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TOPIC: Big Steps 101234 Views

Re: Big Steps 07 Nov 2017 19:34 #322117

  • Workingguy
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Shlomo,

What a beautiful and touching post; you had me smiling from ear to ear. 

It’s true that we started off a little rocky but I grew to appreciate your honesty, depth, passion, perseverance, and wisdom so far beyond your years. (Don’t mean to sound like an old guy; I’m not)

You’ve been an inspiration to so many, and of course your presence will be missed, but go and be matzliach in whatever your next step is and I hope we’ll catch you here once in a blue moon!

With appreciation,

WG

Re: Big Steps 21 Mar 2018 05:37 #328678

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Although I posted this on another thread, this is a topic that is very dear to my heart so I am reposting it on my thread:

There have certainly been a fair amount of Jews who went to SA and became less religious, myself included, but I don't think it has anything at all to do with SA's program. I think it has much more to do with today's frum culture (which is a completely different topic and one that I will not discuss). I have no scientific evidence on this, but I have found that those who join SA and live out of town (for me that means out of NY/NJ) have had no decrease in their religious practices, while those who live in-town are much more likely to become less religious, although it's certainly not everybody. In my home group (I live in NY but not in the more dense areas) the vast majority of people have kept their level of frumkeit. I also know that many people are in touch with Rebbeim (especially in Lakewood) and they actively seek Rabbinical advice. My Sponsor is actually not religious anymore and he still maintains a close relationship with his Rebbi. At one point, I expressed to my therapist (who's also a respected frum Rabbi) that it was disheartening to me that my Sponsor isn't religious, because I do believe in Judaism and I believe that he's not doing the "right" thing by being irreligious. My therapist's response to that actually shocked me. He said who am I to know what is the right thing for everyone and if people need to be religious. My Sponsor cares for his family very well and he supports and loves them. He pays yeshiva tuition, even though he's not religious. My therapist said that could be his tafkid in life. My disheartenment was stemming from an assumption that I had as to what the right or wrong path for my Sponsor. This was coming from a frum Rabbi. I also have a friend who had a dip in religious observance (he stopped going to shul etc.) and he spoke to a renowned Maggid Shiur (I'm not going to say his name because I was never given permission to publish this in his name). My friend was expressing despair that he was having over not going to shul, but at the time he was feeling like it was too much for him to do, as he was working a hard recovery program. The Maggid Shiur told my friend that his tafkid for now was just to work a recovery program and get sober. That's it. He told him not to focus on religious observance, because that was too much to take on. It happens to be that this friend of mine actually got solid sobriety and he eventually was able to return to his previous level of yiddishkeit.

On a personal level, I (as I mentioned before) am much less steadfast in my religious observance than I used to be. But like my friend, I was taking on way too much. I was not able to juggle leading an intensely religious lifestyle and also work an intense recovery program. However, once I got grounded in recovery and was living a normal life for a consistent period of time, I realized what I was missing in life and made some changes to get back to where I wanted to be with religion. But what recovery has taught me is that I cannot do things quickly. I need to take things very slowly in order for it to "stick." And that is how I'm treating religion. I'm not making massive strides. To steal a phrase from Dov, I'm taking "baby steps." Which is the only way that I know how to grow. I have spoken to two Rebbeim of mine, in fact my two closest Rebbeim, and they both gave their full support to my process. In fact, one of them was my Mashgiach from high school and beis medrash (and a well-established one at that) and he said "I have found that people who have similar paths to you have the most success using the approach that you're using." When I was in active addiction (and this is true for numerous other frum addicts) my religion was a crutch. I used it to cure my addiction (which didn't work, by the way. You wouldn't use religion to cure diabetes, and addiction is just as much of a disease as diabetes) and it was not intrinsic at all. God was two things to me: A ruthless taskmaster who punished me when I stepped out of line and a Santa Claus God who ought to give me what I want because I deserve it. Both of those concepts are incredibly untrue and un-Jewish. And even when I looked very religious (tzitzis out and big yarmulka and peyos and all that jazz) I was very much not religious on the inside. My behavior would go from extremes, from being hyper religious (probably because I needed a cure for my acting out) to being completely dormant (probably because I was depressed from acting out). With the exception of Shabbos and kosher (which I understand are massive aspects of being frum) I cannot claim that I was living a frum life. And that last sentence is true for many other frum/formerly frum addicts. What you see on the outside (white shirt etc.) is not at all what you get, when it comes to addicts. Today, and only because of recovery, I am on a gradual (very gradual) upwards path when it comes to religious observance. I know that I want to raise a frum family and for my kids to go to frum schools. Will it be at the (supposed) level of observance that I had before I got sober? Absolutely not. I don't even desire that anymore. But it will be serene and calm and wholesome and real. Without SA I guarantee you (assuming I would have physically survived, which is a rather large assumption) that I would have utterly destroyed my spouse, traumatized my children, and estranged and embarrassed my family. Today, because of recovery, I know that won't happen (provided I remain in SA). 

