The book, A Place To Stand, is about a young boy who grows up facing extreme odds. In the first few chapters of the book you see a lot of really depressing events happen. Jimmy, the main character, is put into a conundrum. His dad is a drunk who could have been great but when things failed he turned to liquor to solve his problems. His mom has been going down into a deep hole of sadness because of this and she begins having multiple affairs. There is a scene where Jimmy is hiding under the house and between a crack in the floor. He sees his mom cheat on his dad for the first time. It’s sad because this is not even close to the saddest part in Jimmy’s early life. When his mother meets a new wealthy white man named Richard things begin to take a turn for the worst. Richard is a very rich white man and Jimmy and his family are hispanic. When Jimmy first notices his mother changing for Richard, she would make comments like, “It’s time you started eating American food”, and “why can’t you look like normal American kids?” Later in the book when Richard and Jimmy’s mother abandon the kids it really rocked Jimmy’s world. It was confusing how a mother could be so cruel and not even think about what this may do to her kids. Jimmy and his siblings live with their grandparents for a little then they get sent to an orphanage.Jimmy attempts to run away multiple times, but it always fails.
The amount of mental damage this would do on any one is astounding, and it’s sad that these things happen in real life everyday. People who have these events happen to them are put in places where it’s easier to do the wrong thing than the right thing. For example, how is a kid supposed to get good grades when his drunk dad comes in and beats him? Its nearly impossible. This is also a social injustice because Jimmy’s mom wanted to be “white” and the only way she could be white is to leave her hispanic kids behind and move to San Francisco. There are more kids than we think who suffer from these types of scenarios. For example, many kids grow up with an alcoholic in the family. According to Alcoholism Statistics, an estimated 6.6 million children under 18 live in households with at least one alcoholic parent. An interesting fact from National Council On Alcoholism and Drug Dependence claims that “Nearly 4 in 10 child victimizers reported that they had been drinking at the time of the crime, Among drinkers, about half reported that they had been drinking for 6 hours or more preceding the offense” (NCADD).Having an alcoholic in the family leads to kids having trauma and stress when growing up. A good majority of the time, alcoholism is coming from some other trigger in the family causing the family even more stress and destroying the dynamics of the family. Jimmy like many other kids suffered from physical abuse as well as verbal abuse. It is shocking how common this is. Statistics shown from the website, Recognize Trauma, claim that four of every 10 children in American say they experienced a physical assault during the past year, with one in ten receiving an injury from the assault. I new of someone in my past who had suffered these events and I asked them a few questions about what had happened and what the impact of these events had done. You could just tell that when I brought of the first question to my cousin it was a touchy subject. All that i felt comfortable asking was what type of impact it had on her. She said it had one of the biggest impacts in her life and it made her unfocused with school, friends,and sports. T
More and more people are going through these traumatic events, these events alter people’s lives for the worst. As we see in Jimmy’s case. The world has to realize there are some really horrible tragedies taking place inside families, and they need to be stopped.
“STATISTICS.” Childhood Trauma. Recognize Trauma, n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2016.
“Family Alcoholism Statistics.” – Alcoholism Statistics. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2016.
“Alcohol, Drugs and Crime.” Alcohol, Drugs and Crime. NCADD, 15 June 2015. Web. 10 May 2016.