“We are all in this together. We need each other, oh, how we need each other. Those of us who are old need you who are young. And, hopefully, you who are young need some of us who are old. It is a sociological fact that women need women. We need deep and satisfying and loyal friendships with each other. These friendships are a necessary source of sustenance. We need to renew our faith every day. We need to lock arms and help build the kingdom so that it will roll forth and fill the whole earth.” Sister Marjorie Pay Hinckley.
Please know that this might contain triggers for some of you. It contains violence from the past and help for those bishops and others who honor the priesthood as well as sisters who need to hear this. It is not for those who feel that women deserve to be abused or called liars when they share truth.
After I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-saints, I married an evil man. He was not of the church, and I am grateful he was not. He was a man who had molested his own children from the time they were babies. They were not mine, nonetheless, when I married him they became mine. They were all drug addicts, alcoholics, and had been abused in ways that would turn your stomach. Even their own grandparents did not step up to help them. When we first married, I did not know he was that type of man.
He used the old “pleasure vs pain” technique. His brother abused me, while he came to my defense. He assured me that even though his brother was that way, he was not and he would protect me. He “came to my rescue” and due to my own history of abuse since I was about 3 years old up until I joined the church, I felt I needed his protection.
The Holy Spirit tried to warn me. I was prompted that, “Because of this man, you will either gain or lose your eternal soul.” I thought, “Oh, that means if I can teach him the gospel, I can be sealed to a man for all eternity who will protect my virtue.” Boy, how stupid I was back then. I had not been to the Temple yet, so had no clue how to understand what was going on until after the fact. But once I learned, I have never forgotten this lesson: “When you feel something is not right, go with that feeling. Never doubt yourself.”
The first time I went with Sonny to breakfast with his brother, Delbert put a line of coke (a drug) on the table. I got up, grabbed my coat and walked out. As I passed Sonny I said, “I don’t do drugs, and am not going to be around those who do. Good night.” When I got to my apartment, his brother pushed the door open and came over to me. He grabbed my hand and pushed it against the back of my arm. The pain caused me to drop to my knees. He said, “No one walks out on my brother.” From the floor, I looked up and said, “You can kill me and I’ll not go to him.” I fully expected to be dead by morning. I later learned if I had not fallen for their trick, I probably would have been killed and dumped in a dumpster like they had done to so many others.
Just then, his brother came through the door and pulled him off of me. He made him get out, then took my wrist in his hands talking calming words to me while he messaged it. After I sat down on the couch, he went and got a cool rag, all the time telling me how his brother tends to be a bit violent at times, but he would never allow him to hurt me again. I fell for it hook-line-and-sinker.
Over the next little while, I began to be sick. I did not understand it at that time, but he was drugging me. He would go into my bathroom and light a joint (marijuana). I did not know it then, but my uncle had taught him how to subdue me. But I’ll explain that another time. When I am around that substance, my body stops working. My mind shuts down and I can’t move. I can almost see, but it is distorted vision. I can’t talk. It is horrible. After a few days of this, he left and I found that I was beginning to feel better. I was able to get out of bed and when I went back to work, my employer told me he was glad I was doing better and that my customers missed me. I did not realize how long I had been sick.
One day, while sitting at the table, going through my photograph album, Sonny came into the apartment and touched a photograph of a lady who I used to take care of as a younger woman. Her name was Mildred Wentworth. He told me that he had seen her the night I was sick (which was actually several days and nights). He told me that he had seen her sitting in my chair and had told him to get me some aspirin, and that is what he did. (I later learned it was not aspirin he gave me.) He had been told by my uncle that I believed in spirit beings, so he used that against me to trick me.
He then took me to his parents home up in Chelan, Washington where they lived as housekeepers out by a lake. We stayed with them. and had even taken his son from his first wife with us. He was training his son, but I did not know that at that time. All I knew was, his son had been sleeping in the garage at his mother’s home on an old pile of rags. The house wasn’t for him, as they were having orgies each night and day. His mother had been selling her children to her “Johns”. The house was a pig sty and there is no way I would allow any child to live in that filth and degradation. Thus, I agreed to go with them to his grandmother’s home. I thought perhaps they would keep him and raise him. Again, I was so wrong. While his grandfather was a good man who loved Jesus, his grandmother was a bit different. She and her sister had abused Sonny when he was young. it was being passed down from generation to generation.
