Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Crazy September

Today I met again with the bishop because I'd called to make an appointment. Last Sunday I realized--while I was locked out of the house and stuck star gazing on my deck--that it was time for me to get a temple recommend again.
This realization was actually pretty hard. I've spent the last however many years sure that I was filthy and unworthy. Not having a temple recommend was proof positive of that. I wasn't worthy anyway. (Although Anna-Lisa will have my head for writing that.) But I was sure that I wasn't. No doubt.
Realizing that I am worthy has been hard b/c it means that everything that I thought about myself in this way has been wrong. It hurts to be worthy. It's a huge relief to be worthy. It's overwhelming to be worthy. At times it's still unbelievable to me that I'm worthy, although it's becoming more believable.

The bishop said that it is extremely important that I get my recommend as soon as possible, so by Sunday everything should be signed. He said that the three signatures, from the bishopric, the stake presidency, and--especially--mine will be so important. Proof.

My sister Laurel is coming into town next week for her birthday. All three sisters will be together. She went through the temple in '11 and I wasn't there. Today I sent her a text asking her if it'd be OK if we went to the Atlanta Temple to do initiatories for her birthday because I want my first time back to be special, with her there. Her response: "yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes!!!!" She said that I made her cry.
I texted my mom and told her what we were going to do for Laurel's birthday. She started to cry. My brother said that he want to come with. I wish he could!

When I wrote my post about healing a few weeks back, I didn't know what to expect. I didn't know how people would react. I have wonderful people in my life, so I knew that there would be love shared. But the comments and notes and messages blew me away. They forced me to realize that the way I saw myself was not how everyone else saw me--much less how Heavenly Father saw me. A door opened to further healing. I wouldn't be less than a week away from doing initiatories without the messages I received. I'm not overstating it. I believe I'm understating the effect you all have had on me.
I've been driven to healing tears over and over these last few weeks. Tears that worked as the Balm of Gilead to a soul that had been raw and exposed for too long. It has very really felt like with every tear, I've been strengthened. I've felt love from people on both sides of the veil. I've been buoyed up in inexplicable fashions. I had no idea how much pain I was in until the healing over these last weeks.

Today has been an emotionally overwhelming day. I came home after a long day of school and decided that it was time to do something, something that I'd been waiting for the perfect moment for. I broke into the fridge and pulled out my last bottle of my favorite root beer, popped it open and downed it. Today I deserved it. But, I'm realizing, I deserved it in August, and pretty much everyday before that, too.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


I've had no idea how to follow up my last post. So I've decided that it's going to be this:

Riding your bicycle at night can be really awesome when the fireflies are crackling.
But it can always be really gross when the fireflies slam into the back of your throat.

Monday, September 3, 2012


I've gone back and forth on whether or not I'd ever post this part of my life's story to my blog. Today I've gone back and forth on whether or not I'd post this particular story from earlier today to my blog. As I'm typing this I'm still not sure if it'll see the light of the internet b/c we all know how trustworthy the internet can be. Perhaps just typing it out is what I need. We'll see if it gets posted.

First the necessary and not-at-all-pleasant background so that you'll know why the resolution that I got today was so profound for me.

Years ago over about a half a year's time, I was repeatedly assaulted and molested by {dirtbag}. I'm pretty positive that none of the five people that read this blog know {dirtbag}. This horrible person worked my soul into the ground so that I had no fight left, so that I didn't have the emotional strength to fight back. {Dirtbag} turned me into an object for whatever sick need {dirtbag} was feeling at the time. I was not a child when this happened, I was much older. Age didn't matter. {Dirtbag} and predators like {dirtbag} don't necessarily focus on age, they focus on want they want and go after it. 

I was not cognizant of what happened to me until last year, around November. It was like I knew it but mostly my brain didn't understand what it was and so that part was shut down. But when I realized what it was, my life crashed around me: night-long flashbacks, nightmares, panic attacks, inability to concentrate, etc. 

Different aspects of my life began to make sense, as well. I hadn't (haven't) been active in the church for a while. I thought that I was simply lazy, or that maybe my testimony wasn't strong enough, or that maybe I was just a bad person. No. What really was going on was that {dirtbag} molested me and attacked me various times at a church. What had been so pushed back into the deep recesses of my mind could no longer stay; it was leaking out and I was in pain--a lot of it. Because of all of {dirtbag}'s attacks in church-related settings, my emotional ability to handle even simple scripture study or prayer was like reliving a bit of the pain. I had no words to describe it, except that I was sure that I was weak, pathetic and lazy of spirit.

No. I wasn't.

At the end of last November I began seeing a therapist, and thus the healing began.

It's been hard. I've had to fight so many times just to be able to do a bit of homework. There have been times where I've had to fight for the next minute, where my hope was that the next minute would bring the peace and solace that would be enough for me to survive to the minute after that.

I have had better times, times where I've laughed, had fun, had my worries and my burdens lifted. Days where I don't feel the pain and the pressure smashing at my heart. There have been times where I've even felt victorious.

All of this is leading to what happened today. 

We're in a new ward after the move. The bishop called me on Wednesday b/c he wanted to meet me, so we set up an appointment for today. We chatted for a while and then I told him why I hadn't been active in the church for so long. Without going into great detail I explained how I'd been attacked at a church repeatedly and elsewhere. The look on his face was one of concern, love, sorrow and support. We talked a bit and he asked me about my healing--if I'd felt any, especially thru the atonement. (Yes, very distinctly at times.)

Then he said two sentences that became the catalyst for this post: "I want you to know that it wasn't your fault. You are divinely clean." My head tilted a bit to the right and then the tears flowed down my cheeks. I sat there with the tears on my cheeks, as they are again now, and I knew and I know that what he said was true.

This feeling and this knowledge is why I decided to write this and post it for the masses to read. I am not alone in this. Countless others have suffered a similar terrible fate to mine. {Dirtbags} exist everywhere. But knowing and feeling that nothing these horrendous people have done to us is our fault, that none of it makes us unclean, or dirty and filthy like I've felt for so long, this gives us the power back. 

I write this to share this knowledge and to no longer hide behind the shame. I'm speaking out so that maybe one more person won't feel so alone. What happened to me isn't who I am, but it certainly is who {dirtbag} is. I refuse to hide anymore behind a veil of pain and guilt. The more that we can speak openly about surviving molestation and sexual assaults in a safe way, the less power the perpetrators have. The more that we act with understanding toward victims and survivors, wrapping them in protective and healing love, the safer this world will be.

After the bishop and I finished our discussion, I walked into sacrament meeting, sat down by a couple of friends and their perfect little girl, and took the sacrament as though it were the most normal part of my Sunday.