They said that someone put a spell on me.

My family is entirely religious. They have been forcing me to worship since I was seven, and I have been pretending as I do. When I was 10, even my period didn’t start, they prohibited me from wearing t-shirts and pants. They wanted me to wear a headscarf. I rejected, and I wore t-shirts and skinny jeans till 13. Then they threw away all my clothes and bought new ones. They forced me to wear a headscarf. I had never worn skirts anywhere else but school until my 18. I always put my makeup on, never used a bonnet, and never wear a headscarf “completely.” I have never become happy to wear it. In the era where students weren’t allowed to go to school with headscarves, they even enrolled me in a private school that accepts students who wear headscarves. I got stuck in it; I was bored but still wearing it. I have always believed in God but never found it necessary to wear a headscarf and worship.

Before I started university, I wanted to stop wearing a headscarf. They told me “crazy” and thought that I freaked out. They said that someone put a spell on me. They put me onto lots of Muslim clergymen and psychologists. Even though all the psychologists said, “She is okay, there is no serious psychological problem.”, they didn’t believe it. They hospitalized me forcibly in a private psychiatry hospital. I stayed there for three months, and everyone there said that I am pretty okay and normal. When I came out of the hospital, I turned in on myself and talked with no one. Nothing has changed again. I was still wearing a headscarf and forced to worship. I kept away from people who are incredibly religious when I was in university. I had no friends for a long time. I had never been myself. I wanted to take off my headscarf, but I couldn’t do it again. Now I’m graduated and still wearing a headscarf. If I can find a job, I will move out of my own house and be the person I want to be. They will understand that you can’t force someone to believe in a religion.

  1.  Piece of accessory that some headscarved women wear under the headscarve in order to cover the whole hair.

(Image: Kerry Phippen)

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