I got a call the other day from someone who read my book, Diary of a Predator: A Memoir, and he said one of the things he found amazing was the account of how one of Brent Brents’ victims, a woman named Margaret, forgave Brents for what he did to her.
I agreed. Even as I was covering her case, Margaret’s ability to find compassion in the midst of all of her own pain, anger and sorrow astounded me. To this day, she remains one of my heroes.
After hanging up the phone with that reader, I thought, “I wonder how Margaret is doing?” and so I gave her a call. I left her a voice mail, and she called me back the next day.
“I was just thinking the other day, ‘I wonder how Amy’s doing?’–and then you called,” she told me. “Pretty funny.”
And when I asked about her life, she answered me, in true Margaret fashion, with a stream of consciousness. Like many survivors of rape who struggle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Margaret said she still often has a hard time leaving the house. Her marriage fell apart, and she cannot hold down a job. She applied for disability and was turned down, but she’s got a lawyer and is appealing.
More than anything, she continues to fight to heal. But I’ll let Margaret put it in her own words, which she said I could post here:
“The therapist tells me, You don’t wanna think about it. But if you don’t think about it then you dream about it.
When I go to sleep I have nightmares, and I don’t even remember what about.
Filling out a job application–my hands are shaking, I feel like they’re watching me: “What’s going on? Stupid!”
-That’s when I started noticing, What’s left of Margaret? I know that I have to feel better. But when, I don’t know.
I don’t think I’ll ever be the same but I’ll work on getting on with my life.
It’s going to be tough but I’m not gonna let it bother me forever. You have to move on. If you stay mad forever you will tear yourself up even worse. I look at anger as a bad thing and I try to leave it behind.
I’m sure he had a lot of anger, a lot of hurt and anger. I feel bad for everything that happened to him. Maybe someday down the road I can read everything.
I feel bad still but I know there are a lot of people who have it worse. So in a way I feel lucky.”