Got the two sequels of Dave Pelzer's A Child Called It on Saturday. Finished them by Sunday night.
What a great series! I don't recommend them if you're sensitive and squeamish, but if you're not and you like non-fiction, pick them up.
The first, as I mentioned before, is about the author's abuse at the hands of his sick mother.
The second, The Lost Boy, is about his experiences in foster care, and the third, A Man Called Dave is about him coping with his abuse in adulthood.
After reading the first book, I scoffed at the title page which claimed Dave's story was "inspirational." I certainly felt less than inspired after reading about the horrific abuse and imagining all the children who are currently suffering at the hands of the people who are supposed to have the most interest in protecting them.
The freakiest thing about the book is that the mother started out normal. She was definitely an alcoholic, but she loved her children very much and took care of them. The other weird thing is that she did take care of her other children- she just picked David as the outlet for her wrath. So to the outside world, she seemed like the perfect mother who just had a problem child.
I think as a parent what freaked me out more than anything was the question- "Do I have it in me? Could I ever treat my own children that way? Could circumstances drive me there?" I mean, sure, I think I'm a good mom, but that's just how Mrs. Pelzer started out.
Being a parent is so weird- it's like- you know you're a good person, but you love your kids so much that you'd question anyone, even yourself, as to your fitness for the honor of taking care of them.
Kyle would always tell me how he was so worried for them he was even worried about himself- viewed himself as a threat- and now I understand what he meant.
Anyhow, the point is that I found that first book highly disturbing and depressing.
But the rest of the series really is inspirational. Although there are so many heartbreaking moments, times when you just ache for this little unloved boy- the story really is about responsibility. Dave Pelzer didn't let what he'd been through destroy him- he let it make him a man who is responsible for his own life.
And really, that's amazing, if you read what he went through.