In the mid-1990s I took a series of classes in the Psychology Department at U.C. Santa Cruz. One of those classes, from which I have unfortunately misplaced the textbook, I found particularly interesting because it seemed to encapsulate the then-current state of the science (art) in a single example.
The preface of the book, which had been written by the professor of the class, was a short story comparing the lives of two individuals, who were about the same age and were born and raised in the same part of the Country under really ugly family circumstances. As I recall, each had been a victim of sexual or physical abuse of some sort, each to a similar degree, and each had managed to escape at a young age but not before suffering unimaginable trauma.
One had found refuge initially with a religious cult, later to escape and find a way to attend college and eventually law school. She ended up serving on a State Supreme Court somewhere in the upper Midwest – the other was Jeffery Dommer.
This is really fascinating stuff and it sometimes makes me think that I chose the wrong career path. The problem is that there are no right answers in human psychology – only theories. Maybe I will come back in another life, 100 years from now, and make a different choice.