book review: a child called it (dave pelzer)

a child called itdisclaimer: i wouldn’t exactly call this a book review as it is really about how i felt while reading it. having said that, don’t expect me to point out intricate analyses of the characters and plot of the story.

i wouldn’t even throw the word denouement around here, even though it makes me sound educated and polished af.

but screw that. i wanna sound educated and polished af:

the denouement of the story was a happy one. although happy is pretty hard to define when i think about post-traumatic stress disorders and neglected child syndrome, as well as a myriad of emotional and psychological turmoil the author must have gone through i’m amazed he survived with his sanity intact. i’m amazed he even survived at all.

i read that he’s a motivational speaker now so cashing in on his experiences must be doing him a lot of good.

i also read that he made up/exaggerated some of the details which upset some of his readers because the book is supposed to be a memoir; not fiction. (remember a million broken pieces by james frey? gawd, i loved that book.)

the possibility of him allegedly tweaking his story doesn’t faze me. i don’t wanna be a purist like that. and besides, it’s probably his version of the truth. the fact that he went through some form of horrible abuse and was brave enough to slit his scars open only for people to question his credibility for the sake of justifying the definition of what a memoir is and should be is kinda messed up, i reckon.

regardless, child abuse is real.

and when you become a parent and have a child whom you love more than life itself, reading about horrendous punishments and treatments some children are subjected to fucks you up big time. seriously. by page 7, my heart was literally hurting. i don’t know how i managed to read it until the very end but somehow, i did.

and guess what, the book has two more sequels sitting on my shelf and for the life of me, i’m torn between wanting to finish both for closure and ignoring them lest i willingly subject myself to mental torture twice over. by the end of the third book, i’d probably need therapy for myself!

on a serious note, i guess this book resonated with me because i have a family history of alcoholism and i can just imagine the fear and helplessness my mom’s family must have endured all those years my grandfather was drunk and in the mood to “discipline” his kids with sacks and ropes or whatever he could find. sometimes, he mcgyver-ed it and put physics into action by combining the use of electricity with water.

he was pretty smart. he invented the first windmill in town.

i never met the man but i know him through the stories i heard of him, both good and bad. mostly bad. i try not to let the negative cloud my judgement as i hold on to auntie becky’s words:

“he was a very good man and a very good father. when he was sober.”

crazy how you unearth all these raw emotions simply by reading a book because the internet was down for a week.

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