Dear Bishop: Internet Protection is Vital
As I made my way to your office this last time, I was scared. I was not as scared as I had been previous times, but nervous nonetheless. This visit was different than the other confessional-visits because during this visit, I was going to be asking for some much needed support. Support that included more of your time and more of my commitment.
You greeted me kindly and encouraged me to make it through my large list of ‘things’ I had written down to speak to you about. Although you said we only had ten minutes, you never made me feel rushed, and you assured me that I was the most important thing on your schedule at that moment. You allowed for more time than we were allotted, and I was very grateful, although I could have gone on much longer.
During this visit, I came to ask for your support with my newly discovered sexual addiction. Although you were kind and uncondemning, I wish you had been the one calling me in to meet with you instead of the other way around. You knew of my struggle with pornography and masturbation from previous visits, and were also aware that this problem had been going on for more than ½ my life, a total of 16 years . I wished that you had been the one to refer me to the addiction recovery program meetings I am now attending and had referred me to other recovery supports that are all around me. I had to seek those all out by myself, and I wish I hadn't had to seek them out on my own – because I might have found them sooner if you had referred me. The beginning steps of recovery have been very difficult and I really need a lot of support from you. Regardless, I feel very blessed for the supports I have discovered as well as for your time.
Bishop, I feel very blessed that we now have a regular time to meet up each week. I look forward to your spiritual guidance and counsel. I look forward to feeling the spirit and remaining accountable to you. I just wish I hadn’t felt like I had to beg in order to get the appointment set up. I hope the 15 minutes we have each week will be put to good use!
During our meeting, I had one thing on my list that I was nervous, yet determined to bring up. I wanted you to act as the administrator over my phone and computer Internet protection. My hands were shaking as I explained my desire. It’s so scary to discuss things that leave me vulnerable, especially when admitting that I need more help than I thought. I have just been working Step 1 in my own recovery, which is admitting that I am powerless. I was there reaching for your help.
I was shocked when you refused.
I made sure you understood what my request was, and explained how I had been my own administrator in the past, which had obviously not worked. You continued with the mantra's “You can do it” and "just stop," and while the sentiment was nice, the reality of it is not. I can do it, yes, but I can't do it alone. I came to you for help because I needed your help in this area. I felt shut down and scared for my own spiritual safety.
Luckily, I am otherwise supported in many areas in my recovery. I am so blessed with sisters all over the place, in my area and outside my area, who care deeply about my recovery from addiction. They have been there and understand how hard it is. They understand that it is not enough to say "I will call you when I am feeling tempted or am about to view." They understand that once I have crossed into that threshold that I have already lost my will to choose. My brain has been hijacked. Internet protection is vital and I needed your help. I am saddened that you are unwilling to do this for me. Fortunately I have a friend who is also a sister in recovery, and is willing to help me out with my Internet protection. I feel so blessed for this kind of support, but wish it had come from you. I wished it had come from you, because I asked you for help and because I feel more accountable to you; you who represent my Savior.
Bishop, although I do love you and think you are a wonderful person, I believe you have a long way to go in your learning about addiction and recovery. Especially when it comes to LDS women seeking this out, and especially when it is sexual in nature. I hope that in the future you will refer those struggling with addiction to the Addiction Recovery Program and seek to counsel with them often and for however long they need. I hope that you will help them reach out to all of the supports and resources that are available to them.
A Beautiful Daughter of God
A Beautiful Daughter of God