A Brother's Journey by Richard B. Pelzer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the book that David Pelzer's brother, Richard, wrote about his ordeal after David left home. When David was there, Richard functioned as Mother's Nazi." He tattled about every little thing Richard did and often lied to get him in trouble. Several years younger, his mother groomed him from the time he could talk.
After David left, Richard became the outcast and as he became more and more abused, he felt terrible about the part he played in his brother's life. Eventually, he became "The boy," and finally, "It."
What I can't understand is why the Social Services didn't keep tabs on this mother after the terrible abuse David suffered. When he was taken from the home, it seemed ludicrous to not check on the other children. When the same teachers saw Richard begin to come to school in the same filthy old clothes, starving and with bruises all over just like David, why didn't anyone do anything? I realize it was a different climate in the 70's, but it seems bizarre to ignore what was going on.
As adults, these brothers have only met one or two times and there is some antagonism between them. It seems clear that Richard did suffer abuse, but there is some question as to how much. However, it seems to me that the mother spent the biggest portion of her days torturing David and I can't see that stopping after he was removed. She was filled with so much anger and it had to have a target.
Different people have tried to link her with a specific mental illness and seem to lean towards Borderline Personality Disorder. This book tells more about her relationship with her own mother and there seems to have been some abuse there. Whatever the pathology, she was never prosecuted and lived out the rest of her natural life.
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