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BREAKING FREE From Sexual Shame w/ Ashlee Fegan Mormon Enlightenment

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I'm here with Ashley Fagan and I can't wait to hear a little bit more about that whole post that went viral I'm sure many of you have heard about it tell us a little bit about like okay let's give a little background you know you receive or you saw your friend had posted yeah it was actually in mormon enlightenment right she had posted the flyer and it was given to her daughter at yeah and young young young woman's um and so her daughter brought it home she read it and she was like oh my gosh no way this is just to like to rape culture like putting a lot of the rest like responsibility on the girls to dress a certain way so that the boys aren't having bad thoughts right I'll show a little clip of yeah the the guidelines that they had on that paper for all the young women rape so yeah I just was like oh my gosh no this can't be right yeah so I with her permission posted it on my own personal wall which I thought you know I'll probably have a few friends you know say something about it or whatever cuz I don't have that many friends on Facebook but apparently it got into the right hands and so it was shared a bunch of times and so then I had like scary mommy romper upworthy kind of just reassuring the post which didn't say anything like super like profound you know I just kind of expressed my a concern or my what I'm looking for my desire that my daughter wouldn't experience those type of things you know so and then eventually I had a an editor from lovewhat matters

com reach out and just say like we want to we want more of your backstory like why did this bother you so much so that's what I was able to be like well this is my experience and I'm Mormon Church and yeah and that's what I kind of worried I told Missouri yeah which yeah so tell us the story what what was it that you that you wrote because that was really great what you wrote so just now Sharada in the video for it yeah because it's so well thought out so I think well it's been first of all I'll say it's been like super empowering and like freeing to just speak my story and not I mean there's been moments where I'm like oh my gosh what am i doing like I'm telling I'm airing all my dirty laundry but I know there's a lot of people out there that have experienced the same thing as me and so I thought it'll be fine like it'll get people like who are feeling like they can't speak out it'll like validate them yeah I know so that story is for me like a lot of my issues with the church don't have anything to do with like doctrine or historical issues for me I could care less if the Book of Mormon is true or not yeah because I feel like the culture that you know is it's toxic so and what my experience was is just that um and I think what got to me too is that I'm just like such a rule follower like type-a like responsible people pleaser like I'm gonna do everything you know everybody that's important me tells me to do which I was raised in the church so you're hearing things from your parents and from the church leaders or whatnot right and so when I was so I grew up in young women's and just a lot of that shame of anything around sexual purity you know like you just have to follow all these rules and so I think I was I think some people out themselves too much like I was overly like I did this and I did this you know yeah but yeah so when I was when I was a teen and a senior in high school I had a boyfriend and I was like okay this is it like he's gonna be the one where like I follow all the rules and I'm gonna do everything they say to do and I'm gonna be better for it um so like we honestly dated we started dating like in January I didn't even like kiss him till February right it's been like two almost two months and then it was and I was like a peck right yeah then by like April we'd gone to prom and I was like okay like I think it's been longer maybe I'll just like I can French them you know and that would be like money limit right yeah so I graduate from high school and then that summer I moved to my own apartment and by July we're totally having sex right I'm like this suck I'm just gonna do what I want yeah but there was always that in the back of your head you know like oh my gosh like this is so amazing we had a really great relationship we got along really well really well we were committed to each other I mean we're 18 so we were immature like it was I wasn't like on the corner every Saturday like you know yeah hooking up with some random guy whatever you you thought I'm sure you thought you were in love right you know so um so yeah in the back of your head there's always like this is fun but oh my gosh like I could be going to hell for this or you know so it was all of that back and forth like okay well now we got like but no we don't or whatever so um I thought was July I think by November I had finally like gone into the bitch I was like hey we got a we got I got a reconcile they say gotta do what's right and yeah things are gonna get like we're gonna go in there together and we're gonna like fix the things that we've done wrong right so we I go into this go into my bishop and he's like well yeah now we got to have a church core so I go to the church core and it was totally not at all what I thought it would be like they white like caught me off guard so like you just totally caught me off guard I left there like with all these rolls of like you can see him once a week you can talk to him once a week so I went from like and 18 I think you're kind of coated you know yeah it was just traumatic it was like my best friend that we spent all this time together all of a sudden you're just like cut off right and yet I wanted to do like what I thought was right and what you know they don't want to go to hell yeah so um so anyways we follow the rules or whatever for like two months and we're like forget it again right yeah no we're not good so but the problem with I like the thing at that point though is I've came away from that church quirk just like feeling like I didn't deserve to be loved you know and that um we'd already like damn it's like the realistic damage there's no