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Theme Changer

 Topic: Headscarves and Haircuts

 (Read 15835 times)
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  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #30 - May 27, 2017, 02:09 AM

    ... because I need to try and disentangle how much of my parents' reaction is an act of love and genuine fear for my soul (ie: them trying desperately to save their daughter from hell because they love her) and how much of it is the old-fashioned desire for control.

    You seem to be under the impression that love is supposed to be altruistic, unselfish and devoid of manipulation, and that love must be held in sanctity and must to be requited. Well it is not. Especially in eastern mindset love comes with manipulation and can harm you both intentionally and unintentionally. I remember in Gone with the Wind the author argued that the southern slave masters loved their slaves deeply and prepared what was best for them. She made an analogy with the love of a horse. Unfortunately you can spend all you money on your horse and still execute him when he can no longer race. Othello genuinely loved his wife and still ‘executed’ her on suspicion of adultery. Titus Andronicus loved his daughter and went through hell for her and still ‘executed’ her for being a rape victim.
     Harm is still harm even if it’s coming from love. Love can be the most beautiful thing in our lives, but love is never enough. Not for your parents, not for you.
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #31 - May 27, 2017, 05:22 PM

    Love will never work without trust.

    `But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
     `Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: `we're all mad here. I'm mad.  You're mad.'
     `How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.
     `You must be,' said the Cat, `or you wouldn't have come here.'
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #32 - May 30, 2017, 06:41 PM

    Your parents are adults, and they can help you in living your own fulfilling life if they want to. But they aren't. Instead they are playing the victim, and the health drama is older than the hills. I hate to be blunt, but anyone other than you can easily see it for what it is.

    I think that you need to build up your own options, and you'll be better able to decide what you want to do. Your counselor isn't wwrong with what she said, and I'm sure your father loves you in his own sense. Anyway, I think these situations can be tricky, and honestly as a man I feel a bit out of my depth to offer any advice beyond the limited amount I have. There are women here who have dealt with very similar family situations though, and I'd strongly suggest picking as many of their brains as you can.

    All the best.  Smiley


    I appreciate your perspective nonetheless. It's good to hear a range of honest opinions. When you're going through this stuff, it's easy to become blinded by your emotions. Sometimes what you really need is a detached observer's take on it. Thanks for your comments Asbie; I will bear them in mind going forward. Smiley But of course I'll pick plenty of women's brains too!
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #33 - May 30, 2017, 06:56 PM

    You seem to be under the impression that love is supposed to be altruistic, unselfish and devoid of manipulation, and that love must be held in sanctity and must to be requited. Well it is not. Especially in eastern mindset love comes with manipulation and can harm you both intentionally and unintentionally. I remember in Gone with the Wind the author argued that the southern slave masters loved their slaves deeply and prepared what was best for them. She made an analogy with the love of a horse. Unfortunately you can spend all you money on your horse and still execute him when he can no longer race. Othello genuinely loved his wife and still ‘executed’ her on suspicion of adultery. Titus Andronicus loved his daughter and went through hell for her and still ‘executed’ her for being a rape victim.
     Harm is still harm even if it’s coming from love. Love can be the most beautiful thing in our lives, but love is never enough. Not for your parents, not for you.


    Thank you too for your honesty Pebble Walkway. The reference to Othello particularly hit home. It's amazing how fiction can help us to understand reality better. Smiley

     I guess the main questions weighing on me when I think of leaving home are: who will be there for my mother if I leave home due to this - she is already lonely and depressed having left Pakistan at a young age and come to Britain following her arranged marriage.... ? And also... Is it fair to burden my innocent brother with the chaos I leave behind - he will have to bear the brunt of the aftermath if I leave, as he will still be living with my parents unless he decides to leave too. (Unlikely, going on the conversations I've had with him so far. I have never mentioned my desire to leave to him, though.) Plus there's the fear that my leaving will be too much for my father to handle, which may be me falling for his drama, but which I am finding extremely difficult to shake off/not take seriously/not be extremely anxious about.

