Not sure what to do...
By Missie
4/17/2012 11:28:09 AM
Not sure what to put this under its not really an addiction just more of something I did before I was baptized at age 8 and I have never done anything like it since I found out how wrong it was.
Well here it is. Ever since I was young age 6 I did not have the greatest friend and she got me to do things with her that now make me wonder if I should tell my bishop. I am 17 and around age 6 through 7 (before I was baptized) she got me to actually have sex with her. I was young and did not know the true meaning of it, but when I began to understand that it was wrong. (At late 7 she told me my dead father came to her in a dream and told her to stop. She told me about it and I never did a thing like it again). I told my mom at age 13 through 15 and she knows she was a bad influence on me. I really do not think this was my fault because I was so young and did not understand the full concept of sex. At age 8 I got baptized and did not tell my bishop about my sin because again I don't think I understood what I did was wrong. Around age 10 I prayed for for givness and felt everything was okay. Now at 17 I am really worried that maybe I was not forgiven and that I can not go on a mission when I turn 21 or get married in the temple. This sin happened before I got baptized should I tell my bishop? Or did this sin get washed away through baptism? Sorry this is so long and I hope someone understands and is able to help me


"I can see that you are struggling to find a sense of peace over something you did as a child. If it would help you have peace over the matter go speak with your Bishop. I can't speak for him, but most likely nothing will happen because it happened before the age of accountability. Don't let this one incident hold you back from pursuing the future."
posted at 22:38:07 on April 17, 2012 by rachp
Talk to your Bishop so you can be at peace    
"My question would be, aside from the guilt you are feeling, does it affect you now?
I would walk on the safe side and talk to your bishop. For me, I also had a similar experience. I had a friend 3 years younger then me that would talk about sexual dreams she'd have. Nothing detailed or graphic but one day she wanted to play - something sexual. I didn't know what she meant, but I said no because it was Sunday. She never asked me again .

I'm telling you this because, while it isn't your story, its your story a few paces up. I have always wondered what would have happened. Talk to yôur bishop. He won't mind."
posted at 07:00:51 on April 18, 2012 by anon16
Dear Missie,    
"This is a tangled web and I and no one else here have all the answers that you seek. There is so much secrecy and shame evident in your post and I want to gently suggest that maybe you need to consider something other than 'sin' and confession. Perhaps some of what you are feeling is the traumatic response of sexual abuse that you undeniably received as a child. It does not matter that your friend was also a child. What you experienced was sexual violations and while your friend was a 'perpetrator' she was also undeniably a victim because no child can or should know those things outside of an inappropriate relationship that she must have been exposed to somehow. But we are not talking about her, we are talking about you.

Victims turn into hero's through healing, but I believe that from what you have described that you do need help sorting out the truth of what happened to you. So much of the pain of childhood sexual abuse is that immature or absent consent, agency and accountability become tangled up with shame and guilt. You are not alone in this and do not try to walk this road alone anymore. I believe you need to get help from someone qualified and capable of walking with you to understand what you have been through. Don't underestimate or down play these experiences. Don't let them control you or define you either, but please, please talk to a counselor soon. This obviously haunts you. You deserve to be free from this. You can be free of this. Bishops WILL help you in your spiritual healing, but you have more going on here than spiritual damage.

posted at 08:12:43 on April 18, 2012 by maddy
Never though of it like that    
"I never thought of it being more than something I did as a child like abuse and I don't think I could understand how that was possible. She was just a curious girl and I don't think she meant to do anything wrong, like I didn't. But I suppose it could be abuse? Not sure... I've been going back and forth on this subject since I found out it was wrong. It would go away for a couple of years and then come back... I wish it would just go away for good."
posted at 07:33:10 on April 19, 2012 by Missie
"This is a dark, junk filled basement that you have living under your quote the recovery manual. We are all scared to go into that basement, but it can't be separated from our house/who we are. Sometimes we can pretend that it isn't there, but it still is. There is only one way to get over the fear and the baggage dumped into our basements. You take the Savior's hand and walk into it and start cleaning. Light dissipates darkness and we start to sort and declutter. Eventually it can become a beautiful part of our home. A functional, new and pleasant part of our life. There are so many ways to do have already started, but to sort it all out, to decide what was innocent, what was ignorance, what was abuse, what was yous and what was someone else's doing, is going to be a journey of discovery. The 12 steps, especially Step 4 can help with the sorting....I recommend a counselor because they can ask you questions to help you on that discovery. Only you can answer them. But they can speed to process by asking something that you may not ask yourself for years and years if left alone. Go to your Bishop for spiritual support and healing. He will do the same thing as a counselor only with scripture and prayer he'll have you take those questions up with God.

