Saturday, 30 April 2011

prodest moment

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Response Journal

Part one

1. Background of Dave Pelzer

Dave Pelzer proudly served his country during Desert Storm, and has received commendations from presidents Reagan, Bush, and Clinton for his work as a motivational speaker. Pelzer is the survivor of the third worst case of child abuse in California’s history. A Child Called “It” is the autobiography of David’s childhood.

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. Quotes

1. “My two brothers and I were blessed with the perfect parents. Our every whim was fulfilled with love and care.” (Pg 17)

David refers to his years before he was abused as “the good times.” His family was like that of the “Brady bunch” of the 160’s. They lived in a nice house in a good neighborhood. This was soon about to change.

. “ My relationship with mom drastically changed from discipline to punishment that grew out of control. It became to bad at times, I had no strength to crawl away- even if it meant saving my life.” (Pg )

The good times in David’s life soon changed. When David’s mother would drink she would become out of control. Leaving David so weak and frail he couldn’t move.

. “… She would order me to say over and over again, “ I’m a bad boy! I’m a bad boy! I’m a bad boy!” I was then forced to stand, staring into the mirror. I would stand there with my hands locked to my sides, weaving back and forth, dreading the moment when the second set of television commercials aired. I knew mother would soon be stomping down the hall to “check on me”…” (Pg. 1)

David was made to think that he deserved the punishment his mother gave him. She made him believe that he was an evil child. If David were caught not doing his punishment his mother would find something worse for him to do.

4. “…After I finished the bowl of regurgitated hot dogs.”

David was caught stealing food one day from the cafeteria. When he got home his mother dragged him into the bathroom and ordered him to shove his fingers down his throat in order to vomit the stolen food. After this in another one of his mothers sick “games”, she forced him to eat his regurgitated bowl of hot dogs. David was subjected to this treatment for 8 years of his young life.

5. “If you don’t finish on time, I’m going to kill you”

After being deprived of food for three days, his mother gives him a plate of food and sets an impossible time limit for him to finish in. In her drunken rage she grabs a kitchen knife and loses her balance, and stabs her son in the chest. Initially, she took care of him herself, denying him medical care despite his significant blood loss and the severity of the stab wound, but after a few days David was left to take care of himself again, even when his stab wound became severely infected.

6.“Don’t worry he’d say. “Some day you and I will both get out of this madhouse.”

David’s father promised him that one day they would both leave that house, his father although seen by David as his hero, was not much of a father. He himself was too afraid to confront his wife about what she would do to David. Instead he would stay out of her way to keep him out of trouble.

7. “You are all mine now. Too bad your fathers not here to protect you.” “ I knew all my defenses were useless. I wasn’t going to survive. I knew she was going to kill me, if not today, tomorrow. The day I wished mother would have the mercy and kill me quickly. …I clasped my hands together, bent my head down, closed my eyes and prayed with all my heart. When the station wagon turned onto the driveway, I felt that my time had come. Before I opened the car door, I bowed my head and with peace in my heart, I whispered, “… and deliver me from evil.” “Amen”

When David’s father would leave home conditions would worsen, even though his father didn’t stop his mothers abuse his presence made her less violent. David feels that his mother is truly going to kill him with her abuse. He wishes that she would go ahead and kill him and not make him suffer. David went through so much pain, and suffering that all his defenses were now useless. David prays on the way home because his father has just left the house for good, and he is now subjected to living alone with his mother. No one can protect him now.

8. “The secretary leads me into the teachers’ lounge. After she opens the door, it takes a moment for my eyes to adjust. In front of me sitting around a table, are my homeroom teacher Mr. Zieler, my math teacher, Miss Moss, the school nurse, Mr. Hansen, and a police officer. My feet become frozen. I don’t know whether to run away or wait for the roof to cave in… I take a seat at the head of the table explaining I didn’t steal anything… today…”

David is used to getting in trouble with his teachers, so when he is faced with all of them at once he gets nervous because he assumes he is in trouble again. In reality they are there to help him. David always got in trouble for stealing other children’s lunches. He was even forced to steal food from the grocery store. His mother wouldn’t feed him for days at a time.

. “ The police officer explains why Mr. Hansen called him. I can feel myself shrink into the chair. The officer asks that I tell him about mother. I shake my head no. Too many people already know the secret, and I know shell find out… Then the nurse made me stand up and show the police man the scar on my chest. Without hesitation, I tell him it was an accident; which it was- mother never meant to stab me. I cry as I spill my guts, telling them mother punishes me because I am bad. I wish they would leave me alone. I feel so slimy inside. Now after all these years there is nothing anyone can do.” (Pg -10)

When the police officer asks David about his mother all he can think about is how much trouble he will get into for telling them. He has been under his mothers influence for so long that he doesn’t realize that the “accident” wasn’t his fault. He even thinks that the reason for him being ”punished” or abused is because he is a “bad boy”. He doesn’t realize that his mother is the bad one. He feels even more alone after this because he doesn’t know what his mother will do to him once she finds out that he told officials about her punishments.

10. “The challenges of my past have made me immensely strong inside… I have a vast appreciation for things that others may take for granted… My blessings also mean having the opportunity to meet so many people who had a positive impact on my life. The endless sea of faces, prodding me, teaching me to make the right choices, and helping me in my quest for success. They encouraged my hunger to prevail.”

This quote is at the end of the book, all along David had hope that one day he would get out of his terrible situation, and he finally did. Since he was deprived severely as a child, he has a greater appreciation for the simple things in life. His goal is to inform as many people as possible about child abuse, and put a stop to it.

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