    I know it's not useful to keep talking about the repercussions when all of this is hypothetical, but I'm just trying to get my fears off my chest by writing them here. I know that ultimately you guys can't give me any concrete answers, and I will have to find the right course of action for myself, but I'm just trying to be as honest as possible about everything that worries me  - as a third person can often point out misconceptions/illogical lines of thinking which I can't see for myself in this current emotional state. To everybody who has taken the time to write back, thank you so much for your kind words and helpful suggestions so far. I appreciate all of you.
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #34 - May 30, 2017, 06:59 PM

    Love will never work without trust.


    Do you mean my parents trusting me, if I choose to move away? Or are you talking about my immediate situation?
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #35 - May 31, 2017, 01:38 PM

    Quote
    Distance. In my experience distance makes a lot of family problems subside, and soften many confrontations that would otherwise cause irretrievable damage. Parents will never stop loving you, but they will gradually accept the fact that their children are no longer in their control. Distance will put a halo around you make your parents more happy over your New Year post card, than they would be with a Taraweeh if you’re in the house. I’m not much older than you, I don’t know any other way to deal with an unbridgeable gap. But whatever you do, I would advise you to leave the house. Leave as early as possible. If you have to fight with your parents, make it about you moving out rather than they catching you on this site. I’m time zones away from my family btw, in Britain you don’t have to do that much.


    Couldn't agree more with this. As that made things  easier and better for me as I have been away from my parent's house for couple of years and Im hoping to get a job by the time I come back so that i can get my own place.

    I can understand your situation might be difficult considering you are female in a Muslim household but I would advise you to avoid challenging your parents on religion as that would make things worse and make you face unnecessary consequences. Just pretend to be a Muslim for now and work on building your career or something so that you can easily get away from home,keep a distance (still keep in touch and visit them depend on how close you guys are) and be on your own.

    If they try to stop you on building your life in terms of career wise because you need to get married then you can also put your foot down and use Islam against them in some issues like for example argue that the Prophet never approves of forced marriage or arranged marriage rather it's the culture that encourages it which they confuse it for religious imperative. I do that kind of thing to my parents  a lot of times when I was at home and I have gotten away with it but I guess that's because I'm a guy who doesn't need hijab but I hope you dig my point.

    You can't always get what you want in life so you have to compromise sometimes.


    "I'm standing here like an asshole holding my Charles Dickens"

    "No theory,No ready made system,no book that has ever been written to save the world. i cleave to no system.."-Bakunin
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #36 - May 31, 2017, 05:57 PM

    Do you mean my parents trusting me, if I choose to move away? Or are you talking about my immediate situation?

    Sorry, I was replying to the poster above me.

    `But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
     `Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: `we're all mad here. I'm mad.  You're mad.'
     `How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.
     `You must be,' said the Cat, `or you wouldn't have come here.'
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #37 - May 31, 2017, 08:15 PM

    When I first left home, my dad passed messages via my siblings saying he might die so I shouldn't be so selfish. My dad isn't even ill, he was just trying anything to get me back under his control. So even if your parents have bad health, you'd be leaving at some point anyway and can't always put your life on hold for them. Leaving home was the first selfish thing I did, and I don't regret it. I had to take my life and control it myself. I often think about all the things I wouldn't be allowed to do, like my job. My flat. Going out when I want. Coming home late. Being in a relationship.

    At home the worst I did was stop wearing my abaya, but I still wore 'modest' clothing with a headscarf. That caused enough drama in itself so I decided to keep my hijab on until I left home. Sometimes you gotta keep doing things you don't want to do, just to keep the peace while you're at home.
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #38 - June 02, 2017, 02:05 PM


    I can understand your situation might be difficult considering you are female in a Muslim household but I would advise you to avoid challenging your parents on religion as that would make things worse and make you face unnecessary consequences. Just pretend to be a Muslim for now and work on building your career or something so that you can easily get away from home,keep a distance (still keep in touch and visit them depend on how close you guys are) and be on your own.



