Jalen Jones Mrs. Moore English 113 A 1/3/12 Book Summary A Child Called It by David Pelzer is a real life story about a boy who was brutally beaten and severely starved by his alcoholic mother. When David was young, he lived a well and typical life with his parents and brothers. However, his mother unexpectedly, became a monster, taking her anger out on her anger on her vulnerable child.
David was forced to lie in freezing cold water with his whole body under except for his nostrils, forced to eat his own vomit, sleep in the basement under the stairs, stabbed, and forced to sit in the bathroom with a mustard gas solution while the door was closed. These are just a few of the brutal, tortuous games that David’s mother used to play. She treated him not like her son, but like nobody with no feelings or emotions. David’s mother would never call him by his name, she always either called him “The Boy” or “It” David experienced both psychological and physical abuse.
In order to survive from his mother’s sick games, David used willpower. David has a strong will to survive at any cost. Through all of mothers’ torturous games, David’s internal strength began to come into view. Introduction to Interview David Pelzer’s story is the exact opposite of a fairy tale. There was something I couldn’t get right about him. He looked normal but his childhood wasn’t. The room was bright and warm. I sat there preparing my questions for David Pelzer. As he walked into the room and sat down in the chair, I wondered “is this going to be a dreadful, painful day for David Pelzer? I knew that today, skeletons will be brought out of the closet. Today, there will be secrets revealed. Interview Questions Okay David, let’s jump right in. What was mother like? Mother was… Mother. She was an alcoholic who tortured and starved me for her sick pleasure. She would do things to me that you couldn’t possibly fathom. Once she stabbed m in the stomach and gave me a slightly longer time to complete my chores. But the person, who I loathed in that situation the most, was father. After I was stabbed I turned to him for help and I assumed he would rescue me. Boy was I wrong.
He just sat there… In his chair… Continuing to read his paper. When I told him all he could say was “Jesus H. Christ! Does Mother know that you are talking to me? You better go back in there and do the dishes. Damn it boy, we don’t need to do anything that might make her more upset! I don’t need to go through that tonight…I tell you what: you go back in there and do the dishes. I won’t even tell that you told, okay? This will be our little secret. Just go back in the kitchen and do the dishes. Go on now, before she catches the both of us. GO! ” That day I lost all respect for him.
The day I was taken away from that house was easily the best day of my life. What was the worst thing mother did to torture you? The worst form of torture? Easily the “Gas Chamber” I would be trapped in the bathroom with a solution of Clorox ® and Ammonia. In case you didn’t know that makes Mustard Gas. This was used in WWI to burn your eyes and lungs. The only way to save myself was to push the bucket closer to the door, put one of my work rags over my face. The main reason why I would push the bucket toward the door was so that when Mother opened the door, she would get a taste of her own medicine.
My eyes would be red and burning and my throat will be sore and will be blister filled. Every time she did this I would pray to god that he would bring me through this. I had much will power. When Mother opened that door after each session, I would sprint for fresh air, and every time she would get a kick out of it. What was mother like before the abuse? Before the abuse started, my family was the “Brady Bunch” of the 1960’s. When it came to housekeeping mother was a clean fiend. After feeding my two brothers and me breakfast, she would clean, disinfect, scour, and vacuum everything.
She never believed in doing anything half way. Our flower garden was the envy of the neighborhood. Mother was an amazing cook. She would often cook foreign and exotic meals. One time she took us to china town and dove around the area. As we did this, she told us about the culture and history of the Chinese people. When we returned home, mom started the record player and played beautiful sounds from the orient. She decorated the living room with Chinese lanterns. That evening she dressed in a kimono and served an exotic yet delicious Chinese meal.
She always kept the house filled with pets; cats, dogs, aquariums filled with exotic fish, and a gopher tortoise named Thor. I remember him the best because I named him after my favorite comic book hero. Boy those were the good days. While school was out, what did you do? During the spring time, mother made me mow lawns. I would go out and mow lawns all day for a quota mother had set. If I didn’t meet the quota, I would get brutally beaten. Sometimes I would have to ask for money to meet my quota. One Christmas, she bought me skates. They were not for pleasure but for torture.
Mother would make me skate outside in the freezing cold for hours with no coat on. It was horrible. Even though people saw me, no one did anything or asked questions. Was there a time where you stopped believing in god or that faith was nonexistent? Yes there was. When my father left, I stopped believing. He was my hero. My father was my only main choice of escaping that misery home. When he left, I had no more hope. All faith of leaving was gone. When he left, I started to do my chores nonchalantly. I decided that if there was nothing to live for why try to be perfect? What was something you were extremely proud of during your childhood?
One day I entered a competition to name the school newspaper. I had one the competition and Mr. Ziegler; my teacher had given me an award to take home to my mother. I was hoping that she would be proud of me but boy was I wrong. Mother jabbed her finger and my face and hisses “Get one thing straight you little son of a b****! There is nothing you can do to impress me! Understand me? You are a nobody! An It. You are nonexistent! You are a bastard child! I hate you and I wish you were dead! Dead! Do you hear me? Dead! ” After mother tore the letter to pieces mother returned to her TV show.
I stood motionless gazing at the letter which lay like snowflakes at my feet. Even though I heard those words over and over again, the word “it” stunned me like never before. She had stripped me of my very existence. What would you do to steal food? Sometimes I would steal from the grocery store during recess. I would run to the grocery store, steal food, and run out the store with my prize. One of my favorites was to go through lunch boxes of other kids and steal some of their food. But teachers found out about that. On my way to school, I would knock on peoples doors saying” I lost my lunch, can you make me one? One day I knocked on the wrong door. It was a friend of mothers. She made me a lunch but she called mother. I prayed all day that she didn’t call mother. When I got home I paid for what I did. Do you have any advice for people who get abused? Of course. Keep the faith. Always know there is a higher power helping you through the situation. Keep your head up. In time everything will get better. It did for me. I stopped believing but that only got me more torture. Just always know things will get better. Things always turn out in the best. Always remember that.
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