I grew up in a “happy” devout Mormon family; and yet I felt completely isolated and alone my entire childhood. My sister and step-dad had such obvious contempt for me we rarely spoke. My mother admitted to me on multiple occasions that she felt she had lost the bond with me as an infant.
So it is no wonder that I found acceptance in other sources: school, friends, boyfriends. In these areas, I thrived. My success outside the home was my sanity and the only reason I survived childhood with any self esteem intact. But the need for a child to feel loved and accepted by her parents runs so deep.
When I succumbed to the natural sexual urges of a teenager, I was racked with guilt and shame. I developed the intense desire to somehow gain favor with my parents and God. I went t o my bishop and confessed. I was broken when I started that process; but I was destroyed by the time I was done. My bishop, a well-known figure in my community, was also my high school teacher, a friend of my parents, and the father of my sister’s high school sweetheart. I was asked, “Do you love him?” To which I answered no. I was mature enough to understand that I probably didn’t understand what love was. This answer was not satisfactory to my bishop. After that, he seemed focused on what was “wrong” with me-that I would have sex with someone whom I admittedly didn’t love. He asked if we had orgasmed. He may have asked other questions. I don’t remember. The very meeting and every meeting thereafter was complete misery.
He went further– instructing my cheerleading coach to watch me and report back to him; calling me out in the middle of class and meeting with him in his school office to “check up” on me.
Three years later my finance met with this same bishop as some kind of pre-temple marriage interview. The bishop told him to think very carefully about marrying me because I came with a lot of “mental problems.” I came away from the situation so full of shame and self loathing it would shape literally my life up to this point, over 20 years later. I was traumatized by that year of my life. I am in weekly therapy working through my self worth issues. I have 4 kids. They will never hurt the way I was hurt.
Thank You to Sam Young and others fighting to protect