Which brings me to my next point: A suggestion was made to join SA, get sober, and leave. There are numerous problems with this suggestion. Firstly, if it was as easy as "join and get sober" we would have a lot more members than we have currently. Secondly, and most importantly, I have crossed paths with numerous people who have joined SA, got sober, and left. The vast majority did not remain sober. In fact,  I only know of three people who have done that and remained sober. The odds are certainly stacked. I leave the choice to you, either you can stay in SA, get sober, and gain stability. Or you can leave once you get sober and risk losing your sobriety and destroying those close to you in the process. As I understand myself today, I would never leave SA. Never. This program has completely saved my life and everything (including my religious observance) I owe to SA.

One final note is that even if SA always caused people to be less religious, there still may be a compelling argument that addicts should go. If one understands the true nature of addiction, that addicts are powerless over their drug of choice (powerlessness is not a cheesy concept, it's scientifically proven) and that the addict will not stop at any point to get their drug of choice (although those red lines get usually get crossed gradually) then addiction is a disease of life or death. SA (along with the S-fellowship as a whole) is proven to be effective for sex addicts and it's still the largest method of recovery used for sex addicts. I could certainly see the argument as to why someone should join, even if their religious observance decreases. And this is assuming that SA automatically reduces one's level of religious observance, which it certainly doesn't.

All in all, SA is certainly a place for everyone, yidden included. If you feel that it's the right thing for you, I fully support it. You can even give me a call about it if you'd like. My number is below

(Also, Dov has an entire article about this topic but I can't seem to find it. If someone could post that link I would appreciate it. I know that my mother got a lot of solace once she read it and I have found some of Dov's words to be startlingly true for me, in my experience).
What works for me: 1) Honesty 2) Meetings 3) 12-step 4) Listening to my Sponsor 5) Not doing what I want to do 6) Inviting the God of my understanding into my life

"I can't do it, God can help." | "Everything I want is on the other side of fear." | "Where there is deprivation there is addiction." | "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery." | "Stop stopping, start living."

My thread: Big Steps

Email: iam24zman@gmail.com

Re: Big Steps 21 Mar 2018 10:53 #328684

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You can post it again - Wow!!!

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Last Edit: 21 Mar 2018 11:24 by Markz. Reason: I'm not the local rabbinic adviser

Re: Big Steps 21 Mar 2018 18:03 #328709

where the hell is the five star widget 
my thread:guardyoureyes.com/forum/4-On-the-Way-to-90-Days/300426-I-will-make-it-bh" option="guardyoureyes.com/forum/4-On-the-Way-to-90-Days/300426-I-will-make-it-bh">I will make it b"h











very important thread: guardyoureyes.com/forum/20-Important-Threads/19180-FEEL-THE-HUGS%21%21%21" option="guardyoureyes.com/forum/20-Important-Threads/19180-FEEL-THE-HUGS%21%21%21">FEEL THE HUGS!!!

Re: Big Steps 03 Aug 2018 19:30 #334282

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Wow, it's been some time since my last post. I felt the need to post this in light of the SSA section of the forum being shut down and an email thread among some GYE peeps that emerged afterwards discussing it.

