Answering Questions

Bonnie wrote: I found your book very moving. You have certainly embraced this new life and I am very happy for you. My question (feel free to not answer if this will cause you trouble with your Amish family) what punishment if any happened to your brother?

Bonnie, while I was in the community, my brother did not get punished for his misdeeds. I really don’t know if he has been punished or admonished by the church since I’ve left. For me the issue has always been that he wasn’t held accountable for his actions. My mother seemed to be willing to protect him from any consequences for his actions. I imagine there are others taking her place.

Amy wrote: How do the Amish handle mental illness or depression? I once read a book, and I forget the author, that talked about an Amish man who suffered abuse at the hands of his father, and his brother was killed at a young age. The man always thought it was his fault and lashed out at how own family and children because of it. in the end, the book talked about how he went to a sanatorium of sorts that specialized and was run by Amish/Mennonites..

Amy, the answer to this question is as varied as the Amish families who have to handle illness or depression. However, in many cases, there is a lack of understanding about psychology in the Amish culture. A person suffering from depression is often considered lazy or shiftless, and the Amish often think that person should just stay busy, and then all his or her troubles will be over. 
I don’t know which book you are referring to, but I think I know what you mean about the mental health facility run by the Amish and Mennonites. Recently, several Amish “homes” have been created  for men and women suffering from mental illness. They hire secular counselors, and there is a liaison between the Amish administrators and these counselors, who have a the difficult job of trying to help the patients, while being bound by the Amish rules and strictures. I don’t know how effective these facilities/organizations are.
Vicki wrote: I watched your entire video, you are an amazing speaker. I would like to know how the Amish women that you spoke about helping found you. Glad to see that David now brings his little “Houses” with him.

Vicki, thank you for the compliment. It is always nice to hear such things. And it’s nice when the people hosting me are okay about David displaying/selling his wares. About the Amish women — to protect them, I won’t be specific, but one was through a personal connection, another through my online presence.
Lyndsae, I will be answering your question next. It’s one I want to give some thought to (about specific examples.)
Thanks for your questions. I’m open for more, should you care to ask one.
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4 thoughts on “Answering Questions”

  1. I grew up Amish and realized only recently that I have never heard the phrase “I love you” in Pennsylvania Dutch. I know the word for like but the only time I heard love was in German at church and never heard leibe used in everyday terms. My family never used “I love you” at all, but if forced to use the word love we would revert to English.

    So my question, was my family/community unique? Do you know of a PD word for love?

    I just wonder how the Amish could evolve as a community without developing language to express love.

    Also how has being raised in such an emotionally rigid society affected your writing? Does writing come naturally to you or do you have to force yourself to write your feelings?

    I love your blog, and am busy sending my twitter followers over here. :)

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