Around my eighth birthday I was excited to be baptized. The plan was my father would baptize me. Both he and my grandfather would be there on Sunday for confirmation. Since I was born in April, it felt good to be joining the ranks of my older classmates.
I don’t remember exactly which day the interview with the bishop took place. I don’t remember how I got to the stake house or how I got home. I remember how quiet it was since there weren’t any meetings going on. The bishop asked questions about me honoring my parents, believing in the church, maybe about a scripture or two. Then he asked about chastity. I’m not sure if I asked what that meant or if I looked confused, but he asked if I ‘ever touched myself “down there”’.
I was still not sure what he was asking me. I didn’t want to lie or ‘be bad’. I was scared and confused. I felt guilty and dirty and scared that I would disappoint my family if I couldn’t be baptized. My grandma had given me a big BOM. It was white with my name engraved on the cover and pictures inside. Whatever was said or done after that question is a blank to me. I did end up getting baptized a month late since I had pneumonia on fast Sunday.
What I do remember is hiding that BOM that I was originally so excited to be given. I never opened it again. I always felt ashamed, guilty, and ugly. This has carried over into my adult life. I only hope that I didn’t convey these feelings to my own children. I left Utah when my two older kids were 4 and 5. I did not want them raised Mormon or anywhere near Mormons if I could help it. As far as sexual dysfunction is concerned in my adult life goes, three divorces should speak volumes. And yes, I was married prior to getting pregnant. I’m rambling now. I tend to do that when the rage boils over. PLEASE PROTECT OTHER CHILDREN FROM LIVING THROUGH THIS NASTINESS.