Intro to Psyche
1/9/2013 A Child Called It
“A Child Called It” by Dave Pelzer is a very moving and inspirational book about child abuse and the ways it can affect or impact a growing child’s psychological mind. This memoir tells the story of Dave Pelzer as a child and shows the hardships in which he had to undergo everyday just to survive. Throughout the story, Pelzer describes the way Catherine Roerva, his mother would treat him and gives examples of some of the cruel and unjust punishments she would portray onto him. Dave had to do many chores that were not fair and would be punished if he didn’t complete the chores on time and good enough for his mother’s standards. His mom had multiple ways of punishing Dave. The first punishments from Mother were just to go to his room and sit in the corner, but that changed quickly into more grossing and cruel ways of torture. For example, Mother refused to let Dave eat any meals so in order for him to survive he relied on getting to school early enough so that he would be able to steal food from his classmates. His mother knew and would make him throw up all the food that he had stolen so he would have an empty stomach. One time she even made him eat his regurgitated food again after getting into an argument with Stephen Joseph, Dave’s father, after trying to stand up for him and making sure he had something to eat. Throughout the story punishments became worse, Dave would get punched multiple times in the face each day, he was forbidden to spend time with his 3 brothers, Ronald, Stan and Kevin, he also was not allowed to sleep in a room with a bed he had to live in the garage and basement with only an army cot as a bed. The worst events for Dave would have been when his mother burnt his hand by holding it over the stove, rubbed his face in his baby brother’s defecated diaper, stabbed in the chest with a knife, and also a “game” she would do by trapping him in the bathroom with a bucket filled with ammonia and Clorox making it nearly impossible to breathe. Dave lost hope in life due to the fact that none of his family members realized what was going on and no one tried to prevent Mother from treating him that way. Dave only grew stronger and learned to trick or outsmart his mother, but when his father, his only hope, walked out on the family. He wanted to give up because he knew the beatings would only get worse without having his father there to protect him. Also at this moment Dave felt completely separated from his mother and his whole entire family when his mother no longer called by his name or by “boy” but now he is referred to as an “It”. During school days Dave had given up, he failed all his classes, had no friends and was always in the principal’s office for getting in trouble. But one day all Dave’s troubles were suddenly gone when a police officer interviewed him and found out what was really going on, Dave was promised to be never get hurt from his mother again and was free from everything.
This book relates to the field of psychology because it shows how greatly the way a child is treated and raised, effects the way the child lives their everyday life. Dave had a happy normal life when he was very young; he had friends and a nice house with a happy family. Than his mother changed and started treating Dave bad and his treatment from his parents was reflected onto the grades that he was getting in school, the lack of friends that he had and also the fact that he was always getting into