There are many sinners in our home, but all my mother sees is my fragile, damaged hair.

Hello. I have been following this page since the first day. I need to pour my heart out.  Maybe it will help someone in need of that.

When I was little, I was sexually assaulted a couple of times. I got four years of psychological treatment because of it. I couldn’t sleep at night. My family would try to medicate me for me to fall asleep. Medications changed my entire personality. I had no confidence; I was so timid, quiet, and distant; I was like a ghost. My family was aware of it. They thought they helped me with making me see a psychologist. I couldn’t say, “I don’t need the psychologist; I need you; I need your love.” My childhood was full of antidepressants and fear.  People who saw me from afar always thought I was a happy child. I was not. I was the only one who was feeling the storms inside me.

Years passed, I am 15 now.  I don’t fear sleeping at nights now, I don’t take sleep medications, but I still can’t sleep. Sleep is far away for me. Let me tell you about my daily life.  My family isn’t that intolerant, at least for now.  My mother is very harsh.  She always thinks she knows the best. My father is calm and quiet.  He is the one I get along with the most. The most dominant member of the house is my mom. She is especially oppressive towards me. According to her, I am the most sinister, immoral, selfish, evil person alive.  There are many sinners in our home, but all my mother sees is my fragile hair.

Throughout my life, I’ve always been like she wanted me to be. I finished primary and secondary school first. I placed first in high school I won. My old school was very close to my home. I could never be late for the house.  If I were 10 minutes late, my mother would come to the school. I couldn’t meet my middle school friends even once.  They went to the cinema. I couldn’t come. They went to a picnic. I couldn’t come. The city I live in is small and safe, but my mother never lets me go outside.  Until this age, I always had a home-to-school and school-to-home schedule and a very dull life. I haven’t worn a short or a Capri once. I have never worn a spaghetti strap either. I have never worn even a skinny jean. When all of my friends were playing outside my mother would make me sit at home in the village. I denied life to myself just because my mother wanted it.

 I had promised my mother that I would wear a headscarf once I am in high school; she is very persistent that I must hold my promise.  She continually says, “Come on, be veiled!” My hair is very damaged, and I want to get a haircut, but she says, “It wouldn’t be a problem if you were wearing a headscarf!” It is also extremely frizzy; I try to straighten it, but she gets mad at me. Why are you so concerned with what I do with my hair, woman?  I am already living life as you wish.  I wear the clothes you deem appropriate for me. I do what you say. I don’t see my friends. I am quiet and calm. My face is ruined with sun damage, but I don’t wear any concealer just because you don’t want me to. I am the most successful student in my class. I have degrees in contests. I read a lot. I have been attending the Quran course for seven years. I am always what you want me to be. Why do you break me every day just because of my hair, instead of appreciating so many things that I am doing just right for you?  Is my damaged hair more important to you than me?  Whatever you say, mom, I am capable of making my own decisions.  I have the willpower of my own. I am capable of thinking, and I want to live while I am thinking for myself.  You are not someone who can decide about such big things for me.

Sisters, I want to share my thoughts with you now. We are human beings before anything else, don’t you forget that. We should be human first. Thinking is the most important thing. Research, think, think about what you learned.  See if it fits your logic. Question.  Being a knowledgeable person is substantial. Girls, my girls, be strong! Don’t give up. God lets you live once. Live great girls. Strive to be happy. Learn how to stand on your own feet. I am also learning.  Girls, let’s learn together. Come on, my beautiful girls, don’t let your oppressors hold you down. Stand up straight.  Wipe away your tears, don’t make the people who made you cry laugh.  Cry now and then; it’s good to cry. But don’t forget to wipe your tears and laugh big after crying. Let’s resist together! Let’s stand up to every evil in this world together! I kiss you all.

(Image: Akira Kusaka)

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