When Welker was fourteen years old, she began worrying so much over adolescent romance and Mormon spiritual matters that it caused her to begin bleeding internally. She lost a lot of blood. Her mother discounted the seriousness of matters until a school nurse stressed the need for her to be seen by a doctor. Doctors performed exploratory surgery without finding a root cause of the bleeding. This made her very angry. She had been exhorted by her Sunday School teachers and priesthood leaders to 'stop asking so many questions and stop voicing so many odd opinions.' She was burdened by knowing that she'd made herself sick by worrying too much. Much of her autobiographical writing and public speaking has been focused on this effort to come to grips with, as she calls it, the fourteen-year-old 'bloody shit girl.' Although she has left the Church, she still tells personal stories to public audiences, just like Mormons do in testimony meetings. Enmeshed in trying to understand her body and mind, she admits to being an 'indecent critic: a critic with a body.'