“We had given you a long notice, that’s it.”

Hello, I’m 14 years old and the daughter of a conservative family. I’ve just discovered this website and saw that I’m not alone. I want to write my own story as well.

I wanted to wear a headscarf when I was little. All the women around me were doing so, and I thought it was an awesome thing. In elementary school, I always said, “I will get in the hijab in the 6th grade,” and my mother was pleased with it. As I started middle school, I realized that I actually didn’t want this, and so I didn’t get in the hijab in the 6th grade. My mother wasn’t angry with me because I hadn’t had my period yet. I was newly learning verses of the Quran that I had never seen before. Those verses told that homosexuality was a sin and so many things about women but didn’t say even half as much about men.

I had my period in the 7th grade, and I cryingly told my mother that I didn’t want to wear a headscarf. My mother didn’t accept it. I said, “Let me get in the hijab at the end of the 8th grade then,” which she accepted. In the 8th grade, my mother told me that I would get in the hijab after graduation, and I wouldn’t go to school anymore. I cried a lot; my mother didn’t listen. Schools closed because of coronavirus, and that week, my father came up to me and said, “You will wear a headscarf from now on.” At that moment, I knew that my life was going to be ruined. My mother said, “We had given you a long notice, that’s it,” as if she was the one who was giving permission. She made me delete the photographs I had on social media. The only thing she kept saying was, “There is no such thing as I don’t want to veil; you have to veil.” That day I noted in my diary, “the day that my life was stolen from me.”

One day I was going to the pharmacy to get sleeping pills; I wore tight sweatpants. My mother said, “Take it off immediately,” and made me wear really wide, disgusting sweatpants. I haven’t gone out for about two and a half months because of the coronavirus. Maybe it will come off as selfish, but I hope this situation never ends. My mother forces me to read the Quran, perform salat1, but I fake it. I’m thinking about running away and unveiling after university, but I’m terrified that I won’t be able to see my little sibling anymore. I hope everything will be great for everyone. The only thing we need is a little time.

[1] Salah or salat is the second of the five pillars in the Islamic faith as daily obligatory standardized prayers. It is a physical, mental, and spiritual act of worship that is observed five times every day at prescribed times.

Translator: Leto

(Image: Tymon Niesiołowski) 

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