I’m telling this story in hopes that it will help many not go through what I have. My motive is not to shame anyone my motive is to bring to light what’s going on behind closed doors
I would also like to add that what I’m about to say most people do not know about me. It feels very risky to bring this out. And that I love and respect all my LDS friends, families and neighbors and this has no reflection on them. This is the simply trying to get a rule changed that has been put in place well before us. Also I know a lot of very loving caring Bishop’s out there so this does not reflect on every Bishop. And I also know that a lot of what’s been said behind closed doors is because they’ve been told to do it.
To my recollection the first time these questions were presented to me where at age 9. No not all of them at that time but enough to put me in a very awkward guilty fearful position that I didn’t feel safe in. As a child from the age of three to nine I have to add that I was sexually molested from an outward source. I never told anyone about this until I was 30. However, these questions that were asked of me at that age were asked because I was having stress and anxiety. The bishop was trying to figure out what the deal was. But he was asking me personal questions at that age that I didn’t know how to answer. It truly victimized me again. It just reconfirmed all the grooming that I had had already. My inner turmoil was so bad that they were talking about putting me in the hospital if I didn’t calm down. Into a psych unit at 9! Of course I calmed down, I didn’t want to be there so I stuffed it down more.
They also did a very bizarre thing and took me to a patriarch at age 9 and got my patriarchal blessing. I was looking forward to it because that was something that I had always heard was needed. The patriarch was absolutely wonderful but when he divulged things that I did not tell him it put me into a very fearful state because I didn’t understand how he knew. I was to young to understand any of that. And again I stuffed that down inside and didn’t say a word. A child’s mind does not think logically. It’s at the moment in the moment ,what do I do? Especially when they’re in Survival Mode.”At least mine was that way.”
Then when I became 13, my Bishop of that Ward caught me out on the lawn making out with a boy. This isn’t something that I participated in all the time it’s something that just happened. He then in turn the next Sunday took me into his office and proceeded to tell me that I needed to repent and that that is the closest thing to murder different words of course. He also told me that I needed a calling in the church because that would teach me. So I became a Sunday school teacher for the three and four-year-olds. That’s what he decided for me to do. Here I am in my own little world confused as to where I was going in life, what was happening ,what I could do about it yet teaching 3 and 4 year olds about Jesus Christ and the teachings of the church. I did this for several months and then I decided that I could not teach what I didn’t know for a fact. And I could not teach things that I felt I had done wrong in through my life. So I went to him and told him I had to relinquish my calling. As a result I was then shamed again. He told me that that is one of the worst things that I could do was to walk away from a calling from the church.
Shortly after that, between all that had happened I became a lost. I became very promiscuous,I started using drugs. I started drinking and I set out to see what else was in the world. Including other religions which some of them were very dangerous like Scientology. It about destroyed me.
When I was 16 I attempted suicide. I took 250 aspirins with two bottles of Coke. Laying in my bed room I called a friend and met my mother in the elevator to the hospital. They had to pump my stomach. I had just broken up with the only guy I’ve ever had a real relationship with.
The bigger picture to this is that I had another Secret. And one that I could never tell anybody because it was against church policy. I’ve been told that for a very long time. The secret was that I liked girls in secret! I was sure i was a freak and going to hell. And my attempt to having a boyfriend had failed miserably.
The thought of being excommunicated because I liked girls was something I couldn’t do. I wanted to put no shame on my mom ,my family nor myself so I just stayed quietly and tucked it all down inside. It wasn’t until my 30s that I actually let everyone know. And though they did not agree with my lifestyle I have to say they have been very respectful and loving and caring individuals to myself or anyone I was with. The fear was because it was instilled in me as a belief system. Not by my mother because it was never spoken of with my mom, but by the church and by the Bishops. I also have to add here that I have multiple friends who have had similar situations in the gay and lesbian community that have been shunned, shamed and harmed because of the questions and the way that things are handled.Even just asking about the Law of chastity is so degrading & most endure shame and guilt. Let alone the fear of excommunication if you truly love the Lord.
You would think that it would stop by then right? No!
At a very early age I decided to get married to a man that I thought was very God loving. Who talked about the temple who talked about how important it was to have family. All the things that I wanted to hear because of my religion. Yet again my Bishop called me in. He told me that living with him I was living in sin and that was a very bad thing to do and continue to do the same stuff different day of what I had endured when I was young. I didn’t want to do anything that was damaging or that would not be god-like. I was doing my best to not act upon my desires of women and trying to find a space to be that was (right) so I married him . And as a result of stuffing it down yet again, I’m married one evil man that took me many years to get away from.
The bishop kept calling me in by myself after I got married periodically. And asking me very private conversations and private happenings under my own roof. That is when I stop going into The Bishop’s office. I made one more attempt to get help from the church to get help getting away from my husband. Because I didn’t trust my Bishop.
So I went over to the temple grounds and talk to a couple people. I believe they were missionaries. They in turn went over and got someone and we’re whispering that I was a psych case and needed to be admitted to the hospital. Because i was crying and very scared my husband would see me. Well that was a likely story from when I was young so what did I do? I ran as fast and as I could and never returned.
Some may not believe my story which is totally okay. And some may even be angry that I’ve said it but that’s okay too. Because if this makes one person not go through what I went through it’s worth it. And if it heals one heart that’s carried the load as long as most of these people do that also is worth it.
Now is the time for anybody and everybody who has had any situations, to stand up and make the change. Insist that our children be safe and comforted to go to church and worship Jesus the way that it should be. Not out of fear or shame or guilt. These children are pure Souls. That need to be nurtured and loved.
They should feel comfortable to go into a church and talk to their Bishop for guidance without being put down, shamed or belittled at all. And if they need further help then they need to direct the parents that they need professional help.
I know this is long but I was really compelled to put my words into writing so that others might not have to in years to come.
Your loving sister in God,