When I was 15, I was living in California and in a relationship with a non-LDS boy. One day, he forced himself on me. He was very manipulative and convinced me that I had been asking for it and that I needed him.
I was heart broken and felt broken myself. I felt that my life was over and I would never reach the kingdom of God. I decided that the only way to save my soul was to stay with him and eventually convert him because I was only ever supposed to have sex with one man in my life. I felt awful and hated myself. It was only made worse by having to talk to my bishop about it. He was basically a stranger and I had to tell him that I had broken the law of chastity.
He asked for details and what parts of my body had been touched and if my boyfriend had finished. I didn’t want my boyfriend to get in trouble, so I played down how he had forced himself on me. The bishop added to my feeling that it was all my fault. I felt shamed and loathed myself. I couldn’t understand why it was necessary for me to confess this to a man when repentance was supposed to be between me and God. I was told that I could not repent for this on my own though and that I would not be worthy to take the sacrament or go to the temple unless I finished the repentance process with my bishop and continued to follow up with him and talk to him about my sex life.
Because of the guilt and shame, I took to hurting myself. I started considering even killing myself. I convinced myself that I needed to stay with my boyfriend so that we could someday be married in the temple and it would all be forgiven. I felt that a nice returned missionary, the kind I had been told I needed to marry since I could understand words, would never want me. Returned missionaries want perfectly white flowers. My only hope at happiness was to stay with my abusive boyfriend and, if I had enough faith, God would help me change his heart and we’d marry in the temple some day.
I endured emotional and physical abuse by the hands of this boyfriend for two years before my mother sent me away to live in another state with my aunt. I continued to hate myself and feel shame for years more. I went to college thinking that a returned missionary would never love me. When I did marry, I married a man that was inactive. I think that our sex has been affected by the shame and pain that I associate with sex. I ended up leaving the church because I couldn’t believe in a religion that caused me so much pain and made me hate myself for what I am.