Reclaiming Your Life is a guide to healing from early abuse, homophobia, addictions, and other self-defeating behavior.
“If you are a gay man who grew up in a dysfunctional family or were abused, be kind to yourself and read this book. It’s full of validation, understanding, common sense, and wise guidance, like a good friend.”
—Ellen Bass, coauthor of The Courage to Heal
Reclaiming Your Life is divided into two parts. Part I looks at how growing up gay in a homophobic culture is similar in many ways to growing up in a dysfunctional or abusive family, because of the secrecy, self-blame, and shame that often accompany the realization that we’re somehow different, but without much support for understanding what it means to feel attracted to the same sex.
In addition, experiences of early abuse, such as physical, sexual, or emotional abuse can sometimes lead to the development of a “false self,” the internalization of negative messages, or the development of self-destructive behavior.
Part II shows how gay men can recover from early abuse, internalized homophobia, and self-defeating behavior, such as alcohol and drug abuse, sexual compulsion, and problems with food or debt.
It offers chapters on how to counter internalized homophobic and other negative messages, expand the moment between impulse and action, and work through the feelings that are likely to arise when we stop using self-defeating behaviors to push our emotions away.
Reclaiming Your Life offers hope for healing, and making the best of your future. I use many of these ideas with clients in psychotherapy (see Gay Positive Therapy for more information about my practice).