Saturday, March 10, 2012

Book Review

The book is called : 
The Battle for Normality.

It's written by  GERARD J.M. VAN DEN AARDWEG, PH.D.

 

Things change. When I read the first book of Van Den Aardweg many years ago, I
revolted. Now I sincerely believe that his theory on the causes of homosexuality
is the best one around: there is no doubt in my mind that fifty years from now,
this book will be listed as the first comprehensive explanation model (it will
take some time before that happens because of the ideological approach
contemporary culture takes toward homosexuality: in the end, sound science
always prevails, however).

So why did I change my mind? Back then, I just started therapy. I was depressed,
afraid of aids, fed up with my endless relationships (the sex was good, but the
rest quite unfulfilling) , and just looking for an exit out of my gay lifestyle
without really believing that any exit existed. Not much happened till I found
by chance the books of Van Den Aardweg. And believe me: even though,
lukewarmingly, I wanted to change, I didn't like at all what I read: who likes
to be called a neurotic little boy, filled with self-pity, and still complaining
about the fact that he felt so lonely in adolescence and such a failure as a
boy? I felt offended, rejected, and for months my mind just ground around to
find counterarguments: no, it it is not selfpity, my loneliness was real, etc.

But at the same time I was fascinated because about everything was recognizable:
yeah, my mother had been dominating me in a suffocating way, and my father
hadn't been much of a father to me, so that indeed I didn't get very well
equipped to succeed as a boy among boys. Puberty had indeed been hell. Lonely,
more or less friendless, feeling quite a failure, and taking refuge into the one
thing I seemed good at, being intelligent. And I remembered how I had longed in
endless daydreams for the friends I didn't have, how I had admired guys who
were, in my perception, "real boys", and yeah, it were those basically sad
feelings that somehow got sexualized and made me say by 18 "I am gay".

 

In the months after reading Aardweg's book, I decided that it basically came down to
this question: I either had been "different" since adolescence because I had
been gay all the time, though without explictly knowing that (that was the
solution that my "gay side" wanted to prove), or I had been "different", in the
sense of lonely, feeling inferior in comparison to "real boys", and that had
caused my gayness (Aardweg's position). I went up and down for a long time, but
finally I guess the most objective part of my mind just admitted that Aardweg's
position was right. That admission enabled me to break thru the shame and pain
of having felt a "failure" and hiding it behind an overcompensation screen of
intelligence. Subsequently I began to make big and remarkable emotional leaps,
which would, over a period of some years, result in the fading away of most of
my homosexual feelings (jump on it, gay refuters: I admit, there is still
something left) and the emergence of more and more heterosexual feelings (please
note: I never suppressed my homosexual feelings, I rather solved the emotional
problems underneath them: suppressing would have been fully impossible). I agree
by the way with the reviewer from Holland: in hindsight, what happened to me was
not primarily a change from gay to heterosexual, but from immature and
frustrated to (much more) mature, and emotionally balanced.

Some words to other reviewers. What is the talk about Aardweg saying that
homosexuality is a "choice"? He rather states the opposite and considers it an
emotional disorder, in many regards comparable to the emotional and neurotic
problems many people, gay and straight, have, but clearly with some quite
specific elements (as every neurosis has its specifics). Emotional disorders
are, obviously, no choice but the result of psyco-social factors during one's
education. This choice stuff reminds me by the way of Larry King, who always
does as if there are only two possibilities: being gay is a choice (only some
silly right wingers go for that, apparently thinking that if they say it is not
a choice, they have to accept it as normal) or genetic (which somehow becomes
then the equivalent of normal). Talking about choice: only in one sense, I
guess, one can talk of choice, and that is with regard to the decision to look
for an exit.

To potential gay readers of the book I just would like to say: this is a tough
book, and your first reaction will probably be like mine: get angry, feel
rejected again, and try to prove that this is just nonsense or right wing
homophobia. But remember, it is "tough" like in "tough love":

don't focus too much on the tough side, see the love side.

Try to be as objective-minded as possible: this is not about being
offended or being rejected, it is about finding the best explanation for (your)
homosexuality. And realize: in the end, it is not in the first place about
becoming straight, but about becoming more mature, more whole and happier.

Personally, I still feel lots of sympathy for gays: it was a messy and
difficult period in my life, but I met some good guys who really were
struggling, and, gosh, I had some fun as well. But I am really annoyed by the
gay lobby. If I just tell my story, they label me a homophobe. Well, let them, I
am a "big boy" by now. What really bothers me however, is the sheer intolerance,
and its consequences: thanks to Aardweg's theory, it is by now - I really
believe it - possible to help especially young people quite easily over their
homosexual feelings before fully succumbing to the gay "lifestyle", and all the
painful problems it entails. It is about time for a decent, tolerant discussion
with more than one politically correct view dominating the discourse.

 

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