Tag Archives: survivor

So it’s time to quit letting emotions guide my cowardice

Note from Amy: Brent Brent’s last vicious crime spree happened the weekend of Valentine’s Day, 2005, during which he raped several victims, including a grandmother and her two granddaughters. I can’t imagine what the horror of that anniversary means to those survivors. It also fills Brents with self loathing, and it’s the significance of that date he’s referring to in the following excerpt from a recent letter, posted here exactly as he wrote it:

So it’s grow up time. Each year at this time i just shut off. Thats really childish i think. Why Not face it all. Deal with what i feel and accept the discomfort. I can still picture it all and it has become a painfull thing to see what i did to those i hurt.

Disconnect is easy.

So This weekend i spoke to a friend at her urging and at length. 9 years i guess seems like a long time. And makes it easier to ignore. But it isn’t easy at all. Decisons and things i chose to do still don’t make since. One of the worst and most personally painfull is playing God. Choosing one persons life over another. There was No sense in it that Night and i can’t find any now. So i feel the pain of those i hurt.

I knew it as a child, carried it with me into a disfunction adulthood, and used it to justify violence hatred and cruelty. I see shows on TV where people are hurt in the ways i hurt people. I feel like i can’t breath because i ache For them and their loved ones. It doesn’t feel good at all to know i caused This feeling to so many people thruout my life.

So it’s time to quit letting emotions guide my cowardice when it comes to being responsible for what i have done.

-Brent Brents 2-20-14

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how the healing happened

Note from Amy:

The following comment was sent to this Diary of a Predator website in June, and inadvertently missed until recently. So here it is, better late than never:

Diary of a Predator Contact
Hello Amy, and anyone else listening. I just finished this book and am writing to thank you. Accepting that there is always more to who we are than what has happened TO us, and what we have DONE … is an essential piece of true connection – and you have lived this process and then shared the story, you and Brent both. Thank you Amy and Brent.

While it is true that many who live through horrendous trauma from very early life end up repeating destructive patterns, living as though it would be easier to die, or “becoming” the perpetrator, these are not the only possible answers. There is always more possibility, coupled with the original innocent child, hurt, but able to heal. I commend any effort to paint the reality of those truths, rather than only explore or sensationalize the more obvious destruction and pain.

Your process and work are about connection, and what true connection is all about. THAT — is the inherent drive of the innocent child, to know we are connected. there are many survivors of horrific childhoods who know this — how hard it can be to heal from early childhood trauma and ongoing violence, secrecy and varying levels of “dissociation” (it wasn’t me, it didn’t happen to me)… rampant in such households. But survive we do, and heal we do. I like the emphasis on how the healing happened, and purposeful focus on seeing beyond what was broken. Too many books and articles dwell only on that side…. and while offering suggestions about healing, do not paint that capacity as a real story, as a long and hard process — and based in reality.

As a person who lived through the worst kinds of very very early and ongoing abuse and neglect, with 20 plus years of healing work now, I was again – on finishing this book — nudged into the position of knowing that many of my “perpetrators” if not all, were victims in their own childhood as well. It is easier to let them go, and let go the binding energy that keeps us all down. Today I let more go. thank you amy and brent (feel free to share with brent). AR

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This is Margaret–a survivor of rape

I got a call the other day from someone who read my book, Diary of a Predator: A Memoir, and he said one of the things he found amazing was the account of how one of Brent Brents’ victims, a woman named Margaret, forgave Brents for what he did to her.

I agreed. Even as I was covering her case, Margaret’s ability to find compassion in the midst of all of her own pain, anger and sorrow astounded me. To this day, she remains one of my heroes.

After hanging up the phone with that reader, I thought, “I wonder how Margaret is doing?” and so I gave her a call. I left her a voice mail, and she called me back the next day.

“I was just thinking the other day, ‘I wonder how Amy’s doing?’–and then you called,” she told me. “Pretty funny.”

And when I asked about her life, she answered me, in true Margaret fashion, with a stream of consciousness. Like many survivors of rape who struggle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Margaret said she still often has a hard time leaving the house. Her marriage fell apart, and she cannot hold down a job. She applied for disability and was turned down, but she’s got a lawyer and is appealing.

More than anything, she continues to fight to heal. But I’ll let Margaret put it in her own words, which she said I could post here:

“The therapist tells me, You don’t wanna think about it. But if you don’t think about it then you dream about it.

When I go to sleep I have nightmares, and I don’t even remember what about.

Filling out a job application–my hands are shaking, I feel like they’re watching me: “What’s going on? Stupid!”

-That’s when I started noticing, What’s left of Margaret? I know that I have to feel better. But when, I don’t know.

I don’t think I’ll ever be the same but I’ll work on getting on with my life.

It’s going to be tough but I’m not gonna let it bother me forever. You have to move on. If you stay mad forever you will tear yourself up even worse. I look at anger as a bad thing and I try to leave it behind.

I’m sure he had a lot of anger, a lot of hurt and anger. I feel bad for everything that happened to him. Maybe someday down the road I can read everything.

I feel bad still but I know there are a lot of people who have it worse. So in a way I feel lucky.”

-Margaret 11-18-11

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