That’s how long it took for me to unravel the mess created by my Young Women’s President.
I won’t go into a lot of detail about that, because this is a place for inappropriate Bishop’s interviews. But if you’ll bear with me, It DOES involve a Bishop’s interview that ended with the cold steel barrel of a loaded pistol being pressed against my temple.
First, let me give you the ‘Reader’s Digest Condensed Version’ of what made that interview happen.
I’m gay. Always have been, but at 17, I was in DEEP denial because of the teachings of the church. That was the first thing that made me a good candidate for victimization. The second thing, was that I was emotionally needy. I was STARVED for emotional connection.
Enter the predator. Most predators are male. Not this one. She came into my world with a smile, a twinkle in her eye, and a presence that I could not ignore. And she knew what she was doing. It wasn’t long before she had me wrapped around her finger.
Oh, it started innocently enough, but over the course of a year she manipulated and twisted me until I couldn’t function without her and our “Special Friendship”, as she liked to call it. I even lived with her while her husband was in another state working and she was selling the house. I slept on his side of the bed! But we NEVER had sex.
At one point she decided that what we were doing was wrong and that we needed to go to the Bishop and confess our sins to him. SHE decided. But I was putty in her hands and did whatever she wanted.
I was really nervous about it. I had never liked the chastity questions in my regular interviews and now I couldn’t answer with my usual embarrassed “Clean Slate” answers.
She said she would “make it easier for me” by going in first, which she did. However, when I went in, it was anything BUT easy! (I have since been able to recognize that she did not go in and confess her sin, but rather, she set me up… for reasons only known to her.)
The Bishop just sat behind his desk looking angry and disgusted and waited for me to say something. If looks could kill… So, I started by saying “I guess you know why I’m here.” To which he replied, “Yes, but I need to hear it from you.”
I told him that she and I had been doing things that we shouldn’t and that I had inappropriate feelings for her. I guess I wasn’t giving him what he wanted, because all of a sudden, he started peppering me with questions.
“Have you had sex together?”
“Have you been naked together?”
“Were you turned on?”
“Have you fingered her? Has she fingered you?” (What did that even mean??? I didn’t know about those things!)
“How many fingers?” (WHAT? I just told you we DIDN’T do that!”)
“Have you touched her breasts?”
“Have you sucked each other’s nipples?”
“Where were you when this happened?”
“Have you had an orgasm?” (Believe it or not, I didn’t know what that meant either!)
“Did you enjoy it?”
I don’t remember every question he hurled at me. At some point I went numb. A cloud of depression rolled over me and I sunk to the lowest I have ever been. I felt lower than pond scum.
I was then informed that he should dis-fellowship me, but he was only going to put me on Bishop’s probation. I couldn’t partake of the Sacrament (gee, no one will notice that!) and I had to meet with him again in a couple of weeks.
I can’t even begin to describe the disgust on his face. His condemnation. His judgement!
When I left his office, I walked right past my “Special Friend” and cried the whole way home. I knew my Eternal Salvation was in the toilet and that I’d never be the person God wanted me to be. EXPECTED me to be!
I believed at that moment that I wasn’t worth the effort. I had sinned beyond all hope. I was broken and could not be fixed. Not even the Atonement would take care of my black soul!
I didn’t understand why he had been so hard on me! I was there to confess and to do what I needed to do to repent! I didn’t know I had to tell the Bishop the gory details! I was mortified! I was angry at myself. I was defeated.
All I could hear in my mind was the mantra so many of us have heard since “The Miracle of Forgiveness” was published: “Better dead than gay”. Well why not? I had feelings that I couldn’t get rid of so maybe it would be better for me to exit, stage left. I sure as hell wasn’t worth anything now!
So, when I got home, and no one was there, I went into my parent’s bedroom, un-holstered my dad’s .45 cal pistol that he always had loaded by his bed, and pressed it against my temple with my finger firmly on the trigger.
Better dead than gay. Better dead than gay, Better dead than gay…
It was the thought of my parents coming home to find my body on the floor of their bedroom and my brains all over their wall that stopped me. I slid the pistol back in its holster, went to my room and cried until there were no tears left. PLEASE Heavenly Father! Just let me DIE!!
But He didn’t take me and He didn’t “fix” me. The desire to die didn’t go away.
I became a “cutter”. I have scars that will never go away from trying to alleviate my pain. They were never actual attempts to kill myself as I found I was too chicken to go through with it, thank goodness, but letting the blood flow released the never-ending turmoil within me for a while.
I found out many years later that there were at least 3 young women that she was messing with in that one Ward. I knew each of them. One finally couldn’t take the emotional turmoil anymore and did complete a suicide. I can only imagine that our “Special Friend” ran the same routine with that young girl.
My desire to die finally stopped after years of therapy to untangle the head job she did on me and also when I accepted myself and my truth; even if it meant I was “going to Hell”.
It took a good and decent Bishop to teach me that those questions should have NEVER been asked! He flat out told me that it was no one’s business what the details were. That was between me and Heavenly Father.
I am now married to a wonderful woman, have been excommunicated and branded an apostate and I love my life! I have a new mantra now. “Better a healthy gay than LDS!”