Wow, that's pretty much dead on. The part you mentioned about how others perceive me was actually something I strongly suspected but really hoped wasn't true. Sadly I've been holding myself back for so long that I feel like I don't even know how to open up to people anymore. At least, not the people I'm not already close to. Any attempts I make always seem to go horribly wrong and chase me further back into my shell. I don't want to give up, but I am feeling pretty lost. I'm not even sure I have inner strength to use. I think I gave it away very young.