Story of Dave Pelzer

You’ll learn what motivated these individuals to forgive and hear their true-life stories of how they overcame what we might consider an unforgivable offense. Only #Jesus can truly soften the heart to #forgive the unimaginable.
This is the tale of Dave, a 12-year-old American who was one of California’s worst domestic abuse cases. It is unimaginable and unforgivable what he went through from the age of 2 to 12 at the hands of his mother. However, he has managed to forgive his mother, and the main goal of his ministry is to inspire others to put their past hurts behind them. The success story of Dave is incredible.

Dave Pelzer is the #1 best-selling author in the New York Times. He almost died more than once at the hands of his alcoholic, mentally ill mother. Giovanna Boldrini writes in her article The Story of Dave Pelzer and How Four Regular Teachers Saved Him From His Mom:

Dave Pelzer was born in 1960 in the San Francisco Bay Area. He was the second of five boys. On paper, the Pelzer home looked like it was made for a magazine. Even though Pelzer’s dad was a firefighter, there were secrets at home. When Pelzer’s mom drank, she went from being a loving mom to being a terrible one.

Dave remembered his mom when she was sober as a loving person who was always there for her sons and made great food. But when he was 5, things changed because she drank more and chose to hit Dave instead of her other sons. We call this “target child selection.” Instead of calling him Dave, his mother started calling him “It.” She moved the old army cot that was her son’s bed to the basement. She stabbed him in the chest, but instead of taking him to the hospital, she would hold his arm over the gas stove and watch the skin burn. His clothes were also torn and dirty. When his mother gave him food, it was nothing but spoiled scraps that not even the dogs would eat.

A school nurse saw in his health room file that there were signs of physical abuse on his body. She got some teachers together to help Dave. Back then, California didn’t have any laws about how to protect children. Years later, Dave’s case was found to be one of the most horrible and extreme cases of child abuse in California’s history at the time.

Dave was finally saved when he was 12 years old. He lived in a series of foster homes until he joined the U.S. Air Force when he was 18. Even though he had a lot going against him, Dave was still determined to get better.

He is now a motivational speaker who talks to students and adults about how to get through life’s hardest times. His talks on resilience are bold, and he doesn’t let people feel sorry for themselves for too long. He encourages people to forgive their abusers and make peace with their abuses. If Dave Pelzer can get over what happened to him and forgive, then we can certainly forgive what other people do to us. We have a Savior who helps us with all of these things.

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