I met a spiritual teacher at my coffee shop. He noticed the books I was reading and talked to me about spirituality.
I started attending his lectures at a metaphysical bookstore four nights weekly, and church there on Sundays. I’d found a community and a loving teacher/father figure.
I’d been his only dedicated student for three months when he asked if I wanted to advance, starting with my breathing.
He put his hand on my stomach and gave me simple instructions. His hand went lower under my waistline.
I was uncomfortable.
He asked me bluntly about my lady parts, explaining the types of genitalia both men and women have and how that affects their personality.
I’m 19. I was so unsure whether to believe him. I didn’t have any close friends to talk to, so I didn’t tell anyone.
A week later, last April, he offered me a ride but he had to go home first.
What happened there wasn’t forced but remains like a blur. He had me lay down on the couch.
He spoke about my purity, how no boy deserves to touch me, but he can. He said our love is the family kind (my own dad isn’t much involved with me).
He had a pillow in front of his crotch which I suggested because otherwise it made me uncomfortable.
I offended him by declining his next invitation to come over late at night. He said we’d no longer have any friendship. It hurt my feelings.
I apologized and he was very pleased.
On one night’s drive home he parked in an abandoned lot to do energy exchange.
He put the whole seat back so we were in a very close laying position. He said that with his energy he sculpts me into a mature woman.
Since then he’s kept telling me he wishes I were 28.
In July, before I got my new job (mostly as an excuse to stay away from him), we had another visit.
He was showing me his books in his home. He sat close so we’re touching. I let it happen.
I could feel him down there. He had his hands all over me and was obviously heated. His hands got too close to my lower parts and I gave some excuse why I don’t want to be touched there.
When we were done my hands were numb and he said that was all his energy in me. I trusted him.
I’ve been trying to pull myself up and out of this, praying that everything is alright - but I know it’s not. It’s been going on for four months.
You’ve shown courage to reach out and tell someone, seeking advice.
Stay brave, trust your instinct. He’s a false teacher who’s used his position and influence to brainwash you for what he wanted – sexual favours.
In many jurisdictions, he could be charged with a criminal offence even though you “let it happen.”
By presenting himself as your spiritual leader, he held power over you, manipulated you, and took advantage of your age difference.
Focus on your safety and self-empowerment.
Record these incidents, and talk to a counsellor – available at student services if you attend/ed a college or university, or community counselling agency.
Strongly consider talking to police.
This man’s a predator on young women, and you could be saving others from his degrading physical and mental interference, which police may deem “assault.”
FEEDBACK Regarding the mother of a daughter, 20, who’s creating problems by quitting college, not working, not doing chores, etc. (August 8):
Reader – “I would personally add to the response that the stepfather be a part of setting the boundaries for this young woman.
“Among many positives, it will empower him in both relationships – i.e. with his stepdaughter and with his wife.
“It will also allow the mother to be firmer in policing those boundaries.
“The daughter’s lying, withholding information, and misdirecting should be addressed in the boundaries.”
Ellie – All good suggestions.
I added that the mother’s boundaries have to have consequences (e.g. the daughter pays towards her own school fees with her “social assistance” money).
And since the mother didn’t want to “throw out” her daughter, counselling would be needed if she refused the new rules.
She’s clearly “stuck” in her life and would need a plan to go forward on her own.
Tip of the day:
End a disturbing, manipulative relationship immediately; talk to a counsellor and strongly consider involving police, to save others.