Feeling emotional today! Since I was young and went through trauma I had the ability to forget a lot of things, well not forget, but push it far down it doesn’t come to mind. I was reading Sams post and a few stories and it hit me so hard that I too have stories to share of Bishop interviews.
For the first time in my life, I disclosed a part of the sex abuse to my boyfriend and I was shaking and felt so nauseous. Since the time I heard masturbation was wrong in YW, I went home and looked it up in the dictionary and felt sick that I did something so bad. From that point on I felt shame and guilt that was crushing me, it became my big dark secret no one could ever know. I truly felt like I was the only female in the church who masturbated or looked at porn. I was scared for the day I would get engaged because I wouldn’t be worthy to enter the temple.
After I confided the abuse to my boyfriend he encouraged me to meet with an lds therapist who I managed to tell her about the abuse. Then I was told I should meet with my bishop and I did. As I sat there sick to my stomach. I couldn’t get the words out. It’s such an uncomfortable situation, sitting behind the desk as he stares at you until you speak. I couldn’t say it to him, I felt so sick inside and still blamed myself for what had happened as a child and then my secret of masturbating.
He called the lds therapist that I saw for information because I just couldn’t get the words out. Instead of being met with love, compassion, and confirmation that what happened to me was wrong and was not my fault, I was punished for masturbating and needed to stop immediately. I never went back to that bishop again and I went years before I verbalized the abuse or my secret to anyone again. In high school, I had to repent for being sexual with my boyfriend and the bishop asked me what parts of my body he touched, was it on the outside of the clothes or under, below the belt or above the belt. I was red in the face sobbing like I had committed murder and was now there to get my punishment.
I wished I had lied during those yearly worthiness interviews so I never had to explain anything to any bishop, but my guilt and shame was eating me alive. Fast forward to college and my soul mate comes home from his mission and we want to get married, but now I have to once again share my big dark secret to another person and I was scared to death he’d be so disgusted with me that he wouldn’t want to marry me, but I was met with the warmest embrace and was told what happened to me was wrong and that he loves me no matter what and nothing could stop him from wanting to marry me.
I knew I had to meet with my bishop to get approval to be married in the temple, but this bishop didn’t want to know my past and I was so relieved by this. I felt like I was really worthy and felt like wow I’m getting married in the temple, this is incredible. Then my fiancé and I do what the church calls levi lovin. So I’m back in the bishop office repenting once again. He then looks at me and says we might need to cancel our temple marriage and I start sobbing thinking how can I tell all my family and friends we can’t get married in the temple. Then he tells me he’s just kidding and to not do it again till after we get married and sends me on my way. Biggest scare ever!
Now I’m married, but still battling masturbating and looking at porn. So again, I go to a new bishop. He sends me to a 12 step addiction group and because I’m female I go in with the females. I sit there for over an hour listening to these women talk about their husbands addiction and how it’s ruining their lives and how much rage they have towards them. Then it comes to me and I so badly wanted to say, I’m in the wrong group, I should be in the room with your husbands! I lived with this shame and guilt until I found out the Church was not true. I’ve never felt more peaceful since leaving the church, knowing I’m a good person and I’m not evil, or controlled by Satan. Leaving the church was by far the greatest thing I could have done for myself!