While I am saddened that the SSA section was shut down, because it certainly helped me in pre-recovery, I understand that people were using it for the wrong reasons. Would I still like for it to exist? Definitely. I think that it can exist under the right circumstances. Up until this point, the description of the SSA forum had some language about "moving towards healthy heterosexuality." That description really bothers me. For many people, myself included, changing one's sexual attractions are all but impossible. I personally went to conversion therapy for 3 years and it did not change my attractions at all. Therefore, I take issue when that seems to be a goal of the SSA forum. Additionally, I suffered a lot of trauma from those years of therapy, and I only realized it when I got out of it. For 3 years, the message I received was that I was internally broken and defective, that there's something wrong with me and that's why I'm gay. I still suffer from that trauma, even though I've been sober for a while and been going to healthy therapy for over 2 years. I've also done a fair amount of research about those who went to conversion therapy, and many seem to have my experience also. I know plenty of guys who were in the conversion therapy community and the vast majority of them received no decrease in their heterosexual attractions or they are openly gay. At the time, I would have been an active supporter of the therapy, but I was completely clouded by denial. I didn't realize there was another way to deal with my sexuality without trying to change it.

In program, I've met many people who are homosexual. (I'm refraining from the use of SSA because, for me, it's a term that supports denial. Additionally, the Webster definition of "homosexual" is one who has homosexual feelings.) My Sponsor is one of them. Many of these homosexuals are living straight lifestyles and Torah lives also. None of them, to my knowledge, are in conversion therapy. How could this be? The answer is acceptance. They accepted themselves as gay/homosexual and they realized that this isn't something that's going to change. But they were ok with that. They learned to love themselves fully, even with their sexuality, and they found ways to live to their morals while still accepting their sexuality. For many of these guys, they found that with a strong enough emotional connection coupled with sexual sobriety, they could perform sexually with their wives.

I am a full believer that everyone has a choice to live their lives the way they wish to, so long as they aren't hurting others. This includes those who wish to pursue gay relationships and those who wish to pursue straight relationships. I'm not God and I can't tell people what to do or what not to do. If someone is a homosexual and wants to pursue heterosexual relationships, I wish them success. It's a hard journey, but if one has the right systems in place, I have seen it be done. If one wants to pursue gay relationships, then I empathize with their desires and I can understand where they're coming from. To each their own. But what I will not do is support practices that are harmful and traumatic. The reality is that conversion therapy AS A THEORY ( I cannot stress this enough) may have some logical basis. I know that I wasn't "born" gay (I was sexually addicted to heterosexual lust for about 4 years before my homosexual attractions developed) and I certainly believe that there are psychological components to my sexuality (along with genetic/hormonal components). However, conversion therapy as a therapy was incredibly damaging to my development and true self. And I am not alone with this, there are many more people who are right here with me. The fact is that conversion therapy is being banned all around the globe. If the majority of Western society is coming to realize that this therapy is harmful, and my experience certainly validates that fact, then I think I will side with them on this issue. For GYE to put forward a message supporting such practices hurts my soul.

To treat homosexuality as an addiction, which GYE was very much doing, is abhorrent to me. Homosexuals, including myself, need to be treated with love, tolerance, and patience. Not treated as broken vessels. I only got consistent recovery when I learned to love myself, and I believe that's true for everyone. The fact that I lust after men and Shmerel lusts after women is a non-issue when it comes to treating sexual addiction. The more we make it an issue, the more it will hold people back from recovery. I needed to stop watching porn because it was destroying my life, whether it was heterosexual or homosexual.

Do I believe that GYE should be a safe space for those who are homosexual? Yes, I certainly do. There is so much shame among Orthodox homosexuals that they need a place to talk about it openly and learn to accept themselves. I think that the there should be a message of sorts that explicitly states GYE isn't a place of judgement, rather a place of recovery. But if we are going to approach this momentous task, then it must be done right. Sadly, I don't think GYE was doing it right in the past.

I've felt this way for a long time, but for various reasons I did not post my views on this website. I think it's time. Again, I want to repeat that I support ALL choices, so long as they aren't harmful, and I believe that certain homosexuals can accept themselves as homosexual but still pursue a heterosexual lifestyle, given they have a lot of help and support. But I would never want anyone to endure the trauma that I received, and am still going through, by being in conversion therapy. It took me a very long time to realize that Hashem loves me with and without my attractions. It is not an aveirah to have homosexual attractions (only to act on them) so why, as Torah Jews, are we trying to change it? Especially when there's so much probability that things will go wrong. It took me a long time to understand that Hashem gave me my attractions for a reason and it was not a mistake. (I can't count the number of people in program who have confided in me about this subject, simply because I'm willing to be open about it). It's time that we turn the chapter, or maybe restart the book, to help our fellow brothers.
What works for me: 1) Honesty 2) Meetings 3) 12-step 4) Listening to my Sponsor 5) Not doing what I want to do 6) Inviting the God of my understanding into my life

"I can't do it, God can help." | "Everything I want is on the other side of fear." | "Where there is deprivation there is addiction." | "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery." | "Stop stopping, start living."

