When I was a very naive 12 year old, I attended my first bishops interview. I was scared & really had no idea what to expect. I was intimidated by anyone in a leadership position.
I think it all started out fine and then was hit with a question that I never imagined being asked.
“Are you and ________, (my best friend at the time), lesbians?” To be honest I had no idea what a lesbian was. So I said I didn’t think so, and asked what it was. He continued to ask me if her and I were inappropriately touching each other. I was MORTIFIED. I was as naive as they come and had never once even had that thought cross my mind. I was your typical silly 12 year old girl. We lived where there weren’t a ton of Mormons around, so when we would all get together for activities and see each other at church it was so much fun. We all had a special bond.
Well, he continued to ask me if I masturbated. Again, not a clue what that was. So he continued to teach me about masturbation. Including, how horrible it is. I had never been more embarrassed and ashamed in my life. I hadn’t even done what he was asking, yet still felt like I should feel guilty.
I wanted to share because this conversation has stuck with me for YEARS. I constantly was worried that my innocent friendships with girls, were not really considered innocent. Or that I was doing something wrong by merely having a best friend. I was so self conscious. Did I giggle too much, did we hang out too much, what was I doing to make people think this? Did everyone see something I didn’t??
I am so emotional writing this because it took such a toll on my innocence. I now have 2 daughters, and the thought of them going through what I did, makes me sick. My children WILL never be alone in a room with a man of authority over them. No matter how much I trust him.
I know there are so many stories far more damaging than mine. To my 12 year old self, however, it was horrific.
It changed me.