The elders. What an unsavory bunch of men. So much religious pride and self-righteousness. So much heartlessness. I guess they probably got to their elevated position using less-than-savory tactics.
One particular encounter with an elder sticks out. I was in the process of separating from my abusive husband after more than a decade of domestic hell. More than half of the congregation had taken my husband’s “side” and were blaming me for the state of our marriage. They were victimizing the victim even further. I felt isolated and desperate. I was geographically far away from all of my family members, and even my best friend and confidant took my ex husband’s “side”. (Narcissists can manipulate almost anyone into believing their version of events.) My sense of community and support (any shred that I had in this toxic sect) was crumbling. I felt so desperately alone.
Then comes a knock on my door from one of the elders. Who happened to be my ex’s Grandpa. He was known for his arrogance and brashness. I didn’t want to open the door but I was so downtrodden, and such a people pleaser, that I didn’t think I had a choice. My ex was out at the time. So in he came, and stood in my living room and proceeded to tell me that I just needed to have more sex with my husband and that would fix our marriage! Hello!! Why would a woman want to have more sex with someone who has abused her daily for 10 years?
Then he did something that I will never forget. I still get chills down my spine thinking about it. He said “He should just get you naked (pronounced “naaaaked”) and make many babies with you”. He then proceeded to visually “rape” me with his eyes (full and prolonged 360 degree ogling body scan, along with sinister chuckle) and tell me how lovely my body was, and inferred that he wished he was my ex. What??! He is an elder and he is supposed to provide comfort and support. He didn’t offer one word of comfort or support, or offer to pray with me. Such a shocking display of how far his heart must have been from God. I shut the door when he left feeling even more traumatized, misunderstood, objectified, abused, and isolated. I guess his grandson came by his objectification of women honestly!
I didn’t tell anyone that this had happened because I didn’t think that they would believe me – that he had just sexually harassed me in my own living room, while I was in the house alone, and while I was at the lowest point in my life. And I was his granddaughter through marriage. On a side note: how would babies fix our marriage? I would be even more trapped and unable to leave, and my ex would have had some more people (little people) to manipulate me with. What ridiculous “advice”. This elder is now in an old people’s home very close to where I live. I don’t have any desire to visit him because he doesn’t even have the conscience to know that his actions were inappropriate. Woman are objects to be objectified, looked at, worked hard, and used, so his behavior – I guess – was allowable within that disgusting ungodly framework.