I asked her why she did not do something when she saw how the boys mother was treating them. She said they could “not get involved”. That bothered me. I was now a grandmother to her son’s children’s children. I stepped in and rescued those two boys of his daughters, when she allowed them to sleep in a goodwill bin. Many times, I would get a call and go pick them up. I keep them for several weeks, many times, to help them become healthy and little boys again, until she would come back into town and remember that she got no money without those children. She would attend ac lass, then the courts would allow her to have them again. Good grief. Growing up, I heard a lot of that “we can’t get involved crap.” (Please, excuse the language.) It was not until the children were old enough to be out on their own that I finally had enough. One night, I locked myself in the bathroom, where I could pray. I said to myself, “I don’t want to do this anymore.” I was prompted, “You don’t have to.” That is the night I almost lost my eternal soul, but rather, I left.
Even after I came to Salt Lake City, I found that men are not what they should be, even in the Church. This breaks my heart. In Sunland, California, when a man held the priesthood, he honored it. He stepped up and blessed those in his ward. When I got word that Sonny was coming to Salt Lake City, my companion called our Bishop, who was out of town. His counselor came to the apartment to see me. He could tell how upset I was, but his counsel was, “A woman belongs with her husband. You need to do what he told you to do.” I tried to explain why I could not do that, yet he would not listen. He called me a bad Mormon. A bad woman. I asked him to leave. He would not, so I went into my bedroom and shut the door.
He opened the door and came into my room, all the while accusing me not loving and being obedient to my husband. Again, I asked him to leave. He kept telling me what a bad Latter-day-saint woman I was to disobey advice from a man. I ordered him to leave. I stated “This is my home, and you are not my husband. Get out of my bedroom.” My companion came in trying to calm me down. I got angry with her for allowing that man to be in my bedroom. I went into the bathroom and locked the door. I was really hoping he would vacate the premises, but he did not. He convinced my companion that I was going to kill myself and so they called the police, who came, with an ambulance and they took the door off the hinges. They had no clue that I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and when I saw the door coming off and men grabbing me, I panicked and began to fight. They had to restrain me on a gurney to get me out of the building. I ended up in a mental hospital in restraints and drugged until my bishop got back in town. He came to see me, and I was soon released and placed back into my old missionary apartment where I was surrounded by the royal priesthood. I was safe again, for awhile.
The good thing about it was this: I lived in a high rise full of righteous men and women. One of the things that scared me knowing Sonny was coming to town was that he was willing to hurt others just to get to me. I was afraid he would kill my companion and blow up the building if I stayed there. I had given photographs of him to the front desk as well as at the Family History Library. I had talked to security about the problem. I had prayed and prayed to know what to do, and this was an answer to those prayers. A hard answer, I must admit. But an answer nonetheless.
I’m sorry to say that branded me from that moment on. Here in Salt Lake City, good people believe I am insane. They will not listen to anything I say, until they get to know me. Only a few, have understood. And bless them for that, they never knew why I had to keep moving. I had no voice to explain myself. Each time someone would cut the bars off my bedroom windows, or leave threatening notes, I knew I had to move again. Someone was coming to either hurt or kill me. Each time I felt safe, something evil would come. I know that as much as God loves me, so Satan hates me. Since I do know exactly how much God loves me, that was a very real fear, until I received my patriarchal blessing. Now that I know this key, I can tell when something is a gift from God or a curse from Satan.
I love that the Lord has allowed me a place to vent and to find the true help I have so desperately needed. The prophets of God have taught me truths and I can not even share those, unless I am among those the Lord has prepared to hear. Now, I learned I must move again. I know it is time, but in my age and health it is difficult to find such a place. But I know that God will provide if I am patient enough to wait upon Him.
Thank you for listening. Hugs from a distance.