Former Amish Man Details Night He ‘Ran Away’ From Family, Religion: WATCH
Deciding to leave one's family can be a mentally and emotionally anguishing process. On TikTok, one former Amish man detailed the night he decided to leave his family and religion behind to start a new life on his own.
TikTok user Eddie A. Swartzentruber explained his situation while responding to a question from another user.
"How did you run away? Like what did you do and what time you left?" someone had asked him.
"I left on Jan. 8 of 2014," Swartzentruber said in response via TikTok, detailing it was "brutally cold out that night" and that nobody in his family knew of his plan to leave — not even his siblings, including his twin brother.
"I didn't want this to get out to my parents and all of a sudden I'm in big trouble for trying to leave. At the supper table I was super nervous. I acted like everything was OK, but inside I was super nervous. Like, how am I going to pull this off?" he continued.
Swartzentruber detailed how he escaped.
"The time comes, [it was the] middle of the night. I put my socks on and tiptoed down the stairs and I ran out the house, and out the driveway, and down the gravel road. I ran as fast as I could," he shared.
Swartzentruber added that he was "super nervous" and "quite a bit scared," but also that he knew "things would probably work out for me."
Watch the clip below:
Users commented on his video, applauding his bravery.
"I know making the decision to leave was hard and very scary, but I'm so glad you are doing well. May you continue to find joy, support, and courage," one person wrote.
"I feel a little bit more empowered on my own path to be ME! So ty," another commented.
Others were left with burning unanswered questions.
"Do you still talk to your brother? Did u have shoes, where did u go next after being picked up?" one person asked.
"Is it harder or less common for Amish girls to leave?" another pondered.
In another TikTok, Swartzentruber detailed a family reunion he had with his siblings about four years after he left the community. He called the reunion "one of the coolest experiences" as he was able to expose his nieces and nephews to soda "pop" and candy.
According to Britannica, an "Amish, also called Amish Mennonite, [is a] member of a Christian group in North America, primarily the Old Order Amish Mennonite Church. The church originated in the late 17th century among followers of Jakob Ammann."