I’ve been playing a hypocritical game for about a year.

Hello, I’ve been following this site for a long time, but I couldn’t find the strength to write these. But now I can write because I believe that I can’t feel any worse than this.

I was born into a Muslim family. When I was going to elementary and middle school, they would tell me the story of how my mother beat me when I was three because I ran away naked from the bathroom and hung out the kitchen window, and they would have fun with this story. One of the first things I can remember from an environment like this is how when I was 6, the sons of our neighbor upstairs harassed me by asking me to perform my kindergarten graduation dance behind their workplace, and how my mother took me half-naked from there and beat me when I thought that I was only dancing there. I continually endured violence until I was 15. My relatives thought that I was very earnest, but a little child can’t be earnest; he or she can only be afraid or diffident.

I got in the hijab in 6th grade on a whim.  Let’s not say whim, but my craving for attention. My mother and father would always praise veiled women to me, and they would show them as an example by saying, “Look how beautifully veiled she is.” My mother responded to my childish questions like “Mom, do you love me?” with “I’ll love you more if you get in the hijab.” With all this, I stayed veiled for about a month in 6th grade, and I was barely able to tell my mother that it was hard to run and play. At first, my mother found it odd, but since she wanted to be a modern mother in her own way, she cautioned me as “Okay, but when the time comes you will veil properly, there’s no unveiling then,” and she let me unveil. But I had already grown up with threats like “If you don’t study, I will send you to a boarding Quran course, and unenroll you from school,” whenever I had a minor bad grade or did anything wrong. On top of this, my first boyfriend in 8th grade got caught by my mother, and I had to convince and soothe my mother, who was waking me up in the mornings by saying, “If I tell your father, he’ll kill you,” and by beating, by telling that I would get in the hijab in high school. This is maybe the fault of my life. I wish my father had learned this situation and did what my mother had told me he would do, and I hadn’t gotten into the hijab.

Now I’m veiled for almost two years. My mother and father disapprove of me even in this state; they find I wear shorts and always get into fights. I told my mother that I wanted to unveil with the strength I got from you, but I couldn’t stand it when she didn’t speak to me for 1-2 weeks, and I told her that I would do whatever she wants. Recently my mother asked me what was wrong when she saw me crying. I know that she’s aware of some things, and I kept quiet to see her reaction. Maybe if I had another problem, she would want to solve it with me, but as she was turning her back and leaving and saying, “Do you want to unveil again?” I couldn’t stand it and told a lie, saying that it was something else.

I want to be angry with myself—why do you love them this much while they don’t love you the way you are, but I can’t. I have always been a child who needed attention. I want to be daddy’s princess too. Unfortunately, now I’ve been playing a hypocritical game for about a year. I’m entirely the example of the girl they want. I often cook for them and make embroidery in Covid-19 days. Not that I complain about doing these, but I would like other options too. There has almost been no violence in the past year, thanks to this game, though. Still, I don’t suggest it, and I think my self-respect decreased. Now they know me as their girl who doesn’t sleep until suhur, but I break my fast in the morning and don’t feel guilty about it. They think they can make me a voter of the party they want, but I’m entirely against them. When they force me to read the Quran every day, they think that I get emotional and my voice trembles because of faith, but I’m only sad about the situation I’m in. They think that I don’t participate in religious discussions because the people around me are young, but I find it overwhelming, and I can’t stay there.

I have a request from you; now there are two years left for me to take the college exam. I want to break the ties in one night by choosing a university out of town and maybe throw myself into the streets, leaving a letter behind. But I’m curious about whether my dreams are too unreal or not. I never got to hear the opinion of anyone. I don’t know how to become freer. I couldn’t succeed much; you do it, stay brave. Also, I want to leave by giving you a song that can be very meaningful to us: Bulutsuzluk Özlemi – Özgürlük Emek İster.

Translator: Leto

(Image: Marcella Cooper)

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