Tag Archives: child abuse

see spot get robbed at gun point, how does spot feel?

Hello all.

So last week i started this tv class. Victim Impact Listen and Learn. I watch the program on tv, then do the work assignments in the work book.

So to be truthfull, the work book half is boring. And doesn’t challenge my brain the way the questions i get on the blog do. They are basically like see spot get robbed at gun point, how does spot feel?

I’ve spent about 38 yrs in treatment programs of one kind or another. So the questions are too easy to answer. Spot is scared, he’s unsure of strangers, thinks he’s weak etc. He has to replace all his credit cards, drivers licence and so on.

Ok lets be real, i have a short attention span when i’m not challenged. So my answers although spot on, are w/ out much meaning. However i asked for this class. Why becouse of the video part.

The video features victims/ survivors of all types of crimes. Ranging from property crimes to rape, robbery, murder, child abuse, and domestic violence. This part challenges my mind and heart. I’m pretty new to actual empathy, and true compassion for people.

So any time i hear 1 of your/ their stories, feelings, thoughts, fears, ideas, etc. I learn from a different perspective than i did all those yrs ago. I feel the sarrow, empathy, hurt, betrayal, all of it. And am able to truly understand the impact i had on the people i hurt, their families, friends, and loved ones. The communities, law enforcement, every one.

I’m not letting it go in 1 ear and out the other. These past 10 or so yrs things really get to my heart, and i feel hurt and pain for those who suffer at the hands of criminals like me. So yes i’m doing this class as honestly as i can. The written part is getting easier as well. I still dont like the simplicity of the questions.

I do answer brutaly honest though. As w/ every thing, its the best policy in my case. Thank U to all of U who check this blog and use to help themselves and others.

Sincerely;

Brent.

5-17-18

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My trauma will be with me for the rest of my life but I’m a fighter

Amy- I watched your whole video on Have you ever met a Monster. I will be honest, at first when I started to watch it I couldn’t listen objectively. I was unable to understand from the rapist’s point of view because I usually don’t have compassion for them. When I watched your video for the second time, I watched the whole thing and my views were changed a little. You are right, we need to change the way we view monsters.

Brent Brents- I understand exactly how you feel, you feel angry and betrayed by those around you. I’m so sorry for all the trauma you went through as a young boy. It wasn’t your fault and you didn’t deserve it.

—————–

I know it’s difficult. I’m angry at the fact he got zero help..no one saw what was going. I’m not pitying him, I feel sad for his inner child…. It’s awful. In my own trauma I definitely am angry that my abuser got away with it and that the foster parent at the time chose to ignore it. But I’m so lucky to have gotten adopted into a loving and supportive family.

My trauma will be with me for the rest of my life but I’m a fighter, and I’ve made it this far.
Thank you so much for reading the comments and answering back…. Child abuse needs to be talked about more.
Sincerely,
Natasha

Time: January 28, 2018 at 7:52 pm

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Reader: I honestly believe that he wanted to be different than the person he became

I read your book and have followed the blog on and off over the years but not every post. In the book I noticed that one of the themes was that Brent “fell through the cracks” and that he never got the support for his own abuse.

My question is if he ever spoke about being locked up as a teen in a Youth program for violent and sexual offenders. C.A.T House. (Closed Adolescent Treatment Center)?

I do know that he was there for rape and that he was given every opportunity possible for some sort of rehabilitation and a chance to steer himself to a different life. The program at the time was the most successful program for youth offenders in the country.

I struggle with the idea that he had been totally cast aside because the truth is somewhat different from my perspective. Each individual is affected differently and someone wanting to change is critical but I do know he had the opportunity.  I may have missed it in the book but was curious if this was something he spoke to you about?

I have thought about sending this on and off over the years because I am torn in the idea that it is important for people to understand but also in the idea that he does not deserve a platform to manipulate and seek further attention. I do know that we have to help change the culture and environment that creates predators/victimizer’s and most importantly victims.

I appreciate your diligence in bringing a story forward that nobody really wanted to know or hear but is important to be told. Not for Brent but for all of the victims and for all of those who were abused and never found a voice.

