First, I would like to thank the subjects of my study, whose candor, passion, and understanding have made this work possible. Their names, descriptions, and geographic settings have been changed to preserve confidentiality.
My agent, Nancy Lacey, has given me great gifts of sustained enthusiasm, encouragement, and professional guidance in the realization of my book. Thank you, Nancy!
My friend and fellow writer, Sondra Gash, has worked with me from the early stages of producing the manuscript, and her encouragement and commitment to the study; her sharp eye for organization, and clarity; and her appreciation for music and metaphor have enabled me to put the pieces together. I would also like to thank my friend and fellow poet, Barbara Morcheles, whose editorial input and counsel have been invaluable.
To family therapist, Pamela Day, I owe a large debt for her time and professional expertise in family systems therapy and for the psychological questionnaire that became the basis for my interviews. I am more than grateful to friend and psychologist, Laurie Lidner, for her enthusiasm, counsel, and the professional references she so willingly provided me.
I want to thank all of the friends who have surrounded me with support and enthusiasm for this project, especially Joan Pittis, Nancy Andrews, Kim and Jay Rippard, Anne Hansen, and Pauline Strahman.
My gratitude also goes to my husband, Ned, for his patience in living with that strange species--a writer--and to my children, Jamie, Allison, and Edward, for their sustained encouragement.