I was born under the covenant to “goodly parents who loved the lord.” I was one of the lord’s elite, which meant I was a lucky one. I had the true church and my ticket to heaven if I submitted to god’s will.
I was the third oldest of 10 children, and even though I had dreams and desires to be an Olympic athlete, I knew that my eventual would always be to follow in the footsteps of my upbringing.
I married at 18, and a few years later, I began having children. 15 years later, I had 9 kids of my own.
I was living their Mormon life, and doing what I was told. And I was happy — or so I thought.
I had questions about the church, but I believed in “eventually.”
But one day, the shelf that I didn’t know I had, broke.
After helping another member of my family who was a victim of abuse, I was faced with what I had shut down my entire life up until this point: that I too grew up in an abusive household.
I realized that maybe I wasn’t a bad girl. Maybe I didn’t deserve being called names and hit by my mother. Maybe a home that was constantly a war zone wasn’t the norm.
Maybe the perfect family who went to church wasn’t my real family after all.
My whole life, I only focused on the good, until one day I could finally see.
But the problem with families that hide abuse with a perfect facade is once you try to talk about it, you are pushed out. And when you are pushed out, that’s when the smear campaign begins.
That’s when the lies start being told.
When you’re an outsider, you start to find other outsiders who were also smeared and thrown away.
On the outside, I learned about a lifetime of lies told by parents who regularly attend the temple.
“If they can lie and abuse, I can show my shoulders,” I thought.
“If they lie, I don’t want any part of their heaven.”
So I stopped going to church, and I started learning and un-learning.
And then I found that I was in a cult within a cult.
The church lied and abused.
My family lied and abused.
And this would stop with me.
Now, I am a wife and mother of nine, who has no plan, and I am excited for possibility.
I am a 39-year-old woman who has been reborn and who can’t wait to see her children become what it is they will become.
I am myself, and learning every day who I am.