I was born at the beginning of the baby-boom generation, and like many other people in the postwar era, my parents moved from the New York City area to the suburbs of Long Island. My father was a journalist, as his father had been, and my mother was a homemaker who was glad to have escaped the clerical job she had before she married. Both parents assumed my career would be marriage. Unlike many young girls, I never spent any time daydreaming about myself as a bride—or as a wife or mother. But neither did I ever daydream about an alternative. So at nineteen I married, but was widowed when I was twenty-eight. I never remarried and although I had been raised in a Roman Catholic home, and attended Catholic schools, I enrolled at a Bible college/seminary and was eventually ordained as an Evangelical minister.
After my husband died, I went back to school, this time to a liberal arts college. My original studies in biblical theology fit me only for teaching or pastoral work, and I didn’t want to do either of those things. So I decided to major in psychology and get the credentials I would need for counseling. But then my studies brought me in contact with the psychology lab. Rabbits, rats, cats, and dogs were subject to atrocious experiments from which nothing was learned: they were merely replications of existing studies. The only thing being accomplished was a desensitization of those who were able to stifle the compassion that would interfere with their “objectivity.”