Welcome back this week to JohnShrock.com! This week, I am going to answer a few questions asked by Glenda on our blog post page. Thank you so much for your questions Glenda! I really appreciate all the questions that I have received so far and please keep them coming!
- How many siblings do I have?
I have seven brothers and three sisters. I was the third son and the fourth child. My oldest brother is around 27 now, and my youngest sibling is 8.
- Have you been in contact with your family since you left?
Yes, I have been in contact with them and have talked with them several times. My mother actually still sends me letters every few months. As far as actually visiting them goes, it is only about once per year at this point. They visited me once about two months after I had left when they found out where I was, and I also visited them a few times after that, but after that it has dwindled down to once per year. The first time that I visited, they were really nice so that I would want to come back. They allowed me to talk to my siblings and eat dinner with them, as long as I put Amish clothes on. I put an Amish shirt and suspenders on, but I didn’t actually do everything the way that they wanted me to. So I went with a little bit of it, but really did not want to go all the way with it.
The second time that I came to visit, they did not want anything to do with me. They were more mean you could say this time. They didn’t allow my sibling to talk to me really in an effort t to make me miss being Amish and miss my family. Really, in essence, that was their goal the entire time. The first time, it was more of a seeing if I liked it and wanted to come back, but when that didn’t work, they thought that by being more stern with me, they would make me come back.
- Can you return home to visit?
Yes, technically I can return home to visit, but even at the once per year, at around twenty minutes, they tell me to leave.
- Are you shunned?
No, I am not officially shunned. I never joined the Amish church, so therefore they do not have to shun me. However, most of the people do take the same actions as they would if I was a shunned person. For example, one time I was at this place where my cousins saw me, and they did so much as to look the other direction specifically so that they would not acknowledge me. So no one is forced to shun me, but they pretty much do the same thing as if I was shunned.
- Do you wish that you could go back?
This one is a somewhat complicated question. I am ashamed to admit it, but there are some days in which, yes, I do want to go back. I do not want to go back and be Amish; that is not the part that I miss. My friends and my family: those are the things that I miss the most. It makes it really hard when you lose your family and friends, along with everyone else that you had grown up with. I have lots of new friends now, and I enjoy that, but I just cannot seem to forget those that I knew the longest in my life. Because of that, sometimes I do want to go back, but at the same time I know that I could not do it. I have a friend of mine who left and came back for a day before he couldn’t take it anymore and left again. So no, I do not think that I could go back and be Amish again and not have everything that I have now like cell phones and cars. Even just from the fact that when I look at them and see things that they do that I know that I couldn’t do, I know that I could never go back. I find myself asking, “How in the world could I do that?”
So do I miss being Amish? No. Do I wish that I could be with my family? Yes. Are there even certain things that I miss such as food and things like that? Of course. But no, when everything is put together, I do not wish to go back.
Thank you so much for reading! Please continue to ask questions on our Facebook page, our YouTube channel, or even here in the comments below! Stay tuned for the rest of your questions being answered next week.
John Shrock signing off. I left!