My thread: Big Steps

Email: iam24zman@gmail.com

Re: Big Steps 03 Aug 2018 20:19 #334283

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Big yasher koach for saying what everyone was thinking but which was not okay to say. And there are other things on that list of things that it's not ok to say here. We are not there. There's a reason Hashem packed up his house and left us wandering around.

I don't understand what you mean when you say that you support all choices. I don't support the choice to have homosexual contacts, but I support the desire because the desire is a fact, the action is a choice. Just making that clear.

I think conversion therapy is idiotic. It's like converting a taste for kugel into a desire for cholent. Desires don't convert into each other. You can emphasize one and de-emphasize another but converting them is nuts.

And let's not forget that people come here because they love pornography (excuse me: they hate it, but they have a yetzer hara) and inevitably a lot of them also do gay porn but don't dare say it.
Last Edit: 03 Aug 2018 20:20 by mzl.

Re: Big Steps 05 Aug 2018 04:13 #334293

  • ehrliche.bochur
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Shlomo24 wrote on 03 Aug 2018 19:30:
Up until this point, the description of the SSA forum had some language about "moving towards healthy heterosexuality." That description really bothers me. For many people, myself included, changing one's sexual attractions are all but impossible.

If one wants to pursue gay relationships, then I empathize with their desires and I can understand where they're coming from. To each their own. But what I will not do is support practices that are harmful and traumatic. 

The fact is that conversion therapy is being banned all around the globe. If the majority of Western society is coming to realize that this therapy is harmful, and my experience certainly validates that fact, then I think I will side with them on this issue. For GYE to put forward a message supporting such practices hurts my soul.

To treat homosexuality as an addiction, which GYE was very much doing, is abhorrent to me. Homosexuals, including myself, need to be treated with love, tolerance, and patience.


We do not make our life decisions because what western society thinks. Western society also think it is okay for discusting practice like man marry with man and woman marry with woman. western society also think abortion is okay. But we live our life how Hashem want us. We do not live our life for chilonim/western society.

Shlomo... you were first person who talk with me when i join GYE 4 years ago. Your story and your life helped me so much.. You gave me information for JONAH and helped me to fight SSA and get cure. How you can say you dont support harmful practices but support something dangerous like ho*ose*ual life??? I am very sad you think this Shlomo because you helped me so much. i am sad because you inspired me so much to get help for my SSA. But i think it is dangerous you come to GYE and write we should tolerate ho*ose*uality and people who choose that life because someone who is struggling with SSA might see this message and think it is okay to live this way and that we should accept Ho*ose*ual life.we always should promote full life by torah
-"Все наши слова - пустой звук, если наше сердце не с нами"

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Re: Big Steps 05 Aug 2018 15:36 #334315

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...I personally went to conversion therapy for 3 years and it did not change my attractions at all. Therefore, I take issue when that seems to be a goal of the SSA forum. ....  At the time, I would have been an active supporter of the therapy, but I was completely clouded by denial. I didn't realize there was another way to deal with my sexuality without trying to change it.

.... In program, I've met many people who are homosexual. (I'm refraining from the use of SSA because, for me, it's a term that supports denial. Additionally, the Webster definition of "homosexual" is one who has homosexual feelings.) ...

I am a full believer that everyone has a choice to live their lives the way they wish to, so long as they aren't hurting others. This includes those who wish to pursue gay relationships and those who wish to pursue straight relationships. I'm not God and I can't tell people what to do or what not to do.... If one wants to pursue gay relationships, then I empathize with their desires and I can understand where they're coming from. To each their own. But what I will not do is support practices that are harmful and traumatic. ....

... Again, I want to repeat that I support ALL choices, so long as they aren't harmful, .



Shlomo, your post makes me sad. 

