When I was in high school I was sexually assaulted by a classmate. When this happened I was totally naive to anything sexual in nature, so obviously I didn’t quite understand what had happened to me or that what had happened was not a normal sexual experience.
After some time of feeling guilt, I went to the bishop to repent for what had happened to me. He made me retell my traumatic experience in graphic detail and then proceeded to tell me that I shouldn’t have been in alone in a house with a boy, and that putting myself in that situation contributed to this happening to me. He told me that boys have strong sexual urges and we as girls need to help them contain their natural tendencies. I felt such guilt and shame as I began to believe that what happened to me was actually my fault. So much so, that I became hyper-sexual as a teen and young adult.
Over the next few years, I would sporadically go to the bishop out of guilt to tell him things that I had done with my boyfriend only to be questioned beyond my generalized answers on exactly where I had touched my boyfriend and where he had touched me etc. I was incredibly uncomfortable with these questions and this only furthered my guilt, shame and self-loathing. I remember praying to Heavenly Father to just let me die because I didn’t want to be alive like this anymore.
When I was in my 20’s my boyfriend and I decided that we wanted to get married in the temple. We were unworthy to hold Temple recommends, so we sought the guidance of our Singles Ward Bishop to become Temple Worthy. I was told to read ‘The Miracle of Forgiveness’ and stop any sexual activity. Reading that book absolutely destroyed my self worth. I felt like less than the scum of the earth. But I followed the bishops counsel and after waiting the year required of us to get married, I went to the temple for the first time to receive my endowment. During the ceremony I was again reminded of the horrible guilt and shame that I had experienced because I had sexual relations with someone who was not my lawfully wedded husband (…. a lot of sexual relations!) After attending the temple and getting married sex became something I could no longer freely participate in and enjoy. Now I felt it was dirty, lustful, unnatural, disgusting, sinful and shameful. After 13 years of marriage I still struggle to overcome these feelings. It has deeply affected my relationship with my husband to the point where I often wonder if our marriage can last.