Something that I realized I needed to share was the generational effect of abuse victims. My father was raised in incestuous Mormon family. His father, the predator was at one point, a bishop, a school teacher, a temple worker. After decades of terrorizing his family and uncounted children not related, he was finally excommunicated after decades.
His wife had sought help originally and everything was covered up or ignored. A family member close to me became the whistleblower. It went up to the apostles and resulted in his excommunication. Sadly my uncle who also participated in the rape of his sisters, lied and was not disciplined.
What happened to my family in the aftermath was tragic. We were torn from our cousins in southern California and moved to rural Oregon. Desperately alone, my Mom was never fully mentally there for us again. As children we were physically neglected by our parents as they went through therapy and tried to heal. My mother had also been molested as a child by a family friend. My brothers and I lived in conditions of squalor, (mainly my brothers), we never had enough food and little interaction with my parents.
My mother was so busy dutifully attending to her calling, we were left to fend for ourselves. The damage done by these abusers affected generations. I was not physically abused by my grandfather, that I can remember, but the physical neglect from my parents was a result of his abuse to my father. Our souls had more importance than our physical bodies, so our souls were fed, tithing paid, even if there was not money for food or clothes.
Church abuse is multifaceted and multi-generational. I was constantly hounded about my contact with boys and men when I was young. My mother was so paranoid she even put me in therapy and wanted to know if I abused my brothers. Which I did not. She would leave me alone to babysit my younger brothers when I was 7. I was so terrified I soiled myself. When I tried to change before she came home, she hounded me about why I had changed clothes.
Her paranoia terrorized the family and my father, who had a porn addiction. He didn’t carry on the family abuse, but the shame he felt from his porn addiction killed his soul. He was just numb, secretive and absent.
You see shame is abuse. I was shamed for simply being a female in the family. As I reconnect with my lost family members, the years of trauma from being torn away at that young age comes back. These sexual questions are so much more complex. The shame, control, and accountability to a man is killing souls and sadly lives as well.
I don’t know if my story counts, but the sadness I have for me sweet family members that were grossly abused by a bishop, their own father, is a heavy burden to carry. My story can be included, anonymously because I don’t have authority to speak for the victims and ruin their anonymity. But I know I have only started healing from the suffocating shame that was in my home. My experience with a bishop at BYU only made the shame worse. I was asked if I had an orgasm while kissing my future husband. I was so naive I had to look up what that meant. So sickeningly, my first knowledge of that human function came from a bishop.