Thank you,
Jason

January 5, 2018

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Hello, Jason,

I will try to address your questions and concerns in order.

The first is that one of the themes of the book is that Brent “fell through the cracks.” While I do believe the facts of his case support that statement–that he was removed from an abusive home, and then returned–I don’t know that I would call it a theme. The themes of the book, in my opinion, are abandonment, generational patterns of abuse, the effects of both victimization and predatory behavior, and transformation that involves compassion and empathy.

Please do not misunderstand that I feel sorry for him. If you’re looking for clarity on how I feel about him and his case, you may want to read “The Story” on the website, in which I say in part:

“Where does the blame belong? It belongs to Brents, certainly, for his choices. And what of his parents, and their parents before them, who perpetuated the cycle of incest, domestic violence and child abuse?”

The book does not say, nor have I, that he never got support for his own abuse. He has said that he was given the chance for therapy and treatment–I do not recall him specifically mentioning the C.A.T. House, although I could ask him–and that by the time it was offered, he was not interested.

I do not believe that he was totally cast aside. I do believe him when he says that by the age of 9, his brain was broken, and that he chose to be a predator because it gave him a feeling of power, and that was more appealing than feeling like a victim.

I stay in touch with Brents, and post blogs from him, not to give him a platform to seek attention or be manipulative, but to show some of the causes of why he became predatory; that he is, indeed, human; and to illustrate his case, because so many elements of it are indicative of what’s wrong with our social justice system. I understand you object to the blog, and I appreciate you taking the time to tell me; however, please know that I will continue it.

I also appreciate the fact that you have obviously had some experience with this topic and cared enough to write. I now have a question for you: Would you object to my posting your letter on the website? I would not include your email address, of course. Let me know.

Last, I absolutely agree with you that we have to change the culture that creates predators and therefore, survivors.

Here’s to hoping for a brighter future.

Regards,

Amy

January 5, 2018

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 Hi, Jason,

I had a chance to talk to Brents today, and he does remember being in the C.A.T. House. And he remembers a Jason who was serving time there, too, and spoke well of him.

If that’s you, then he sends a greeting.

Also, please let me know if it’s OK with you if I post your letter.

Regards,

Amy

January 12, 2018

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Hello Amy,

I do not want to create any issues for any of his victims or for you or lastly Brent,  so I will leave it to your judgement as to what is appropriate to post.

I was in the C.A.T House with Brent.  I know that the program, truly gave him/myself and others the chance to be better people and to change. While I do not think we can ever make amends for the wrongs we have done, we can live a life that serves others as well as ourselves. Has accountability and promotes healing of our own damage and demons.  That was a fundamental part of the program.

I do understand that some people were not in the place to change, did not want to change or perhaps were too broken to change. I can not say for anyone but myself.  I just wondered why it was something he never mentioned as it was a large portion of time for him (2 plus years I believe of intensive daily 24-7 treatment)

I can say that I have seen both sides of Brent from the perspective of a child, it breaks my heart that he continued to create more victims and I am beyond angry at who he chose to become. I am grateful that he is in a place where he has less opportunity to cause harm to others.

That being said,

I  also mourn for that young man who never lived a different life, he had hopes and dreams and at least then… I honestly believe that he wanted to be different than the person he became. I understand a minuscule amount of that abuse he suffered and I appreciate him being open about it.  My hope is that it will help to stop those who abuse children and those who will become abusers.  I hope that Brent finds some peace and can make what remains of his life valuable to himself and those that he involves himself with.  He still has a choice how he faces each day. I do think he can still use his life for the better, perhaps if he is being true this forum is just that.

I am going to read your book again tonight for some additional clarity.  I watched your T.E.D talk and I applaud you for continuing to wade into a subject that most people who have not experienced have little interest in talking about as it is not shiny and pretty. More so for those who have experienced it and were/are to broken and  ashamed to think they might deserve/need help before it is too late for themselves or someone else.

