First of all thank U for sharing that experience w/ all of us. This must be the week where people challenge my thinking. Which i take seriously. I wish i could have found it in my heart to forgive my dad his wrongs on his death bed. Although i was not there, i know full well i had too much hate and bitterness toward him to do so.
I have struggled w/ that issue for years. Finaly being able to find some understanding and insight into him as i learn about myself and why i chose to be this way. We were both sick, scarred, and programed violently @ the hands of our parents. We both chose to be predatory instead of vulnerable.
I don’t know about him but i had chances to make the changes necessary to become a productive and compassionate individual. I chose hate and predation as my armor. I enjoyed hurting people. I was a coward just as he was. I could say it was my parents fault. Yet that would be total bullshit.
The truth is i (chose) this way of life. Although i have gained the ability to feel compassion and empathy for people. I still suffer the addiction to sexual violence. It is a shame i deal w/ daily.
So in one word how would i describe my father… ( Incapable ). Because he was controlling and manipulative right up to his death in 2004. And was incapable of change. I’m not sure if it was because he didn’t care to or that he had behaved violently and hurtfully for so long he just didn’t know how.
My mother…This one is easy. ( sick ). She was molested by her father, uncles, brothers. She was literaly used by the men in her family as a sexual apperatus. From a very young age. Then she marries my father. Horrible choice.
The woman only knew to equate love and sex as the same thing. The incest w/ me was her way of loving me. I dont really hate her for it. Although it was clearly a crime against myself. I not only enjoyed it, but i also equated this sexual behavior as love.
It was a sickness we shared. A way to love one another in his little private kingdom. I have forgiven her as well. My anger was not at what she did to me. Rather at her not working w/ me to hash it out.
To find a place of understanding between us. Where we could finaly put it all behind us and heal together and seperately. To exercise our own demons. And love one another as a mother and child should have from the beginning…
But the reality is shit happens. I made shitty choices that had absolutely nothing to do w/ the abuse i endured as a child. Broken system or not. I chose to be what i was. I am addicted to sexual violence. My brain is and has been fucked up for years.
That however is no excuse for how i chose to live my life. In a nut shell, the one word i would use to describe myself now: ( Learning ). How would i have described myself 14 years ago. ( Evil )!!!
So Michelle i hope i have provided some insight into myself, and how i see things. As for the abuse i went thru as a child. It honestly was not what made me who i was. Though it is easy to say my parents created an animal. Its simply not the case.
They are probably responsible for my sexually violent addiction. However i made the choice at around the age of 10 to be predatory. Because it gained me what they took from me. And that was my ability to control my own emotional safety and security. As well as my physical and sexual well being. I created me, i truly believe this.
Just as i am now recreating myself. Molding a compassionate and caring human being. And its not easy. But necessary.
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
Note from Amy: This was a reader comment sent to this Diary of a Predator website:
“It is rather seldom that I have tears in my eyes when reading accounts of trauma. But I did this time. It is easy to hate violent people. It is harder to see what creates them. In Brent’s case, he was abused so horribly in childhood that it is astonishing that he survived. I bow down to Margaret in respect and admiration. How she can forgive, I don’t know. I doubt if I could forgive. It is true that hatred does more harm to the hater than the hatee. Thanks for writing this.”
Time: January 21, 2017 at 12:41 pm
I was sitting in the yard the other day. Just watching every one and every thing. Listening to words and conversations as people passed by. Its is creepy some times to hear the depth of violence and hatred that is spoken and communicated. As I sat there I thought of the countless victims we are all responsible for. Known and unknown. All the hurt we’ve caused so many thousands of people here alone. Not to mention the hidden damage we’ve caused our families friends and other innocent people. Its a brutal reality when you get right down to the plain truth of it all. Then one has to think about the lasting effects of their hate and violence.
