Note from Amy: I got a very thoughtful email last year from a woman who is working on her master’s in counseling psychology. She had seen me on the Paula Zahn show on Investigation Discovery about the Brent Brents’ case, and wrote to offer her support of my work.
Now she’s doing some work of her own, through an excellent blog called The Feminist Rag–and I offer praise of it not just because she recently wrote a very nice blog about my work on Brents, but because she has insightful and interesting things to say. I began reading James Gilligan’s book Violence on her recommendation, and have learned so much from it. That book articulates so well the underlying causes of violence in our culture and why conventional solutions have failed to stem its tide.
Since the author of The Feminist Rag doesn’t give her name on her website, I won’t reveal it here. Below is an excerpt of what she wrote about her reactions to Diary of a Predator: A Memoir, in addition to some very kind things about my ongoing work which were gratifying to hear.
From The Feminist Rag:
Reading Amy’s book is not for the light-hearted; it took me on an INTENSE emotional roller coaster that had me wrestling with all kinds of conflicting feelings like disgust, terror, empathy and despair as I learned of Brent’s childhood, which was filled with unspeakable child abuse which, unsurprisingly and all too commonly, resulted in a full blown sadistic, out of control, violent, sociopathic man.
Alongside my disgust, despair, and terror, I also found myself feeling empathy for Brent because little tortured boys don’t just disappear, they slowly morph into violent adult men. This is not to say that ALL abused boys turn into sadistic men, but some do, it’s simply how life works — everyone copes differently with the inner hell such a childhood creates. Read more