Life is long, and I have many things to do.

Hello. I am 21 years old woman going to the university and trying to stand on my own feet.

I am the oldest child of a family from the Southeast and their only daughter. I want to start with my father, who made my childhood perfect for me. He raised me by reading poems to me, and he made me like reading books, and he was always religious. My father was the hero during my childhood, and what he told me was my only reality and truth. 

Starting from the 7th grade, they banned me from wearing short-sleeved clothes, then told me that I have to wear a tunic. I was angry. First I had cried, then I got used to it. I was going to cover my hair in the end anyhow. I told myself, “Either now or later, what is the difference?” Weren’t my parents saying, “My daughter is going to put headscarf when she grows up” even when I was in primary school? I started wearing a headscarf in the first grade of high school, and I spent that period practicing religion, I was always reading. 

In the meanwhile, I was not allowed to be on social media or have a cell phone. My mother did not want me to talk to the boys, even in the classroom, because I could get a bad reputation. 

I was not even able to talk to my cousins properly. I used to bring a glass of water to drink to my brothers because I was the only girl in the family, and this was supposed to be my task. My grandmother used to say, “You are a grown-up girl now, you should wear a skirt.” Everyone had something to say about me. But secretly I was thinking that I had to find myself on my own.

My thoughts changed significantly when I started the third grade at high school. I only had my books to read with me. I was an atheist in the second semester of the fourth grade; the headscarf and everything else left were only a vast, strange thing for me. I was sad because of my lost childhood, and I was furious at both my family and where I was born. I told my mother many times that I was going to take off my headscarf. Sometimes I was being insulted and sometimes threatened, and we went on like that. I started to hate myself in this period, and my mother took away and hid all my books written by foreign writers. 

She had taken away my only relief. She threw my diaries away to garbage. In fact, she threw my personality away to garbage. 

I had health problems. I succeeded in the university entrance exams, and I removed my headscarf. I went home at the end of the first semester of the first year of university, and my family was shocked. My brother said, “Our family honor is insulted.” He accused my mother and said, “You made her like this.” My father said, “I would be less sad if I had touched your dead body, I wish your dead body had come here instead.” My mother said, “You are not my daughter anymore, I will disown you.” But I did nothing.

I was their daughter, yes, and this was who I was. I returned to university after 6 days. I continued for 3 months without getting any money from my family, giving private lessons, and working in a second-hand bookseller. I went through severe depression and committed suicide twice. I was always hopeful and found the strength inside myself. My father started sending money again for my education. I had nowhere to go in the summer holiday and no money, my mother called me, so I went home. For one month, nobody talked to me except my mother, and I always stayed indoor. I was very determined, I was hoping to find a way to change them. Afterward, my brothers started talking to me and also my father one month ago.

He still does not call me “my daughter,” He is distant, but nevertheless, I exist, as I am, and he shows respect to that. 

In this one and a half years I never stopped working, I always tried to stand on my own feet. I am an individual, and I made them accept this even if this was not easy. Now my mother is saying to me, “This hair did not suit you well, do something different with your hair.” I can put on a dark color lipstick when I am going to the cinema with my brother. I had my father wash the dishes two days before (My mother told me he was doing this for the first time). 

Most important of all, I love my femininity and myself. I proved partly that I can make my own way and that I will not give up. Life is long, and I have many things to do.

We should not lose hope, and we should love and respect ourselves. One day they will accept us as we are; this was why I wanted to write something here. I love you for who you are and because you exist.

You should also love yourself and fight, even with yourself. Fight to find yourself.

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