It’s amazing how ideas can just emerge from the smallest little things! Tonight, I received a phone call from my 12 year old. She’s scared where she is staying and wanted me to talk to her while she went to retrieve her laptop on the floor of the bedroom she is in.
So that got me thinking about a story regarding some of the darker aspects of life.
Substance abuse is an ugly thing to deal with. I know that many of us would like to think that the Amish, with all of their amazing beliefs and values, are immune to it…but they are not. Frankly, like many working professionals, they can be high-functioning substance abusers…not easy to detect to the untrained eye. It’s a reality, not matter how ugly it is. 🙁 I wish that no one would have to deal with substance abuse. It’s horrible and emotionally draining, whether a husband or a child (or sibling or parent)…But wishing it away doesn’t make it go away.
Alcoholism among the Amish is not unheard of. How would they handle it? I’ve heard of rare situations where the wife will take the children and return to her parents’ home to escape the wrath of an alcoholic husband. Ultimately the church will get involved and the man will be shunned. However, the woman cannot remarry while he is alive.
But what about the children? Do the children visit their alcoholic father? Do they have visitation schedules? Overnights? What if the children are scared and want to come home because the alcoholic father is passed out on the sofa? Since the Amish don’t have phones in the house, how could they call home?
In the Divine Secrets of the Whoopie Pie Sisters, Pam and I addressed the issue of alcoholism among the Amish between a husband and a wife. In my latest book, An Amish Buggy Ride, I am writing about an alcoholic Amish man whose addiction creates problems that resonate throughout his entire family. However, the issue of an alcoholic father and how it impacts the children…that’s something that would be interesting to explore (to me, anyway). I know how our society handles such situations; how do the Amish?
I have to mull over this new storyline and do some research among my friends. I know that there is an increasing concern over substance abuse among the younger people. Seems like the evil of drug and alcohol addiction has its hooks into every culture and religion out there. Even the Amish have not escaped it… 🙁