Why I left

I was 30 years old and I finally realized why I didn’t want to stay in the church.

I was sexually abused as a child and no one believed or helped me. I always felt an immense sense of guilt and shame for not being “worthy” because that part was taken away from me.

Fast forward to young women, my YW leader offered us a piece of gum while we waited for others to join class. Then she spit her gum in her hand and offered it to me..

that’s my virginity like, once it’s “chewed” it’s never the same. More guilt and shame.

I spoke to my bishop and told him that my boyfriend and I have been doing more than making out. That was the beginning of his abuse.

Every Sunday, like clockwork, he made me repeat every detail of what my boyfriend and I did. He made me explain terms or asked me different scenarios. I hated every second of it but mostly.. I hated myself.

The bishop would always check on me. If I didn’t come to his office after class, he would get me before I left church to his office.

I felt ostracized since I couldn’t take the sacrament.. All while my boyfriend was passing and blessing it.

When I was “good” for not touching my boyfriend, he would ask if I masturbated. That concept wasn’t something I was aware of but I hate that I had to learn it from him.

15 years is an awfully long time to realized that what I endured was abuse. Why I dragged my feet every time I walked down the hallway to his office. Why I would feel sick to my stomach.. but he made sure that I was the problem.

I finally told my mom, she remembers all my appointment with the bishop. But I think what she told me was a perfect example why this kind of abuse continues to happen behind closed doors.

“Not all Bishops are like that.. maybe he misunderstood the protocol.”

What kind of protocol requires minors to tell adults their sexual experiences (with their own body, any body) in explicit details?

What kind of protocol let an ADULT ask questions, different sexual scenarios?

Apparently my bishop does.

Read 40 survivor stories by victims of sexual abuse or shaming perpetrated by Mormon church members or leaders.

FLOODLIT.org has a free public database of hundreds of Mormon sex abuse cases.