A Child Called ‘It’ –Dave Pelzer
“I am so blessed. Instead of dwelling on the past I maintained the same focus that I had taught myself years ago in the garage, knowing the good Lord was always over my shoulder, giving me quiet encouragement and strength when I needed it most.” –David James Pelzer.
It is a scene in the nature of childhood to experience physical pains may it be from the slap of the belt kissing your skin or even of the thin branch of a guava tree roaring as your father hit your bottom and as if forcing your eyes to pour tears. But it was just a price of our laziness or maybe for disrespecting our parents –punishment. However, it is completely poles apart with David Pelzer’s childhood. At his young age he was already battling courage to survive. The true story of the author himself might be perceived exaggerated by other readers but as I unfolded every pages of it, I was amazed of his bravery more than the anger I felt towards his mother. It was never a question for me why David didn't runaway or escape and asks the authorities, for I fully understood his innocence and his faith of seeing her mother back to the old lovable and caring self. He believed it was just a disease cured by time. However, I barely grasp the point of Catherine Roerva’s behavior. She didn’t value what she was called –the mother. A mother won’t discipline his son as vicious as that. But more than her brutality, it was his husband who showed the cruelty. He did not give justice of him called as the father of David nor a man in the family. He doesn’t need a super power or be a superhero to save his son. But he did nothing! He stayed put and watched the wicked scenes live. He even had the guts to leave David and never comes back.
David was stabbed, devoured the bleach, burnt in the stove, starved to death, and then finally gave up believing he has a father until he forgot there is God who always guides him. He believe on himself alone, resolute to fight, escaped from the loop of abuse and survive. Yet at the end, he becomes conscious that all of those trials were God’s way of guiding and teaching him. Staying alive throughout the challenge proved that his Savior is always beside him and the only thing he could say –which is also the great line in the novel was, “I am so blessed.”
I am punished a lot when I was young but I can say that I’m lucky enough to have a mother and a father who loved and valued me as their son. But one thing that made me appreciate the novel is that it reminds me of my childhood friend Caloy. It is not the point that he was also like David but I knew he was abused. He was three years younger than me but we were good buddies despite the gap. Except playing and exploring the farm while looking for fruits during weekends, he used to spend time with me while I was doing my assignments. Looking at me answering, he would then ask a paper and borrow the other pencil and tried his best to sketch symbols in every word he barely understood. Until one time I heard him said “I wish I could go back to school.” At his age that time, he should be in grade 3 but he was there clueless of what will happen to him in the future. He told me that he even ranked top4 when he finished grade 1 and made me wonder why his parents gave up sending him to school anymore. I remembered he also told me that his father didn’t want him to study because even his elder brother had work without graduating. I also asked about his mother but according to him she only agreed on his father’s point and recommended to help his brother instead. He said he already cried a lot begging but it only caused him to get punished so he stop and accepted it.
I wasn't aware that time about him already been abused emotionally but I realized now that he was actually one of those children who've been deprive of being a child. A child who should have only happiness, careless of the things around him and just enjoy being young. But I guess I just have to pray that Caloy would follow the road where David went. I haven’t seen him for quite six years after I studied here in GenSan but I hope someday when our roads meet again, I could see a great Caloy and could also say that he is blessed.
Unlike those novels I've read, this book gives me extra time to look for answers for every question it leaved in my mind. Pelzer gave hints but it only made me confused or maybe the author himself is also looking for answers as well. I always wonder what kind of virus has attacked to his mother that he would spread wickedness to his son. If she’s totally insane why not treat everyone as David? I was mad at his father because of these unanswered questions; how can he let his child brutally treated by his wife? What is so scary of the words his wife is saying that he feared to do something and won’t show the authority of being a husband, a father and a protector?
Considering that the author has not completed the narration in the first book, I thought of varieties of scenes that the second book may provide –that would somehow answer every query. I thought of his father coming to the orphanage where the authorities brought him and they two will live a successful life. The sequel may also give the right answers of what the readers keep on asking –the cause of his mother’s wickedness.
Reading Log -Part I
Roel Neniel Revilleza