Hannibal Essay, Research Paper
A Child Called It
Could you imagine waking up every morning wondering if you would live to see tomorrow? Could you imagine wondering if today was the lucky day that you would get a bite to eat? Could you imagine wondering each morning about the different types of torture that would be forced upon you? This is the life that David Pelzer, the author of the autobiography, A Child Called It , lived. A Child Called It is an amazingly touching story about one child s struggle with abuse, one that is said to be the biggest case of child abuse that California has ever seen.
David grew up in Daly City, California with his mother and father, and three younger brothers. During the first years of David s life, their family had appeared almost perfect, but soon this would all change. Around the age of six, his mother started to go through some changes. She no longer liked to go on the trips that their family went on regularly, she no longer dressed up, did her hair, nor her makeup. She often times would pass out on the couch in front of the television after drinking an excessive amount of alcohol. David s mother had soon become an alcoholic who had taken a turn for the worst.
David s life drastically changed, as his mother became more and more dependant on alcohol. For some unknown reason, he was the only of the four children to be affected by these changes. It was always he who had to scrub the bathroom, clear the dinner table, do the dishes, and whatever other chores his mother could find for him to do. David, nor David s father, could try and stand up to his mother, for he would be punished with a few hard punches, some more chores, and then not be given the permission to eat. He would often times be sent out to sit in the freezing cold garage, on his hands, with his head down, while the rest of his family ate a home cooked meal around the kitchen table. David was even forced to sleep on an army cot in the basement without any blankets or pillows.
David s mother continued to get worse. She never fed him, made him do countless chores, and constantly beat him up. There would be times that his mother would say that he could eat if he could get all of his chores done in a specific amount of time, though the time she would give him was impossible to finish all of his chores in. David would get so desperate for food that he turned to stealing and going door-to-door begging for a bagged lunch. Somehow, his mother always found out about his schemes. She would punish him so we he would fear what would happen to him if he did it again. She would force him to throw whatever he had to eat up, and then eat it again. Other times she would allow him to eat, it would be scraps of food that not even the dogs would attempt to eat. He would also be given a time limit of only a few seconds to eat. The rest of the food would go to waste in the garbage, as David would go on starving.
There was a few times when onlookers would catch on to the kind of lifestyle David was living. Teachers and other authority figures tried to step in, but David feared his mother so much that he would lie for her. David would continue on living the same way. As usual, things exceedingly worsened. The torture his mother came up with were excruciating. Several times he would be forced to scrub and clean the bathroom. His mother came up with a mixture that could kill him, Clorox and ammonia. This solution was absolutely intoxicating. David would do everything in his power to avoid breathing in the fumes, but that was nearly impossible. He would cough up blood and nearly pass out; he often wished that he would just die. He was tired of all of her games. Another instance of abuse he encountered was at their cabin. The rest of his family had left; David was alone with his mother. She took a diaper that David s younger brother had recently soiled, and tried to force him to eat from it. When he refused her request, she forced his face down into it. Fortunately for him, his family soon returned, and therefore, this abuse didn t last long.
David didn t think he could last much longer. He always thought in the morning, Will today be the day she will finish me off? In a way, he wished for death. He wished his mother would just do it and get it over with. That way, he wouldn t have any more pain or suffering to deal with.
Luckily for David, it was one day all over with. Someone finally stepped in and saved him from all of the torture he was living through. During David s life, he was brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother. She played torturous games that almost left him for dead. David had to learn how to play along with his mother s games. For his mother no longer considered him her son, but her slave, and no longer a boy, but an it . This story is definitely one I will always remember, especially when it comes to taking care of the children I plan to one day have. It is almost unbearable to believe that a mother could treat one of her own children in the manner that David s mother treated him. David, now almost 40 years of age, is well known amongst child abuse prevention organizations across the country. David s case was and incredibly severe case of child abuse and it is very important that he gets his story out and reach as many as possible. It is necessary that the public knows these types of things; otherwise, how else would they be prevented. For those who have been abused, there are many out there that understand the way it feels. There are also many opportunities to get help. For those who have never experienced anything like this, it must be realized how fortunate they are that it could only be imagined how it would feel to live through life that way.