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My counseling time today

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I am so glad you were able to get into counseling. It sounds like you have found a very good fit with your counselor and that is marvelous. I know some people who had to go to 10 or more just to find one they were comfortable with.

I am so sorry for Brodman's response to you in the other thread. It is very hard for some people to grasp what it means to be Amish. They think it's a cult or something bad or horrible. To me it's just simply a very "pure" way of life. I realize that's kinda cryptic but I hope you understand :)

Well I hope you get to experience everything your heart desires and make a decision you can be at peace with.


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I, too, am glad you are getting to discuss this with a counsellor. :) I have been touched by your story.

I had two thoughts:

1. Have you been to other churches and experienced other Christian communities?

2. Your counsellor may cover this, but have you thought of explicitly making a list of all the advantages of returning to your community and what you will miss if you don't, as you have done for "outside"?

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Hello Kate, Luna,

My counselor is a very nice man and I am grateful to have come in contact with him. He has many helpful ideas, is a good listener and genuinely interested in my well being.

Kate, I appreciate your apology over Brodman's post, although not needed. I feel bad for Brodman who seems to have a heart filled with control and discontent problems. That opinion view of my community and family is not something I have not encountered before. It was not even remotely the most harshly told or written form of it. You should hear some of the outlandish assumptions and questions I encounter fairly regularly. I was just asked earlier this morning for probably the hundredth time if my community is inbred.

Luna, over the last nearly 2 years I have done all I can to learn about almost every mainstream religion. I have also looked into some others not so, mainstream. I have learned about faiths such as Christianity and different variants of it, Catholicism, Judaism, Mormon, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Puritans, Quakers. I have also learned about Atheism and some occult beliefs.

Your second question is a good one, it is also part of my next batch of counseling homework.

I will be attending counseling 3 times a week. I am hopeful in it helping me gain a clearer understanding of myself. A path to the decision I need to make should become fully uncovered.

I appreciate the continued support I receive here.


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Hello Katey,

I appreciate your very kind thoughts about me. I have to agree with you in thinking that how I was raised probably directly influences how I now attempt to view and conduct myself with others. I also do find that some people seem attracted to me and are more giving than perhaps they usually are. I am quite grateful for this, I only hope to be able to repay the kindness in some way.

When I first came to the city I did have a lot of difficulty adjusting. There were so, many things anew. Vast differences in the basic way of living. It took awhile but with support from friends, I have managed not to become completely overwhelmed.

When I first met with the University psychologist I never imagined the relationship that would ensue. When he offered to see me free of charge in his private practice, I too was shocked. He explained to me that once in a while he comes across someone in need of help and is happy to do it free of charge. I can understand this because in my community people help others because they can, not because of what they might get for themselves out of doing so. I appreciated his kind generosity and accepted. I do understand that here advisement is a business. I was lucky to come into contact with someone who gains compensation from within and not only from monetary means.

He is a great man to talk with which is why I think our first chat went on for hours. I do not think our relationship would be different if I needed to pay him. I know that he does keep notes of our meetings which are for his own recollection. He suggested I see him 3 times a week because of the gravity of the decision I need to make soon. There is a lot of ground to be covered and his standard of once or twice a week sessions he felt would be inadequate. He told me he tries to keep sessions on a somewhat general schedule but often needs to be flexible. Between his work schedule at the University as well as his already full private practice, if I could accept our meeting times needing to bounce around he would work with me.

I have not read all that much about Native Americans although interestingly enough they are on my list of must learn about. Once I have read more than I will be better able to have an opinion to write about.

I hope I have answered most of your curiosities. I am a bit tired so, if I left something out I apologize.

I am curious about you. Do you enjoy reading? What are some of the things you enjoy partaking in? How do you spend your time?

I really enjoy reading. I am in the middle of 5 different books right now. Thanks to some friends showing me how, I also listen to books while at work. I tend to complete at least 2-3 books a day and I skim through several others. I have also begun getting into magazines. They are just like books having enormous variety. My favorites right now are National Geographic, Time, Newsweek, Psychology Today and Discover Magazine.

Until we chat again!


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Hello Katey,

While on Rumspringa from my community there are 3 choices of where to reside. Some live in other modernized parts of Pennsylvania, others like myself choose to live in NYC or in parts of Upstate NY. Irregardless of the location chosen everyone stays when it is their time with what is called Host families. Some host families consist of formerly Amish raised that chose not to return to the community. Other host families like the one I am staying with were never Amish. Non-Amish host families once lived near the community respectful of the lifestyle and offer boarding during this time.

In some Amish communities teens do not leave their communities at all except for short trips, rather they are allowed to bring in outside items. They are free to partake in them during this time. They live in special housing with other teens from the community. This is what is called a nonprogresive Amish community.

Although I live with a non-Amish raised family, I am in contact with several formerly Amish raised. I reside with a nice family that has a daughter and son. Their daughter is several years older than myself. Their son is a couple of years older than I am.

I agree that there appears to be many lonely unsupported people among this outside world. It makes me quite sad. The technologies you mention I also believe cause a further gap in person to person relations. In a lot of ways it feels disingenuous. I enjoy the fast pace access but not much the nonpersonal limited interactions.

I also understand your feelings regarding the therapy business. In my community guidance is provided by Elders there is not any billing or insurance companies to deal with. I suppose it is more like your experience with a pastor. A listening ear with helpful guidance is given without cost, which makes it feel more personal. Up until a few weeks ago I thought counselors out here mostly worked only within hospital settings. I also thought a person needed to have a serious psychological illness in order to be counseled.

I think it is awesome that you enjoy reading. I often find people look at me like I am from another planet when I say I enjoy reading. I do not know about books on tape, in all honesty I am not sure what a tape is. I have heard of them. My friends gave me something called an MP3 player that not only stores music and videos but can download ebooks in a matter of seconds to minutes depending on size. Last check I had 2605 songs, 52 videos and 198 ebooks on it. It is rather small and I am amazed how it is all retained in there. There is this mini memory card that comes out of it. I wish I could implant several of those mini cards into myself.

I started enjoying magazines because not only is there endless variety but I can also learn much faster about many things. I like Time and Newsweek because I encounter others talking about issues raised in them that are rather foreign to me. My watching CNN, reading these magazines along with skimming assorted newspapers I can understand what everyone is talking about. I can also then partake in the conversations having a knowledgeable opinion of my own.

The Bible is a good read. Even though I have probably known it backwards and forwards since I was a youngin, I have enjoyed reading the different versions provided here. There really just is not enough time in a day to read as much as I would like to.

It is great that you opened yourself up to trying something new like kayaking. Sometimes I think I might not like or be ready for something and I come away grateful that I had tried it. I really like trying new things.

Now an African safari is something I too would like to go on. I have read a lot about them. I love animals and to see them out in their natural environment is something I can not achieve going to the zoo.

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