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Parenting and Children
Abusive Families
A Child Called It

Who is Dave Pelzer's mother?


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August 19, 2009 8:46PM

Catherine Roerva Christen Pelzer was Dave Pelzer's mother, who passed away in 1992.

Catherine was an alcoholic who had been drinking from the age of 13. Brought up in the Mormon community of Salt Lake City, she would hide in the outhouse during Prohibition to wince down bootleg whiskey. Her parents were divorced, which made them outcasts in that religious community, and Catherine was frequently locked in a closet, denied food, and told how despicable she was.

Catherine suffered from alcoholism and was mentally ill. Her mental illness was Borderline Personality Disorder ('Witch'), which is characterized by an irrational fear of rejection and abandonment and self-hatred as a result of surviving a childhood that required complete submission to a hostile or sadistic caregiver (pg 131) Christine Ann Lawson of 'Understanding the Borderline Mother'.

For a picture and more information about Catherine, see