- File Size: 1086 KB
- Print Length: 188 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Sabre (January 1, 2013)
- Publication Date: January 1, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00AW18CQG
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #649,904 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Stupid Boy (Dear Teddy A Journal Of A Boy Book 3) Kindle Edition
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Each chapter in Stupid Boy, an autobiography of horrific child abuse, started with a little story like above, summarizing the events to come in the pages. This entire book is so well put together with more thought given to the reader than the reader I think realizes. The chapters are short, with mostly summarizations mixed with real dialogue. But the summarization is narrated in the voice of this eight year old and it is THAT voice, THAT boy, that compelled me to read on. When the going got tough to read, I thought, you keep going, because he was brave enough to relive this story so that you could understand and know, you owe it to him as a mother, a human even, to read every horrific word and learn all that you can. Because it is in knowing that we are empowered to change things, isn't it? And it is in feeling that we can know things so well that we won't likely forget. In this sense, the author has done a superb job in putting us in touch with the feelings we never want to feel. But I really believe it's our duty to read, know, and feel those things that are hard, and not turn away. To know the pain and suffering as intimately as those children do.
This author is a man who is still struggling to survive the written abuse he tells. Those who know and understand PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) can relate. But the traumas and atrocities the children of this type of abuse endure, occurs within their own homes, among people that are supposed to love and protect them. The added horror of such a betrayal is extremely difficult for us the reader to comprehend and yet at the same time so important that we do. And by telling his entire story, we actually do begin to feel it and feeling it is good and necessary. It's not fun, it's not something we want to read, but it's something we owe the children to read and learn. We can't ignore this. We can't turn our eyes away because it's too hard to see. We have to be strong and stand up and say something. We need to care enough to make a big enough fuss about it. And the only way I know to do that is to encourage this awareness. I'll be referring this book to readers as a very small token of my dedication to help end this inhumane crime called Child Abuse.
As it happens with the previous books in this memoir, “Stupid Boy” it hurts to read. It’s uniqueness in being written with talent from a very little child’s perspective delivers its emotions, messages, and lessons all more plainly, harrowingly, painfully…
Its small protagonist has grown yet another year enduring constant and varied abuse from the people whom every child looks up to the most when he’s growing up; especially, in these first years of his/her life. They are the first ones to tell them right from wrong and good from bad. The first ones from which they learn about behavior and expressing emotions. The first ones from whom we get an image of ourselves…
This book takes us on a whole new level in which normal process of growing up is thwarted and perverted by the ones who have the right, but also the duty, to guide it.
In previous books we’ve witnessed a little boy being neglected, humiliated, emotionally berated, and beaten with a vengeance by both his parents since he can remember. These people –at least, clearly, the mother– have also allowed someone the boy only knows as “the bad man” to torment him sexually whenever this sick, violent person feels like it. Again, this is among the boy’s first memories… When he is 5 years old, his own father starts molesting him and eventually raping him, grooming an emotionally needy child with twisted, confusing mixes of crumbles of mock affection, belittlement and overt violence.
In Book 3 that little boy is 7 and convinced he is “Stupid Boy”. And “Stupid Boy” looks “stupid with his stupid hair. He liv[es] in a house “with no mum and dad because no one want[s] to live with Stupid Boy. They g[et] to laugh at him and call[…] him names”.
This boy with an above average intelligence knows that (at least most of) what happens to him is wrong and bad, but –here’s the way he has been raised, the mirror his parents have provided for him– they happen because “he” is bad. And he knows this because it is only with punishing words such as that one that his parents refer to him. And he believes himself to be stupid, because he can’t change how bad he is… Because he can’t be the boy his parents would love and treat well… The boy they would not have abandoned the previous year only to “visit” him and take him home when it suits their perverse needs…
I felt so much pain and helplessness while reading the book. Such a wish to have been able to be there for that bright, sensitive little boy and help provide him with the emotional, mental and physical nurturing he so desperately needed and deserved…
Unlike what has been pointed out by other reviewers there’s nothing repetitive about this book. Unless you are judging writing style and narrator.
“Stupid boy” not only depicts further foundation-shaking experiences of abuse the protagonist is subject to by his own parents and a whole set of strangers. It also adds new layers to the psychopathic traits of his parents. The degree in which these people mimic affection for their son (affection being most of the time giving him something to eat) just before they abuse him in the most horrifying ways is utterly heartbreaking.
And, moreover, “Stupid Boy” takes us a step further than any other memoir in probing what growing up with abuse as the norm can do to a child’s mind.
We learn how deeply hopeless this very bright, sensitive child feels about obtaining his parent’s favor that he starts thinking about suicide.
We attest to his self-esteem going lower and lower, until he can’t see his own reflection in the mirror without feeling the urge to self-harm. And how he carries on…
We also get these distressing instances of the boy having naturalized abuse as the way in which his parents relate to him to the extent that he can’t quite grasp the pain he’s suffering. Thus, his contradictory feelings of disgust and being “loved” get mixed up in dismal ways:
“He gets it in my mouth and I don’t be able to get it away. My mum and dad laugh about it and I try to get my head away but I can’t. […] After my dad does the yucky part in my mouth, we all laugh […] My dad says I am a good boy. I smile at that […] I don’t know why my eyes want to cry. I have been playing with my mum and dad. But when I get into the hallway my eyes keep letting the tears out. Stupid Boy gets to cry and be a baby because he lost the game”.
And, there’s also the depiction of how sustaining terror becomes increasingly too much to bear, and the victim starts developing pathologies to try and cope with his reality. More plainly, we witness the onset of OCD on a seven year old boy…
Because, I repeat, all of this happens when the little boy is only seven years old…
As other reviewers have pointed out, the book is also rich in showing readers how blind people usually are at the distressing, evident signs of abused children. How even teachers and neighbors, who see this little boy on a daily basis not only don’t seem or want to acknowledge this boy’s uncommon physical discomfort, bruises, enuresis, attention spells… Instead, they react reinforcing his negative thoughts about himself, thus allowing his afflictions to continue.
Again, J.D. Stockholm presents us with book about a dark, grim and difficult theme, but so insightful and well written you feel compelled to read it. And, once you’re there, I’m sure you’ll cry as I did for that hurt little boy that, despite all odds, remained a gentle, sensitive soul.
On a final note, I’d rate this book 4.5 stars for its rather abrupt ending. However, what good on the book outweighs that fact, and that’s why it’s 5 Amazon stars.