Everyone around me knows that I cover my body unwillingly because of my parents.

I’ve grown up in a conservative family, but I will never be the girl they ask me to be. I had been forced to study in an Islamic secondary school. My GPA was always really low because I failed most of my religion-related courses. On the other hand, I was quite good at math and science. I scored a high mark in high school entrance exams, but because of my low GPA, I couldn’t enter the school I wanted.

I wasn’t wearing a hijab when I was in secondary school. A week before starting to 9th grade, I began to cover my body and hair, of course, due to my parents’ pressure. They always kept forcing me to cover when I was in secondary school. Who knows how many times we’ve had a fight over this? So to keep them shut, I promised to do it in high school. Without a doubt, everyone was quite surprised to see me in hijab because people knew that I wasn’t that type of a religious girl.

It’s been almost 3 years, and I’ve regretted it since the day I covered. Now, it’s too late for me to say that I could at least resist. Every night, I wonder what would happen if I didn’t cover. People might even be judging the way I dress up since it’s not very hijab-like. I don’t want to dress up like that. My friends have been criticizing me for not covering enough. Everyone around me knows that I cover my body unwillingly because of my parent’s pressure. If I find an opportunity, I will throw off the hijab.

This summer, I couldn’t stand it anymore, so I told my mother that I didn’t want to wear the hijab, but she didn’t take me seriously. Even after trying a couple of times more, nothing has changed. Later, I saw my aunt’s niece gave up wearing the hijab. I was encouraged by the action of her, but my aunt warned me about my father. I was aware of my father, anyway; he was tense and quite aggressive. We never really had a good father-daughter relationship.

Nevertheless, I was so close to giving up, and I took some dangerous actions about throwing off the hijab. Typically, when we visit a relative, I take off my veil. One day, we went to visit someone; they asked me to go to the store, and I went out, not covering. That day I was the happiest person in the world. First, in my life, I felt relieved, comfortable, and free. When we return home, I finally had the chance to tell my father that I didn’t want to cover. We discussed for hours; after all, he said no, implying that it was a big sin. ‘’I’m in hijab now, but just for you to know, I don’t feel like doing it, so I don’t acquire any merit from it’’ I told my father. It’s been a long time since this happened, and I’m still covering my hair. 

I sometimes try to motivate myself by telling myself that I look prettier with headscarves, and sometimes I weep. I have no clue what to do with my life. Some say that I can stop covering when I go to university, but I know my parents; if I throw off my hijab, they’ll take my chance to study at a university. They even threatened my bigger sister and me saying that; they’ll cancel our education if we don’t practice prayers. I don’t think that they can do that kind of thing, but this situation has been giving me more damage than anything in my life. Outside, I wear black all the time, I can’t have fun properly. It seems like it’ll continue to be like this throughout my whole life.  

(Image: Nastya Rauba)

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