I just finished a book last night called A Child Called "It." I can honestly say that it was the most disturbing book I have ever read. I am in shock and disbelief at the physical, mental, and emotional abuse Dave Pelzer suffered as a child. I am sadden to know that there are children who suffer/have suffered such abuse at the hand of a parent- someone who is supposed to love, cherish, nurture, protect, and provide for their child. It is truly heartbreaking.
Despite the insane amount of physical abuse, what really struck a chord with me was the mental and emotional abuse Dave suffered. Unfortunately, I can relate. When I was a teenager, a family from church invited me to live with them. I suppose I should be grateful for them taking me in and providing for me for 5 years. But considering that they made my life hell, that kind of overshadows any sort of gratitude I might have had. I saw physical abuse between family members many times. I was constantly teased, put down, and called names. All of which really did a number on my self esteem. I was told that my parents didn't love me. I was not allowed to have friends, and if I did, my friendships were sabotaged. I was made to attend church several times a week and put on a happy face despite the daily abuse at home. I was, of course, forbidden to talk to anyone about it. But most damaging of all, I was brainwashed into believing this was all normal behavior.
Those monsters are lucky I don't call them by name. I have more class than that. I pray that I can find true forgiveness in my heart for them. After all, I have already gotten my revenge; I am the exact opposite of everything they told me I was and would become. I win. They actually, by example, inadvertently taught me an invaluable life lesson- how NOT to live.
Dave Pelzer said it best in the epilogue when he wrote, "I'm so blessed. The challenges of my past have made me immensely strong inside...My experience gave me a different outlook on life that others may never know."
Okay, enough seriousness...On to happy things :)
I am reading a book now called Running with Scissors. It is the memoir of Augusten Burroughs. It is another unorthodox life story, but quite different from Dave Pelzer's. He was not beaten to a bloody pulp every other day. However, like in A Boy Called "It", the time period is the 1970's. So, far it is really funny, and I find it to be very well-written and descriptive. For example, he was describing his mother's Psychiatrist as looking like Santa Claus. He writes, "He seemed like he should be in a department store letting kids pee on his lap and whispering brand-name bicycles in his ear." That's funny, I don't care who you are. :)