I grew up in a seemingly very conservative town.
I broke away from Christianity because I was displeased with it in general and I felt like I was getting about as much spiritual growth of a discarded toenail.
Now I *try to* practice the Draconic Arts (Draconian Paganism), it got hard after my parents found out, but now I'm ok.
I don't read a whole lot...but:
Lord of the Rings
Dancing with Dragons
Beliefs / Practices
Growing Things (plants mostly)
I just saw replied to your discussion thread int he new witches room... I just wanted to send you a welcome and hello. I too have had problems with defamation in the past. I hope you find a way to feel more secure with those around you. Even though in the last 10 or more years society has become a lot more open minded we still have a long way to go.