I don't want to make mountains out of mole hills. If you don't feel like it is a big deal, then it probably isn't. Your post makes it sound like a very, very big deal. Kids are curious about their bodies. They are not curious about sex. There is a big difference. Counselors can help distinguish the difference for you. Sex is not on the wave length of a 6 year old unless they have been exposed to it somehow. Only you know how seriously this haunts you but there is no doubt that the bottom line is: you were a child. This shouldn't have happened to you.

I also know it can be 1000% healed and fixed no matter how big or small the wound is.

posted at 08:54:20 on April 19, 2012 by maddy
"I have thought about telling the bishop, but... I am afraid to be excommunicated or not be allowed to take the sacrement and have everyone staring at you wondering what you did. I don't want any of those things to happen. I am also afriad to open my mouth... I feel he can help me through this and make the problem disappear from my mind, but I am afriad to speak up.
I don't want to tell anyone else about this, but I did tell my mother and she didn't judge me. She knew my friend was a bad example. But anyone else. I want to talk to someone about the problem but I feel its too dirty to speak about. I will be honest I want it to go away so bad I've been crying my eyes out for it to go away..."
posted at 13:12:49 on April 19, 2012 by Missie
"Fear is a cage. So is shame.

I literally gagged and couldn't speak physically the first time I tried to tell someone (my therapist) what my dad had done to me as a kid. I kept it a secret from every living soul in the world including my husband for 33 years. Don't wait as long as I did. There is no reason to fear and no reason to be ashamed. You will not be excommunicated. You will be loved and set free. "the truth will set you free". That is a very real promise.

I am no Dr. and I cannot diagnose you but from what little I have learned about it from my own recovery process it sounds like you have PTSD. This can go away. You just have to walk out of the cages...Christ has already unlocked them for you. I am sending you a prayer."
posted at 18:11:19 on April 19, 2012 by maddy
"Thank you, you have been very helpful to me and made me realize that its not my fault that this happened to me and it wasn't hers either, she was just simply curious. I will do my best to open my mouth and tell the bishop, that is my goal because I feel he can help me realize that I have been forgiven and help me through this. Once again I thank you."
posted at 18:34:54 on April 19, 2012 by Missie
Fear and Shame are a cage -- Im going to publish a book of Maddy-isms    
"I love Maddy's comments. I love angelmoms too.
Seem to really hit the core of everything.

for me fear is the cage that keeps me from doing what I want to accomplish. It makes me shy. It makes me not ask questions in class. It makes me not approach people at work. It made me not confess my addiction when I was younger.

I heard a song somewhere and there is a line that fear is just a lie.

I truly think that the reason that Christ and the prophets taught about Faith is because Faith is counter to fear. Faith lets us accomplish anything, be healed walk on water. Fear does the opposite.

thanks maddy."
posted at 21:19:48 on April 19, 2012 by Hurtallover
So sad    
"Missie- I can see how much you are hurting over this. There are so many kind and wonderful people on this site that have given you great advice.

