David Pelzer and his mother, Catherine Pelzer. Dave is the author of this autobiography, which obviously makes him one of the main characters. In his book, Dave only describes his life as a young child up to age 12. He experienced a normal childhood until about age 7, when he began suffering child abuse from his mother. Dave became almost a completely different person to the point where he didn't even consider himself to be a part of his family. The entire book is from his point of view and describes his account of child abuse.
David's mother, Catherine, is the cause of his abuse. It started when David was 7 and she began to abuse him. The book does not explain why she began to abuse him, but it is assumed that heavy drinking is one of the causes. Pelzer describes his mother, before the abuse starts, as a beautiful woman who always wears make-up and dresses up. As her abusing gets worse, her appearance does too. She slowly begins to stop getting ready and putting make-up on. Pelzer also describes her gaining weight as the story goes on. It is hard to describe the personality of his mother because the reasons for her abuse are not explained. It is apparent that she has mental disabilities that lead her to abuse David. Catherine plays sick "games" throughout David's childhood because she believes he is the cause of all of her problems. She begins to refer to David as "the boy" or "it" and tortures him for enjoyment.