The children’s lives, we’ve violated them in so many ways. Sexualy, physically, Mentally. And it is a life time of violation. Sure we may only do it once. Rape one child or adult, murder someones family member, rob some person or place. These things leave a wake of damage. Often there is no one to help repair the emotional trauma.
-Brent Brents 8-25-16
My dislike of the “white prison culture” is extreme. There’s a thing in prison called a come up. And every one is trying to come up, get on, or get some of the action. Gambling, drugs, sex homosexual or straight, food. You name it everyone wants a piece. And each race has a piece of the pie. I don’t realy talk to anyone. If i do it’s with the whites. If i have to enteract with other races I try to be curtious. But i also make it real clear i am Not going to tolerate any games. And yes For all of you, it’s because of my experiences not just with any other races, just as much as it has been with The so called “White people” I always say that no one has a corner on the market where ignorance is concerned. I will be the first to tell you I’m ignorant where race is concerned. It’s an an excuse thats just how it is. I’ve let racial slurs come from my mouth in the heat of battle. And in personal enteractions with my own kind. These last years I’ve gotten to a point where i just feel like it’s a battle that None of us can ever win. Too many sterotypes. Too many people who are willing to carry the torch of hatred. I won’t carry it any more, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t feel those old hatreds now and then.
-Brent Brents 5-1-15
Note from Amy: Apparently I set this letter from Brent Brents aside in order to post several blogs from it and then got too busy. I uncovered it today on my desk, hence the reason why it’s dated from April. So here’s the first of several excerpts to come from that letter:
So i want to share something with you that has been going on in my mind Lately. My outlook on life has so freakishly changed these last few years. For example this empathy that continues to grow inside for others and the plight of humans everywhere. Don’t get me wrong I still harbor some bitterness, and hatred toward my family (parents). And I don’t trust any man…I’m getting so sick of death and violence. Rape, Domestic Violence. all of it on TV. Read about it in newspapers. And worst of all thru war stories told by cold and brutal men who are only steps from my own cell door. And within this cell, in this head is a brain that is constantly telling itself No more violence. Fighting flashes of hatred and rage. Trying to unlearn old habits. Pushing pride and ego aside, to make room for humility.
–Brent Brents 4-30-15
OK I wrote this thing on grief. Hopefully it makes Sense. I didn’t write it until i felt it was Natural and Not forced. I know i don’t think or see feelings like most people. So i can’t force things.
Like empathy its an emotion i struggle with. I have grief for lost grandparents and friends, and even pets.
I have a guilt about Grieving for my lost childhood, due to the abuse i went thru. I became a sexual being much to soon, so i lost the discover that comes with a young man’s virginity. I also did cause others to go thru the same grief.
My years in school were Not pleasant. I really Miss Not having a Normal school life. I wanted to be in 4H and play baseball, and football, go to prom, Graduate, and eventually go to College. But i was literaly to stoopid to go to college.
Oh I’m Not feeling sorry about school. I simply grieve the growth i missed. I educated myself acedmecly during my years in prison. OK so i need spell check to be installed in my brain on a permanent basis. But i feel good that i have a much wider education than many kids get today. And I am sad for them.
With my educational growth as a young adult i also grew emotionaly. The bad part is i embraced distructive emotions. These emotions Blocked me from being rational. I couldn’t be empathetic, or grieve normaly. Anger and rage, selfishness and refusal to take off my blinders, Black and White thinking, Abusive behavior etc. These I used to protect myself from the real threats of Grief, heartbreak, empathy. The Simple ability to feel anything other than self loathing and hatred for others.
Once i started letting myself experience grief without an anchor or rage or hatred, I was litteraly able to take a deep breath and release it, and know I’m OK.
So when i hear a story or see a TV show about something i missed in life, I know its ok to Grieve for it and not Let rage and hatred control my reactions.
So I may be wierd because i like grief. But liking it rather than Not being able to breathe, because i can’t get past rage and hatred. Yea i can live with being ok with grief and the natural feelings it causes.
Brent Brents 10-14-12