Comment: Dear Brent and Amy,
Thank you so much for sharing your story. People need to protect children and be aware of the suffering that not doing so creates. Brent, please don’t think of yourself as a predator. As our level of consciousness rises, so will the way we treat people who have been harmed and then harmed others. We can also reprogram our subconscious minds in many ways to heal past trauma. Teal Swan is a good example of this (check her out on YouTube). My hope is that in your lifetime you get time to experience nature, care for an animal (dogs are my favorite), and experience some kind of real connection and love. We all need that above all else – connection and love.
Tag Archives: predator
Comment: Dear Brent and Amy,
Thank you for taking the time to write a letter to me. To say I was moved and touched seems trite, so I hope the following will explain the scale of which your words have made a difference:
Of your entire letter, these 10 words were by far the most powerful: “I am a human. Not an animal or a predator.” It took some time to compose myself and continue reading, following the sudden realisation of this transformation (and any part that I may have played in it). What struck me was the simplicity of the sentence and the magnitude of what it must have taken to arrive there, the scale of courage… I may not agree with everything she says but Marianne Williamson, (currently running for President, I hear) once succinctly defined a miracle as: “a perceptual mindset shift from fear to love”. That’s what occurred to me after reading that sentence.
When I finished reading, something else remarkable occurred to me: that despite the geographical distance between you sat at your desk or on your bed/bunk (I imagine) and me sat here on this wooden chair in my kitchen, there is nothing between us as human beings. Nothing in the way. We have different stories, we made different choices, judgements, took different action.. etc.. but fundamentally we have the same narrative: to request to be simply seen for who we are.
When politicians use language such as “vermin” or “swarm” or “cockroach” in reference to refugees they’re effectively de-humanising people and that is what you were doing to yourself. (I imagine the outcry: I dare to compare refugees to the Brent Brents?! Yes I dare. Both found themselves lost and far from home. Deal with it.) And yet, when I read the word “predator”, my brain for some reason linked it to the word “pursuit” which I recognised immediately in myself.. my pursuit of happiness, approval, perfection, intimacy etc… In my own ravenous hunger for these things, I have subsequently put myself at risk of abuse and dishonoured myself. This is not blame. I do not blame myself for experiences of my past. Victim blaming is not the game and neither is pointing the finger of judgement in the other direction. I’m looking with curiosity not judgement. I simply ask: how have I acted following my experience of abuse? Have I passed it on.. absorbed and turned it in on myself.. or accepted that it happened, taken the lessons and stepped out of the shame and constraint? Forgiving others for abusing me is one thing, forgiving myself for how I responded is another mountain to scale. And the view at the top is worth it.
Which is how I approach my thoughts as well now. I spent many years trying to stop intrusive, vulgar, violent and otherwise uncomfortable thoughts.. However hard I tried through meditation, mindfulness, distraction… still they came these mind monsters. The effort to stop them left me exhausted, depressed and hating myself. Recently though, the penny dropped: if to think is human, maybe the meaning that I attach to the thoughts is what matters? Where once I had a thought of rage, I tended to act on it or tell myself I was a terrible person for having the thought. I get that this is how I dealt with thoughts, my very survival depended on it, so I thought. And I was wrong. Now I look all thoughts as a fleeting friend – it pops up, I notice it, tip my hat to it, and on it goes on its way. I feel no obligation whatsoever to act on it. And this is how my thoughts tend to flow through me now. I get to choose which ones I respond to, not the other way around. (and yes, I still get caught up in my thoughts sometimes, I’m human!)
Thank you for your acknowledgement, it means a lot to me. I’d like to acknowledge you for your part in my experiencing freedom from my past. As an example, I recently got to enjoy one of my favourite pastimes: skiing in the mountains. I went with a friend (male) and a friend of his (whom I didn’t know). Before reading the blog and corresponding with you I am certain this would not have happened. Indeed, I’ve refused similar offers before. I would not have allowed myself to stay with two men in this way. As it was, I had the confidence to trust, to be vulnerable and as such they were perfect gentlemen, I had an amazing time, that I wouldn’t otherwise have had. I’m still in the gym training with huge tattooed men, surrounded by banter and I’m progressing… a fortnight ago I deadlifted 100kg and squatted 70kg while listening to Pantera’s Nothing Else Matters. My hard assed coach who was watching, raised his eyebrows and chuckled to himself. I knew I’d arrived…
Now I’m left further inspired by the conciseness of your writing. I find it refreshing because I struggle with that. It appears that you have time to consider, reflect and engage in the creative process of editing your words with great care, to leave powerful, clear words that I aspire to. I get easily distracted to engage myself fully in that process and find myself rambling… So, for now, I’ll shut the **** up and leave you in peace.
