Ahhh, so more stuff happened. I am feeling so tired and confused. Any advice would be appreciated.
I've decided to keep quiet about most things, but I thought since my dad said himself that he would 'compromise' and allow me to drape the scarf over my head instead of wrapping it properly like an official hjab, I should start wearing it that way in front of my parents (even though I take it off when they're not around.) My reasoning behind this was: I thought that if I go into complete obedient girl mode, back to my tight 'proper' hijab, quiet about everything, not showing even the slightest resistance, then when I do come to move out it might be too cruel of a shock for them because it will be such a bolt from the blue. I felt that I needed to at least mildly continue the trend of resistance which I started as described in the OP, as I feel like it would be deliberately manipulative and deceitful of me to make special efforts to be even more overtly religious in front of my parents now just so that I can get their guards down before I leave. If their guards are down, my leaving will only feel like more of a betrayal, surely?
So anyway, today they sent my brother to pick me up because they don't like me coming home late alone. It was about 8.45 when they sent him, and still light outside. He saw how I was wearing my scarf loosely with my hair showing, but didn't comment on it. Things were perfectly normal in the car. That song 'you are the wind beneath my wings' was playing in the car and I told him I dedicated it to him. So we were fine... until we got home.
Even though my dad had initially suggested this form of hijab himself as 'compromise', both he and my mother were shocked to see me wearing it that way. Mum was the more angry one today; crying, saying "we've been too soft on you", and "this is how you treat your parents... you don't care about us, you want us to go die." My father was much more calm today and I'm not sure if that's good or bad. He didn't cry or yell but he said that when I cut my hair it was a slap on his face and that he can't understand why I am so bent on doing things that I know will hurt them. He said that the fact that I'm entertaining atheism is basically extreme stupidity, and asked why I'm having this 'teenage rebellion' now when I didn't have it before. The thing is I just didn't have the courage to be honest before. He did not raise his voice at all today but he was saying things like, "I'm worried you are going for this job interview tomorrow and once you become financially independent you are going to just run off and abandon your elderly parents." I'm not sure whether to worry because he's basically sussed me, or whether to take that as a good sign that it won't be such a shock if it does happen. The 'elderly' part breaks my heart though. My dad and mum were born in 1963 and 1968 respectively. The fact that I will not be there to support them in their old age if our relationship is ultimately destroyed over this is weighing on me really heavily. I kept telling them that I don't want to hide my true self from them, and just because our opinions differ on some things doesn't mean I'm not their daughter or I don't love them. My dad said that he doesn't know where I've got all these 'differing ideas' from and they both said that maybe we shouldn't have sent you to study Literature at university if it was going to make you turn against the deen (they're both graduates themselves, Mum in Medicine and Dad has a phD.) He started talking about how hijab is a cover and a protection. And I said that hijab won't really protect you from anyone who has bad intentions and wants to act on them.
My mum said that if you loved us you would do what we said (the analogy she used was that loving Allah = obedience.) I said that's not what love is. She was saying that your father is too soft on you, from now on I'm going to be harsh on you and if we were harsh with you from the beginning we would have never seen this day. While we were eating dinner she said: "Tomorrow you are going to wear hijab PROPERLY. Are you or aren't you?" I just kept silent, and my dad did too, even though she kept on asking and asking and getting louder and louder. I said that they shouldn't determine their self worth according to whether I put on a headscarf or not and repeated that it's not that I don't love them, I just don't want to do this outer action which my inner self doesn't agree with.
Also, tbh I've been pushing it and have been saying "I'm on my period" for much longer than I have been (to get out of fasting), so my mum came to my room after I showered tonight and basically told me to take off my underwear and show her my sanitary pad so she could check whether I was really still on my period or not. I refused and she kept demanding. I'm 22 years old. I found this unreasonable and humiliating so I kept refusing and did raise my voice a little at that point but not too much. She told me not to speak to her in that tone and left.
Now, the question is, tomorrow do I comply with their demands re: hijab, or do I finish what I've started and take the opportunity to silently insist on taking it off completely by just wearing it as a neck scarf? Maybe now is the time? Or just wear it the way I wore it today? Thing is my parents keep pointing out how if they allow me to do one thing then I'll only go down a slippery slope, so it feels like I'm just doing exactly what they expect me to if I 'ease' into taking off hijab bit by bit. All advice welcome... I'm really confused at this point, because...
I went to see my brother and he was actually quite quiet during this whole ordeal today too... I got the impression he was pissed off at me because afterwards he said that today it seemed like I was just out to create conflict, that I'm wearing everyone out and that I see all this as a game. He said I've ignored his previous advice about not provoking my parents in any way for now, and that he's tired and I should just do what I want. That really shocked and hurt me because my brother was really supportive before and I don't understand why anyone would think I take pleasure in all this conflict with my parents. One thing my dad said today was "imagine if your brother started behaving like this, where would we be left then?" And it made me feel really guilty because if i do move out then all of the pressure will be on my brother to fulfil my parents' expectations, which is not fair on him because he wants to move out too. For now my brother wants me to just go along with everything my parents say.
My plan was to resist blatantly only on the hijab front, and then read Quran tafseer with my dad over the summer (which is something he himself has asked me to do, because he thinks that reading Quran properly will satisfy all my doubts instantly) and be honest about all the things I find problematic in it. Hopefully that will be another step towards expressing my true self in front of my parents, and won't make moving out such a shock when it comes.
But, on the short term front... considering everything that's happened today... do I push forward tomorrow with the no-hijab thing or not? And why has my brother switched? My chest feels so tight from thinking about all of this.
Your advice means so much guys.
Thanks for reading this far. I don't know who else to talk to about this. Love.
First of all, your parents are not old!! My mum was born in 1963, she definitely wouldn't call herself elderly. And my dad was born in the 50s, he's in his 60s now. When I left he had some health problems, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, under active thyroid, but he was functioning day to day, working. Like I said before, I do think your parents are trying to make you feel more guilty. Don't fall for it. This is your life. You don't live it for anyone else, not even your parents.
Good on you for not letting your mother see your underwear. That is an invasion of privacy. Shocked to even read that part.
Your parents compromised with you, and said you could wear hijab loosely. There's no point on them going back on that now. They shouldn't have said it if they weren't going to like it when they saw it.
And to reply what you said about counselling, it helps to have someone sit and listen and not judge. I needed that so much. And counselling can be ongoing. Anytime you feel like talking to someone, they are there. Have you called any helplines? Karma Nirvana is a good one.http://www.karmanirvana.org.uk