We don’t choose our parents, but our parents chose our fate.

Why do we have to deal with it? Why do we have to keep fighting for our rights while we are the only responsible ones for our bodies and who we meant to be? Tragically, we need this platform. I wish we didn’t have to write these letters or didn’t have any reason to read, but here we are; all of us yearn to be ‘self.’ Our only goal is to look like the person we are and live that way. I know we share the same grief and gloom while reading the other women’s stories living under the same pressure. My story has no difference.

I’ve started to cover with family pressure when I was 15; I’m 18 now. I previously opened myself to my parents, but they were so disappointed that I blamed myself for making them upset. They were good people; I had no right to make them feel bad. It was pretty normal for them to ask me to wear a headscarf since their religion required it. My parents treated me like there was something wrong with me when I wasn’t covering myself. They were falling all over me, smiling at me, trying to listen to me, etc. Although it seemed quite normal at first, it began to bother me since it was not their usual attitude. Then, they stopped looking at my face after the discussion held between my parents and grandparents. They pretend like I didn’t exist. I wasn’t even called for dinner. I was wrecked. I didn’t want to be the one that makes my family upset; I wanted to be the one who makes them proud.

I began to wear a headscarf; nevertheless, it was not something I wanted to do. I took this decision on behalf of my parents. My father was full of cheers, but I had never cried over something that much. I had to give up on my dreams, myself, the person I want to become. I chose to feel sadness over happiness to make them satisfied. I covered so that my grandpa wasn’t ashamed of me; my father didn’t feel guilty; my grandma was proud of me; my mother could talk to me again. I burst into tears while writing about it. So what would happen if they say ‘’All right, you live the way you want. We’ll always be by your side. We love you no matter what happens’’? Other people have kids, too; they back their children either way. Why are we lack that? They don’t have to make fancy words or hold my hand but at least not leave me alone because I felt like I was always doing something wrong even if I didn’t. I couldn’t even show them how much I wanted to do this because the more I put my effort into it, the more they got sad. Then I realized it would take them to feel sad only a bit, but I hated covering. I had an urge to hate them either due to forcing me into this dilemma but of course, I couldn’t. I even felt so disgraceful to blame them. It wasn’t fair not to enjoy life and feel distant because of the people who love you regardless of anything. I didn’t want any drama with my parents. I wish I weren’t born in this family that I can’t fit in. That’s why; I always aspire to women who haven’t dealt with this kind of problem in their families.

To end my story, I couldn’t bear to cover myself anymore and have the courage to talk to my parents again. Therefore, I’ve found a new way to make myself and my parents happy; I throw off the hijab in secret. It’s not right at all. In fact, it’s terrible. You get a very stressful life, but they left no choice. I’ve made my own decision the way it should be. I know that I can’t hold into this too long, but one day it’ll be too bad for me if they ever find out. Wish me luck for that day. We don’t choose our parents, but our parents chose our fate.

Finally, I want to clarify this; be selfish if you want to feel happy. You have to bear your family’s sadness a bit more instead of hating yourself. We’re not guilty of anything. The thing that makes us guilty is the other people’s mentality. I hope you all achieve your own ways. I’m here if you want to talk. Don’t feel lonely.  At the end of the day, we all do have a story to tell.

(Image: Marie Muravski)

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