We have wrapped up our series on faith transitions and we are about to move into our Naught November series. We are transitioning with a couple of interviews of individuals who have left the Mormon church and embraced their sexuality. We are honored to listen to the experiences of queer folks, as they are leaders in embracing sexuality even in the face of the fear of rejection.
We are so pleased to introduce you to JaNeil. She is a single mother of three kids, she grew up in Salt Lake County and she has a very important story to share.
*Trigger Warning* We discuss sexual abuse and child suicide. As JaNeil shares parts of her experience, it does include a few difficult topics. Please listen at your own pace, pause if you need to, and we hope you can come back to hear the end of the conversation, because JaNeil has found herself in a space of love and peace after coming out the other side of some really painful experiences.
After being sexually abused by a close friends parent while in ninth grade, JaNeil began exhibiting signs that something was wrong. After meeting with a counselor she was referred to an extremely strict program for children. She was kept in this program for 14 months. She goes into detail sharing some of her experiences there, including the living arrangements, the interactions with other children, and sharing her "cop list".
Once she was released from this program she started to develop anxiety, in which she felt like she needed to be the perfect kid.
She made the school basketball team and made a really good friend who eventually invited her to try to get a temple recommend. That set her on a path that had her baptizing the dead before school in the morning, and married in the temple 6 months after high school graduation.
JaNeil was married and quickly there after was a mom to three young kids. When she was pregnant with her third child, her mother gifted her a get away to this retreat. Once again, her trajectory was dramatically changed by people she encountered and the truths she learned about her self on her journey of self love and acceptance.