    This feels right to me, and a realistic course of action for now. My family are South Asian, and very conservative so even moving away is going to be a huge issue (I don't know; it may be even be unforgivable) but maybe I will feel stronger and more able to deal with that when the time comes, rather than constantly battling all dramas that will come while I am still living at home and simultaneously trying to resist every religious ritual or requirement. As a previous poster mentioned, better to fight about moving out than to fight about leaving the religion. Thank you for writing back to me and for your suggestion.
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #39 - June 02, 2017, 02:17 PM

    When I first left home, my dad passed messages via my siblings saying he might die so I shouldn't be so selfish. My dad isn't even ill, he was just trying anything to get me back under his control.

     

    It's hard for me not to feel affected by this kind of emotional blackmail, but it's reassuring to hear from others that that's what it is - emotional blackmail. You are made to feel like a horrible, evil person for just wanting to be yourself and have some independence. :(



    I had to take my life and control it myself. I often think about all the things I wouldn't be allowed to do, like my job. My flat. Going out when I want. Coming home late. Being in a relationship.


     

    Yes, I am dreaming about those things, and they are my goals. Smiley How did you approach the actual act of moving out? Did you tell your parents what you were planning to do/was there a confrontation? Or did you just leave?


    At home the worst I did was stop wearing my abaya, but I still wore 'modest' clothing with a headscarf. That caused enough drama in itself so I decided to keep my hijab on until I left home. Sometimes you gotta keep doing things you don't want to do, just to keep the peace while you're at home.



    Yes, I have gone part-time with the hijab - taking it off while I'm out and draping it back on my head on the way back home. I feel like it's better than nothing. I am a little anxious that someone I know will see me, but I am really sick of wearing it full-time. I don't think I have the capacity to deal with the uproar that refusing to wear it completely will cause, especially since the drama I mentioned in my original post. I might have to wait until I've moved to be completely free in that regard.

  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #40 - June 02, 2017, 02:39 PM

    Some updates, guys. Once again, a huge heartfelt thank you to everyone who has taken the time to write and help me on here.

    - I have taken my brother into my confidence about my lack of belief, and he is kind and open-minded enough to understand my feelings, and not to pressure me, even though he still believes himself.
    I talked to him about my future plans to move out in a few years once I am financially stable. He actually really surprised me by saying that seemed like a sensible course of action - although of course it would wreak havoc on my parents - and that he will try to support me when the time comes. He wants to move out, too, actually (not because his beliefs conflict with our parents', but because he just wants his independence), and the cultural tradition of staying home well into adulthood and only moving out for marriage has been weighing heavy on him, too.

    Any suggestions re: how to minimise the impact of a double move-out on our parents? One of us moving out will be bad enough, but moving out one after the other... They will see it as a form of abandonment even though we don't want it to be. They will think that even if only one of us moves out...

    I have gone part-time with the hijab for now. (ie: only covering my head in front of my parents.) After 8+ years of wearing hijab in public, being able to walk around with my hair out, and without trying to 'cover up, cover up' in extra-long cardigans and whatnot all the time... is a new feeling that takes some getting used to! But I'm happy! I do keep imagining my dad coming round corners and seeing me, though...

    In other news, I had my first panic attack last week and it was not actually to do with my dad, but it was because I was thinking to write something on social media about the book Headscarves and Hymens and the things in it which I agreed with, relating them to my own personal journey (I love reading, and I also post a bit in the Bookstagram community, if any of you guys are familiar with that...) Anyway, a lot of people who know me in real life follow that account, as well as Muslim friends... (Not family though.) I wanted to do it because I knew there's nothing wrong in relating to a book, and I want to practice speaking openly about the things I am not courageous enough to speak about in front of my family, but I was feeling anxious because the book does criticise hijab very explicitly and says a lot of controversial things which 'go against' Islam. I think that fear of criticising the religion is deep-rooted in me and must still operate very strongly on a subconscious level, because I had a panic attack in the car just thinking about posting my thoughts on a book. Anyway, I did go ahead and post.

    I also have a job interview next week which I'm really hopeful about. But... I started going part-time hijab today, and in my initial Skype interview (pre the actual physical interview, if that makes sense) I was wearing hijab. Will it look weird if I turn up to the interview without it now? Will they question my identity? Lolz... I guess it will be awkward explaining but I'll just have to deal with it?

