I wish I grew up far from my relatives.

I was born into a family of which the mother’s side gives importance to religion, and the father’s side to shame. I had my religious education from my mother’s family, and since 12, I experienced different types of pressure like “Don’t do that, don’t wear that, don’t wear nail polish.” from my father’s family. My family never allowed me to dress the way I wanted. I didn’t care about this in elementary school because I didn’t care about my looks then, but I sometimes wanted to wear t-shirts, tights, shorts after I started high school. I didn’t even suggest wearing them because I knew that my family would never allow it. Wearing them in secret would bother me, so I never tried it. Then one day, I started wearing a hijab with the encouragement of my mother’s family. My clothes were very suitable for veiling anyways, I thought that nothing would change if I wore a hijab. I wish I didn’t. If I had resisted then, I could go around with my hair unveiled now, what I wear being unimportant. Not only me but also my cousins who are at the age of veiling but haven’t veiled yet experience the same pressure. In addition to this, the thoughts about how my friends will respond to this don’t leave me alone. How should I feel, what should I do – I don’t know. I wish I grew up far from my relatives.

Translator: Leto

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