A Child Called It is American author Dave Pelzer ’s personal memoir of the physical and emotional abuse which he suffered at the hands of his mother as a child. Dave was abused from the age of four to twelve, when a teacher finally called the police and Dave was...
A Child Called It is American author Dave Pelzer’s personal memoir of the physical and emotional abuse which he suffered at the hands of his mother as a child. Dave was abused from the age of four to twelve, when a teacher finally called the police and Dave was removed from the home and placed into foster care. At the time Dave thought he was being arrested and taken to prison.
The police officer and I walk outside, past the cafeteria. I can see some of the kids from my class playing dodge ball. A few of them stop playing. They yell, "David's busted! David's busted!"
Dave’s mother, Catherine, was initially a kind and loving mother to all of her children. However, when Dave (the middle child at the time) was four years old, Catherine became emotionally and violently abusive towards him. Catherine was violent in a number of ways including hitting him, starving him, stabbing him, making him sleep in the garage, and also making him eat vomit, feces, and ammonia. His father, who Dave had once thought of as a hero, did nothing to stop the abuse:
I stuttered, “Father… Mo . . . Mo . . . Mother stabbed me.” He didn't even raise an eyebrow, "Why?" he asked. "She told me if I didn't do the dishes on time, she… she'd kill me.” Time stood still. From behind the paper, I could hear Father's labored breathing. He cleared his throat before saying, “Well… you ah… you better go back in there and do the dishes."
As the years went on, Catherine became more violent and more sadistic. Dave is unsure why his mother acted like she did, although she was suffering from depression and alcoholism. Dave also doesn’t offer any opinion on why his mother only abused him and not his siblings. What is clear to the readers is that Catherine's behavior was cruel, sadistic, and unimaginable.
"Get one thing straight, you little son of a bitch! There is nothing you can do to impress me! Do you 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!"