So DENIAL is the word here. No one did what they are Locked up for. 65 % sex offenders and its either all lies or the victims fault. Or They just flat out didn’t do it. One guy has read the blog. Says i’m fucked up for my views on sex offenders. Says i should be sympathetic to “OUR” fight against the system.
Screw that, I’m not in Denial. Put me in group I’ll still Look harshly at myself and others like me. Yes there are some “one timers” as i call them. But damn few. You can die a Leopards fur but his spots are skin deep. A child molester, Rapist, Pedophile, sexual deviant is just that. Exceptions are Rare. Jus because a number don’t reoffend doesn’t make them any less capable of doing so.
Any way…Lots of us here. Few of us really have empathy, compassion or remorse. All i know for sure its Not easy for me mentaly to hear all the BS. So i really try to avoid certain conversations with people. My last three cellies are all innocent. Set up or the victim Lied. I’m beginning to think i’m the only guilty one here.
Tag Archives: victim
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.
More from the deputy who knew Brents in jail: “the malice and instability that resided within him was so think it was nearly tangible”
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.
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.
I just have to remember that people are going to hate me and what i’ve done. And some just hate me period. Thats life, not to take it foolishly, or be conceited about it. I’m allowed to have happiness in my life, but some people think not.
Just like Emily asked when can a victim feel clean. I ask when does a victimizer get to feel ok about them self again. Well my answer to the first is this. Be strong all of U. Whether you’re being violated at the moment, or U are a survivor of past abuse. You’re not dirty. Your attackers are the ones who are filthy individuals. You’re clean when you choose to be clean.
Fight w/ all of your hearts the shame and guilt, they dont belong to U. They belong to me and the other assholes who R or were your abusers.
As for when do i get to feel clean? I hope i always feel the shame and guilt of my sickness. No one deserves what i did. And in my mind if i forget that i’ll not be worthy of this blog, my efforts to help U out there will be for not. Its a harsh way to look @ it. But i am a sick deviant individual. Who should never be allowed to forget what i am.
Too many people like me get away w/ thier bs. And continue thier reign of terror. And innocent people suffer for it. My fathers father got away w/ his abuse. My father got away w/ his. And thankfully i got caught. Too late mind U, but caught none the less. So hopefully the cycle will stop w/ me. And my victims wont become, or continue being abusers. Or victims of people like me.
-Brent Brents 4-2-2018
Ms. Herdy, I recently saw your Ted Talk, “Have you ever met a monster” and wanted to thank you for sharing your experiences and insights. What a story. And what an inspiration in the woman who was able to forgive Brent by seeing him as a victim as well- and having the clarity to do so in spite of her being his victim!
Thank you for all that you are doing in bringing attention to such a serious societal problem. I also want to share an interesting article with you that discusses the question you mentioned in your talk.
December 29, 2017
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.
January 5, 2018
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.
January 5, 2018
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.
January 12, 2018
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.
January 13, 2018