Thinking about taking my hijab off was a mental illness according to my family.

I’ve been thinking about how to write for a long time, eventually I decided to write whatever comes to my mind.

3 years ago, I became a hijabi willingly, but I started to feel uncomfortable after a while. I started questioning if I really wanted this. Later on, I said that it’ll pass; I thought this had happened to everyone, but it didn’t pass. Eventually I opened this issue to my family. Suddenly everything was reversed for my parents who didn’t pressure me by saying “Become a hijabi!” who supported me with everything. I heard a lot of words I didn’t deserve, but the heaviest one was what my father said. My father, who used to say “I can’t meddle with your clothes sweetie, wearing a hijab is up to you,” said “The more I prayed for you, the more you got out of the way” this time. I expected support from my mother, instead she got a psychiatrist appointment for me because thinking about taking my hijab off was a mental illness according to them. Of course, I didn’t go, because neither me nor my mentality was sick. I just didn’t want to act like someone I’m not.

This year, I bravely didn’t wear my headscarf as I went to my uncle’s, I went looking like the way I used to be. I felt as if those three years had never happened or someone else had lived that life. My mother always said, “What would our relatives say,” but the first support came from my uncle and her wife; they said, “We are happy if you are happy.” Because, to them, life was too short to worry about these things. I’ll never forget how my aunt held my hand and said, “Keep your heart pure, the rest will be solved.” I just want to tell this to those who are in a position like mine: You know that phrase “What will others say?”—forget it, they can’t dare to say anything to your face. Everyone is responsible for their own life and it’s nobody’s business, they talk about it for 1-2 days and then it’s forgotten. It’s been almost a year since I took my hijab off. Nobody remembers the way I used to be, because I was always the same person; before it, after it, I’m always the same person. The only thing that has changed is my clothing.

Translator: Leto

(Image: Rachel Baes)

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