I was sexually abused, starting at age 6. The day before my interview for baptism, my abuser told me that if I told the bishop, I would not be a part of my family for the eternities and would also not be able to be baptized. My baptism was a horrible experience for me, as I felt the shame of being a victim. I felt unworthy.
I finally told my bishop about the sexual abuse at age 11 and he told me to never mention it to anyone again. No call to CPS or anything. I should have been saved from that home.
Later, at age 14, I french kissed a boy and happened to masturbate. I was put on formal probation for 6 months. I was released from being President of my Young Women’s group and could not pray or even speak in church.
In case you’re wondering, nothing happened to the man who abused me. I felt nothing but shame and horror throughout my childhood. I carried these feelings with me into adulthood. My sexual experience after I was married in the temple suffered because of it as well.
When I finally started to fix my broken self at BYU, I joined a rape and incest survivor’s group on campus. There were about 30 young women in this group. Most had been raped by their bishops and many of those bishops were also their fathers. Some of the young women’s fathers were even stake presidents. Most in the group had been disowned by their families for speaking up about what happened.
At that time, I met the man I would go on to marry. We got a little too amorous and did what the church called petting. I felt so much guilt. When I told my BYU bishop what happened, he asked many detailed questions. He also asked me if I masturbated (I had not for years). I replied that no, I had not. He then went on to ask me if I ever masturbated with toys. I honestly had no idea what he was even talking about. He took a little bit more of what was left of my innocence by asking me these questions. I was only 19. He asked me detailed questions regarding orgasms. Had I ever had an orgasm? How many times? I was appalled. Once again, I was put on formal probation and my BYU standing was jeopardized. The shame these bishops made me feel as a child and as a young adult damaged me, just as the sexual abuse I had suffered as a child did. I wish these interviews would stop. I wish bishops were trained in how to deal with abuse. My childhood was stolen from me and I’m still putting the pieces back together as an adult.
I am now asexual and cannot any longer view myself as straight because of the self-hate my past bishops left me with feeling.