As a child, Jon tried desperately to be his father’s version of the all-American boy, denying his gayness in a futile attempt to earn the love and respect of an abusive man. With this he built a deep, internalized homophobia that made him want to disappear rather than live with the truth about himself. That denial played out in the forms of anorexia, bulimia, and obsessive running, which consumed him as an adolescent and young adult.
It wasn’t until a grueling yet transformative Outward Bound experience that Jon began to face his sexual identity. This exploration continued as he entered college and started the serious work of sorting through years of repressed anger to separate from his father’s control and condemnation.
My Thinning Years is an inspiring story of courage, creativity, and the will to live--and of recreating the definition of family to include friends, relatives, and teachers who support you in realizing your true self.
My thoughts: Lately, I've been fascinated reading memoirs about other people's lives -- how they lived, how they grew up, how they survived some of the circumstances of their life. This was one of the most engaging memoirs I've encountered as of late.
Written almost as a personal letter to a friend, this book takes the reader through the childhood no child should be forced to endure. Croteau grew up with a controlling father, a mother who wasn't strong enough to help her son in the way he needed. He continually tried to be someone he wasn't. Growing up, the continual struggle of denying his true self led him down a road of unhappiness. In dealing with the struggle of self acceptance, Croteau developed a severe eating disorder and an obsessive running disorder. Oftentimes running long distances with very little to sustain him, at all hours of the day, in an effort to starve the gay within him.
Eventually, the author is able to start to accept his true self and create his own family.. His struggle to his true self is powerful and captivating. The odds he has overcome are incredibly inspiring, yet heartbreaking in knowing what he has survived.
This book is a wonderful read. I actually read in just a few days because I needed to know how the story turned out, its such a beautiful book about the power of acceptance -- of yourself and others. I would definitely recommend this book if you enjoy inspiring memoirs.
Disclaimer: I was provided this book for review from TLC Book Tours and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own