I was molested at a very young age by a family friend. Then, I was molested again by another family friend from the time I was 11 to around 15 years old. He would touch me everywhere and spy on me when I changed or bathed. He stripped me down one night while I was sleeping and his wife was also sleeping two feet away from me, and did things to me.
I told the bishop, all he said to me was, “Would it have been worse for you if he tied you up and then touched you?” Umm.. I didn’t have a clue what to say to that.. “No?” I said. “I didn’t think so.” Bishop replied. It was never reported. My parents told me never to tell anyone because it would ruin his life. Shame. Guilt.
Then at 16 years old; my mom had been physically abusing me, burning me, and I had just had emergency surgery to prevent death from the abuse. (She was later diagnosed with Bipolar and Paranoid schizophrenia.) My dad’s business partner was told that I was molested. Soon after he found out he started grooming me. He became my best friend. He was so sweet. He was also married and a returned missionary. He was a good guy, or so I thought. Then, things started happening again. It started with a kiss, then touching. I was terrified, and familiar with it. I was 16 and it hadn’t been that long since my last offender stopped having his way with me. I shook like a leaf. I told him I was scared. It escalated quickly. I lost my virginity to this man who was nearly twice my age in a Walmart parking lot after church. He did horrible things that would make your stomach hurt if you knew.
There were times I would cry, there were times I felt empty, even of tears. I remember thinking and feeling like my soul had died. I wanted to die. I couldn’t tell my parents. Before, they told me never to tell any one, and they didn’t care anyways.
I was continuously raped for around a year and a half. During this time I had also made some mistakes with my boyfriend. I admitted everything to the bishop who proceeded to ask very detailed and explicit questions about everything. He asked me if he ejaculated (I had no idea what that meant), he asked me how it felt, if it hurt. He asked me if I used protection and what room we were in. He asked me to describe it. I was so uncomfortable the entire interview. Then he told me I could not participate in young women’s or my classes. He told me I had to sit in the back and never raise my hand or speak. Then he came in and taught the lesson in Young Women’s and proceeded to talk about how if you do anything sexual your value goes down and any future men won’t be interested in you. It was very sinful. Guilt. Shame.
I had sexual things happening to me since I was very young. I was taught I had no value. I left never wanting to go back to church. Not wanting to go back home. I wanted to commit suicide. Throughout the years, many bishops and stake presidents have been informed of my abuse. Not one soul reported it. Most of them made me feel like trash. One bishop was very kind and understanding, but the rest basically talked to me like it was my fault.
To this day, I have so much anxiety at church, I have anxiety everywhere, but Sunday’s are a huge trigger for me. I am afraid of taking my kids to church. My childhood, in the church and in my home, was not a good experience, I never felt safe. The adults in my life failed me, they not only failed me, they hurt me more. I was recently diagnosed with PTSD and every single day is a struggle. I am so worried for my small children. I don’t trust people and I don’t want my precious kids to go through anything I had to. I have scars on the outside, but if anyone could look inside, they would see way more.