I just found out in December that my 3 children were abused by their father. I have watched the abuse eat away at them. Shame, guilt, fear are all present. But there was something else I never really considered, they worried about protecting their dad from getting into trouble. As well as protecting me from being sad or hurt over it. And they are young- the oldest is 7.
My kids also wanted acceptance from their dad. I am sure to a degree having a friend that you valued- it was all so confusing when the abuse happened.
Everyone is 100% right- it was not your fault. And you should talk to your bishop if you feel it is hedging up your spiritual or emotional progress.
I sit in a group each week with the parents or guardians of sexually abused children and its so hard to hear that many of them were victims themselves. That is how they end up marrying someone that can be abusive in anyway. The amazing thing is that you realized that it was wrong. And that you feel bad about it. You also don't want to be a victim anymore by the memories. And you don't have to be. The atonement can replace the confusion, fear, sadness, and anyother feeling or memory that you have.
I pray that you will find the peace that you are looking for! Sending love!
posted at 02:48:33 on April 20, 2012 by stoptheabuse
abused or just a child?    
"I am not quite sure how what I did as a child could mean I was abused. My friend didn't know any better than I did that what we we're doing was wrong and she was only a year older 7 or 8 and she was not a member of the church and I don't think she is now. I don't she ever meant it as abuse, she was just as young as I was and probably didn't know a thing. So how could it be abuse?"
posted at 09:21:31 on April 20, 2012 by Missie
"I have to agree with you. I don't see this as abuse. I see it as two young innocent children playing in a curious way. It is all the shame that adults heap on the situation that labels it as "abuse". Children are innocent. The other child may have just as easily been imitating something she saw on daytime television. This is not something you need to forgive yourself for because it was NOT a sin! Adults need to be careful about applying the "fallen" lens to a situation that was Eden-like."
posted at 17:51:13 on April 20, 2012 by Anonymous
Baptism washes all of our "transgressions" away...    
"sin is not even possible before that happens."
posted at 17:54:39 on April 20, 2012 by Anonymous
"It may be, it may not be. If you don't feel like it was then it wasn't. If it scars and haunts then those tend to be the symptoms of something much more serious than child's play, but only you know that for sure. What you described was not child's play. Again, only you know for sure and if you are not sure then I stand by my recommendation to talk to someone who can help you through this path. Whether it is sin means you were accountable and no one here believes that that is even possible at that age."
posted at 12:39:37 on April 21, 2012 by maddy
I want to, but I can't    
"I thought I was getting better with this little issue of mine, but I am not. It came back and bit me in the butt... I wish it would go away and never come back, be brain washed from my mind, but I know that's not possible...
Yes I have thought about telling the Bishop, I know he can help me but I am afraid, not just afraid terribly afraid. My fears run wild in my mind, what if I am excommunicated? What if he says I can't take the sacrament anymore or help out in any way in young womens. If this happens everyone will know and they will wonder what I did. It will bring me more pain probably to have people look at me has I reject the sacrament or saying prayers each time, it will bring me to tears because everyone will know I did something bad...
A temple trip is coming up in June and part of me feels like I can go while the other tells me I am not worthy to go. I am so afraid and I'll I want to do is tell the Bishop, but I am again afraid of one of the things happening that I mentioned above and not being allowed to go on the temple trip.
I thought the easiest way for me to tell him would be before he interviews me for the temple trip, but again I fear what the outcome will be even though it happened at age six or seven. And I also think I will freeze up and not tell him...
Help, please!"
posted at 20:06:53 on May 6, 2012 by Missie
You can only control what you can control-- which is pretty much nothing.    
"Its the hardest thing for most people to realize. People with addictive behaviors twice as hard.

You don't know what's going to happen. you cant control it. In those times, we walk by faith which is why we are hear on Earth anyways. Faith is the anti-fear. God will take care of you.

Im sure you are scared but remember faith and that Christ is there for you.

One of my new favorite scripture stories is when the disciples were in the boat and the storm was raging at night. They were scared and then Jesus was walking on the water towards them. Peter said, if it is you, let me walk on the water.. Jesus said ok and Peter started to walk on the water... And then he looked around and saw the wind and waves and remembered "people cant walk on water" and he started to sink. He let fear take over his faith. And he cried out "Lord, save me"

And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him and said unto him... Whereford didst thou doubt?"

Matthew 14:30

I love that story. I think how many times in the past year that Ive cried out. Lord, save me and I somehow made it through my crisis or thoughts or problem.

