Dear # 439,
I’m in the process of preparing for the July 29th. action. That includes updating the Sacred Book of Sacred Stories, Childhoods Destroyed Behind Closed Doors. Somehow, I had left off the consequences on your story. They have been added back. As I did so, I reread your account and pondered what each of the numbers meant …..1 …..2 …..3 …..4 …..6 …..7 …..8 …..9 ….. Fortuitously, #10 did not happen. I choked up. I teared up. I cried.
A mere child having to go through all this with so much shame at home. Dreadful, crushing shame. That shame then reinforced and magnified as you sat all alone in the bishop’s office.
Although your healing may not be complete, it sounds like you are doing well today. That makes me happy. I’d like to say this to you…
I see you.
I believe you.
You are brave.
You are enough.
You are strong.
I love you, Sam.
There is so much. I can not write it all. I was beaten for masturbating. I was snuck up on if my bedroom door was closed or in the shower to “catch me in the act” so I could be beaten again if caught masturbating. I was raped by a guy I had gone on a date with at age 18,(1994) and ended up pregnant. I was a virgin. My parents didn’t believe me. My mother told me I had to have enjoyed it and had an orgasm to get pregnant. She also called me a slut. My father called me the town whore and since I was the oldest of 7 kids, I was the bad apple that would spoil the bunch.
They made me go to the bishop who also didn’t believe me. He said I had lost my chastity and for that I must repent. I was a sinner and the only sinner worse than me was a murderer. I was put on probation and had to meet with him once a month.
He sent LDS social services to my house to try to convince me to give my baby up. My child had nothing to do with that rape. It wasn’t her fault and I could never give her up. She was why I was holding on to my own life.
After she was born, I had horrible guilt and shame. I felt, and was told by my parents I was ruined and I could never marry a decent man now. No one wanted a ruined woman with baggage. I tried to electrocute myself by sticking a knife in a socket. I felt even worse after I had tried that because the very last thing I wanted was my daughter being raised by my parents. I did my best to work and raise my daughter. I did eventually meet and marry a man in the Washington DC temple in August 1997.
It was amazing to watch ward members mouths drop open when they found out I was getting married in the temple. My parents didn’t attend. Didn’t even wait outside because they felt I shouldn’t have been allowed to. It wasn’t until years later , watching my own children go through puberty and knowing what was going on in their classes and interviews, that I came to the realization of how horribly wrong and abusive I was treated. How sickening, what they did to me and how they made me feel. I could not allow my children to be told anything remotely close to what I was told by my bishop or by anyone else. I have raised my children to practice safe ( sex positive) loving relationships with themselves and other people. There are so many more experiences and just not enough words to express the feelings and emotions of those experiences.
Is it any wonder that Utah has the highest youth suicide rate in the nation? Most of the sacred stories in the book include suicide ideation. Many recount suicide attempts. Several resulted in death by suicide. What a shame that we are driving our kids to such extremes.
This accounts screams that parents need training. Bishops need training. Why the hell are we sitting on billions of dollars in the bank? Billions more in land, malls, high end condos and who knows what else. It’s high time we invest in the safety of our kids. And….GET THEM OUT OF THE CROSS HAIRS OF DANGEROUS AND IRRESPONSIBLE INTERVIEWS.
Share Your Story
An updated book will be a central part of the action on July 28 & 29. If you would like it to contain your story of inappropriate bishop interviews, now would be a good time to share. The deadline for inclusion is midnight Sunday, July 22. BTW, telling your story is not part of everyone’s healing process. It is appropriate and perfectly okay not to share. It’s more important that you heal.
Share your sacred story HERE.
Read the sacred stories HERE.
See the sacred stories HERE.
Sign the petition HERE.
Key to Consequence #’s
- Inappropriate shame and guilt
- Childhood self-loathing
- Adulthood self-loathing
- Normalizing children to sexual questions by adult men. (Grooming)
- Sexual abuse. (Pedophilia)
- Impaired sexual relations after marriage.
- Years of recovery from childhood shaming. Often lasting decades.
- Suicide Ideation
- Attempted Suicide
- Suicide of a loved one or friend.