When I return to my hometown, I never go out because I don’t want to cover my hair.

Since my childhood, I have been living with people who think if a woman doesn’t wear a headscarf, she is immoral. They defend that abuses and rapes are happening because of women wearing pants and shorts. They say a woman with a boyfriend goes wrong, and they call a woman on the TV “rascal” because she wears a dress. I have never worn a short, a racer-bank tank, a dress, or a swimsuit in my life. My grandpa once said to me, “Will you be a slut?” when I was nine because I wore capri pants.

I used to go to Quran courses every summer because my parents wanted me to do it. When I was twelve, my father said he would love me more if I wore a headscarf. Then I thought he wouldn’t beat me anymore if he loved me more and started to wear a headscarf. I thought wrong. After I covered my hair, he wanted me to wear a burqa. As a twelve-year-old teen, I was wearing like a sixty-year-old grandma.

I wanted to play basketball when I was in high school. I was very talented, but they said, “Do you want to show yourself to boys?” and I couldn’t play. Even though I was chosen for the school team, I quitted basketball. I used to love playing drums; I wanted to be in the school band. They said, “How can a girl who is wearing a headscarf be in the band?” and I quitted it too. My face was full of acne. I was uncomfortable, and I wore a pan stick. My parents said, “You can’t wear it.” and slapped my face. It hurt more than my acne. These people are not religious. All they care about is money, showing their worship, and interfere in everything and everyone. These people stole my youth.

Now I’m 18. I have been studying in the upstate. I took off my headscarf. When I return to my hometown, I never go out because I don’t want to cover my hair. I hate my family’s house. If they learned that I don’t wear a headscarf, they wouldn’t send me money anymore. I hate everything, my life. If I have a child in the future, I never make them do something I want. Because this gives a child nothing but a lack of self-confidence, anxiety, and lameness. I have been an atheist for nearly three years. My mom thinks my belief is a wannabe. I never forced someone for something. Even though my family has a religion that causes my taking antidepressant pills four times a day, I respect them. I’m so bored, and I want to go far away. The thought of suicide is never something new to me.

(Image: Kyoko Imazu)

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