The first real contact Liz had with the outside world was, of course, in a school setting. What her teachers seemed to see is a young girl with a blank-eyed, confused stare and baffled frown on her face when confronted with concepts her peers mastered easily. What really bothered them, though, was her attitude. Instead of doing something that they'd hoped and doing something about her poor grades, she sulked about being singled out for persecution because it looked to them as if she'd given up on herself. The only teacher, in fact, to ever really reach her was Ms Edwards and that simply because she was a sympathetic ear.
As for her classmates, they tended to see the same sort of easily confused, too easily frustrated and over-sensitive little girl their teachers did. Where they and their teachers parted company is that they knew how suggestible she was. Much like her older brother, she could be talked into doing anything and they knew it. They also knew that she needed to not be blamed for things that were clearly her fault and clearly had trouble with the idea of sharing things. The only close friends she ever had were three girls who didn't show too much resentment of this sad fact and thus didn't remind her of her flaws.
Had they done so, they'd be like that evil, baffling, scary career woman Thérèse. What Liz desperately does not want to face is that the woman has a legitimate reason for not being enthralled with her. While it's difficult to remember at this point in time, it is quite clear that she was madly in love with Anthony and wanted very badly to ignore the fact that he didn't really love her back. Like a lot of women, Thérèse must have thought that she could make him love her. All she needed to do was to convince him to let go of his fixation on the past. This task was made difficult by the constant, unwelcome presence of a figure from a world she wanted the two of them to escape. Everywhere she turned, she saw the stupid face of a clingy, needy, whiny little twit who didn't respect any personal boundaries that proved inconvenient. What made things all the worse is that the people in her husband's home town felt sorry for the pallid little non-entity and tended to regard HER as the injured party. Since Liz didn't want to face the fact that she shouldn't intrude just because she felt like it, a woman's marriage was shattered and she was driven away from her child.
We also have to contend with the fact that the love interests who aren't Anthony tend to see her as something of an idiot as well. When Paul told her that perhaps she should listen to herself instead of faith and fate, it was clear that he was being set up to be a bit of a bastard because Liz cannot handle the truth. Far better that she blind herself to being lied to and whine about being taken advantage of.
Also, far better that she focus on cossetting one problem child and letting a VCR teach her classes; that way, the nitwit can pretend to be a great teacher when her peers think of her as a spineless twit.