This isn’t what I wanted to write about before Valentine’s Day…
Love is a strange thing. It is powerful, mysterious, and many times people confuse it for lust.
Recently, a nearby private religious school has a young adult in custody for allegedly setting up cameras in an apartment of females. On Facebook, the females are asking for the public to forgive this man.
I am going to share something so personal of my youth to help CLEAR the air of crossing the line of sexual abuse. I do not share with delight, I only share for the purpose of helping other females understand they should not accept disrespect of any kind.
I was 3 or 4 when I was introduced to sexual things. I will not share details, so if you ever ask me – I will tell you to seek therapy. From the time of my toddler years to my teens, I had knowledge of the physical world beyond of 10 Things I Hate About You. By the time I was 17 years old I was going through a church repentance process to help me get closer to Christ. I had done the repentance process multiple times, I had been interviewed by many church bishops, counselors, and disciplinary counsel. (The later is a more serious form evaluation of my behavior. I may have a history of property damage…) I was 17 when a particular bishop had crossed the line in my interview. His questioning was about the tiniest of details of my intimate moments. Graphic details. I was very scared because I had never been questioned this way before and I didn’t know who to turn to…for this bishop happened to attend the same church as my family… So, I decided to tell my adolescent therapist. He is a member of my faith and he felt it was very important to discuss with my family about the uncomfortable interview I had. So, I did.
My family is an awesome combo of same faith members, non-members, and once-was members of the faith I am. At this time I was mainly living with a sibling and on again, off again with my father. My mother and step-father lived in a nearby town. Everyone had different opinions of how I should go forward on this subject. My father (and therapist) earnestly, and sometimes with a temper, asked me to turn this bishop into authorities. Now, I have been instructed for many years that anger isn’t God-like. I was in a current state of disappointing my family, church leaders, friends, friends from a previous town, that I knew I was scum and just had to put my head down and go against my therapist’ and father’s wishes.
Years of awkwardness have gone by. When I have come across this previous church bishop, it is awkward and the exit for him isn’t close enough. I also have picked up a bit more about him since that time and realize there were red flags besides my incident…(FUTURE KAYLA FORGIVE YOUR PAST KAYLA FOR NOT SEEING THOSE RED FLAGS. Ok, I forgive myself.) This ONE incident is SMALL compared to rape, cameras on a wall, camera under a stall, forcing one to witness sexual activity, etc. BUT IT STILL CROSSED MY BOUNDARY OF PRIVACY AND EMBARRASSED ME.
What I would have told myself back then is that I am not a bad person to state, “I no longer want to talk to this bishop.” I would have told myself to turn him in because he may have been interviewing other youth… I would have told myself that I can still love my family and go with my gut. I would have told myself I don’t always need to appease others for the sake of ruining another person’s life. I would have told myself that my father’s wrath was out of protection for his daughter and that it is OKAY to get angry. I have since learned anger is a tool God has given us through many grieving processes.
If you have gone through something that has crossed your boundaries, I encourage you to find a professional; therapist, police officer. If you are religious like me, find a safe person, if someone let’s you down, keep going. I have had a better experience with a church bishop. It is was the man who married my husband and me. He had great respect of my history of a thwarted idea of what love is. He NEVER put me in a position to feel LESS THAN, or disgusting. He didn’t ever ask gross, detail questions of my personal life. Not once. This bishop did have a disciplinary counsel with me, and it was held with respect and honor. The difference of the two bishops is character and how they lived their life. It had nothing to do with my faith or their gender. Let me be clear, the difference with these two individuals were the boundaries they had in their lives and their self-discipline, or lack of self-discipline, and treatment towards me.
Because of this experience of shutting down, not reporting, and keeping it quiet, I have gone through self-hate. I questioned my worth because others told me it wasn’t worth to go to an authority. I questioned if another male truly cared for ME or for my BODY. I went through a couple of years of not wanting to be close to my spouse. The years of self-hate was destructing and I could not recognize the cause of it. It took me 6 therapists to find ONE that would go to the dark, the cringeful stories, the repeat of self-hate to help me BREAK the idea I needed to keep hush to save face for me or for another.
The truth is, I am whole. I am beautiful. I am not a supermodel. I am a super loveable dork. I was introduced to sensual activities at a young age, that is a fact. I have had many horrific things occur. I have had inappropriate behavior conducted towards me. I do not consider myself a survivor. I am at a point of feeling healed and whole. I consider myself a Kayla, One of a Kind. My desire if for those who experience things that I have, will get to this point, too.
You are TOO important to not address any pain you are going through. Life is too short to keep enduring the pain.
I am ending this in a prayer: Dear God, if there is a reader who knows someone, or is that someone, who has struggles similar to mine, assure them right now You are there. Allow this person to see a glimpse of how powerful and mighty You see him or her. If this reader hasn’t experienced something like this, bring forth tools so he or she may feel empowered to be a solution, aid, or comforter to another. For those who mock, Father, I pray You will seal their mouths or allow them to move on without being a jerk. Let us go forward in faith, knowing You will direct us to the better version each of us can be. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
With as much love as ever,