I don’t want to bear any responsibility for the things I’m not sure of.

I tried to write my feelings down many times, but then I just burst into tears. I tore all the pages out so that my mother couldn’t read it secretly. This way, she would continue to love me. Then I’ve met this platform. Even though the letters are shared anonyms, I still had to give a name to my letter, and all I could think of was that somebody could see my name. If being strong means to be fearless, then I might be the biggest coward. In contrast, people see me as the most powerful, faithful, and perfect human being. I’m a daughter of a conservative family who started to wear a hijab at 13 by her ‘own will’ after all. I never could imagine going against my parents; honestly, I didn’t even wish to because being loved was the dream of my childhood. Then, my personality began to evolve as a result of growing up; I realized that my parents only loved how I followed their rules all the time. The moment we had a disagreement, the love I was receiving from them was getting lesser. What do I sacrifice for their delicate attitude? My freedom…

You know what, I have faith in God, but I’m skeptical about the traditional rituals and prayers. I don’t know if this makes me a bad Muslim. Do researching and learning about religion make me guilty? I just don’t know, and I’m afraid. I’ve never worn my headscarf in a religiously modest way. I put on makeup, wore jeans… When I found myself in religion, I was hesitated not to do it right. Still, I was also feeling the same hesitation for my parents when I drifted apart from religion…

Last year, I told my mom that there could be a chance for me to take off my hijab. She suggested that I should see a psychiatrist implying that I went nuts since I abandoned the religion. I was 22 years old back then, and I believed in my mother not to upset her. I started to see a psychiatrist and then took medication, but I’m still suffering from crippling anxiety and panic attacks. I burst into tears at night, thinking about my grandmother and uncle. What would people say? What does my uncle think? My aunt will judge… What is going to happen to me? I’ll be 23 soon. Throwing of the hijab is not only about flipping my hair or dress up the way I want. It’s about losing all the efforts to earn my parents’ love while recklessly wasting my potential. I admit that my situation is awful. I’m not sure that I can even manage it. Sometimes, I look at myself in the mirror at my room; I dream of feeling the sunbeams through my arms, the wind around my neck, not living a double life, running recklessly, sitting with my male friends without worrying about what others think, lying on the grass…

I’m afraid. I’m wondering if I’m still going to be alone, hiding, avoiding mirrors after 10 years addicted to anti-depressants, feeling diffident, anxious at my 23. All I wanted was to be loved, and now I’m afraid to lose it all. 

(Image: John Bauer)

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