I didn’t grow up in a radical Islamist family. I’m the daughter of a father who performs the worships of Islam while living his life, even sometimes makes me think about whether he supports the left-wing. And I’m the daughter of a mother who is pretty modest in her life and clothes. I graduated from high school without a headscarf. I didn’t even think of wearing it. But in the year that I was cramming for the university entrance exam, I emulated my friends who wore headscarves and did something that I will regret in the future. I started wearing a headscarf.
I studied in İstanbul when I was in university, and I stayed in a Muslim congregation in my first years. I wasn’t able to buy those qualified modest clothes, but they were always trying to teach me to be grateful and not to be a waster. I started to think that something isn’t right about this. Then I couldn’t bear anymore, and I quit the congregation. But unfortunately, I couldn’t find anywhere else to stay, and I turned back. But I wasn’t the same person anymore, I had changed. Firstly, I think that they don’t understand the truth in religion, they were inconsistent. But then I explored religion, and I saw that the religion itself is entirely inconsistent. I didn’t go out for days because I didn’t want to cover my head. Then I decided; I didn’t want to do this anymore. I flipped my hair to freedom. My feelings at that moment when I first went out with my hairs free, was indefinable. Of course, after this attitude, people from the congregation started to make my life miserable. There was always someone who talk to me and try to convince me to give up. My relatives called me every day and prayed to God to amend me, but I stood behind my decision. I said to everyone that I won’t wear a headscarf anymore.
I was happy to take my headscarf off. But I was feeling the deficiency of something that I don’t know. I took antidepressants for two years. I didn’t go out when I came to my hometown. The district which I live in is full bigots. I was hurt, my soul was suffering every time, but I didn’t give up. There weren’t people who suffer from the same thing as I do in those times. I was alone. I was tired. The thing that I felt the deficiency of was just a little support. Four years passed off in this way. Four years passed off while I was expressing myself. I wish I had a soul that does not care about people. I wish I had not such a fragile soul.
My story ended this year when my father said, “How long will it take?” to me. I didn’t give up, but I couldn’t bear my father’s begging to me. I knew that my father’s problem wasn’t with the religion, his problem was the people who talk to him about me. He said that his life was nothing more than this district. He couldn’t bear. I was tired of all those things. I thought that If I ever think about my hair when they die, I would be more depressed. Hence, I have covered up my hair again. Now there is nothing like me for them. I give up my soul and my life because of my weakness. Sometimes I feel the wind when I go out on the balcony, and I feel embarrassed that life obliged me to be a hypocrite. I take part in both sides, but I belong nowhere.
(Image: Dee Nickerson)