Once upon a time there was a shy maiden cursed as a shapeshifter. As she mined rocks, her hands turned hard and stiff and gray. Her hair thinned and whitened when she walked in the snowy fields. She might have been an old gray horse or a rock wall. She might have been a wisp of cloud lost in violent storms. She could feel her own bones grind themselves into powder beneath her muscles and tendons, re-knitting into cats and mice and hummingbirds. Every day was different. Every day she woke up and was something else. A wolf. A poison bloom. A hungry mantis. Her shell, a hardening exoskeleton. The elongated muzzle. Wounds and cankers that turned into eyes and mouths. This skin a cage, an inescapable basement room. She found a witch and asked for a reversal spell, received only a handful of white pills that left her wakeful and shuddering. She set herself on fire, only to burn out and turn blue, rebuild herself cell by cell, go back to the beginning. She might wish herself a mermaid and become a manatee. She might become something greenish and hidden when submerged in seawater. Even when shattered into a cluster of beetles, she would come back together, a new biology.
When you are the monster, you are the monster.