I was 16 and had to go in for a temple interview. I carried an immense amount of guilt surrounding abuse I suffered at the hands of an older girl years ago. It subsequently had caused years of shame, guilt, and repetitive masturbation episodes to relieve stress when memories of what was done to me as a child surfaced.
Sometimes I wouldn’t be able to stop or remember much afterwords. I was able to conquer this revolving door of self abuse at the age of 9. There were many other signs of the abuse but no one in my family caught on. I had a seizure, and was baptized into the church. It was all very traumatizing for me because my Dad wasn’t a practicing member. I stopped going shortly after.
My sister and I were invited back for Young Women’s. So I became active again. It was around 12 that I also started seeing female Dr.’s. I told myself my mom was protecting us. I always was very vigilant around older men, especially bald men with a mustache. I always blamed myself as playing a victim. We moved halfway across the country when I was 15. I met a wonderful non-Mormon who was hanging out with the Mormon kids. We became close (we are now married). He was the first person I told about what I remembered and how it was affecting me.
In his experience he would go to his pastor and seek counseling (his pastor though had a degree in counseling in psychology I later found out). So I took his advice. I wanted to go to temple feeling pure. I just didn’t want to feel this way anymore, and being a teenager I didn’t go to my parents.
After I told the Bishop his only concern was that it wasn’t still happening because it could turn me gay…And he told me NEVER to speak of it again especially to my boyfriend because I could cause him to have impure thoughts.
The year of abuse happened when I was 5 or younger and then my self abuse continued for about 4 years. How could that make me gay, much less turn anyone on? My brain thought, but all I heard was NEVER SPEAK OF THIS and it was like a wall went up and I stopped thinking of it. Anytime IT came up I would throw myself into being the best MORMON I could be. But it was never enough.
I was always top of everything but never felt fulfilled. I would cry for no reason, and hated going to the singles ward. So I stopped going. In College as my long term boyfriend/fiance got closer I would shut down, have panic attacks, or run if I couldn’t handle something.
Finally I made the decision that I had to choose him or the church. I should of seen as choosing me-but I wasn’t wired that way at that time because I was still so dissociated from my trauma. Then I got sicker with migraines and depression hit hard and I had to go to the Dr. I was fine until I laid down. Then I went limp and cried. I couldn’t move. I was put on antidepressants.
Skip forward in time to 2011, I am married 5 years and having our first child. I still suffered from depression and anxiety, and various other issues, but was excited. The delivery did not go well. I was in labor 26 hours, did not fully dilate, the epidural was not working and when my baby went transverse, my entire left side of my body was on electric fire. I had to have an emergency c section.
The local anesthetic caused me to have a reaction and I had to be put fully out. I didn’t come to for another 4 hrs. I came to under bright lights, unable to move, and had flashbacks of being abused by a Dr. When I was little, about the same age as when I was abused by the girl. That came back too. I kept going in and out of consciousness, and couldn’t stop all the images and feelings.
Finally I was taken down to see my husband and son. Still 8 years later I am impacted by the PTSD and dissociation when I see Dr.’s. If that Bishop had real training to counsel me and not just been a used car salesmen poking into my brain, then I wouldn’t be in this mess. Teenagers are still very much developing and I had no idea the implications of his words.
The LDS Church was teaching me that masturbation and same sex activity were blood atonement sins-unforgivable. My guilt was immense. I was afraid of what my parents would say. I was nothing, NAMELESS. That was the closest description I can give to how I felt and still feel. So I turned to what I thought was a safe source and I got burned. As an adult with a child now, I am livid and want justice. At the very least I want this to stop. Period.