Tag Archives: forgiveness

Describe your father in 1 word. Describe your mother in 1 word.

I read your book and still follow the blog, and find the story of Brent compelling, and so incredibly sad.

I have my own history of abuse at the hands of a parent, and luckily for me, my healing was healthy and empowering. I began to realize it was him who was damaged and sick. I look in the mirror every morning and I like who I am. I don’t know what he sees when he looks in his mirror … a couple of years ago, I was at his death bed, holding his hand as he approached mortality and I asked, “How would you describe your father in 1 word?” His response, “… distant … ” Ok, interesting… “How would you describe your mother, in 1 word?” “… Vain” and my eyes began to well up. He was raised by parents who were distant and vain. Jesus Christ, what had THEY done to HIM? and the empathy and compassion I felt for him, my abuser, was overwhelming … it literally washed over me that, he was not who he was supposed to be. Someone did something to change him. I don’t relieve him of his responsibility for those things done to me and others … but I had a window into the “why”…and the timeline of cause and effect.

I forgave the man. I will never forgive the acts. I loved him but I was afraid to be near him most of my life. I second guessed every comment, every intention…and I hated that, but it wasn’t of my choosing. I am so grateful that although it took until the end, I gained even more perspective and true forgiveness.

I look at Brent and I think, he was born a beautiful perfect little being … what the hell did they think they were doing, and creating out of him???? I don’t forgive his acts, they are his to own. But it sickens me that he was changed. He was forever altered through no fault of his own. I wonder how he would answer the questions:

Describe your father in 1 word.
Describe your mother in 1 word.


January 19, 2018

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Have You Ever Met a Monster?

Giving a TEDx talk was not on my bucket list.

But a friend sent me a link to submit a talk proposal and before I knew it, I faced the daunting task of trying to condense this story–of how covering the case of serial rapist Brent Brents changed my life–into 18 minutes.

Two days before the scheduled date of the talk, I threw out my back (I wish I could say I was bungee jumping, or ice climbing, but the truth is I was emptying a wheelbarrow full of horse manure into a compost bin), resulting in a) no sleep and b) shooting pain with every step.

So the finished product is not pretty. It’s not full of video or power point dazzle. But those 18 minutes contain some tough truths about rape, sexual assault, incest, child sexual abuse, and, most startling of all, forgiveness. I wanted to share it with you, so click on my TEDx talk here: “Have You Ever Met a Monster?”

And then let me know what you think.


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Reader: I once was a victim of rape. I’m no longer a victim

Note from Amy: The following message is testament that the book Diary of a Predator: A Memoir has a profound effect on survivors:

Hi Amy,

I am moved by your work. No, not by your work as a writer – but the amount of inner work you’ve done to expand your compassion to include the suffering human beings within all the victims of rape, perpetrator included.

I once was a victim of rape. I’m no longer a victim because I was able to find compassion for my perpetrator. I believe it literally dissolved the toxic cells within my body to allow a new space, or perhaps, a renewed space to exist.

It’s interesting to me that so much is put upon the entity “forgiveness”. It always felt somehow abstract, like a word created by man, but allusive to behold in my body. Compassion though has true relevance, true power.

I could go on and on. I’ll just stop here by saying, thank you for your work that you put into this world: this truly panoramic embracing of humanity. I feel bigger and brighter and wider by the experience. You are giving all of us this opportunity.


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Reader Questions: Does Brent Brents Believe in God? Has He Apologized?

Note from Amy: Earlier this month I received a couple of questions to this website, Diary of a Predator, which I forwarded to Brent Brents. I received his answer today by mail, so here are the questions from the reader, and below that, my reply and Brents’.


Hello Amy Herdy,

I wonder if you’ll ever meet others.

One question–you or Brent Brents  believe in God?

He already apologized to God or to the families he destroyed?

Daniel Costa

Hi, Daniel,

Thanks for writing. In answer to your first question–I have interviewed other sexual offenders over the years, although none as predatory as Brents.

As for your second question-I do believe in a higher power, albeit not necessarily a traditional one. I write about that in the book, Diary of a Predator: A Memoir.

And here is what Brent Brents wrote:

Q: Do I believe in God?

A:  Simply Yes. I practice the Catholic faith (much to learn).

Q: Have i apologized to God or the Families i have destroyed?

A: I have asked God for his forgiveness and Mercy. As for the families, I have but i have Never expected any of them to accept my apologies. Instead i work at being a better human being, and i pray For them daily.

To Return to Q #1: I find this quote sums up faith:

“For i do Not seek to understand that i May believe, but i believe in order to understand. For this also i believe: That unless i believe, I will not understand.” –Saint Anselm

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Viewer: Forgiveness Does Not Mean That We Escape the Consequences

Note from Amy:  I received this message to this website, Diary of a Predator, today, in response to what Brent Brents said about taking his medications. The referenced post is further down on this page called, “A better side of me.”

Dear Brent and Amy, i saw your story on tv a few days ago and i was drawn to it. Not that i love crime, but i so agree with Amy that Brent was most definitely not born with the crimes. I strongly believe that his parents shaped him that way. I’m so sorry for Brent but he sure has improved truckloads! I wanted to share something with him that i found heart warming. In the Bible there was a king, Manasseh, whom is discribed to have sinned grossly. Please take the time to read the account. 2Chronicles 33:1-20. Of special interest is verses 6 and 12-13. No matter the crime we do, if we ask forgiveness, the most important person will always listen… Never stop believing Brent that you will be forgiven. However, forgiveness does not mean that we escape the consequences of our actions. Please let me know what you think. And Brent, keep on improving. If it means using meds, then so be it. NOTHING to be ashamed of. Kind regards…


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A Conversation on Forgiveness

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Stephanie
Date: Thu, Jan 12, 2012 at 4:08 PM
To: Amy Herdy

Conversation Cameron and I JUST had. I thought you’d be amused.

Steph:  I’m okay at understanding and forgiveness if it’s something done against me. But if someone hurts someone I love, it’s a completely different story.  However, I have found myself to be more close minded and judgmental than I would like to admit.
Cameron:  really? didn’t expect that, to be honest. and i can forgive anything done to me not so much to others.
Steph:  I’m trying to force myself to see other people’s perspective when I don’t agree with them, and I find that to be very difficult.
Cameron:  fair. someone’s reading amy’s book.
Steph:  hahahahaha. finished it yesterday.

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