I can’t wait to turn 18.

First, I’d like to clarify this; it might take some time to tell my story that I’ve been keeping to myself for a long time, so; pardon me. 

My family is conservative, too, just like the rest of the families in the other letters. They are aware that God doesn’t push anyone to become a Muslim and always keep talking about it. Nevertheless, my father expected me to do the same thing when my elder sister started to wear a hijab before high school and live her life like this for nine years. In fact, my sister was already an introverted person that’s why being in hijab was not a big problem for her. On the other hand, I was a hyperactive daughter. In the 7th grade, my father forced me to study in an Islamic middle school to block all my friendships with boys and become my religion class teacher. Therefore, I ended up in hijab involuntarily and had to watch out for my behaviors at school. I wasn’t happy at all, suddenly I became introverted, but when I opened up to my father three weeks later, he told me that he couldn’t allow me to go to hell and get this idea out of my mind. 

I barely convinced my parents to send me to a private high school. I provided myself a different environment. There weren’t too many students covering, only a few in my class, and nobody was judging; the students were in a feeling of absolute peace with each other, unlike my father believed. So, I communicated with people the way I want to, and I had a close friendship with boys. He was quite uneasy about it, but he kept his silence for a bit. Yet, I wasn’t happy that I was still covering because I was altogether a different person inside; I even hated looking at my reflection in the mirror. I decided to talk to my father again with the help of my friends. I tried to persuade him for hours, cry for days, yet the only thing he said that I wasn’t even 18 and he was responsible for me. He saw this decision due to going to a private school, so it didn’t take a long time for him to change my school to an Islamic school again.

It’s still going like this, and I hate every moment of it. My parents try to block my communication with all the friends I have from private high school because they support my decision, don’t even let me out. It’s nothing but my own decision that they can’t deal with. I can take off my hijab at school and deal with judgments because I want my freedom. I wish to make my dream come true. I can’t wait to turn 18. That’s when I can be free from hijab and tell my parents that this is me whether they like it or not. One day, I’ll be free to flip my hair in the wind. Most importantly, I’ll be looking like the person that I actually am.

(Image: Michaela Schießl)

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