Bishop’s interviews made me feel like my sexuality belonged to everybody but me. I lost my right to secrecy, and that has had dire consequences. From those interviews, I became so uncomfortable with sex, that I was already too weak to defend myself when I needed to.
Aged fourteen, I was raped by my best friend. There was nothing I could do to stop it, or prevent it; I’d completely frozen as soon as the conversation became too sexual and by the time he started his assault I wasn’t strong enough to do anything about it. Naturally, the first place I went for support was my Bishop. I was far too embarrassed to tell him what happened, so I described it loosely as a hypothetical scenario. With no gentleness he told my, I was to blame; the member of the Church should be the bigger person. This triggered years of self-loathing.
Unable to distance myself from my abuser, who I felt I should remain friends with – in an effort to guide him to the Church – he continued to use me, often and for years. When I was fifteen, I was admitted to a psychiatric hospital, having attempted suicide. I stopped talking to him soon after that, and haven’t been in contact since. Over a year later I was diagnosed with Complex-Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; a form of PTSD caused by long term abuse. In this case, abuse by the Church, and abuse by him.