One Child’s Courage to Survive:
“ A Child Called It ”
This is one of the best, yet saddest books that I have ever read. There are so many bad things out there that are happening to good people. We just have no idea. You never know what is going on behind closed doors. I am so lucky not to have experienced anything like this growing up. There is so much reality in this book, but I never knew that reality was ever this awful. It brought me to a realization that I have never known before. It is extremely sad that something like this really did happen to such a sweet little boy.
A Child Called “It” is a story based on a real life little boy’s tribulations with his mothers shocking abuse. The first part of Dave's life was idyllic in his memory--he says his family was "the Brady Bunch"--a loving mother and father with whom he enjoyed wonderful holidays and a happy trip to the Russian River. Everyone on the outside thought that David’s family was perfect. No one in their neighborhood would have suspected anything was wrong. All that changed when Dave was in first grade. For no known reason, his mother singled him out from his siblings and began abusing him. The abuse began relatively mildly. When he and his brothers did something wrong, Dave was the one to receive punishment--at first simply banishment to the corner of a bedroom. Then, his mother began spending her days watching TV and drinking beer. Easily irritated, she yelled at Dave for the slightest reason, or sometimes for no reason at all. Soon, instead of making him go down to the basement, Mrs. Pelzer smashed Dave's face against the mirror, then made him repeat, over and over, "I'm a bad boy! I'm a bad boy!" He was forced to stand for hours staring into that mirror. Dave's father soon joined The Mother, as David called her, in her drinking. He, too, knew David was a "good boy." He did not join in the abuse, but he did not to stop it, either. David was treated like a slave in his own home. His mother treated him as if he wasn’t even a member of the family like a nobody or an “It”. She first referred to him as, “The Boy, then it quickly changed to It”. Nobody at his school liked him, they called him "Pelzer Smelzer" because his mom never washed his clothes and made him wear the same thing every day. After school, once Dave completed his chores, he was banished to the basement where he was made to stand until he was called to clean off the dinner table and wash the dishes. If he were caught sitting or lying down, the consequences were further abuse. He had to sit on his hands at the bottom of the stairs for hours on end--always in fear of what worse would happen were he caught moving a muscle.
David’s dad couldn’t do anything about it either because he acted like he was afraid of the mother also. His mother did a lot of awful things to him in front of his two brothers, Ron and Stan. She told his...