I am 14, and I regret everything.

It is probably a little too long, I am sorry, but I would be happy if it gets shared either way.

My father is religious and oppressive. Every time we argue, he threatens me with taking away my phone or making me drop out of school. He always uses physical and psychological violence. When I graduated from elementary school, they rolled me into one of the religion-based middle schools, and I thought that was a success at the time. There was extreme sexism towards the students; they treated boys like they were sacred beings. I couldn’t persuade my family to change my school despite crying about it every day since the first day of school. It was already forbidden to be friends with the boys or wear revealing clothes such as shorts, spaghetti straps, or leggings. My father didn’t force me into the hijab, but he always brainwashed me into thinking I had to wear it. My school was forcing us to wear hijab, but I didn’t do it. When they changed our school uniforms, my father said, “If you don’t become a hijabi, I won’t buy the new uniform for you.”  I thought that since I can’t wear what I want anyway, it wouldn’t hurt to become a hijabi, and I became one on the first day of the 7th  grade.  My friends who knew me well were shocked that I did it. My father was so happy. Despite my mom saying, “It is too soon.” I did it anyway.

I am 14 now, and I regret everything. I started to get more and more disgusted with it since the first day. My cousin was also a hijabi; when she stopped wearing it, she got her hair dyed, started smoking and drinking, found a lover, ran away from home, and tried to take her life. Because of her, when I say I want to stop wearing a hijab, they will automatically compare me to her. I don’t even know if I am a Muslim or a deist anymore.  Before I start high school, I want to tell them, but I fear my father’s violence, and I don’t have to courage to speak.  He might not let me take my hijab off. I always have suicidal thoughts. I don’t know what to do. What would you do if you were me? Or what are the people who are living through this are doing?  Thank you to everyone who read my letter.

(Image: Wolfgang Krolow)

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