way to fix it and you don't deserve to be loved anyways it was kind of the message that I came away from not with and so it just kind of like sabotage our relationship you know yeah and so that eventually ended but so when it ended I obviously was like okay well I gotta go make things right again so they put me through another church core and not at that point I was just fellowship for a year that's when I'm at and around that same time too I met my husband so he being the wonderful amazing person he is waited for me for that year he was like a very at that time was very like active leading member of the church so yeah he waited that year while I was just fell oh shit and we ended up getting after they reinstated my membership or whatever you want to call it then we ended up getting married in the temple but it took me like 13 or 14 years into our marriage to realize how much like I held that like I still have that shame complex even though like I was doing it in the right setting now right I'm never married and um over just this past summer actually read a book that was really a validating called pure and it's actually written by lady her name's Linda can't climb but she's Eva she was evangelical but she talked about the purity movement and how that can be damn it like damaging to women but she talks about the brain I guess like the brain chemistry of like when you pair like sex with shame it doesn't just go away like once you start even though like now we're doing it in the context that like the church that as we can you still have that you know like it's subconscious cuz I never realized like my husband would say sometimes I feel like you're holding back still I was like mama what you're talking about like we're married now it's fine right but it was his kind of like leaving the church for different reasons that gave me this space to go maybe I'm not okay with what happened to me and maybe it did damage me like more than I realized you know and so um it was finally like just being able to accept and like ingrate like embrace I was so angry yeah about what they did to me but you know that like that I kind of gave me validation like I was like okay maybe I'm not crazy maybe this really was wrong you know and damaging so that from not that was that moment was maybe like a year and a half ago where I was like just I got really angry one night yeah but taking me a year and a half to really feel confident I mean I've kind of like been more open about it and you know what's Charing like small or private circles or whatever but when they caught with this website contacting me about the down flyer post I was like this is it this is my moment yeah to speak my dream right so I went for it you know and that's cool no no it's out there no well I love that I love such a great story and I'm so like I'm just so excited that it did catch that kind of attention because for you to be able to share that with so many people is really powerful so many people I think have different kinds of experiences around this type of thing and I think either they don't know that they are not alone in those feelings or they have not figured it out yet they don't no yet yeah what's holding me well I'm not really it's not like I think that's one of the things that's almost like the most frightening about it is like you're you've been like traumatized and you don't even know you've been traumatized that's what's like scary about it yeah so I think it's really cool when somebody can express that in two words and I think as people read it so many women are gonna be like that's what it is that's what I feel is is holding me back in so many ways so yeah I'm so happy that your story got out there for hundreds of thousands to me like and I have I mean I've had people like I've had multiple people messaging me being like thank you for saying something like I kind of have the same story but I'm just not in a place where I can share publicly but like you're my like they it's like you're my voice you know yeah I'm using you as my voice yeah I'm taking and I think also what I've come to realize is that people don't even have the words to express it and then they yeah like I mean it's like so empowering for them but they have not yet been able to distinguish their own words to describe yeah at all so to hear to read somebody express their own experience it's just like I know how that feels you know you've read other people's stories you're like oh my gosh like they put into words like my life or something you know so yeah I'm just really happy that I think to like when people say like what term like what is what's your motivation around this or I think in fact I've talked to my my own doubt about you know like he was there when all of that happened and and we've talked about it since then and he's still you know a very active member of the church but I just told him I cannot chance that my kid one of my kids will experience this like I know like it and so it does sometimes take those painful experiences that we go through to protect our own children you know what I mean like so that's you know like one of my biggest motivations is just like I don't want my kids to experience what I did yes and that's exactly why you posted that like nah it just said I think it said no no nope not my daughter so yeah wasn't even like super Robin hobb the first post that she did she did shared up a flyer and it was like no no not my kids yeah and yeah I think that is like a good mission to have is like we don't want that for our kids you know we don't want our kids experience that kind of shame around something that's now taking years to decongest and remove from our and honestly like I would like I am totally confident saying that I think it dang near could have cost me my marriage you know what I mean like my husband and I have very open and honest communication mostly cuz he's a really good listener but you can see I can totally see how that could just you know take things in a really bad direction so well thank you so much Ashley I'm think you know grateful to have you guys here and to hear your story yeah that's been awesome I love that so many other women can also hear your story yeah sure thank you

Source: Youtube

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