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Howard Z. Lorber, csw Psychotherapist & Anthropologist
211 West 56th Street, 31L, New York, NY 10019
(917) 710-7578 firstname.lastname@example.orgALTERNATIVE LIFESTYLES
Have you felt different? On the periphery? Rejected for being different?
Are you an ACOA (Adult Child of an Alcoholic)? Have you been abused? Are you from a family with domestic violence? Are you ashamed? Guilty?
Are you struggling with being Gay? Are you ashamed of your sexual interests are you afraid of others' sexuality?
Are you experiencing a spiritual struggle? Does being spiritual, polytheist or pagan cause you feelings of fear and rejection?
American culture, for all its adaptability and progressiveness, can also be narrow, bigoted and oppressive. This is why we have enshrined a "Bill of Rights." It is also why we have organizations such as the Civil Liberties Union, The Anti-Defamation League, and the Lambda Society. Being 'different,' having alternative and unconventional points of view, behaving in ways out of the mainstream, are truly a struggle in our society. But the struggle isn't only with society and the law. It is with people around us - authority figures, peers, family members - and within ourselves. These struggles, especially those within ourselves and with those close to us, are quite painful. Rejection is painful. So are guilt and shame. Even more painful are feeling alienated and also, carrying a 'secret' that we are afraid to reveal, or, having revealed it, distressed by the consequences.
'Coming out' for sexual orientation isn't the only sort of realization and secret with which one struggles. So is any sort of unconventional sexuality. So, too, is coming from an alcoholic or abusive family, or having been molested, or having seen your mother abused. The shame, guilt, helplessness and rage often seem too hard to bear and so isolating.
On the next page are a few stories of people who've come to me. No names are given and the details of their plights have been altered to protect their privacy.
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