I was eight years old when I was sexually abused, I didn’t even understand what had happened really, I just knew it felt wrong and scary. I was very confused and somehow decided it was my fault because I had been baptized. I didn’t tell anyone what had happened, I was ashamed, I thought no one would love me if they knew. You see my child’s mind didn’t know what great lengths that pedophile goes to groom a victim, and they are very good at manipulation. I didn’t have the words for it at nine, but I ran in front of cars trying desperately to die, to go home to Jesus.
At the age of twelve I was given a pamphlet that stated that if “You didn’t fight even unto death you had allowed your virtue to be taken”, to my fragile, depressed mind this spoke of eternal condemnation, I had no hope of salvation. I was dirty and even God didn’t want me, I couldn’t tell anyone, if they knew how dirty I was they would reject me, so I held all that sadness inside, that pain. This pamphlet was given to me at my first interview by the bishop, whom I still view as a good man.
Every time I had a bishops interview I wondered when they would figure out my horrible secret and condemn me. I was suicidal, I had multiple attempts besides running in front of cars. One time I overdosed on over the counter medicine, I honestly don’t know how I survived it, I should have died. I still didn’t tell anyone, I couldn’t. I married very young(17), and had a child six months after our wedding, I began to think that if I saved my ex-husband I could ride his coattails to heaven. My ex-husband and I went through the temple and I tried so hard to be a good wife and mother and a good Mormon, but I never felt good enough. More attempts, more depression, a spouse who abused me sexually, emotionally, psychologically, and financially and I stayed because I didn’t deserve anything better. There was no true pleasure in intimacy, I learned to distance my mind, it was the only way I could survive. I stayed married for 30 years to a man who degraded me because I was taught that I was soiled by virtue of just being alive.