OUT NOW: Hide Little Boy by Reverend Paul Parks
Moving memoir of a Reverend’s brave battle against mental traumas.
Hide Little Boy is the inspiring memoir from Reverend Paul Parks, a former paratrooper and ex-SAS reservist tested by the terrible onslaught of multiple mental traumas.
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In this extraordinary and deeply honest memoir, Paul takes the reader on a compelling journey of survival. Survival from abuse, from being raised by a psychopathic mother, survival from brutality, survival from injustice, survival from complex traumas and ultimately survival from himself. Hide Little Boy is a story which at times is deeply disturbing, but bravely tackles the consequences of multiple traumas on the life of someone who was made to love and be loved.
Hide Little Boy recognises the damaging toll mental trauma takes on families and highlights the urgency to understand the destructive impact of mental illness and break down the stigmas surrounding it. In 2017, Paul was suspended by the Church of England after his wife of 17 years, Lois, made the difficult decision to ask for help for Paul and herself by reporting his increasingly distressing and threatening behaviour to the police. At the time, this was a turning point in both their lives. It was a cry for help from a frightened wife who wanted to seek help for a husband in the throes of a devastating mental breakdown. Ultimately, Paul’s two Archbishops and his two pastoral Bishops, who were responsible for Paul’s wellbeing, let him and his family down at his time of crisis. An institution that he had served so well, abandoned him. It was the turning point however, that led to diagnosis, medication and specialist trauma therapy which has brought Paul to the place of healing and wholeness he finds himself in today.
With no criminal charges brought against Paul, Lois stood by her husband and, in the Introduction, describes his underlying motive for writing such a sensational, soul-searching and frank memoir:
“I know that for Paul, this has not been an easy book to write, but it needed to be written. Not just as a ‘cathartic’ exercise for him, but as a way of getting out there the reality of living with a mental illness and the effect that that illness can have on loved ones and families. As a way, too, of highlighting the stigma and shame that still surrounds mental illness and the ignorance and hypocrisy of Institutions that, quite frankly, should know better.”
Hide Little Boy is superbly written with inner sensitivity and revealing fragility yet with a powerful purpose. Paul’s hope is that by sharing these most intimate experiences, he can help and inspire other Military Veterans with PTSD and other sufferers of debilitating mental illness, to come back from the deepest depths of despair and learn to thrive. Hide Little Boy is a story of resilience, recovery and overcoming obstacles that could have broken Paul, obstacles Paul acknowledges. For many however, these obstacles still threaten their lives.
“After the pain of peeling back the layers of trauma and hurt, you will find the little boy or the little girl within you crying out with rage and outrage, and hug them so much that their pain is squashed right out of them.”
More than just a journey of self-discovery, Hide Little Boy intentionally moves beyond the personal, opening up discussions on mental health and promoting a deeper understanding of existing prejudices. It achieves its aim to reduce the stigma, shame and isolation of PTSD sufferers and advocates seeking help, of allowing a person to heal and respecting that hiding mental health problems is even more damaging than the illness itself. In this vein, Hide Little Boy is an invaluable memoir that exposes mental trauma and by penning it, Paul has succeeded in enabling others to find their authentic self and no longer hide.
Review Copies of Hide Little Boy and interviews with the author are available on request.
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Price: £12.99 (Paperback); £7.99 (Kindle Edition)
Paperback: 404 pages
About the Author
Born in Coventry in the UK, Rev Paul Parks joined the Parachute Regiment at 16 to escape a dysfunctional and abusive childhood with his single mum, having never known his father. After leaving the army, Paul took on various jobs whilst raising four children as a lone parent. Following a ‘road to Damascus’ experience, Paul was selected to train to be a Church of England Vicar, and entered the world of education, having previously had little formal education. After gaining a BA(Hons), MA and various post-graduate qualifications Paul began life as a Church of England Vicar, serving the Church in different parts of the UK before moving to Hastings, East Sussex in 2015. In May 2017, while serving at St Helen’s Church in Hastings, Paul suffered a breakdown and was suspended by the Church of England. Paul spent six weeks in a secure psychiatric unit and was diagnosed with PTSD with dissociative sub-type in relation to the time he served in the SAS and 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, along with C-PTSD in relation to his childhood traumas. Today, after undergoing three years of intensive specialist trauma therapy, he and Lois live happily on the Isle of Man with their two youngest children.