Daves parents became alcoholics. His father never came home and his mother had lost her brightness and love of life, resorting to alcohol to get through the day. She became miserable to live with. Although she became mean to the kids she focused her anger on Dave. At first she would pit his brothers against him or make him do many chores, but soon her meanness turned to hatred towards Dave.
To her Dave was now just a slave and an it she referred to him as the boy. Although sometimes Daves father would try to help him or defend him in arguments he would always give in to Daves mother. At a young age Dave had to learn how to play games with his mother as a sort of survival tactic to stay alive in his household. Besides telling her child that she hated him and wished him dead Daves mother put him through tremendous physical pain and abuse. From a young child till the fifth grade Dave Pelzer had been made to sleep away from the family in the basement in a small army cot.
He was starved for days and days on end. His mother longed for any time to severely beat him, it made her day, she would think of morbid things all day to do to him when he got home from school. Among many other things, Dave Pelzer was; stabbed, made to drink ammonia, bleach, and dishwashing detergent, made to sit in a bathroom for hours with many chemicals creating a small gas chamber, put in freezing cold water for hours with just his nose sticking out of the tub, burnt on an open fire on the stove, and made to eat his little brothers dirty diaper. These were only some of the torturous things his mother could think of to do to her little boy. To Daves mom this was all a game, the only reason she wanted him to live was so that he could clean up after the rest of the family, he was like a slave in his own house. By fifth grade Daves loneliness and struggles had become unimaginable.
His own brothers had turned on him. By this time Dave was no longer a part of the family and he no longer tried to play his mothers games, his anger turned to hate towards his family and himself. The one person that Dave talked to and trusted was the school nurse, Mrs. Moss. Mrs.
Moss took an interest in him and listened to the recollections of Daves everyday life. Because of her, Dave Pelzer was sent to a new home and was finally free of the painful life he had lived. He knew that he had finally won this game. From Dave Pelzers story I have learned that people can overcome hard times, and that no matter how bad things are never lose hope because they will always get better.