chapter  4
I Want To Kick the World to Pieces-Children Who Have Been Beaten
Pages 40

The children I want to talk about here are not so easily recognized as abused children. They come from outwardly nurturing families where nobody “has the faintest idea what got into him [or her].” The parents condemn child abuse and are aghast when told that their behavior can be viewed as in the same category. After all, they do not physically harm their child, they say. They do not understand why, suddenly, the child has become a poor student, yells at everybody, has fallen into sullen silence, and may even be self-abusive, contrary, and certain that everybody is against him. Or a meek, ordinarily smiling child may have taken to terrorizing younger, smaller children. When admonished by his parents, he always promises to do better but he never keeps his word. He is extremely touchy when teachers or any authority figure asks him what prompted him to act as he did. He seems to live a life of quiet desperation until something sets off his temper. Then he viciously, verbally or physically, attacks everyone in sight. Or the pitiful whiner becomes a fire-spitting, destructive little monster.