Do you think that one of the reasons why Cass is a tactile person (Compassionate is the main one ) is because she has so much nerve damage on her body from training from hell as a child she just wants to feel anything that isn't violence, but affection?
I actually always read Cass’ compassion and virtue as inherent.
There was something about Cass from the beginning of her life – something that David Cain could see setting her apart from the other children he failed training, something that made her actively get reading body language and strive for understanding other people in a vacuum of language, but not something he himself could ever recognize or understand.
[Batgirl (2000-2006) #9]
It’s of course something David can’t recognize – it’s love, it’s empathy, it’s compassion for all humans. Cass was born an inherently compassionate and concerned person, one who wanted to please, wanted to understand, wanted to empathize – and though Shiva and Cain could not recognize this in her themselves, and we’d even end the series with neither of them fully comprehending this part of Cass, the fact is it’s that perceived weakness that actually made her the amazing fighter she is, made her able from basically birth to latch onto the “language of violence” Cain had developed.
The whole metaphor involving Cass’ personhood in the comics is that she is the answer to the age-old question: is it possible that people are born inherently good or not?
Cass was born good, loving, and compassionate. And it was manipulated in her training, but not diminished, not forgotten.
And because of that inherent goodness, Cass seeks out and usually brings to the surface that same goodness in the hearts of people who many others (including her peers in the Bat Family) would write off as irredeemable or beyond giving a second chance.
To Cass, no one is undeserving of a second chance, because she believes (and proves through her own existence) that people are good. They just need to be able to embrace it. Not because it’s easy, but because it’s right to see others that way.
So I don’t think Cass’ compassion and love are reactive, I think it’s really important to see them as fundamental and unchanging parts of who she is