Tag Archives: victim

Reader response: there is nothing between us as human beings. Nothing in the way.

Dear Brent,

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.

E

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i have this feeling lately that i need to stop calling myself a predator.

Emily,

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.

Letter to a reader

Letter to a reader, cont.

 

 

 

 

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Inspired by the Diary of a Predator story, this high schooler won a local competition with her play, and her troupe needs help getting to state

Ms. Herdy,
I read your entire book “Diary of a Predator,” read part of “Betrayal in the Ranks” for a school assignment, saw your Ted Talk and saw “The Bleeding Edge.” I wrote a play inspired by your story and the overall message is that no matter what hell we go through, we pay for the consequences of our actions. This was for competition since I act in a drama troupe, 0063. I won Superior for that play (highest medal) and we’re going to States an annual acting event. It is expensive so there is a Snap Raise fund where you can donate money to if your hearts allows it.

Your story should be told and retold as a lesson for humanity and compassion like you said. It has led me to see the dichotomy we all have and it has led me to see aspects in myself in Brents whilst at the same time seeing aspects in myself in the victims. It has expanded my empathy while at the same time has helped to be unafraid to show it at the most dire of times. Thank you.

Isabel

Note from Amy: In case any of you are wondering if this is a scam, it’s not–I checked it out thoroughly. And I hope that like me, you are heartened that a high school kid has the wherewithal and interest to tackle such a complex social justice issue. It gives me faith that our future generations will care enough to enact change. So if you can spare a few dollars, please help send Isabel and the drama troupe to state. Thank you.

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More from the deputy who knew Brents in jail: “the malice and instability that resided within him was so think it was nearly tangible”

It’s interesting to me that any time I think of Brents, the first thing that comes to mind is how he carried himself. He always hunched over, shoulders always curled in. He always tried to minimize himself and make himself appear non-threatening. My thoughts were always along the line of, “you’re not fooling anyone,” the malice and instability that resided within him was so thick it was nearly tangible.  I don’t know if it was a conscious decision on his part or a subconscious act to either attempt to hide the monster within or perhaps as a result of his own traumas. I think it’s the monster attempting to hide.
Did you ever have the opportunity to spend time with him in person? Did you notice that behavior as well? One thing working in a jail or prison setting does is give the cop a very good education in human behavior.  You spend hours each day watching people and how they interact with the world around them. I’ve read through some of the blog, some of his claims that he is working to be a better person, to basically chain the monster inside. My opinion, for all that it is worth (which isn’t much) is, since no one can visually witness him curling in on himself to hide the monster, he is now doing it with words. That monster will never be caged and will always seek an opportunity to victimize. It’s just a longer game for him now. I don’t believe he can ever be habilitated enough to be trusted around anyone he could possibly victimize. Given the slightest opportunity he will pounce and the words he is sharing now are working to groom and create that opportunity. Maybe I am biased and my armchair psychology certainly is irrelevant overall.
At the end of the day, I’m glad you put the whole story out there. It was a brave thing for you to do. I don’t believe I would have had the intestinal fortitude to walk the same path with him and deal with everything that comes with following this and continuing a relationship with him for so many years.
Thank you again for the book.
-Name withheld upon request
Dec. 4, 2018 10:21 p.m.

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see spot get robbed at gun point, how does spot feel?

Hello all.

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.

Sincerely;

Brent.

5-17-18

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Let me tell U as a survivor turned predator…being triggered…Can really suck.

Emily,

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.

Brent.

-5-4-2018

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I ask when does a victimizer get to feel ok about them self again

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

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