I started wearing a hijab at 13 when I had my first period. I didn’t face family oppression, but my family is quite conservative, so I had this idea in my head saying, “I have to do this.” Over the years, I realized that my thoughts are contradicting with my family’s beliefs. I used to argue with my mother for hours, and she would slur over me by saying, “There is only one truth in life, you are wrong.” I repressed myself for years; it was hard for me even to hear my inner voice. I wasn’t doing anything but studying; I locked my thoughts in myself.
I made my decision when I was 16. I confronted my parents and started talking. I told them that it was a burden for me to wear a hijab, and I was crushing beneath it. At first, my father riled at me and thought this was just a temporary enthusiasm. My mother didn’t speak to me for days. I knew the hijab is something holy, but I couldn’t bear people to judge me without knowing me anymore.
Now I am 17. I study for a better life, all the time. I keep dreaming about one year older me. She is free to defend her ideas and relieved both physically and mentally. I know it isn’t easy. I am not sure about the reaction of my family after I stop wearing the hijab. But, even knowing that I am not headscarfed in my thoughts makes me feel comforted. I want to become the real “me” now.
(Image: Selma Gürbüz)