Hello, unlike many others who wrote here, I will not make certain statements because, even I don’t know what I want to do.
I was going to an imam hatip high school which is a religious school, and I started to get lower grades through the end of the 7th grade. Until now I have always had the certificate of excellence, but now I am going to have certificate of achievement. Oh, what a failure (!). I was a girl who can’t make friends and who is too shy to talk with her male cousins who were her age, then I started to build new relationships and be friends with boys. Only my mother knew it and, she always approached this situation with suspicion. Whereas they were just innocent friendships. I liked someone, we dated, and our relationship was childish, we didn’t even hold hands. Since my school is an imam hatip school, we only saw each other in between classes and after school. Then we broke up, and my mother saw my messages with a friend that are about my ex. In those messages, we only mentioned that he is still in love with me. My mother slapped me with an anger and said, “Are you going to turn into a whore?”. I was astonished.
When my mother found out that I fought with my friend because of similar reasons, it was the final drop for her, and she decided to change my school. Since I was tired of my school, I also wanted to change my school and I knew what school I want to go to. It was also imam hatip. Probably my mom wasn’t going to give me the permission to decide for my school. She didn’t want to choose the school I wanted, because I had a few friends there, so she was totally against my decision. After a long talk, I convinced her. I only wanted to visit my friends in school regularly. And here is the essential part of my story. In return she said, “I will let you do it if you become a hijabi.” I was a bit jealous of wearing hijab because almost all of my friends are hijabis so I said yes.
On the day that I started to wear a headscarf, she came to the school to change my school, but deputy head teachers didn’t want me to do it because I had good grades. Somehow, they convinced my mother. Before leaving, in school corridor my mother said: “If you want, you can take off your headscarf.” But it was too late, I had already deleted all of my old photos and shared new ones, all of my friends complimented me on my headscarf like “It suits you!”, and I said to my mother “No, I won’t.” What a bad idea it was!
I know I talked a lot, but I want to pour everything out. Now, I finished 9th grade. I still go to imam hatip, I don’t really care about my appearance but the idea of taking off my hijab keeps coming to my mind. I always imagine myself without hijab in my dreams and daydreams. In every plan I make, I picture myself without hijab. Before then, I shortly mentioned to my mother about that thought and she said I will never have that permission. She gave me advice and talked about religion like I am not the one in imam hatip for 5 years.
Today, my two friends said, “We think that you will take off your hijab.” One of them is a deist and took off hers a couple months ago. She said when she looks at me, she sees that we are very much alike. This time I couldn’t resist to the thought I have always tried to hide, and I started to write here. I don’t know what to do, even if I want to take off my headscarf, I think I can only do it when I’m in college. I think like that, because I hope that I will be free and will make everything clear in my head when I am away from my family. I want to hear different opinions because I really need it. I hope you can share your thoughts with me.
(Image: Kyoko Imazu)