    Anyway, here's to (very slow, but I'm hopeful) progress!
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #41 - June 02, 2017, 03:00 PM

    And I guess, one last, thing... This is a tricky one because it involves so many conflicting emotions. Warning: I'm about to vent, and can't guarantee that anything after this point will make sense. Smiley It's just that, as I mentioned earlier, after thinking about what several of you have advised, and taking into account my own situation/strengths/etc, I HAVE come to conclusion that explicitly rebelling and fighting with my parents about everything right now, when I can't move out, isn't practical or particularly helpful/productive. And so in the meantime I am opting for things like part-time hijab, etc, to keep myself sane while I'm putting my move-out plans together.

    BUT, I guess I'm just wondering now how to stop that lack of self-respect creeping in (it creeps in quite often), where I'm thinking harshly to myself: "If you were stronger you wouldn't need to hide your views from your parents... You would just be open about everything you feel.. But no, instead, you're a coward creeping around, taking off your hijab on the sly, because you can't handle a few hard looks and words from your dad..." Like, I keep wondering how much of not being open with my parents is because I am being considerate of their feelings, how much of not being open is because the consequences would really be disastrous, and how much is because I am really just a coward and can't stand up for what I believe in. I guess it's because I read a lot about strong women, and have a particularly strong-willed atheist friend whom I confide in sometimes, and so it's hard not to compare myself and feel like I'm being weak or taking the easy option. I think I need to remind myself that rebelling openly now will only make things difficult for my parents and myself, whereas if I do what I want when I move out I've actually made things (hopefully, in a way) less painful for both of us.

    Rant over. Sorry for the randomness. This has sort of become my splurging diary. Always open to others' thoughts, though. Smiley
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #42 - June 02, 2017, 05:31 PM

    Seriously there is no harm at all in taking the route of less difficulty. This is about your survival, and as wonderful as ideals are there are some times in life where you need to survive instead of sacrificing your safety for an ideal.
    Your strong atheist friend is not you. That is all there is to it. Not living in your house with your family in your life.
    Go easy on yourself. Transitions can be tough. Just keep working towards your goal as quickly and quietly as you can.

    Don't let Hitler have the street.
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #43 - June 03, 2017, 10:20 PM

    Seriously there is no harm at all in taking the route of less difficulty. This is about your survival, and as wonderful as ideals are there are some times in life where you need to survive instead of sacrificing your safety for an ideal.
    Your strong atheist friend is not you. That is all there is to it. Not living in your house with your family in your life.
    Go easy on yourself. Transitions can be tough. Just keep working towards your goal as quickly and quietly as you can.


    far away hug Thank you. I think you are right. You probably don't need me to tell you this, but I've read a few of your posts on here and I think you have a really beautiful heart. Smiley
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #44 - June 03, 2017, 11:24 PM

    Aw, you are so sweet, I do thank you. Take good care of you and feel no remorse about it. You are just trying to live an authentic life and sometimes you have to do what you have to do to get there.

    Don't let Hitler have the street.
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #45 - June 05, 2017, 10:34 AM



    It's hard for me not to feel affected by this kind of emotional blackmail, but it's reassuring to hear from others that that's what it is - emotional blackmail. You are made to feel like a horrible, evil person for just wanting to be yourself and have some independence. :(

     

    Yes, I am dreaming about those things, and they are my goals. Smiley How did you approach the actual act of moving out? Did you tell your parents what you were planning to do/was there a confrontation? Or did you just leave?

    Yes, I have gone part-time with the hijab - taking it off while I'm out and draping it back on my head on the way back home. I feel like it's better than nothing. I am a little anxious that someone I know will see me, but I am really sick of wearing it full-time. I don't think I have the capacity to deal with the uproar that refusing to wear it completely will cause, especially since the drama I mentioned in my original post. I might have to wait until I've moved to be completely free in that regard.




    The emotional blackmail will affect you at first, the way you are feeling now reminds me of myself a few years ago when I was too afraid to do things for myself because my dad would disapprove and not allow it. I started to slowly realise I wasn't going to get anywhere in life if I kept doing what he wanted. I got to the age of 28 and I got really aware of the years I'd lost doing what someone else wanted. I didn't want to waste anymore.

