This week I challenged myself. Over the past week I have been reading my non fiction title ( which lets be real, is a challenge in itself) I chose the book A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer. Which isn't exactly the dramatic boy girl drama I'm used to.
A Child Called It Is based on the true story of one of the most severe child abuse cases in California history. Dave Pelzer writes about his childhood as he retells his story. Dave Pelzer was brutally beaten and starved by his mother. His mother would "play games" with him that would leave him nearly dead. She would give him chores with impossible time limits and punish him for his failure to complete the task. She would suffocate him by forcing ammonia down his throat, burn him on the stove, punch and kick him, and try as many ways as she could to torture her own son. Also Dave was rarely allowed the "luxury" of food and would go days and even weeks without anything to eat. He was no longer a boy but an "it" he slept in the basement on an old army cot and wore raggedy torn clothes. He was forced into being his family's slave. This read was extremely difficult for me leaving me with tears in my eyes and my stomach in knots. One specific section that was truly gut wrenching was in the chapter "The accident" when his mom was standing with a knife in front of Dave yelling viciously at him and Pelzer describes the incident where his mother stabs him "out of the corner of my eye I saw a blurred object fly from her hand. a sharp pain erupted from just above my stomach. I tried to remain standing, but my legs gave out, and the world turned black" (Pelzer 87). This for me was particularly hard to read because it was the turning point in which things went from bad to worse. It was the first event that to me really showed his mom didn't care if he lived or died. Even though before she had done things that left him close to dead she had always stopped or let up at some point but this was the first time of many times he was really at deaths door.
This is a topic I would say I tend to look away from and ignore, not because I don't care but because its such a harsh reality. This subject is tough enough to think about but when its a true story in front of your eyes it really come to the light. a lot of times we tend to think, how could someone harm an innocent child? How could anyone harm THEIR OWN child? But child abuse is very real and very relevant. Although this was an extremely painful read I thought it was a powerful story about a child's will to survive and shared a beautiful message explaining that where you come from is not who you will be. I would highly recommend this book to everyone because it really gives you the wake up call so many of us need.