Broken Children, Grownup Pain

by Paul Hegstrom

There have been many books written about recovery of women from sexual abuse as children, but few have been written about men. The Christian therapist Paul Hegstrom addresses this crucial issue in Broken Children, Grownup Pain. Hegstrom discusses why abuse makes such a prominent wound in boys by drawing information from his own life and from a variety of personalities and family and social backgrounds.

Paul Hegstrom is a pastor's son who was sexually abused as a boy outside his home. He effectively hid his symptoms so that parents and teachers were unaware of his plight. He believed, as most such children do, that there was no one with whom he could share his burden. This compounded a series of defense mechanisms, which ultimately made his problems much worse, and later resulted in severe marital and job problems. The book traces the effects of the abuse with separate chapters on the child, adolescent, marriage, work, and relationship with God. There are lists of symptoms, which would be particularly useful to those not trained in this area, and Hegstrom includes a program for healing.

Here is a relatively short non-technical book, which could be of great usefulness to the youth pastor or leader, Sunday school teacher, or parent of a troubled child. Some would think that the effects of abuse end with termination of the abuse. Others blithely state that they could easily spot and offer correctives in these matters. Both assumptions are false. Let not the dabbler tread lightly into these matters. The thoughtless person trying to bring about healing in this area can cause more damage.

Paul Hegstrom effectively and persuasively communicates. He is a professional, trained counselor with his own organization, Life Skills Learning Center. The organization has a Web site: . Hegstrom has written other books, including Angry Men and the Women Who Love Them.