To make you feel more at peace -- the handbook states that sins that happened in the past but then followed by good behavior is a reason to not do any discipline.

so 1. you were too young
2. It was a long time ago.
3. The Lord loves you.. "
posted at 21:44:17 on May 6, 2012 by hurtallover
"I second everything Hurt said. You have nothing to worry about. You need to find peace for yourself and peace will come through talking with your Bishop to relieve your fears. If you don't feel you can effectively communicate with him by talking, write a letter to him and send it before you meet with him so he is aware of why you are coming in. It will open a door of communication that will help facilitate the peace you are longing in your life."
posted at 22:21:48 on May 6, 2012 by rachp
Help me    
"I want to tell the Bishop I feel it's the right thing to do, probably because he can help the pain go away and help me feel worthy again, but I feel as if a heavy weight is on my lips and I can't speak to him about it every time I have a meeting with him (temple trips, birthdays, or half birthdays).

We have a temple trip coming up in June and my goal is to tell him before he interviews me, but the problem is my lips are weighted while my mind continues to say something along the lines of "tell him, tell him, there's nothing to fear" but every time I can't, but this time its my goal to.

I thought about writing a note and throwing it at him as I walk in the room and then sit there and stare at the ground as he reads it, but then again, what if my hands get weighted? And i can't hand it to him?

Please help, this sin is eating at me even if it happend at age six or seven."
posted at 19:27:12 on May 7, 2012 by Missie
Mail it    
"Mail the letter or email him. So once it is in the mailbox or sent its out of your hand. This is what I had to do to open the communication path. It was the best thing I ever did for one letter changed my life."
posted at 20:36:38 on May 7, 2012 by rachp
I have done the mail works    
"Sent letter to confess some sins that I couldnt say.. waiting afew weeks and got a call from exec secretary. worked great"
posted at 23:12:57 on May 7, 2012 by Anonymous
another question    
"Should I tell the bishop about the times I have acidently come across unclothed people? Like in movies, I usually shield my eyes right away, but if this continues to happen through the movie I turn it off. I am no where near addicted to porn it just sometimes comes across in movies that I don't know that have it other wise I try to avoid movies with this incident."
posted at 18:09:25 on May 8, 2012 by missie
What I think    
"If it is making you feel bad, talk to him about it. He is there to help."
posted at 18:50:48 on May 8, 2012 by John07
here goes nothing?    
"Well I decided how I am going to get what I did out there to him, tomorrow (thursaday) is my mutual day and at the end of it (don't want to do the beginning because I would be afraid that he would read it and pull me in thhat same day) I will hand him a tithing envolope and then a letter with it. I hope this is the right thing to do but most of the time I feel it is because even if what I did before I was baptized doesn't matter he can help me feel at peace with it.

Wish me luck!"
posted at 07:33:42 on May 9, 2012 by Missie
"It takes courage to speak with you Bishop especially about sensitive issues. I know i was relieved after I have spoken with each bishop I've had too. It's one step closer to feeling peace and applying the principles of the atonement. Go with a prayer on your heart and know things will be allright when you put your trust in the Lord and his servant."
posted at 17:48:52 on May 9, 2012 by rachp
9 hourrs...    
"Okay today is the day and I'm afriad to give him the letter I'm not sure I can do it and handing the letter personally is the only way I can do it other than open my mouth which is a deffinete no I can't do. Please help me!!! How to I get the courage to hand it to him tonight, how do I convince myself to hand it to him?
posted at 12:42:40 on May 10, 2012 by missie
pray for strength    
"Pray and remember who wants you to stay where you are."
posted at 14:39:12 on May 10, 2012 by john07
pray for strength    
"Pray and remember who wants you to stay where you are."
posted at 15:08:56 on May 10, 2012 by john07
pray for strength    
"Pray and remember who wants you to stay where you are."
posted at 15:09:15 on May 10, 2012 by john07
not to long now...    
"Here's what I keep on saying: I can do it, I can do it, I can do it (times 100) my goal yesterday was to tell him today so I can go to bed saying I did it! My goal now is still the same.

I feel nervous and I keep watching the clock, maybe a little excited filled with hope in knowing that once I give him that letter all of this weight will be released until he calls me...

I am going to give him the letter at the end of the activity because I don't want him to pull me in that same day, or read it till I am far away from him (my house or driving home).

