Do I live as I wish, or do I live as people want?

I am 19 years old. At the age of 9, I decided to start wearing a headscarf by being deceived by my family with gifts, heaven, and many other blessings.

At the age of 9, a person cannot think about the future consequences of this, just thinking about the moment. It was very nice at first; gifts, praise, congratulations… I was happy, but it didn’t take long. My mother and father are very dominant characters, and they had always crushed me under their words, I could not answer at all.

My mother said, “Once you wear the hijab, you can’t take it off again,” I was afraid to say what I wanted. It was always my headscarf, supported by my conservative relatives, and I could not say that I did not want to wear it. Years passed, and I told my mother that I wanted to take off the headscarf one day, after trying to convince me a little, “Tell your dad,” she said. I am so afraid of my father, I could never tell him, so I kept quiet.

I’m looking in the mirror, and it’s not me who I see. I act consistently; I feel like I’m lying to people. I want to say, “This is not me; don’t look at me.”

I have been going to the psychologist for a few months, and I write here things that I have not yet dared to tell him. There is a truth taught to us that getting out of it frightens people so much that I am afraid now. Do I live as I wish, or do I live as people want?

My days pass between these questions; I can’t do anything, I feel weaker and weaker day by day. Maybe I expect to graduate from the university with the hope that something will change, maybe my writing here will change something. Aren’t we living with lots of maybe? We hug them until we lose hope.

Maybe we can see beautiful days, maybe people can understand us, perhaps we can make our voice heard.

(Image: Oscar Posada)

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