No one believes that my parents did these.

I also want to share my story with you. I was 11 years old when I began to wear a headscarf. When I turned 12, my clothes started to make me unhappy, which became the reason I stopped going out. My father told me, “You are ashamed of your headscarf. Took it off”. After my parents said this, I was relieved and took off my headscarf. The next day, my father forcibly took me to a hairdresser and shaved my hair. I was crying so much that the hairdresser there said to my father, “I can’t do it, I can’t cut it.” My hair was up to my waist. My dad told him to cut it anyway. I don’t know how many days I cried. 

That year I went to school like that. I was shopping with my mother when the end of the school was close, and I showed my mother a short sleeve outfit that I liked. She told me, “You will wear a headscarf this summer. We don’t need to buy this.” I said, “I don’t want to wear a headscarf,” and she said, “No way, my daughter.” A shiver ran down my spine at that moment. They had already given my punishment by cutting my hair. Why was I going to wear a headscarf again? 

The summer came, and I wore my headscarf. When I turned 18, I had utterly lost my religious beliefs. At one point, I couldn’t stand anymore and spoke with my mother. She said, “Okay, when your father comes home, talk with him.” My father came, and I told him that I wanted to take off my headscarf. He started to shout and batter me. He did this several times. He threatened to kill himself; he said, “I will jump out of the window,” and I said, “Keep going, I don’t love you.” He tore off his shirt, shouted, and swore. He said, “Whom you will sleep under, for which man will you undress, will you be a whore?” I was shocked. I still can’t forget that voice and still can’t forgive my father. My mother said to me, “No way, don’t do it; when you go to university, you can do whatever you want.” I was feeling horrible and thinking about committing suicide. Every night, I prayed to die in my sleep. Mostly, I was angry at my mother because she never stood by me. As a woman, I expected support from her, but she always used my father as a threat. 

One day, I was at my grandmother’s, and this topic came up. I couldn’t stand it and started crying. I told my grandparents, “I don’t want to live; they didn’t let me take off my headscarf.” My grandparents were very angry with my mother, and they said, “What is this? Let the child do whatever she wants.”  My mother said, as if nothing had happened, “Okay, I will talk with her father; he can’t hurt her anyway.” I was shocked because when my father was battering me, my mother was just saying, “Don’t do that,” and not saying, “The child is right.” We talked with my father again, and my father told me, “I do not interfere with you anyway; you can take off your headscarf, but only after three months.” I’m serious. This happened. 

After three months, I took off my headscarf. After that day, when I went out for the first time, I could not even describe the feeling of wind I felt on my hair and the peace it gave me. I cried sobbingly with a smile. By the way, nobody believes that my parents did these things because they are both university graduates, and everyone loves and consults them. If I tell anyone, no one will believe me. 

My father lost his place in my life when he took me that hairdresser, and then I realized that my mother wasn’t there at all while all this was happening. In my eyes, nobody has any value as a parent, and I don’t think I’m wrong. Now, I have a job, and I’m happy. Since that day, I have lived my life to the fullest, and if I die tomorrow, I have virtually no regrets to say, “I wish I did that too.” I hope this story becomes a hope for those who experience similar things. Do not be afraid even if they say something like, “I don’t let you have an education, I’ll lock you up, I’ll reject you, I won’t give you money…” You only need yourself in this life.

 Translator: EsilS.

(Image: Lola Gil)

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