First of all, I want to say that I have SSA. I am not gay, and I am not in denial. I have same sex attraction. I do not feel guilt about it, I am not angry about it, I have accepted that for whatever reason, this is the way that I am.  However I DO NOT identify as gay, because to quote Gevura (from memory) (way back when he first came here), gay is a term that is used by the huge gay community in this fine country. And connecting myself to that, is something I will not do. Why not? Because it is wrong. Period. I don't say this in the street. I say this in an jewish orthodox website.

You write that you can and should tolerate anything that is not harmful. In otherwords,  Gay lifestyles should be accepted - they are not harmful. Conversion therapy should not be accepted- it is much worse then living intimately with a man. This is obviously your opinion. Today. You've told me about two years ago that looking for causes of ones ssa is what any non liberal would say. So it sems to me that today you are saying that we should accept the liberal agenda, accept the gay lifestyle as an acceptable option if one chooses, but by no means should anyone attempt to try something that the liberal therapists do not like.  I know, in the past you had a different view, now you realized the light, you can see clearly. Maybe next year your opinion will change again.  I'm not trying to make a bashing session out of this. What I am trying to say, is that on a torah website , let's stick to torah values. You didn't have a good experience with conversion therapy, you can say so, and LET OTHERS MAKE THEIR OWN CHOICES, but don't make your current opinion as the absolute non negotiable rule for me. You write that you're not G-d and can't tell others how to live their lives, well G-d actually does have an opinion about living a homosexual lifestyle. It's not ok with with Him.

sg
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Last Edit: 05 Aug 2018 15:54 by stillgoing. Reason: spell check

Re: Big Steps 05 Aug 2018 16:29 #334317

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Dear Shlomo, thank you for your post. I agree with almost everything you wrote besides for one thing:

I am a full believer that everyone has a choice to live their lives the way they wish to, so long as they aren't hurting others.


If you are referring to non-Jews, then I guess you are right. But for Jews, we don't have a choice. Hashem lifted Har Sinai over our heads and threatened that if we don't keep the Torah, we will be buried underneath it. 

Here are GYE's views on Homosexuality (in a nutshell):

- Having SSA is similar to someone who would be attracted ONLY to married women, i.e. single women don't attract him at all (if such a thing was possible). We must empathize with such people because they have struggles that most men can't even imagine. We must give them support and show them love and understanding.

- Having same sex attraction (SSA) is not a sin.

- Acting on SSA desires is a sin

- Some people are born gay and cannot be changed.

- Some people develop SSA due to external life factors and can change, i.e. through therapy or other ways, they can learn to have normal straight desires.

- Some people develop SSA due to external life factors and still CANNOT learn to have normal straight desires (as Shlomo claims is his case).

- If a person can learn to change and develop healthy normal sexual desires, that would be great. After all, since acting on these desires is a sin, if one can change and learn to marry and have a normal family, why wouldn't they do that? That is why, everyone who has SSA should attempt therapy. Because they can never know if it will work for them or not, and they'll only know by giving it a serious try.

- If they cannot learn to change, either because they were born that way, or because conversion therapy or other types of therapy doesn't work for them, then they can still learn to ACCEPT themselves as they are, with no shame, and simply work on controlling their desires in the same way any normal man needs to work on his desires for married women, i.e. by avoiding desire as much as possible, etc.. Such people can still get married and lead normal lives, like Shlomo said, with the right support and attitude.
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Last Edit: 05 Aug 2018 16:36 by the.guard.

Re: Big Steps 06 Aug 2018 02:21 #334337

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II am not speakin' for gye and I am not speakin' for shlomo. I also know almost nothin' about the subject matter. 

There are many postsI above, includin' several paragraphs in shlomo's post that I doI not fully understand, but I did not see in his post thatI he is advocatin' for someone with ssa tendencies to act upon his desires. Is he sayin' that conversionI therapy is dangerous? Yes, that isI his opinion. Is it the correct one? I have no idea.

Does everyone, even Jews, have a choice? Yes. Mount SinaI hoverin' over our heads commanded us what to do, but we still have choices; no? What I thought he meant in that sentence is that someone with ssa tendencies has a choice before him as to how to proceed, and he (even he) could choose heterosexual sex, although it may be difficult. He can choose homosexual sex (because everyone hasI bechirah), which, however, is a sin.