    I called the domestic violence helpline, got myself a place in a refuge, and left quietly the next day. Everyone was out, I packed so fast and just legged it. I left a note so my family would know I wasn't missing. The refuge was a good halfway point before I got a flat. It cost £25 a week in service charges so I didn't worry too much about money then. I am working now but it's tough, I won't lie. I wasn't used to paying bills and so on.

    I lived in a small town, I didn't want to be seen without hijab either as I knew some tattletale would tell my dad. Unfortunately some people have nothing better to do when really it's none of their business what you are going through. I hope things go well for you. Good luck with the interview, and I hope it gets you where you want to be.
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #46 - June 06, 2017, 07:42 PM

    The emotional blackmail will affect you at first, the way you are feeling now reminds me of myself a few years ago when I was too afraid to do things for myself because my dad would disapprove and not allow it. I started to slowly realise I wasn't going to get anywhere in life if I kept doing what he wanted. I got to the age of 28 and I got really aware of the years I'd lost doing what someone else wanted. I didn't want to waste anymore.

    I called the domestic violence helpline, got myself a place in a refuge, and left quietly the next day. Everyone was out, I packed so fast and just legged it. I left a note so my family would know I wasn't missing. The refuge was a good halfway point before I got a flat. It cost £25 a week in service charges so I didn't worry too much about money then. I am working now but it's tough, I won't lie. I wasn't used to paying bills and so on.

    I lived in a small town, I didn't want to be seen without hijab either as I knew some tattletale would tell my dad. Unfortunately some people have nothing better to do when really it's none of their business what you are going through. I hope things go well for you. Good luck with the interview, and I hope it gets you where you want to be.


    Thank you so much for sharing your story; I can't tell you how good it feels, and how inspiring it is, to hear from someone who has been through similar. <3 I think I might have to go the note route too; if I directly tell them I am leaving, then I will have to turn my back and walk out while they are screaming/crying or maybe even grabbing at me, physically trying to stop me leaving. Who knows, my dad would probably get in the car and follow me and yell at me to come back. I don't know if I could risk that kind of reaction and pressure in the moment that I leave.

    What kind of things did you put in the note, if you don't mind me asking? I know you mentioned your parents don't know about you being ex-Muslim, so what reasoning did you give for leaving their house? My family are not physically abusive so the main thing I am running away from is the idea of who they want me to be. I want to be free, to travel, to have sex outside marriage, to live without pretense - all the things I can't do under their roof.

    I am really scared about breaking my mother's heart if her daughter one day vanishes leaving only a note behind... She will probably cry her eyes out and think/say I don't love her for what I have done. But hopefully, if I make explicit in the note that I do really love both my parents, if I do still stay in contact, and if I do come back for visits, then after there has been a cooling period, all of the pain I cause her by leaving can heal with time... I hope so. I really hope so.
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #47 - June 07, 2017, 08:47 AM

    Quote
    Thank you so much for sharing your story; I can't tell you how good it feels, and how inspiring it is, to hear from someone who has been through similar. <3 I think I might have to go the note route too; if I directly tell them I am leaving, then I will have to turn my back and walk out while they are screaming/crying or maybe even grabbing at me, physically trying to stop me leaving. Who knows, my dad would probably get in the car and follow me and yell at me to come back. I don't know if I could risk that kind of reaction and pressure in the moment that I leave.

    What kind of things did you put in the note, if you don't mind me asking? I know you mentioned your parents don't know about you being ex-Muslim, so what reasoning did you give for leaving their house? My family are not physically abusive so the main thing I am running away from is the idea of who they want me to be. I want to be free, to travel, to have sex outside marriage, to live without pretense - all the things I can't do under their roof.

    I am really scared about breaking my mother's heart if her daughter one day vanishes leaving only a note behind... She will probably cry her eyes out and think/say I don't love her for what I have done. But hopefully, if I make explicit in the note that I do really love both my parents, if I do still stay in contact, and if I do come back for visits, then after there has been a cooling period, all of the pain I cause her by leaving can heal with time... I hope so. I really hope so.


