#14: Where Do Characters Come From?

Since your circumstances make writing a bit challenging for you, you're responding to that by sitting squarely in your comfort zone. Every writer does this from time to time, especially when starting out, and there's no shame in it. You just need to recognize that it's what you're doing, and consciously make the decision to make yourself uncomfortable in the service of your art.

#4: When Protagonists Don’t Protag

Being a doormat is not something readers generally find appealing in any character, and particularly in a main character. Give her things to do and let her do them. Let her take risks and sometimes succeed and sometimes fail. Let her pick a goal and commit to it and pursue it. Let her, as you say, make choices. Otherwise she isn't really a character; she's exposition with a face and a name.