Thank you for the clarification and answers to my questions. In reading over them I think I could of been far more articulate and specific and have used less of a broad brush. I was mostly referencing my experience with Brent in his teens but I was about as clear as mud.  I  apologize for not being clear, it was uncomfortable to write and I should of taken more time. I do not think you felt sorry for him. I appreciate the balance you were able to find. Much like the Staff at the C.A.T house, my  perspective is that while condemning the acts and behavior, you were able to set that aside to see the larger picture and why it is important to share and attempt to educate. But also to see a young boy who before becoming a predator was preyed upon.

Thank you,

Jason

January 13, 2018

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Feedback: We must make an effort to discover how predators become predators

Note from Amy: I recently received an email from a visitor to this Diary of a Predator website who saw the Brent Brents story done by Paula Zahn’s Investigation Discovery show. I’m including an excerpt of the letter here, and it can be found in its entirety on the Reader Feedback page of this website.

Amy – Welcome to the ugly, vicious underbelly of conservatism… I saw the episode with Paula Zahn and fervently SUPPORT you . I’m a (retired/disabled) attorney and SURVIVOR of LT sexual abuse. IMO, we have no alternative. We must make an effort to discover how predators become predators. There is a lot of phony sympathy toward victims of child abuse. I say phony since there is a complete disconnect when they become adults who had horrible childhoods. (Consider Aileen Wuornos).  How does the attempt to understand the evolution of a predator become the effort to excuse what they do? The same dysfunctional, black and white thinking was at work when people were excoriated for asking about the “why” of 9/11.

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torturing innocent people

Note from Amy: I debated posting the following excerpt of a recent letter from Brent Brents because I had such a strong negative reaction to it. Later, I re-read it and decided there is merit in posting what he had to say because it’s an example of his motivations and mindset. More on that in a moment.

As always, visitors to this website should realize that its content can be triggering. It’s not my intention to cause anyone pain; rather, I’m trying to do a small part to raise awareness about the issues of child abuse, child sexual abuse and rape that are found in the case of Brent Brents so that we can figure out how to prevent these crimes.

Now, about what he wrote: In the following excerpt, Brents is referring to a  young boy he molested. The child was the son of a single mother who Brents dated brieflly, and the story is told in the book, Diary of a Predator: A Memoir, which details the devastating impact the case had on the child, his mother and the rest of their family.

So much of child sexual abuse is the tragic repetition of patterns, and this situation was a reflection of that. Abused himself as a child, Brent Brents was repeating a pattern of sexual abuse on this boy. The difference is that the boy told his mother and she reported it, so the abuse did not continue for a long period of time.

As always, the content is presented here exactly as Brents wrote it:

I have been thinking about my inability to be Non-sexual with Ian. I might Not make sense but i really thought i was giving him Something he was missing. I was good to him for the most part. But it was me who had the Need Not Ian. Hell to be honest the Kid had his shit together more than any of us.

I know i manipulated him and twisted shit in my own Mind to convince myself he wanted the sexual attention. The Sad thing is that he snuck over to my place one day to apologize for getting me into trouble. Crying Sobbing that it was his fault. I begged him to forgive me and Reassured him that i was wrong and it wasn’t his fault.

Never did i imagine things like this would be the things that Work to better me mentaly. Its taken all these years to work thru the denials. None of it feels good in the moment of realization. There is nothing for me to celabrate. No milestone markers. But i hope that somehow men who are prone to sexual violence and predatory behaviors can learn early on. Instead of spending years in tortured minds and torturing innocent people.

Brent Brents4-13-13

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what child abuse is doing to our society

Note from Amy:

A book club in Iowa recently read Diary of a Predator: A Memoir, and then reached out to me through this Diary of a Predator website to see if I would answer questions by phone during their book discussion. I did, and found them to be a very thoughtful and engaged group of women. Shortly afterward, one of them sent me this message:

Thank you, Amy, for the phone conversation with our book club. Thank you for writing Brent’s story. It was hard to read, but everyone should read it and try to understand what child abuse is doing to our society. You wrote so well that we all can gain knowledge and have hope that it will make a difference. Thank you.

-Delores

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little tortured boys don’t just disappear

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

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