In college, my boyfriend and I started experimenting sexually and I never felt guilty about it, but I knew that I should probably go talk to my bishop. While my bishop was very kind and I (thankfully) didn’t have a negative experience going in and talking to the bishop… I was humiliated at the fact that as a young adult, I had to tell a 65 year old about a sexual act that I had done. I could not stand to be around my bishop because every time I saw him I thought of how I had to tell him about my private sexual life.
Then I started to hear things like, “sexual sin is second to murder” and the guilt that I felt was unbearable. The process of having my temple recommend being taken away and trying to get it back was so emotionally exhausting and stressful. I would cry myself to sleep at night thinking about meeting with the bishop. I questioned everything I did and I felt guilty about EVERYTHING. I felt so terrible about myself that one night I considered going into the medicine cabinet and taking a bunch of pills with the hopes that it would damage me to the point where I could just escape the life I was living.
I used to daydream of getting into car accidents that would cause me to lose my memory so I could forget the guilt that I felt every day. I hated myself and it carried over into my romantic relationships. I could not give my boyfriend a kiss without feeling disgusting or fearing that I was going to go too far and I was going to have to talk to my bishop again.
My healing process began the moment I knew that I was not alone. The moment I decided to let go of the guilt was truly freeing. There is strength and peace in liberation.