With love and respect.
Thank you for explaining EMDR Therapy. Very powerfull. Your account moved me to tears of joy. Not at the pain or suffering you went thru in your earlier life, or therapy. No they were tears of joy for the empowerment and fight you have in you.
This last year and a half you have taught me so much thru your sharing. I have felt Deep sorrow, pain and empathy for you. Yet as i said i have felt great joy and pride in each step of accomplishment you have made.
You inspire me Emily to face my fears, my life as a whole. No one likes to face there Demons. Yet i believe you have helped many do so thru your posts on the blog. Your ability to share such deep personal issues has helped others I’m sure. Keep it up please.
So i have this feeling lately that i need to stop calling myself a predator. I am realizing that i am so much more than an animal. That is what a predator is. Yes i have these predatory feelings, I feel anger hate bitterness, frustration. But so do alot of human beings.
Yet i have a great deal of love in my heart, I have empathy, Sorrow, Compassion. I have joy happiness and just plain good in me. I am a human. Not an animal or a predator. Yes I have acted predatory, lived like an animal. Do i get fucked up thoughts at times yes. However there is good in me that overcomes these thoughts and feelings.
It has been very helpful Emily to enteract with you thru the blog. Just as you have grown from an angry frightened confused unstable victim. Into a strong empowered self confident woman. Who has recognized her humanity.
I to have grown to recognize my own humanity. You have had a great deal to do w/that. So i thank you for the trust, The sharring, and the wonderful accomplishments you have made. As well i deeply respect the depth of pain you went thru to get here to your humanity.
Thank you Always Brent.
Comment: I haven’t read your book but I have met a predator…I lived with him. Your video struck me deeply. I know that stare and that feeling and I know how it feels to shake with fear and pull out something from deep inside yourself and still talk with compassion. It’s changed me on levels I haven’t been able to explain to anyone I know. It’s changed every friend dynamic I’ve ever had and now even in basic conversation I see new layers of communication. Thanks for sharing your story.
Time: September 6, 2018 at 12:42 pm
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Comment: Hey Brent,
I’ve read your recent posts with interest. I have faith in you, Brent. Hang in there.
In particular I read: “I’m just tired of the hate, I hate bullies”. May I suggest that the change you seek starts with you. What would it take to hear yourself say “I love bullies” (who, after all is not worthy of love?). This is not the same as “It’s OK to bully”. I get you have a reputation. There are stories about you. People see you how they want to see you; most times they won’t even consider a conversation with you necessary before they make up their minds about you. It’s all opinion. So make who you say you are more powerful that who they say you are. This is a massive ask, yes. But you have time to master this. Of all things you are rich in, Brent, it’s time.
Rather than a “weak little sissy” I consider taking the hit to be a sign of immense, even biblical strength and I’m inspired that you’re considering it. How about making them laugh when they give you the “the evil eye”, like “Shit man, do I have something in my teeth or are you just constipated?” (you’re a quick witted guy, your Spot gets held up at gun point had me laughing out loud at work: “How the hell would I know what Spot is feeling, I’M NOT FUCKING SPOT!”), shock them by shouting so loud in their face then run… you know the drill. With respect, I reckon you’ve mastered the skills to make yourself unnoticeable given your childhood memoir. But every time you hit back, you reinforce their story that you’re a monster.
How does one feel safe with a predator? You love it and respect it. Works the same with the bullies. To Amy, to me and to others, you’re not a monster – we just don’t see you as one, so you don’t show up as one. Would it surprise you to know that I’d choose a conversation with you in a room with no windows than a gaggle of school mums (moms) any day of the week. They are the ones that terrify me and I’m working on that. You are loved and respected. Consider this a privilege worth sharing with these guys who’ve probably had similar past stories of violence that you’ve had.
