If you haven’t read Part I of this post, please click here.
So through all of that, I really started looking for a way out. I started looking up and trying to find someone’s phone number who I knew would help me. But of course, who would help me? I didn’t know and I had no way of contacting anyone. However, earlier that year, someone had dated my sister, but then my dad had gotten involved and the man ended up leaving the Amish. That really put a bad taste in the mouths of the entire Amish community and especially me and my siblings towards my dad. We really didn’t like our dad much at all at this point. I had really looked up to this guy that had been dating my sister, and so this is the person that I tried to get a hold of. I tried to get a hold of him by using the neighbor’s phone to call a friend of his seeing if somehow I could reach him.
Through all of this, I began to realize that my parents were going to find out because I was up at the neighbor’s several times using their phone. I was so scared because I knew that it was against the rules to make phone calls unless it was an emergency, and this did not qualify as an emergency at all. Not only that, the fact that I wanted to leave and the fact that I wanted to talk to someone that had left meant that if I stayed, I was sure to get into giant trouble. In their minds, if you leave the Amish, you are going to hell. So to them, I was trying to talk to someone who had chosen to go to hell. At that point, I knew that if my parents found out, the church was going to start getting involved and they would play lots of emotional mind games to play with me and to punish me that way. I just couldn’t stand that.
I can even think of a time when I was just so super depressed, when I went to work for my uncle, and he would yell at his children for things that I had done. For example, I may have done something that I thought that I should do, like plant a field a certain way, and it wasn’t how he wanted it and he would yell at his son right in front of everyone. He would just tear into his son so hard, and it just ate away at me. This happened one time, and later that day when I went home, I remember telling my mom that I was sick of everything that was going on and I just didn’t want to live. She just brushed it off and told me not to think like that. Through all of that, I felt like I wasn’t loved and they didn’t need me to be there anymore.
Another thing that would happen is that at dinnertime, I would always dish myself out a bunch of food, and then my parent would tell me that I was eating too much and take it away from me. Different things like that irritated me all the time and I felt like I was under constant pressure. There are many other things that I could mention that all contributed to and led up to me leaving.
So all of this came down to June 28th, the day before my 17th birthday, I decided that I was totally done with it all and I had to leave. A couple of days later, went over to the neighbors to try and contact that man again, but still without being able to reach him. I waited a week and tried again, but still could not reach him. I knew that my parents were going to find out, so on July 11th, my brother’s birthday, I tried to reach the man who had left one last time. At this point, I had decided that if I could not reach him, I would have to leave anyway.
That night, I ran out. I ran almost 14 miles that first night and ended up sleeping in a barn. A ton of crazy things happened, and you can read more about that by clicking here.
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