Growing up in the LDS church I was always compared to my older sister, she was the perfect mormon girl and I was just me, so because of that I had a lot of meetings with my bishops growing up. Many of these meetings are hazy to me now (even though they were not that long ago) I just have distinct memories of crying so much every time I went in and feeling like I’d never be enough.
I had watched porn a few times out of curiosity but the shame of doing it was eating me up and I knew I had to confess to my bishop, the same bishop who had asked me, on more than one occasion why I couldn’t be more like my older sister and had one time turned off all the lights in his office during one of our interviews and told me this was my life, while I’m not all the way in the dark, I’m living in the grey (that was one of the worst days of my life). So I went and confessed to my bishop and it was mortifying, I remember the way his eyes bugged out of his head when I told him, I don’t even think I was 15 yet and I was talking to this man almost old enough to be my grandfather about why I had done this. I didn’t realize how inappropriate it was at the time I just knew I felt so uncomfortable and at the end he hugged me and I was so uncomfortable (he didn’t touch me inappropriately) and I felt so dirty and my head hurt from crying so much.
He and my next bishop always treated me like I was on my way to hell and as a teenager and an adult I’ve had so much shame and self hate. I was severely depressed from about the ages of 15-19 and a lot of it came from trying to be perfect and get my bishops to think I was worthy (which I had been told I wasn’t by both of them during one on one meetings). Most of the people in my ward talked bad about my friends and I (me by association) and my bishops only ever brought me shame and embarrassment.