While visiting my parents ward Bishop C was there as a High Councilmen. Seeing him made me think of my different bishop's involvement over the years. A lot of these things I have in my different journal entries, but here is everything in one post...
He had (has) known me my whole life. I remember the Sunday afternoon after telling Sister Parker about the abuse (I was 18 at the time), she told I needed to go tell Bishop M. I was scared to death. Eventually I went to his house and we talked. I don't remember what I said or what he said, I just remember going.
When I started cutting I told Hayley right away. I have always told her everything. Since we grew up in the same ward, she told me I needed to tell Bishop M. It was nice being able to talk to someone who also knew him before I talked to him. She told me, He is going to recommend counseling, so at least I had some warning. Sure enough, he told me I needed counseling. I hadn't dealt with my mom's death at all at this point, plus the abuse and turning to cutting.
He was really involved in my counseling, he would meet with me once in a while to see how things were going, he would talk in the phone with Joy and such. The only other people who know what was going on was Hayley and one of my cousin's. I think why I had a harder time opening up to Bishop M was because he was also my parents Bishop, and since a lot of my issues I was dealing with had to do with them I felt awkward talking to him about them.
During my first season with Joy, since I was 18 and had graduated high school, she recommended I start attending The Singles Ward. I did and enjoyed it and not long after transferred my records over. Bishop M still was and continued to be involved up until I got married. But, my actual Bishop was now Bishop W. I'm pretty sure it was Hayley once again, who told me I needed to turn to Bishop W since he was my actual Bishop. It wasn't that hard for me to open up to Bishop W, he was easy to talk to and understanding. Every time I struggled, every time I cut, I turned to Bishop W. I remember going to him was a regular thing. One Sunday as I was having a really hard time I went to the church to see if I could get an appointment with him right then, thankfully I could. I remember he came out and saw me, asked how I was, I said good. (I always say good). His response, "Now, I'm either the funnest guy to hang out or you're having a hard time!"
It was easier for me to talk to Bishop W because he didn't had a personal relationship with my parents. I didn't feel weird talking to him about them, because he wasn't their bishop. I really did need him to be involved and be able to talk to him about what I was dealing with. He was also an amazing support.
I knew who Bishop C was for as long as I can remember. About 7 months before I started cutting (about 4 before I told Sister Parker about the abuse) I was on our Stake Youth Council, we mainly planned out Stake Youth Conference. During that time I got to know Bishop C.
Fast forward to about 15 months after I was called to be on the Stake Youth Council, Bishop W was released as our Singles Ward Bishop and Bishop C was called. He knew nothing about what I was going through. Naturally within a few weeks of him becoming our Bishop, at SOLE there was Bishop's Night were everyone was supposed to have their Bishops come. So, before the Bishop's Night I met with Bishop C and gave him the short version of everything that had been going on. The only thing I remember him saying was,"The whole time you were on the Stake Youth Council you were also dealing with all this stuff! No one had any idea anything was wrong."
We moved to a new state after getting married and not long after I realized I needed to go back to counseling to deal with Jack stuff that came up after I got married. I wasn't nervous about counseling at all since I just finished SOLE and had such a great experience. Even though I did not prefer male counselors, I was willing to give it a try, Well, you know seeing Aaron was just down right HORRIBLE. I had regular appointments with Bishop R and I remember talking to him about things I was struggling with, he was easy to talk to, gave great advise and church talks/ articles to read. Talking to him was so much better then going to see Aaron. After I stopped seeing Aaron, Bishop R asked if I wanted to try a different counselor. By that time, I no longer trusted male counselors, I told him no and tried my best to just move on with my life. He was really supportive in me trying to heal.
We moved to a new ward- He was a great Bishop, but... he wasn't really involved with my counseling at all. The only time I ever talked to him was when I decided to go back to counseling and started seeing James. Now, there was nothing wrong with him not being involved. I didn't really NEED him as actively involved as some of my other bishops were.
Man, we sure do move a LOT. I was seeing him when I went back to James the second time. The only way to describe it was, I felt like I was the first person in the ward that he had dealt with that went to counseling. Shoot, I felt like the first person he had ever met that went to counseling. He was dead set that I could only see someone through LDS Family Service, which isn't true. He had to look into it to see if I could go to James, who was no longer with LDS FS. He wasn't against it, it was just awkward. He wasn't involved with my counseling at all and that was okay with me.
At the time Brad and I were barely making ends meet, my husband was making $8 an hour and I would baby-sit to try to bring in more money. Needless to say, we needed all the help we could get with paying for counseling. I've had different experiences with different Bishops. Bishop M wanted me to pay just $5 a visit. When I was in Bishop R's ward we were doing okay, he asked how much we were willing to pay and (I think) we did half. When we moved into Bishop E's ward we had just foreclosed on our home and we basically starting over. He was kind of rude about the fact that we needed him to help us pay for counseling, however he did cover all of it.
And we moved yet again. I don't even know how to describe my experiences with Bishop S.... The only way to sum it up is in this blog post- (Here)
I felt like his main goal for me in counseling was to "forgive and forget" and have the Priesthood "heal" me. I finished counseling a few months after we moved in.
Back to the payments, so the first time I saw down with Bishop S we explained how I was seeing James and how we already had arranged through our previous Bishop E that he was paying for all of it. Bishop S said he would not switch anything since we already had it arranged and it would be "un-christ like of me" to change it.... Well, I finished seeing James and a few days later Bishop S called me into his office. He told me he wanted me to pay $20 a visit. I explained to him that I was done seeing James so that was kind of pointless. He didn't say another word to me about it. Then several months later James called me and said that Bishop S was refusing to pay the last $20 (and was being a real jerk about it), so I paid James the $20.
We moved again and my current Bishop D doesn't know anything about my past and counseling.