3 years ago a family friend asked my parents if they could come over and talk to them about something that happened years and years earlier.
When they came over we learned that when I was 5 their 12 year old son came into my room while I was asleep and molested me.
They told us they had known for years because the bishop their son confessed to informed them, but did not inform my parents, my bishop, or report to the proper authorities.
When I was 5, I had a horrific nightmare. I remembered it was my brothers birthday party and he had all of his friends over for a sleep over.
The dream I had was sexual and incredibly confusing.
After that night, I had night terrors until I was 9 years old.
Every night I would scream and pound on the walls for someone to rescue me in my sleep. (My siblings have wild stories about it).
We couldn’t figure out why this was happening.
I was also terrified of the dark.
It was essential for me to have my door open and a light on.
If I ever woke up and the light was off I would lay there frozen in a fear I can’t even describe as an adult.
I would pray and pray my mom would come down stairs and turn on a light.
She never came, so I would stay up staring into the darkness sobbing and expecting a monster to emerge at any minute to hurt me.
I had other behavioral problems as a child that were unexplainable.
So, that day I learned about my abuse… it all clicked for me.
This small act had significantly impacted my life, and if a bishop had done his duty, I would have been in therapy years earlier.
I found out about the abuse on the anniversary of my older sisters death.
She died of a heroin overdose after a suffering for 8 years with addiction.
We also learned she was abused by the same boy I was, and the year he went on his mission was the same year she started abusing her prescription anxiety medication.
She and I both suffered from these actions.
I miss her every day.
If clergy were mandated reporters, she might still be alive today.