One person I have completely and unintentionally ignored in the Beth Thomas saga is her brother, John. John had to survive abuse from two family members: his father and his sister. I will word this blog very carefully so as not to have any misunderstanding: I sympathize with Beth, a child of 3 who was horribly abused by her own father after her mother’s death. She learned the horrible things she did to herself, her brother and her step-parents. Both children were victims and both children suffered. To quote Rudyard Kipling, a male survivor of childhood abuse and author of the Jungle Book, children accept “what comes to them…as eternally established.” watch how is emotional blindness created
Child literature has long documented authors’ experiences as abused children. Fairytales and folktales use socially acceptable metaphors, wicked witches and ogres, the way a child views an abusive, powerful parent, as the hero’s sources of evil. The stories reveal where the author’s “imaginative” perspective originates; it isn’t imagination at all but reality that shapes these stories, plots and characters. Kipling’s Jungle Book and its characters are proof of his own suffering. The abuser is disguised as Sheer Khan, the dreaded tiger who wishes to “devour” Mowgli. Khan is the woman who devoured Kipling’s childhood.
A very telling conversation takes place between the tiger and Mowgli, revealing an abused child’s wisdom that no matter how society protects the abuser it cannot conceal the truth from the child. “Can it be that you don’t know who I am?” smirks the tiger. “I know who you are alright,” says Mowgli. So did John and Beth. watch the jungle book – final battle
John was an infant during the trauma he experienced from his father and a toddler during Beth’s enraged attacks. He is an adult now. I wonder what happened in his psychological development as he matured. Did he also overcome his traumatic beginning? Did he learn to trust his step-parents? Beth was abused because she was small and powerless. For that reason, she learned to abuse her brother, who was smaller and less powerful than herself. Did he hate his sister? Did he believe Beth hated him? No one will ever know. At first, John was adopted by good people yet they were people so traumatized by their experience with Beth, they felt they had to defend their decision to relinquish her. watch Alfred hitchcock – hitch Hike
David Pelzer’s experience, the “child called It,” and his mother’s “target child” (himself), is considered “one of the worst documented cases of child abuse in California history.” He became a troubled youth, broke the law, went into juvenile detention, associated with the wrong kids, was transferred among numerous foster homes, unable to trust or love, unwanted and rejected. Today he is a motivational speaker and author of several autobiographies and other publications that inspire youth to love and respect themselves and above all, never to fear the truth. In spite of his miraculous recovery, Pelzner’s life centers around his abusive past. He has never gotten over it, he is still processing and trying to understand it, even if he has learned to deal with it from a positive perspective. This is known as lifelong healing. At the same time, David Pelzer, like Beth Thomas, is living proof that it is possible to overcome the impossible life of a horribly abused childhood. watch david pelzer on larry king
I hope John’s story is the same.
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