Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My Thinning Years; Starving the Gay Within, by Jon Derek Croteau

From an early age, Jon felt different.  He preferred playing with the girls and hated sports.  His father, determined to make a "real man" out of him, belittled Jon's sensitive ways, bullied him into sports, and criticized his physical appearance.  As a result, Jon grew up in total fear of his father, of his own sexuality, and of being fat.  These issues morphed into a full scale eating disorder, fueled by self loathing and internalized homophobia.  For all if his adult life, Jon would struggle.

Oh goodness, this book made me rage, and weep, and rejoice.  Jon does a beautiful job of sharing his story in a way that is honest and genuine.  I did not feel the intention with the writing was to demonize his father, yet I raged over the kind of person his father was.  It breaks my heart to know that any child is emotionally abused in such a manner; this is abuse, and it has real, lasting consequences.  I applaud Jon for the hard work he has done to overcome his abusive past, to seek happiness and healing, and to make difficult but healthy choices in his life.

We constantly hear of young people developing severe emotional issues, engaging in self harm, and attempting suicide, all because of being abused and bullied.  It is important that we continue to spread the message that you can overcome these types of situations.  It will not be easy, and it will probably be painful and unpleasant, but it is possible, and you are worth it.   I am so thankful that Jon has become the strong, eloquent survivor he is, and that he has chosen to share his story.  We often hear of females who have eating disorders, but the reality is, males are also plagued by these issues.  Jon has given voice to an overlooked group, and probably has helped save a few lives in the process.  I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

I received a review copy courtesy of TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.  See the rest of the tour here.

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