This text is from The Children's Bach by Helen Garner
They laughed. Vicki watched them closely, ready to be included in their amusement, to roll her shoulders in scepticism as they did, but they pretended not to see her and turned back to their contemplation of the street outside. In a minute one of them would come over and tell Vicki to stop handling the clothes.
Vicki knew what her retort would be: ‘Don’t be silly.’ She would turn her mouth down, and her eyes would become cold, glittering slits. And if a waiter said anything to her about going straight through to the toilet without being a customer of the cafe, she would put her hand on her hip and say, ‘First I piss, then I eat – do you mind?’ And then she would order something really cheap, like one donut or a packet of CCs. In this frame of mind, savage with homesickness and loneliness, she roamed the city, daring it to tackle her. It paid her no attention.
Does in the sentence in bold it refer to in this frame of mind? I mean the way of her thought and the whole sentence in bold mean: she wanted by strengthening this type of her thought to deal with her difficult situation but her thought was not helpful?