In light of the current Jerry Sandusky trial, one can’t help but wonder how his victims overcame their own abuse and turned out in their adult lives. While following the trial, I also came across and exceptional book by hockey star Theo Fleury, who was also sexually abused by a coach.
His memoir, Playing With Fire (Triumph Books, 2009), is a fine example of a man who emerged from victim to victor.
I fell in love with this book almost right away. This is a story both told from the heart and shows that one can rise above even the worst of circumstances. It’s a painful, bare bones story which reaches out to its readers, whether or not they are hockey fans.
I hold nothing but respect for those who can reveal the painful shadows behind their public facade, and Playing With Fire ranks up there on my list. I recommend this book for anyone struggling with the after effects of childhood sexual abuse, substance abuse, depression, and other afflictions which can sometimes thwart our paths to personal success.
Fleury writes with passion, insight, brutal honesty, and yes, inspiration. There were many times that Playing With Fire brought tears to my eyes as well as showen that if a popular sports figure can rise above horrible circumstances, why can’t we?
This is another book to place on the “can’t-put-it-down” and “must have” lists. I also suggest anyone who is going through their own personal struggles read Playing With Fire.