    I actually only left a note because a friend told me to. She had worked in a refuge in the past and said it's the best thing to do as you don't want to be reported missing. I kept it really simple, and I put 'to mum', not anyone else. I just said I was leaving and going somewhere safe so they don't need to worry. My mum already knew I was fed up of my dad and his controlling ways. My dad on the other hand, pretends he doesn't know why I have gone and wants me back.

    I had written a note for my mum before that to tell her I don't like wearing hijab and don't agree with the religion, but she knew what I wanted to say and refused to read it. In a way my family are in denial as they now know, through other people, that I have a boyfriend, but still think I'm Muslim, albeit a non practising one. When I was more religious as a youngster, I never would have spoken to men, so I think they know but are choosing to ignore the signs.

    Yes you want to leave quietly ideally. I also didn't want anyone stopping me or following me. I actually waited in the police station, as I was getting a coach later in the day and might have been seen if I went straight to the bus station. I don't like confrontation and wasn't going to let it happen.

    I haven't been back home as I don't speak to my dad. I was advised it's not safe either as someone or all of my family, could stop me leaving. I've seen my mum and sister, but took them out to dinner. I didn't go in the house. Just be careful if you leave.

    Nobody was physically abusive in my family, it was all control and mind games, but it damages you in a different way. I got counselling after I left.
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #48 - June 08, 2017, 12:15 AM

    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.
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #49 - June 08, 2017, 12:21 AM

    I actually only left a note because a friend told me to. She had worked in a refuge in the past and said it's the best thing to do as you don't want to be reported missing. I kept it really simple, and I put 'to mum', not anyone else. I just said I was leaving and going somewhere safe so they don't need to worry. My mum already knew I was fed up of my dad and his controlling ways. My dad on the other hand, pretends he doesn't know why I have gone and wants me back.

    I had written a note for my mum before that to tell her I don't like wearing hijab and don't agree with the religion, but she knew what I wanted to say and refused to read it. In a way my family are in denial as they now know, through other people, that I have a boyfriend, but still think I'm Muslim, albeit a non practising one. When I was more religious as a youngster, I never would have spoken to men, so I think they know but are choosing to ignore the signs.

    Yes you want to leave quietly ideally. I also didn't want anyone stopping me or following me. I actually waited in the police station, as I was getting a coach later in the day and might have been seen if I went straight to the bus station. I don't like confrontation and wasn't going to let it happen.

    I haven't been back home as I don't speak to my dad. I was advised it's not safe either as someone or all of my family, could stop me leaving. I've seen my mum and sister, but took them out to dinner. I didn't go in the house. Just be careful if you leave.

    Nobody was physically abusive in my family, it was all control and mind games, but it damages you in a different way. I got counselling after I left.


    Hearing your story is just invaluable. Thank you so so much. I hope the counselling helped and you are in a better place now, both figuratively and non-figuratively <3
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #50 - June 08, 2017, 12:55 AM

    Every bit of advice I have ever read on here to those in your situation is to not rock the boat until you have the means of independence.
    You can't necessarily stretch out their tolerance like you would a rubber band. People don't always adjust to change, not everyone is adaptable. You are not in control of them, not at all. You cannot force their acceptance. People are unpredictable variables in any experiment.
    I think it is lovely of you to try so hard, but I am not sure it is the best option from how things are going. I am not that much younger than your mother, and I assure you that you have plenty of time to think of them as elderly. They are not yet at that point - they need a decade or two. If they want you to care for them when they DO become old, they can ask you or you can offer. If they reject you and then try to make you feel guilty about not caring for them when they have rejected your care, is it your fault? No. Not your fault they rejected you, not your fault they don't want your help.
    So plan.
    First plan for your escape if an emergency arises. Get your documents together and make them accessible and be aware of the places you can go.
    Then, if you can acquiesce and bide your time, do so.  If you cannot wait and you want to force the issue then do steel yourself for more unpleasantness and keep your escape plans at your fingertips. You are not responsible for how your parents feel or how your brother feels. You are responsible for you - and you are abandoning a lifestyle, not your obligations.
    Now I am not at my most level headed right now. I feel a bit upset when people don't accept others for what cannot be helped and I confess to being a bit affected emotionally by your predicament. Maybe someone else will post some cool and practical advice on here for you. So take a grain of salt with what I have said.

