Tag Archives: victims

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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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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Reader: I honestly believe that he wanted to be different than the person he became

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.

Thank you,
Jason

January 5, 2018

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Hello, Jason,

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.

Regards,

Amy

January 5, 2018

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 Hi, Jason,

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.

Regards,

Amy

January 12, 2018

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Hello Amy,

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.

Thank you,

Jason

January 13, 2018

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Survivor: “I have been trying to find the courage to speak about having compassion for perpetrators of violence”

Comment: Hi Amy Herdy,
Your Ted talk led me to this website. As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, I want to thank you so much everything that you have brought to light in the talk and in writing, as I feel that it is something that needs to be said. I have been trying to find the courage to speak about having compassion for perpetrators of violence like this, because while it is hard to learn to forgive, there is a fact that I truly believe in: every person who does harm has been harmed.

I strongly believe this because of the stories I was told throughout my childhood by people who abused me. Almost every single one of them had a story about being abused as children, and they would often tell it to justify why they were hurting us. As a child, I was “trained” in very specific ways in how to abuse other children and in how to recruit children to bring back to sick adults to be abused. I have watched cousins and childhood friends turn to addiction and take on masks of mental illness to try to disguise what happened to us as children.

The reason that I feel compassion in spite of the anger about my life, is that, had it not been for a couple of extremely loving adults in my childhood who balanced out the pain, I cannot say that I would have turned out any differently than those who abused me. I experienced abuse as a sickness that is passed from generation to generation or from person to person. The difference with sexual abuse is that, unlike having a leg cut off and bleeding all over the place for the world to see, it is something that is so stigmatized and set in the category of “sexual.”

Knowledge of healthy sexual relationships isn’t something that children are typically exposed to as it is. But this is not a “sexual” thing. It is a “power” thing. In my experience, sexual abuse has more to do with one person feeling so powerless in themselves that the only way that they feel like they can have any sense of power in life is through taking advantage of others who are more vulnerable to them. This is the sickness.

In our society, we treat the symptoms of this sickness by throwing perpetrators and victims in jail, instead of trying the much simpler path of prevention. It makes way more sense to help children than to try to patch together broken adults. Thanks again for your work.

-Hannah

Time: June 29, 2017 at 6:42 pm

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The sex offenders like to use the excuse, oh it was the drugs.

I will see many come and go as I spend my life in prison. I’ll see many of them get out, only to hurt someone else and come back. Not just once or twice. Several times, behind a crime that usually ends up being drug or gang related. The sex offenders like to use the excuse; oh it was the drugs. We all know that’s a load of horse shit.

So in NA tonight I spoke about feeling hysterical sometimes when I get real manic. I realized that I get hysterical about small problems. And I turn them into big unnecessary problems. I really didn’t like realizing that about myself. But I will tell you this. I love my NA. Just sitting there sometimes I here a person speak and I get insights into my own thoughts and feelings. It is interesting how alike we all are. Yet most of us intensely insist, (We are not like those guys!) When we are the same in so many ways. Meth addicts often become sexualy addicted. Or addicted to sugar. Some of us heroin addicts tend to have to take a crap Right before we fix, or on our way to score dope.
So where am I going, well as an addict I have victimized more people than I realized. Selling heroin to people, victimizes them and their families, friends, and others in their lives. Not to mention the victims they will create when they get desperate for their fix. Because as we all know, addicts will do any thing to get their dope. And yes sexual deviance is a huge part of a great deal of addicts lives. Whether they will admit it or not. I’m not saying addiction makes sexual deviance excusable. Quite the opposite. Drugs often bring a persons true colors to light.

-Brent Brents 8-25-16

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