Then, there is the word 'tolerate,' whichI he used. Again, I can't say I understand the entire jist, but isn't this entire site about tolerance and acceptance? A fellow says he had three affairs in the past two years, another says he is a chronic masturbator, even durin' shiur, a third says he watches porn before usin' a kabbalistic sefer as he's engagin' in sex with his wife, another says he spied on his sister-in-lawI thru his drilled hole in the closet. Do we bash these fellows? Do we warn them that fire and brimstone will be hurled forth on them from below? Are we understandin' where they're coming from (shlomo's words)? Yes, we are. Are they/we/i sinnin'? Hell yesI, but we speak to them and see if we can help them somewhat in their struggle.

As it is, this post is too long, so I deleted my conclusion.

Again, perhaps there will be some clarification as to what people above meant and then I will amend my words. My words are probably because I am a superficial thinker and naive, and I did not reallyI understand what was bein' said.
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Last Edit: 06 Aug 2018 02:24 by cordnoy.

Re: Big Steps 06 Aug 2018 03:19 #334340

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Cords, if you didn't understand, then I really have no hope.

in a line, what bothered me about the above quote is; if we can be so tolerant of homosexual lifestyle choices, then why is there zero tolerance for conversion therapy.    Apparently, for something very harmful (in his opinion) there is no room for tolerance.
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Last Edit: 06 Aug 2018 03:20 by stillgoing. Reason: spell bomb

Re: Big Steps 06 Aug 2018 03:49 #334343

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ehrliche.bochur wrote on 05 Aug 2018 04:13:

Shlomo24 wrote on 03 Aug 2018 19:30:
Up until this point, the description of the SSA forum had some language about "moving towards healthy heterosexuality." That description really bothers me. For many people, myself included, changing one's sexual attractions are all but impossible.

If one wants to pursue gay relationships, then I empathize with their desires and I can understand where they're coming from. To each their own. But what I will not do is support practices that are harmful and traumatic. 

The fact is that conversion therapy is being banned all around the globe. If the majority of Western society is coming to realize that this therapy is harmful, and my experience certainly validates that fact, then I think I will side with them on this issue. For GYE to put forward a message supporting such practices hurts my soul.

To treat homosexuality as an addiction, which GYE was very much doing, is abhorrent to me. Homosexuals, including myself, need to be treated with love, tolerance, and patience.



We do not make our life decisions because what western society thinks. Western society also think it is okay for discusting practice like man marry with man and woman marry with woman. western society also think abortion is okay. But we live our life how Hashem want us. We do not live our life for chilonim/western society.

Shlomo... you were first person who talk with me when i join GYE 4 years ago. Your story and your life helped me so much.. You gave me information for JONAH and helped me to fight SSA and get cure. How you can say you dont support harmful practices but support something dangerous like ho*ose*ual life??? I am very sad you think this Shlomo because you helped me so much. i am sad because you inspired me so much to get help for my SSA. But i think it is dangerous you come to GYE and write we should tolerate ho*ose*uality and people who choose that life because someone who is struggling with SSA might see this message and think it is okay to live this way and that we should accept Ho*ose*ual life.we always should promote full life by torah

I never said I support a homosexual lifestyle. It saddens me that you missed the entire point of my post. And in terms of JONAH, they were shut down by the US government for doing illegal practices. I cannot condone their services ever.
What works for me: 1) Honesty 2) Meetings 3) 12-step 4) Listening to my Sponsor 5) Not doing what I want to do 6) Inviting the God of my understanding into my life

"I can't do it, God can help." | "Everything I want is on the other side of fear." | "Where there is deprivation there is addiction." | "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery." | "Stop stopping, start living."

My thread: Big Steps

Email: iam24zman@gmail.com

Re: Big Steps 06 Aug 2018 03:55 #334344

  • mzl
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I think the point was that there are two orthogonal issues. One is sex addiction, which is why the site is here, and the other is homosexuality. Straight men don't understand that the writer of that post feels entirely at home desiring men (me neither, I had to go read it again) and wants people on the site to just forget about whether he's desiring a man or a woman, and view him as just another sex addict even if he should choose to recover to be a happy homosexual. An almost impossible request, but he got it off his chest.

Re: Big Steps 06 Aug 2018 03:57 #334345

  • Shlomo24
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the.guard wrote on 05 Aug 2018 16:29:
Dear Shlomo, thank you for your post. I agree with almost everything you wrote besides for one thing:

I am a full believer that everyone has a choice to live their lives the way they wish to, so long as they aren't hurting others.