    Don't let Hitler have the street.
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #51 - June 08, 2017, 07:49 AM

    Every bit of advice I have ever read on here to those in your situation is to not rock the boat until you have the means of independence.
    You can't necessarily stretch out their tolerance like you would a rubber band. People don't always adjust to change, not everyone is adaptable. You are not in control of them, not at all. You cannot force their acceptance. People are unpredictable variables in any experiment.
    I think it is lovely of you to try so hard, but I am not sure it is the best option from how things are going. I am not that much older than your mother, and I assure you that you have plenty of time to think of them as elderly. They are not yet at that point - they need a decade or two. If they want you to care for them when they DO become old, they can ask you or you can offer. If they reject you and then try to make you feel guilty about not caring for them when they have rejected your care, is it your fault? No. Not your fault they rejected you, not your fault they don't want your help.
    So plan.
    First plan for your escape if an emergency arises. Get your documents together and make them accessible and be aware of the places you can go.
    Then, if you can acquiesce and bide your time, do so.  If you cannot wait and you want to force the issue then do steel yourself for more unpleasantness and keep your escape plans at your fingertips. You are not responsible for how your parents feel or how your brother feels. You are responsible for you - and you are abandoning a lifestyle, not your obligations.
    Now I am not at my most level headed right now. I feel a bit upset when people don't accept others for what cannot be helped and I confess to being a bit affected emotionally by your predicament. Maybe someone else will post some cool and practical advice on here for you. So take a grain of salt with what I have said.


    Thank you so much for your reply Three. One of the first things I did this morning was check the forum because I was really unsure how to proceed without guidance from people who understand where I'm coming from. My interview is a bit later in the day so I haven't dressed to leave yet. I really appreciate your support <3

    I will definitely get my documents together. Maybe you're right that I should only push things once I'm actually in a position to leave. And perhaps it will be easier to express my position on faith with them when I'm actually sitting down and going through the whole Quran with my father, so that he sees my objections before my actions. I will think really hard over what you have said before making my final decision about what to wear today... (sounds really superficial, doesn't it! XD ) Thank you so much.
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #52 - June 08, 2017, 01:43 PM

    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
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #53 - June 09, 2017, 01:37 AM

    Update: I decided to go with wearing hijab "properly" again today in the end, because I felt bad about all the conflict in the house affecting my brother (he said he was just generally worn out because of Ramadan, too, and couldn't take being caught in the middle of all the fighting on top of that)... and also because I had a job interview today for which I needed my passport, but my mother had my passport and I was afraid she might not give it to me if I came in front of her dressed to leave without hijab.

    The good news is... I got the job! And I have also kept my passport (my mother didn't ask for it back so I am taking full advantage of that.) The job is a full-time post for two years and my workplace are also fully funding a part-time Masters alongside, so it was just too good an opportunity to pass up in terms of personal and professional development. I think after the two years in this post are up, I will be financially in a much better position than I'm in now and hopefully I will have worked up the courage to walk out and relocate.

    When I came home and told my mother about the job, she started crying and saying that I've been so busy in my current job that I hardly spend time with my parents anymore (which is true - but I also find it difficult to spend time with them because I feel forced to be fake in front of them) and that now I've jumped straight into another job which means I'm just going to neglect them even more. She repeated the 'you're just abandoning elderly parents to die' thing which they started yesterday. I hugged her and told her that work-life balance should be much better in this new job (that's also true - I'm presently working as a secondary school teacher and the amount of work we have to do outside of actual paid hours is monstrous, and this new job is in a different role which I think will be much more enjoyable.) I told her that since work-life balance will be better, I should be able to spend more time at home with them. Her mood improved after that, though it probably wouldn't have done if I'd continued with the hijab refusal thing. The hope of leaving my home environment at the end of this two year post is a beautiful dream keeping me going, but when I see my mother behaving like this it is really hard not to stop the guilt about the act of leaving eating away at me.

