Archive for the ‘Love’ Category
An especially common view of self is that of the wronged, rejected, “poor me”. Homosexuals therefore are easily insulted; they “collect injustice”, as psychiatrist Bergler has so well put it, and are liable to see themselves as victims. This explains the overt self-dramatization of the militants, who adroitly exploit their neurosis to gain public support. Attached to self-pity, they are inner (or manifest) complainers, often chronic complainers. Slef-pity and protest are not far apart. A certain inner (or overt) rebelliousness and hostility to others who do them wrong and to “society” and a determinate cynicism, are typical of many homosexuals.
This bears directly on the homosexual’s difficulty in loving. His complex directs his attention to himself; he seeks attention and love, recognition and admiration for himself, like a child. His self-centeredness thwarts his capacity to love, to be really interested in others, to take responsibility for others, to give and to serve (some kinds of serving, in fact, are means of getting attention and approval). But “how… it is possible for the child to grow up if the child is not loved?” homosexual author Baldwin wonders (Siering 1988, 16). Yet stating the problem that way only confuses the issue. For while a boy who longed for his father’s love might indeed have been healed had he encountered an affectionate father-substitute, his remaining immature, however, is the consequence of the self-comforting reactions to a perceived lack of love, not the consequence of a lack of love in itself. An adolescent who succeeded in accepting his sufferings, forgiving those who did him wrong — for the most part without being aware of it — would suffer without becoming attached to self-centered self-pity and protest, and, in that case, his sufferings would make him mature. As human nature is ego-centered, such an emotional development is not likely to take place spontaneously, but there are exceptions, notably when an emotionally troubled adolescent meets a parent-substitute who encourages him in this direction. The way Baldwin presents the impossibility for the unloved child to grow up — he seems, in fact, to describe his own case — is too fatalistic and overlooks the fact that even a child (and certainly a young adult) possesses a degree of freedom and can learn to love. Many neurotics cling to this self-dramatizing attitude of “never having been loved” and incessantly demand love and compensation from others — from their marriage partners, friends, children, from society. The situation of many neurotic criminals is analogous. They may have, in fact, suffered from a lack of love at home, even from abandonment, injury; yet their impulses to revenge themselves, from their lack of mercy on the world that has been hard on them are egotistical reactions to a lack of love. Being ego-centered, a young person is in danger of becoming a seemingly incorrigible self-seeker — and sometimes one who hates others — when he is the prey of his self-pity. Baldwin was correct only insofar his homosexual feelings were concerned, for they did not amount to real loving, but narcissistic longing for warmth, and envy.
Aardweg, G. (1997). The Battle for Normality: A Guide for (Self-)Therapy for Homosexuality. San Francisco: Ignatius Press