I paid the price of my freedom with loneliness.

I was born in a religious family in the mid 90’s. Because of our traditions, I was performing my prayer and fasting worship without question. I was 15. Back then, my father was a truck driver. He would be gone for weeks. He was sending money. As a matter of fact, I wasn’t surrounded by family love when growing up. We live in a jerry-built squatter’s house.

Someday at midnight, a thief entered the house. Yet, a thief’s purpose would be to steal something, the ones who entered the house were more than thieves. They turned the house upside down. My mother wasn’t at home that night. When I woke up from the noise they made, they grabbed and raped me. As a 15-year-old girl, I tried to resist 2 men that night. That night, Allah was not with me. He just watches helpless, doesn’t help. After that night, that I thought it wouldn’t end, had ended, and my mother came home in the morning, I told her about the situation. Instead of healing my hurt feelings, my mother scolded me. She said that from then on, I was going to be labeled as unchaste, I was going to be stuck with this label.

My mother was not a compassionate woman. She was a woman who was always grouching. Still, I expected her to be by my side on this. She didn’t. I realized that this Islamic poison can even prevent the bond between mother and child. The person who would understand me best in this life must be the person who gave me birth, but unfortunately, that was not the case. I consider that day as the turning point of my life. After that day, I have taken this religion, which has been a leash to our neck, a hook to our heart, a chain to our brain, from the touchstone, where it was standing, and put it under the feet.

I once said that I met a girl, and the girl was a deist to see their reaction. I still can’t forget my mother’s look that day. Until I was 18, I had to fit into the profile my family wanted. I prayed with my mother, fasted, wait in the pita queue in Ramadan.

 When I got into university, I went to Istanbul. I removed my headscarf before a week passed. When I met a new person, I was not approached by prejudgments. I was no longer categorized and being fitted into a stereotype anymore. I broke these prejudgments when I take my headscarf off. 

A few months later, my family learned that I had taken off my headscarf, from somebody. They disowned me. The religion of Islam brought me against my family for the second time. I paid the price of my freedom with loneliness. I have no regrets right now. Regret is the burden on one’s back, is the hump in one’s soul. Do I miss my mother? Sometimes. My mother wasn’t a compassionate woman to miss. But all I miss is the mother’s smell of hers. Really, every person has a scent. Mothers also have a scent. When you hug her neck, you smell it. This is the smell I miss. I am even jealous when I see happy people with their families on the road. I wish I was born under other circumstances, and my mother and father loved me, accepted me as I am. I wish we had lived together happily…

(Image: Liliana Comes)

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