Even when I was a 7-year-old little girl, my father kept saying to me, “Be earnest, behave properly, don’t forget that you’re my daughter!” he says. At that time, I would not understand, but later I realized that this was both a stance I had to show outside and a sentence that made me satisfy his ego. However, I did not want to be earnest, and I was a cheerful person. I loved to attract attention, to laugh. When I was 15 years old, our problems increased. I didn’t want to be the daughter he wanted.
One day, my father said: “You’re wearing the hijab from Monday!” A punishment. It sounded funny because it seemed he is forcing someone to go on a diet. I had make-up exams on Monday. I had to go to school wearing the hijab, but I couldn’t accept it, I didn’t want it, and I was so full of hate that I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror. I drank painkillers and antidepressants that I found at home. I knew they wouldn’t kill me; my goal was to go to the hospital so that people around me don’t see me that way.
My father would take me to school; I told my mother that I took pills before leaving home. When my father came, my mother cried and told my father that I took the pills. We got in the car, and while I thought we were going to the hospital, my father took me to school. I never remembered that I felt so helpless.
Was it wrong that I didn’t want to wear the hijab? I was her daughter, wouldn’t he accept me because I didn’t think the same? I refused to get out of the car when we came to school. Take off the hijab and go, he said. I took off the headscarf, got out of the car, stayed for a few minutes at the exam, and went out because I was getting worse. I saw my mother when I went out; my father was gone. When we went to the hospital, they said they could not wash my stomach because it had been 2 hours since I took them. The blood test was done, I stayed under observation for a while, I vomited a little, and we came home. When we returned in the evening, my father said, “I know you didn’t take the pills, you will never take off the hijab again.” Five years have passed; I’m still veiled, when I look in the mirror I can’t love myself because of the hijab. The moment I get away from home, I take off the hijab. It feels like resistance in myself, and I love feeling free for a few hours.
Not being the person they want does not make you an unlovable person.
You are wonderful women; we are much more beautiful together. I love and support you.
(Image: Gunduz Aghayev)