I feel like nothing will happen (excommunication or restriction from taking the sacrement), but then this voice comes and says "do you really want to risk it?" Wish that voice would go away.

I've been praying, fasting, reading my scriptures, talks on trusting in the lord, and my ppatriartical blessing. I really hope this is enough to give me the courage I need to ignore the bad voice and give him the letter. Oh boy nerves..."
posted at 20:00:07 on May 10, 2012 by missie
That's right!!!    
"YOU Can do this!!! You need to do this for your own peace of mind. My prayers are with you as you unload this burden you have been carrying for a long time."
posted at 21:34:26 on May 10, 2012 by rachp
did it!!    
"Handed him the letter about 5 minutes ago, I prayed that I wouldn't think of it much and just hand it to him and I did just that.

Now I wait...

I don't know what's going to happen... I'm afraid to not be allowed to take the sacrament or get excommunicated.

I don't know... I don't even know how I feel. I feel like I did good, but I don't know what the outcome will be..."
posted at 21:58:44 on May 10, 2012 by missie
"Way to go! Know all will be alright. Know our HF loves you and is proud of you for taking care of something that has weighed heavily upon you. Peace is soon to come! *hugs*"
posted at 22:19:28 on May 10, 2012 by rachp
"I hope so because right now I am not sure how I feel. Very confuusing emotions in me at the moment and now I am going to freak out everytime the phone rings. The hardest step was complete. Telling him. The second to hardest talking about it. And then I am not sure what is going to happen."
posted at 22:38:10 on May 10, 2012 by missie
late night email    
"Well I got an email late last light an hour later from the time I gave him the letter and he said not to worry about it. We will be talking face to face after church on Sunday.

One of my biggest fears/what I sometimes feel is it will never be enough... I can never repent for for what I did. I know this is Satan but my problem is I don't know how to make it stop."
posted at 13:56:16 on May 11, 2012 by missie
So Proud of You!    
"Hello Missie,
I have read through your journey and am so proud of you. I hope that you feel the peace that comes through talking this through. I also had a similar situation happen to me. Child victims can become child perpetrators, and you are right that they don't know that what they are doing is wrong. This is why the Savior came. This is why he bled from every pore. Every thing, every situation, every wrong, every hurt, every doubt, every fear...every thing is paid for. It is for us to gather our courage to reach out to receive it. I am so proud of you for reaching out. It is through this reaching that you will not only find healing for yourself, but you will help others. You are not alone by any stretch of the imagination. There are so many hurting with these secrets hidden in our hearts. Once the secrets are freed they no longer torment us. Satan does not want us to know that because it is the secrets remaining hidden in the dark that gives him greater power over us. In nothing is our choice taken away. Ironically as I chose to keep things hidden I gave him power. I choose to take it back, just as you did. You are an absolute inspiration!"
posted at 19:37:40 on January 23, 2014 by 1STEPATATIME
Congrats at Facing Your Wrong with Courage    

I'm inspired by the courage you've demonstrated.

First of all, you did nothing wrong.

Let me repeat that: YOU DID NOTHING WRONG.

You didn't know what you were doing – doctrinally speaking, you weren't accountable. What happened is more like child abuse than you willingly engaging in sexual activity.

I'm so sorry this thing which happened to you has followed you for so long, and I'll be praying for you tonight.

But congrats on being courageous enough to talk with your bishop about it. I hope it went well and he showed you that he's a counselor rather than a harsh judge.

I'm sure the Lord is pleased with you and very accepting of who you are.
posted at 18:04:40 on February 7, 2014 by Anonymous

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"Now, my brothers and sisters, let not Jesus’ redemption for us stop at the immortalizing dimension of the Atonement, “the loosing of the bands of death”. Let us grasp the proffered gift of eternal life! We will end up either choosing Christ’s manner of living or His manner of suffering! It is either “suffer even as I”, or overcome “even as [He] … overcame”. His beckoning command is to become “even as I am”. The spiritually settled accept that invitation, and “through the atonement of Christ,” they become and overcome! "

— Neal A. Maxwell

General Conference May 1987