairy tale, it was clear, had gone horribly wrong. The royal love match turned out to be a sad tale of adultery, mental illness, betrayal, mistrust, and revenge. Diana's secret tape-recorded interviews with an intermediary supplied the basic message of the book. Presented as the "true story," the book was actually her highly emotional perception of events, shaped by psychotherapy as well as astrological readings and alternative therapists who reinforced her efforts to assign blame. The account was one-sided and filled with inconsistencies that mirrored Diana's own tendency to embellish and contradict herself. It was Diana's view of the world, but the public came to accept the book as reality.

Because of Diana's worldwide celebrity, every character trait, gesture, action, and utterance was amplified. "She lived in an extreme state," said her friend Cosima Somerset. "There was no normal middle ground." Diana's potent public image drove expectations for her behavior impossibly high. Diana was clearly delighted when flattering articles bolstered her fragile sense of herself, yet the incessant scrutiny and bursts of invective drove her to despair. As early as 1983, she took to calling tabloid reporters the "wolf pack," and in the last few years of her life, according to a man close to her, when she felt despondent over her press coverage she would drive to a cliff called Beachy Head on the southern coast of England and contemplate suicide, only to be drawn back by thoughts of her two sons.

Instead of building a shield, as Charles did by declining to read what was said and written about him, Diana got pulled into a process she found fascinating and terrifying. As perception and reality became more confused, Diana's insecurities grew. From the beginning, Diana devoured everything written about her, and she viewed herself through the prism of the press. The Heisenberg uncertainty principle took over: The act of being watched warped her self-image and behavior. She h


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