I have had too much shame to share my story with even my closest friends. I have been faithfully active for 40 years. In the past five years I have been on a break due to this very subject. I am bold and sassy and able to have a voice in every other area of my life. But not here. I have lived in terror for years…
As a child I was raised in an “excellent” lds family. My father was often in bishoprics, high council and a temple worker. My mother served as relief society president and in many stake callings.
At home we had family home evening every week. We had family prayer and scripture study. But we also had terror and constant fear. My father, who was so “loving” to members of the ward, was horrific at home. He would get angry over everything. A spilled glass of water, taking a shower longer than 4 minutes, etc. when he was angry he would beat some of us. He broke bones. There were times I thought he was going to kill us.
He had favorites. I was not one of them. He told me I was unlovable. He told me this almost everyday. Some of my earliest memories are of him telling me how horrible I was and then sending me with one of our home teachers or family friends to be taught how to be respectful. I was raped by these men. My father knew this happened. He said it needed to happen to break my spirit so that I would learn to obey men and become a better child of god. As far as I knew I was the only child this happened too. I lost contact with most my family after my mother passed when I was a teenager. I was terrified for many years that my dad or one of the other men from the ward would come and kill me because I knew their secret.
Three times I had the courage to tell my story to a mission president, a bishop and a stake president. All told me that my father was a well respected member in his stake and ward and denied all charges. If I had no proof, nothing would happen. This was horrifying. It took insane courage to tell my story. I was shamed, not believed, humiliated. I felt such guilt. I felt terrified because one of them believed me enough to contact my father. I thought he was going to come and kill me. So I went into hiding. In order to do this I couldn’t be active in the church. My father had found me and threatened me before by finding my address on church records.
This is only a small part of the story. A few years later I did come back to the church because I felt it was more important than my life. I was tired of hiding. Nothing happened. It took years to realize that I didn’t have to worry because these men knew they were protected. No one believed me. And they likely found new younger victims to spend their time on. This thought made me disgusted and heart broken and have severe survivors guilt. It has taken years of counseling and the love of many good people to help heal my heart.
Only in the past few years have a made some contact with siblings from childhood. I may have been the lucky one. My father never sexually abused me. But he did others. How sad that being the annoying and unlovable one saved me from incest.
I’ve never married. I’m never going to have children. My life changed forever due to horrible men. To this day the church still protects these men. I found out my father worked as a temple worker until his death last year. I wish I could share this openly with everyone I know. But I think all it will do is have them feel sorry for me and then go on with their lives and think it was an isolated incident. I appreciate this website to share my story. If my identity needs to be known for the church and it’s members to believe it, I will give my name publicly. Right now I’m too harmed, too afraid, too exhausted fighting for health and love and all things ordinary to do so.