The ironic thing about meeting Farmer Ted is that he has scared me into going back to church. Knowing how close I came, how much I wanted to give up this chastity thing, and how resentful it made me, showed me how far I have gone from the Lord. He showed me I need to get my behind back on the pew every Sunday.
So, I did go to church, on that Sunday after he told me about his 'new girl'. The ward completely ignored me again. As I sat there before the meeting, I watched the bishopric walk around introducing themselves to all the new people. The bishop glanced at me. No one came over. No one said hello. I knew they didn't know who I was. Some missionaries sat next to me because they had no other choice. I had spent the entire weekend in my apartment doing nothing. I already felt lonely and rejected, and this happened at church again! I needed some attention, I needed some love from somewhere. I was not going to get it here, in the 'house of the Lord'.
By the time sacrament ended, I felt so bad I couldn't stay any longer. I got up and walked out of the chapel. As I came through the lobby, I saw the huge painting of Jesus Christ with his open arms extended in love and welcome. I burst into tears. The irony! I started running down the stairs to get out of there. "Wait!" I turned and looked up. One of the missionaries. He had followed me out. He asked my name. What was my phone number, could they come visit? I choked out a yes, said that the sisters had been visiting me. I tried to hide my red blotchy face from him. He told me to call if I ever needed anything. Ok...bye. What a sweetheart...Then I drove home.
Instead of waiting for Farmer Ted to not call, I went to bed and cried myself to sleep. When I awoke, I semi-waited, but I knew. The call never came. He was getting serious about the girl. It was not even about him, really. He wasn't that great a catch, I could do better. It was the rejection, again that hurt me. Having my hopes destroyed once again caused an unbelievable pain that wrenched through my body. Alone again, while he was having lots of sex with the boring girl. I screamed into my couch pillows and beat the floor in frustration. Would this never end?!! How much heartbreak can one person take!?! WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME??? Then I sobbed for hours.
There was something seriously wrong with me. I am 31 years old and could see no end. The hours and force of my tears made my chest hurt, my lungs sore, and my head throb...the thought of the rest of my life continuing this way... a loveless life seems absolutely unbearable. As I choked on my sobs, I wished I could stop breathing. I wished I really would choke, so this could be over...Then I pictured myself filling the bathtub and holding my head under the water, flooding my lungs and escaping the pain. Surely hell is better than this... No one is meant to live this way.
Suicide fantasies?! Holy crap!--it's been 10 years! Someone help me!...This is very very bad. I called my Bishop but got no answer and no voicemail. Of course. I remembered the sweet missionary from church, I dug out his number and called. I left a message, the words stuttered with sobs. Finally, the Bishop called, who had heard from the Elder. He asked what I needed? I told him that I felt so alone I didn't think I could go on anymore. This was it for me. It was too hard. I didn't know what more to do. The Bishop didn't understand me. After some talking, he agreed to come over.
They came. He gave me a copy of the 'Every Single One' story from the Ensign, which I had read. He wanted to know what I thought of it. I told him it didn't go far enough. I told him that church was the loneliest place in the world. He wanted to know why. I said that as a single person, I am alone all the time. No one cares if I come or go, get sick, or anything. So when I go to church, I need to be noticed instead of completely ignored. I told him no one had said hello to me that morning. Then he said he remembered seeing me but didn't know why he didn't talk to me.
I explained that I needed a family, that I found no support at church. I had no home teachers, nothing. And because church was not a source of comfort and support to me, it made these men who wanted me all the more tempting... how was I supposed to keep resisting them and the "love" they offered when I had no other place to go? Then he understood. He hung his head in shame and his eyes filled with tears. He admitted that he had been negligent with the singles. He wanted to know what they could do. So I told him. I gave him a list, starting with Family Home Evening. He promised to do something.
Then he gave me a blessing. The other brother offered to be my hometeacher.
I did feel better. I did feel comforted. I didn't drown myself in the bathtub that night.