My mother said: “Wear the headscarf if you want me to give you my blessing”.

I don’t know where to start from really but I will start from somewhere. I am 17 years old and I have been wearing a headcarf since 6 years. My mother and her family are extremely religious people. My mother did everything she could so that I would be a religious girl. I went to a Quran course instead of a kindergarten. My mother goes to the talks of a religious group almost every day; she has sent me to their courses every summer. Sometimes I was forced to read the books the whole day although I was hungry. When I was 5th grade I went to the Imam Hatip secondary school and like many girls going to that school I wanted to wear a headscarf and I wore it. I was happy about it. When I started the Imam Hatip high school I started to stay in the dormitory since the high school was in another city.  There I was relaxed when I met some people who thought differently because in fact inwardly I hated my religion, my dressing and my personality. I was always suppressing these feelings of mine, whenever a question rose in my mind I made something up and I was avoiding it saying heaven only knows why. Some time later I started committing sins that my mother would be angry with. I was uplifting the back of my headscarf, I was plucking my eyebrows. These seemed normal to everyone but I was afraid while doing these and I was feeling guilty. My mother had noticed these and she was very angry with me. I was becoming more distant from religion since I had started to listen to my inner voice. Religious questions had started to confuse me so much and when I searched for the answers to my questions I was brushed over with a nonsensical answer. I had started to investigate about agnosticism.    

There was only one thing that kept me inside religion: Fear. And some time later I started to want to be like those who did not wear a headscarf. They were so comfortable. I had a headache everyday but their hair was waving in the wind.  From that point on I was thinking about this everyday and I was very sorry.  I talked to my mother about this even though I was afraid. She did not take me very seriously. She said “It is your adolescence period, be a little patient and it will be over”. But it was becoming worse for me everyday. I was envying those people who were relaxed in their clothing so much that this feeling was transforming to hate. I spent one year like this and in the summer holiday I decided to do something. I wanted to be free from now on and it was not possible for me to put up with this. I plucked up all my courage and one morning I went outside. It was so good to have the wind blow over my neck. Only my elder sister had seen me going out and she told my mother. My mother called me and said that she would not give her blessing if I did this. She talked about what other people would be saying. I did not care about other people a bit, I only wanted to be free.

Sometime later I said that I would go out again. My mother was very very angry, she threw everygthing on the floor. I was not expecting this reaction. My mother walked to my father and she started to shout at him, saying “Your daughter is going out withoug wearing a headscarf.” My father (he has some psychological problems) was first saying  “will you do it by force if she does not want to wear it” but after my mother told him about something he also shouted at me saying “I will break your bones if you walk out”.  After all these reactions I had a nervous break down. I had understood how far away the freedom I had been dreaming of since 1 year was from me. First I gave in but then I decided not to. One day before the school was going to open I did the same thing again. My mother moved to tears, she cried and said: “Wear the headscarf if you want me to give you my blessing”. I was sorry for my mother. Although I hated her for some time now I was sorry for her. I took a headscarf and we went to the dormitory. All along the way my mother said that they should not have me studying, that I should be under their eyes all the time. Noone was supporting me. My father told me that he would take me away from school. I cried all along the way.

I learned later that after we came to the school someone had said to my parents: “There is an atheist girl in their dormitory, she should have influenced your daughter.” My family took away my cell phone and they said they would never give it back to me. I was completely hopeless now. But the vice-principal convinced my family. My mother said to me: “Wear your headscarf when coming home, you may not wear it while at school, but only for one year”. I cried with happiness so many times that day. I was free now and I did not care a bit about what other people taught. Even though I am bored about my mother and my elder sister telling me to wear a headscarf all the time when I go home, at least I am free at school and I am very happy there. I believe that I will again do all I can next year and that I will be completely free.

(Image: Emile Nolde)

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