'She remembered Theon as a boy, a shy child who lived in awe, and fear, of Rodrik and Maron.”
Isn’t it heartbreaking to think that admiring and fearing his abusers is something Theon started to do during his childhood ? His brothers abused him and yet, he always wanted to be more like them. And then, he is captured and brought into Winterfell as a hostage, and the exact same thing happens: he fears Eddard Stark but thinks highly of him and desires to rule Winterfell like he did. Later, he meets Ramsay who makes him suffer the worst kind of abuses he ever had to suffer. And what does he do in order to live through it ? He accepts that Reek persona which implies that even though Ramsay terrifies him, he will be his loyal and obedient servant.
That is just a horrible thing to think about.