Predators and Prey – Excerpt from You Don’t Belong Here

​Whenever  a  light  had been  shined on  me  in  the  past  it  had  never  been  a  good thing. All of  the  wrong  people  seemed to  be  the  only  ones  to  ever  pay  attention  to  me.  Even  now,  I still  feel anxious  around strangers  and acquaintances.  I  still deal with  that  hypervigilance  that comes  from  suffering  through trauma,  always  waiting  for  it  to  happen  again.  I’m  much  better about  dealing  with  it,  but  it’s  still  there.  It  always  will  be.  When  the  world  has  learned  to  only search  for  the  superficial the  only  ones  who can  look  deeper  are  those  who would  turn  it  to such  dark  purpose.  And those  that  they  injure.  People  were  largely  oblivious  to  processes, sources,  and depth.  That’s  why  they  rarely  noticed  the  signs.  That’s  why  things  like  suicide, assault,  rape,  and  addiction  tended  to  come  as  a  surprise.  They’d never  learned how  to  look. Only  the  predators  learned how  to  look. The  prey  often  consisted of  those  who were  able  to see  early  on.  Rarely,  I  suppose  if  one  of  them  wasn’t  around,  would  the  predators  cull  the oblivious.  But  see,  the  predator  needs  a  place  to  hide.  They  need  the  oblivious  to  blend in  with and take  their  prey  unawares.   Both  predator  and prey  became  chameleons.  They  used the  regular  crowd for  relief, to  pretend,  to  forget.  The  one  who committed boundary  violations  against  another  person  was a  conman,  a  robber  just  as  surely  as  anyone  who stole  goods.  They  scoped out  a  body  like  they were  casing  a  joint,  determined  to  find  any  weakness,  any  way  inside.  They  set  up  the  game like  the  conman,  setting  out  the  bait  before  hooking  someone.  Instead  of  taking  money  or goods,  they  took  power  and  autonomy.  That’s  why  so many  victims  and survivors,  and everyone  else,  were  always  taken  by  surprise  and rarely  caught  on  before  it  was  too  late.  The con  and the  rape  required deception,  opportunity,  and  a  sense  of  entitlement.  They  required trust.  Where  most  normal  people  believed  that  the  only  violations  that  could  occur required the guilty  party  to  be  overtly  violent  and a  completely  depraved  stranger,  most  survivors  know  that it  is  more  likely  to  be  someone  that  they  trust.  All  that  the  predator  needs  is a  sense  of  safety in  order  to  perpetrate.  They  balance  the  likelihood of  being  caught  against  their  desire  and wait for  the  opportunity.  All they  needed was  an  excuse  and  the  time.  And  the  best  way  to  ensure that  was  to  establish  at  least  a  temporary  rapport  with  the  object  of  one’s  affection.  Access  and an  easy  escape  lowered the  chances  of  being  called  out.  If  the  victim  maintained their  dirty little  secret  because  they  had dared  to  trust  them  before  the  act  then  the  exit  was  clearly  laid out.  By  the  time  they  would  realize  they’d been  swindled,  stolen  from,  and betrayed the perpetrator  would  be long  gone,  back  hiding  in  the  crowd,  and free  from persecution.  By  the time  the  value  of  all  that  had  been  lost  was  accounted for  the  predator  had already  found others to con and violate.


2 thoughts on “Predators and Prey – Excerpt from You Don’t Belong Here

  1. “They scoped out a body like they were casing a joint, determined to find any weakness, any way inside.” — beautifully articulated! Thank you for sharing this writing, it was particularly helpful for me to read your words. I’ve been thinking along similar lines regarding predators and prey, trying to work through in writing how to present the reality to others that someone who has been abused, especially early on, is often left vulnerable to it happening again, and that predators can pick up on those signals, especially when they’re testing the boundaries of those around them routinely to sniff out some fresh prey, case a new joint. In my experience, after boundaries and defenses are systemically broken down and lulled away — because no successful predator or abuser comes on at the fully abusive level they work up to — it can be difficult to learn to set boundaries again. I was also really inspired by the article featured on Everyday Feminism (which is how I discovered this website and your work) on setting boundaries after abuse.

    1. That’s so awesome. I’m glad it helped you. And yes indeed, there are several different types of abusers, and the predators are the opportunists. I’ll likely write a longer treatise soon. Hopefully other people will start to get it.

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