Dave Peltzer the author of The Lost Boy tells his story from the time he left his abusive mother and alcoholic father, through his experiences in five foster homes and juvenile detention, and how he eventually made it into the Air Force. He was a defiant, rebellious boy who, despite his background and personality, managed to endear himself to many guardians, social workers, and teachers. Pelzer writes in an honest, sometimes rambling, style; he is never bitter, and his story will find many sympathetic readers.
The main purpose for Dave to write this book is to show at what lengths children and dolescents have gone to over come the unmentionable hardships of and abusive family. The three most valuable things I have learned from this book are very hard to choose. The book was full of many things to help me in my everyday life. Ranging from how to deal with kids who have be through abusive situations to how kids of abuse act in general. The first one has to be, Dave was very tactful in how he handled his thoughts and feelings. Many children his age are running around chasing girls and hanging with the guys.
Not him he was studying hard and trying to be better than his parents were. He would always squander away what he had, so no one could take what was rightfully his and that includes his life. The second thing that was useful was how Dave was never angry with his situation he would just look at it as another challenge. Many times through out the book Dave would have to change foster homes after being fairly settled in the way of living there. Most teens his age cant handle a great deal of change but Dave would just go with the flow and never bat an eye lash.
The third most valuable thing has to be his willingness to help. I would think that since no one would help him he would not help anyone else. On the contrary, Dave was always helping with chores, making dinner, and doing little extra things he didnt have to do. I later found out through reading the book that Daves willingness to help stems from his need to feel loved and wanted. I can honestly say that I could never have gone through the painstaking trials and tribulations Dave went though while he was in his teen yes. It take a special person to do that and Dave is that special person.
Daves mother was a very troubled woman who for some unknown reason liked to arget Dave and blame him for any and all bad things that happened. His mother was and Authoritative and neglectful at the same time. Some may say how can one parent be on both extremes of things but there are a few instance with in the book which shows both. For example Daves mother would make him do all the chores and never was aloud to play. For some reason even if Dave finished what he was told to do in the time he was told to do it he would not be fed or worse he would be part of his mother Games and Test.
His mothers Games and Tests range from putting him in freezing cold water for hours at a time to making him sit on the garage steps with his hands under his bottom head strait a head for up to 36 hours at a time no food, bathroom, shower or other needs to live. Dave was saved from this horror when he was 15 but he was in foster care and the parenting techniques ranged from authoritarian to indulgent, but anything was better than what he had endured at his mothers house. Dave in his teen years was for the most part a very well behaved boy. He was working hard in school and kept to himself for the most part.
Although Dave did have a mall problem he like to take things with out asking or stealing. Daves stealing habits stem from his basic survival needs that he instinctively put up when his mother would make him go with out food, water, and basic sanitation. Dave at times would also lash out at his foster families so that they would not get to close to him. In some cases when Dave would lash out he would be put into another foster home and have to readjust to things again. Dave usually liked to lash out he thought he didnt need anyone just himself.
He could handle himself since he could handle his mother Games and Tests. Daves delinquent actions are fairly normal of abused and neglected teens. Dave was also just being a normal teen trying find himself in a world that had not found him for almost 12 years. Dave did have a great deal of depression in his life. He would think why does my mother treat me like I am a piece of censored? Daves depression stemmed from he long ours of being with himself. He had many hours, day, months, and years to think about what he had done. His mother made him out to be an evil unwanted child who was worthless.
Dave thought the main reason his mother didnt like him and his father wouldnt talk to him any more that he had failed as a son. Not till Dave was in foster care and his foster parents brought him to a therapist did Dave realize what had happened to him was to his fault and Dave was a normal boy. His mother was suffering from alcoholism and manic depression and her outlasted were targeted at him cause he was his fathers pride and joy. His father ignored him to please his wife (Daves mother). His father also started drinking to drowned his sorrows.