Dave Pelzer is the survivor of the third worst case of child abuse in California's history. Dave grew up with his two brothers and two parents. Catherine, Dave's mother, loved to cook exotic meals for her family and decorate their home in creative and imaginative ways each holiday season. She was full of energy, often taking her kids on tours of downtown San Francisco while her husband was at work as a fire fighter, exposing them to Golden Gate Park and Chinatown. Once, while on a family camping trip, young Dave was watching the sunset when he felt his mother embrace him from behind and watch the sunset with him over his shoulder. "I never felt as safe and warm as at that moment in time," he recalls.
But then, his mother changed. Slowly at first, but drastically. Her behavior became unusual and her drinking increased heavily. She became easily frustrated, and it seems that her biggest source of frustration was Dave, the loudest and wildest of her children. And thus, Dave's nightmare began. Pelzer is never clear on what caused this harsh change in behavior; most likely, he doesn't know and never will. Dave struggles to stay alive in a home where he treated basically like an animal and a slave. Catherine
found any excuse to punish Dave, while favoring her other children and her punishments grew more dangerously the older he got. Besides being horribly beaten, Dave was forced to eat his own vomit, swallow soap, ammonia, and Clorox. This was just the beginning of his mother's "games". Initially, she would slap him, smash his face into the mirror and make him repeat "I'm a bad boy!" or make him to search for hours for something she had "lost." But with time, her cruelty grew to include not giving him food for days on end, making him sleep on a cot or even the floor in the basement, forcing him to wear the same dirty shirt and pants to school every day for three years, making him eat his little brothers dirty diaper and referring to... [continues]
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(2005, 11). A Child Called It . Dave Pelzer Is the Survivor. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 11, 2005, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Child-Called-Dave-Pelzer-Survivor-71315.html
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