It’ll be really important to them to hold onto their opinion that you’re a monster once their minds are made up. That you’ll always bite. Then they know what’s going on and people like to know what’s going on, even if it’s horrifying. But it’s not impossible to change the story: make it your choice about who you are, not theirs, don’t give them the option to hold onto a label that isn’t yours.
Oh dear, am I preaching? I’ll stop now: I hope you read the above as invitation rather than instruction. Who the hell am I to instruct? I had a realistic dream the other night of smashing the face of an ex-boyfriend, and it was really quite satisfying….
With love and respect to you and Amy,
Am i or am i not? To tell all of U the truth, lying would be easy. Oh “NO” i’m no longer a predator. Thats what i would like to tell U, and myself. Truth is though despite very good meds, years of self introspect, honesty and my faith. I’m still very volitile.
Not that i want to be. Predatory not so much. However that doesn’t mean i’m not. My mind is still screwed up, when i get mad or upset i still have violent sexual thoughts, and violent desires. When threatened i automaticaly want to strike out and hurt the other person.
Not because i enjoy it like i use to. I get scared and its fight or flight. I often feel like i cant run, so i want to fight. But what is still predator in me is how i want to fight. I want to destroy the other person. And yes i still get pissed off at women. Not often, but most of the time when i do. I think about hurting some of them sexually. Sorry but thats how my screwed up brain works.
I wish more than any of U know that i didn’t think or feel this way. It goes against every bit of my being. My brain works weird like that. I think ” bitch i’d show U. ” Its sad really, pathetic little man shit, and i’m ashamed i think that way. I don’t believe i’d act on it. But i never thought i’d assault a c/o either.
So truth is people i’m still a predator after all these years. I believe i’m gaining better control of my rage and feelings. Only time will tell. And believe me, i hate that part of me more than any of U ever could. Like i said, i’d like to say no i’m not a predator. But that would be an out and out lie.
The one very important thing i take great respect in is honesty. I’m honest w/ myself and all of U. I have to be or this blog would be bullshit. Any way thats what i have to say about that. Thank U all for supporting the blog and each other.
-Brent Brents 5-5-18
Let me tell U as a survivor turned predator. Being triggered by things we read, see on tv, see in dreams, smells, mens voices, places etc. Can really suck. I’ve experienced this, not too much in the last 20 + yrs. But as a predator i would be triggered by alot of the same memories and things, i was as a survivor. It is something that i’m sure you’ll probably experience again as you interact w/ and speak w/ others survivors as they relate their stories to U.
So dont be surprised on that front. Just stay strong and continue to grow. And remember this is for U and the others like U. As well as those of U currently suffering abuse. If U need to talk to Amy or i, or any one else dont hesitate. This was and is what this site is for.
As for assholes who go thru the legal system and beat it, well it happens Emily. Yes sports figures, tv and movie personalities, famous and rich get away w/ alot of shit. And yes they brag, often publicly accusing thier victims of wanting it, or liking it etc. Our society puts more value in these types of people than they do the victims and survivors of rape and abuse.
But it is changing Emily, slowly for sure, it is though. In the U.S. there is an ad campaign w/ famous sports figures who speak out against rape and abuse. Theres a college athlete campaign as well. A world famous tv dad has just been convicted of drugging and raping a woman.
Its slow going, nothing changes over night. And sadly U and i will be long buried before what we want happens. In the mean time My friend keep up the good fight for your own recovery and for the rest who need your help. Again thank U your courage is awesome.
Always here for U.
Comment: Hi Amy,
I’m watching your TedTalk and I just wanted to thank you for bringing up this issue of considering the perpetrators of sexual violence. You brought up a good point-that discussing why people commit such acts and seeing their suffering is not the same as excusing their actions. Really-wonderful perspective! Have you ever seen the documentary, The Mask You Live In? This discusses how we bring up boys in society and its negative effects.
Best of luck to you in all of your pursuits!
Time: May 3, 2018 at 4:54 pm
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