These words were eighteen-year-old Dave Pelzer's declaration of independence to his mother, representating the ultimate act of self-reliance. Dave's father never intervened as his mother abused him with shocking brutality, denying him food and clothing, torturing him in any way she could imagine. This was the woman who told her son she could kill him any time she wanted to -- and nearly did. The more than one million readers of Pelzer's previous bestselling memoirs, A Child Called "It" and "The Lost Boy, know that he lived to tell his courageous story. But even years after he was resucued, his life remained a continual struggle. Dave felt rootless and awkward; an outcast haunted by memeories of his year as the bruised, cowering "It" locked in his mother's basement. Desperately trying to make something of his life, Dave was determined to weather every setback and gain strength from adversity. With stunning generosity of spirit, Dave Pelzer invites listeners on his journey to discover how he turned shame into pride and rejection into acceptance -- how a lost, nameless boy finally found himself in the heart and soul of an man who is free at last.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
September 29, 1999
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from A Man Named Dave by Dave Pelzer
MARCH 4, 1973
DALY CITY, CALIFORNIA
I'm scared. My feet are cold and my stomach cries for food. From the darkness of the garage I strain my ears to pick up the slightest sound of Mother's bed creaking as she rolls over in the bedroom upstairs. I can also tell by the range of Mother's hacking cough if she's still asleep or about to get up. I pray Mother doesn't cough herself awake. I pray I still have more time. Just a few more minutes before another day in hell begins. I close my eyes as tightly as I can and mumble a quick prayer, even though I know God hates me.
Because I am not worthy enough to be a member of "The Family," I lie on top of an old, worn-out army cot without a blanket. I curl up into a tight ball to keep as warm as possible. I use the top of my shirt as a tent to cover my head, imagining my exhaled air will somehow keep my face and ears warm. I bury my hands either between my legs or into my armpits. Whenever I feel brave enough, and only after I'm certain that Mother has passed out, I steal a rag from the top of a dirty pile and wrap it tightly around my feet. I'll do anything to stay warm.
To stay warm is to stay alive.
I'm mentally and physically exhausted. It's been months since I've been able to escape through my dreams. As hard as I try, I cannot go back to sleep. I'm too cold. I cannot stop my knees from shaking. I cautiously rub my feet together because I somehow feel if I make any quick movements, "The Mother" will hear me. I am not allowed to do anything without The Mother's direct authority. Even though I know she has returned to sleep in the bottom bunk bed of my brother's bedroom, I sense that she still has control over me.
The Mother always has.
My mind begins to spin as I fight to remember my past. I know that to somehow survive, my answers are in my past. Besides food, heat, and staying alive, learning why Mother treats me the way she does dominates my life.