Emily opens the book standing in front of a mirror in the temple. She looks at her own reflections and asks the questions, "How and when had I so willingly and completely abdicated the throne of my own life? And much more importantly why? When had I vanished into thin air?"
The rest of the book explains the life events, teachings, ideas, thoughts, etc, that got her to that decision... and then continues her story from there.
She reminded me of my friend Teffy. You could put the two of them in a room together, and they'd tell tragic, traumatic and horribly sad stories, and they'd have you rolling on the floor laughing until you pee. I don't know how they do it.
Big moments in the book for me:
Her panic and fear of all the people who were going to be burned in the last day. She was TERRIFIED that her friends would suffer.
I had panic attacks and fear of the second coming from the earliest I can remember. I was afraid to watch people suffer - I hoped I would be dead before Christ came, because maybe I wouldn't see all the suffering. The idea of being lifted up on a cloud while the "wicked" burned made me sick. I thought it would be far better to be burned than to sit and watch.
Her fear of evil spirits.
I was convinced my evil spirits had been my best friends. I knew them. I loved them, and now I couldn't decide if I was supposed to save them or run from them... I was so afraid of doing or thinking anything even slightly "wrong", because I was terrified of the devil and his minions. I felt them all around me. All the time. There was actually a ward fast once to help cast out the evil spirits within me. The fast didn't work, but finally just letting go of the fear and the guilt that had driven me my whole life - that got rid of all of them. None of them have bothered me for a couple of years.
The way she thought about herself, her body, and sex... And how she came to know WHY she felt that way... and the healing that she had to go through.
At this point in the book, I turned to BJ. I thanked him for just being with me while I curled up on the floor. In INTENSE pain. For hours and hours a day for months and months. NO sleep. No relief. I could have done it alone, and I think I would have...AND It was sure nice having someone there.
Her eating disorder.
She never uses the words, "eating disorder", but I have spent many months in treatment for starving myself for the very same reasons she starved herself. She wanted to die, but she wasn't allowed to kill herself, but maybe... If she just stopped eating, "God would be so kind as to take me home."
Her depression. And the way she pushed through it, so that most of the time, nobody really even know how desperately she longed for death.
Her feelings about the priesthood and blessings...
WHAT A RELIEF that I wasn't the only one that was a blessing junky, and for the same reasons. I can't know if my thoughts are from God or Satan, but if I get a blessing, they are speaking for God... I can trust these mens' voices over my own. Except when I know what they are saying just isn't right... How do I reconcile that? And then one day realizing that I don't NEED a man to put his hands on my head to tell me what to do. I KNOW what I need, who I am, and what step to take next. I don't believe in priesthood blessings anymore, and that is a HUGE relief. (Except that I do believe there is power in belief and power in touch, and combine the two there IS a power.)
Her reasons for getting married. Her reasons for dating. Her reasons for every decision:
I spent my whole life trying to get people to love me, because I didn't love me, and I needed to feel loved. Neither one of us was strong enough to protect ourselves from some pretty awful predators, so we were hurt over and over and over... until... one day... we each just figured it out.
I loved so much about this book. My favorite line was at the end of the book.
"You are a part of me and I am a part of you. There is no distinction between us. You already live in my heart and there is nothing you can ever do to change that. You can never be separate from me. Ever. It's impossible, And by the way, if you still insist on knowing who your eternal companion is, well guess what?