If you are referring to non-Jews, then I guess you are right. But for Jews, we don't have a choice. Hashem lifted Har Sinai over our heads and threatened that if we don't keep the Torah, we will be buried underneath it. 

Here are GYE's views on Homosexuality (in a nutshell):

- Having SSA is similar to someone who would be attracted ONLY to married women, i.e. single women don't attract him at all (if such a thing was possible). We must empathize with such people because they have struggles that most men can't even imagine. We must give them support and show them love and understanding.

- Having same sex attraction (SSA) is not a sin.

- Acting on SSA desires is a sin

- Some people are born gay and cannot be changed.

- Some people develop SSA due to external life factors and can change, i.e. through therapy or other ways, they can learn to have normal straight desires.

- Some people develop SSA due to external life factors and still CANNOT learn to have normal straight desires (as Shlomo claims is his case).

- If a person can learn to change and develop healthy normal sexual desires, that would be great. After all, since acting on these desires is a sin, if one can change and learn to marry and have a normal family, why wouldn't they do that? That is why, everyone who has SSA should attempt therapy. Because they can never know if it will work for them or not, and they'll only know by giving it a serious try.

- If they cannot learn to change, either because they were born that way, or because conversion therapy or other types of therapy doesn't work for them, then they can still learn to ACCEPT themselves as they are, with no shame, and simply work on controlling their desires in the same way any normal man needs to work on his desires for married women, i.e. by avoiding desire as much as possible, etc.. Such people can still get married and lead normal lives, like Shlomo said, with the right support and attitude.

Thank you for your response. Again, I never said I support living a homosexual lifestyle. Let's move on from that.

Secondly, simply because their are psychological reasons for the development of sexuality does not warrant a legitimate reason to try and undue those things if the method is harmful. Conversion therapy was exceedingly traumatic for me. The majority of Western psychologists agree that conversion therapy is harmful, I can't see how you support such a tactic. Additionally, all this is assuming the therapy works, which in my case, and (in my experience) most cases, does not. So essentially we are taking a very strong risk, one that will probably lead to trauma and no change, but because it's theoretically possible we are taking a risk. To me, that sound uneducated and illogical.

That's my main issue with how GYE treats homosexuality.
What works for me: 1) Honesty 2) Meetings 3) 12-step 4) Listening to my Sponsor 5) Not doing what I want to do 6) Inviting the God of my understanding into my life

"I can't do it, God can help." | "Everything I want is on the other side of fear." | "Where there is deprivation there is addiction." | "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery." | "Stop stopping, start living."

My thread: Big Steps

Email: iam24zman@gmail.com

Re: Big Steps 06 Aug 2018 04:03 #334346

  • Shlomo24
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stillgoing wrote on 06 Aug 2018 03:19:
Cords, if you didn't understand, then I really have no hope.

in a line, what bothered me about the above quote is; if we can be so tolerant of homosexual lifestyle choices, then why is there zero tolerance for conversion therapy.    Apparently, for something very harmful (in his opinion) there is no room for tolerance.

In my post I explained that I empathize with those who choose homosexual lifestyles because I get where they are coming from. That's all I said. Does that mean tolerance? Probably. For me tolerance means "I may not support what you're doing, but I have some level of understanding why and so long as you don't negatively affect my life, I'm ok with that." I don't think that's too radical of a position to take on the issue of homosexuality, to say the least.

Why do I have no tolerance of conversion therapy? Because, in my experience, I have seen how those practices traumatized me and shamed me. Not only me, but countless others as well. Additionally, I have rarely seen the "therapy" work within the hundreds of people that I am aware of went through it. So just like you wouldn't be tolerant of letting children walk in the street alone, even though they might make it to the other side, so to I am intolerant of conversion therapy.
What works for me: 1) Honesty 2) Meetings 3) 12-step 4) Listening to my Sponsor 5) Not doing what I want to do 6) Inviting the God of my understanding into my life

"I can't do it, God can help." | "Everything I want is on the other side of fear." | "Where there is deprivation there is addiction." | "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery." | "Stop stopping, start living."

My thread: Big Steps

Email: iam24zman@gmail.com
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