The moment I get into university, I will release my hair and share my photo with you.

I’m telling my story in my room, my eyes filled with tears. This may be long; please hear what I have been through and don’t get bored.

My mother’s side is religious; on the other hand, my father’s side is a family that constantly wears revealing clothes, shorts; I grew up with such people. I got in the hijab with my mother’s pressure at the age of 14, like most of you, but even then, I didn’t want it, I hated it. For this reason, I wanted to go to a school outside the city I lived in, and they enrolled me in a boarding Imam Hatip high school. I was slowly getting used to being veiled.

I don’t know how to write these sentences, and I don’t know if I’m sure about writing them, because what I’m going to tell you belongs to a past that I haven’t even told my mother and father, that I was always afraid to speak, that haunts me. I chose you as my first audience because only those who are far from me can understand me.

After I was 6, I was continuously raped by the same person for years. I grew up with a hospital smell instead of the smell of the earth. It would turn my world upside down when a man looked at me or accidentally touched me, and it made me relive those days. This continues even though I’m 18. The first year after I got in the hijab, I realized that men were looking at me less than before, which pleased me. But as my body grew and took shape, they looked at me and followed me to my house more. I gave up hope that this situation resulted from the hijab — just like I gave up my faith in God.

Many people entered our lives: unveiled, LGBT people, atheists… I began to question if God would send these people to hell simply because of their beliefs. I talked to my mother about this; I told her that I wanted to unveil; one look from her was enough for me. She said that such a thing would never happen; she said she wouldn’t look at my face. She was very determined; I didn’t talk about this again. But this year, I will release my hair and share my photo with you as I get into a university. Thank you for making me feel better and reminding me that I’m not alone. I’m so glad to have you.

Translator: Leto

(Image: Andrea Kiss)

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