    I did talk to my brother about my new job and my plans to leave, and he said he understood why I wanted to leave and that he would deal with the family aftermath when the time came, but he wants me to play it completely safe in front of my parents while I'm still at home. Which I think I will do. He said that yesterday, by being stubborn about what I wanted (ie: for my parents not to go back on their compromise), it seemed like I was just trying to wear everyone out to get my way - that I'm coming across rash in the way I'm suddenly discarding this identity that I've accepted quietly for years. He said that if I had a problem with hijab I should have said so from the beginning, instead of wearing it throughout my teenage years. And that I need to take into consideration that there are some things my parents just can't handle hearing now. Later, I asked him if he would hate me or consider me a selfish careless person once I left. He said "I could never hate you even if I hate what you do." I do love him, I love him so much. I think about him having to shoulder the burden of my parents' reactions in the aftermath of my leaving and it hurts. Once again, the guilt is immense. He's wanted to run away in the past (his relationship with my father was quite troubled once), but hasn't ended up doing so, because his moral code didn't allow him to walk out on his parents or on me. Does that mean my moral code is weaker than his? :(

    When I told my dad about the job, at first he just mumbled a brief congratulations. After we came back from voting at the polling station, he started asking me more questions about the job, like the start date, workload, etc. (I start in mid August.) He said in the brief break that I'll have between finishing my current job and starting this next one, we'll need to sit down and talk  because the opinions I'm coming out with lately are tearing the family apart. He said: "There are some things I just can't bear or tolerate, and this is killing me - seriously, this is killing me. I couldn't eat yesterday because of the things you said. We need to sort things out and go back to how we were before. There are no two opinions about this, no room for arguments, and that's that."

    I guess I will have to wait and see what exactly he means by this when we have our 'talk.' One question I have is, should I be open about my issues with religion when he sits down with the purpose of talking to me about them? Being open so far has only led to my parents being suspicious, getting extremely emotional and using that to pressure me, and making dramatic statements like "maybe we shouldn't have sent you to university, etc..." I don't want to somehow hamper my chances of escape if being too open with them will result in that. So far, for example, they haven't checked my phone or monitored my internet history (although they used to do that a LOT up until quite recently) and I'm scared being too open might lead to a situation where I'm under cyber surveillance (my dad works in IT, has been a software developer for over 30 years and I'm guessing could probably monitor me whenever I use the home wifi if he wanted?) I don't want to further limit any small freedoms I already have. At the same time, if I don't voice my genuine concerns about religion to their faces, how will they ever know why I'm acting the way I'm acting or why I feel the way I feel? If I don't give them a chance to accept me for who I really am, am I just making an assumption they won't accept me and then planning to walk out based on that?
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #54 - June 09, 2017, 01:44 AM

    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


    Thank you so much! I did call Karma Nirvana today and they were very kind and understanding. The lady told me a bit about refuges I could potentially access if I felt like my safety was being compromised, and things I could do if I ever thought I was about to be forced into marriage with someone back in Pakistan. It's good to know there is a safety net. I appreciate you sharing <3 I guess her advice was very practical and more relevant for situations of immediate danger rather than for my long incoherent rambles about the emotional/guilt whirlwind I'm experiencing, but it was good to speak to someone and not feel judged. She was also very clear that they are there to support people even if they are not being physically abused, which made me feel better.
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #55 - June 09, 2017, 02:37 AM

    I would cover all your tracks, internet-wise. I feel like I ought to say that again, but seriously, do it.
    I think you have to see how the conversation goes before you know what to bring up. But to bring up your doubts about religion, is that going to change your mind? Probably not. Can you change your father's mind? I wouldn't assume so. So carefully examine why you would air your doubts, make sure you understand your motivations and your willingness to accept what results from that.
    My inclination is to work with/present what is already there, such as less restrictive interpretations of verse, if I ever need to get into religious particulars.
    But really, do what is right for you, and most of all, congratulations on your new job and your new opportunities. I know you will make the most of it.

    Don't let Hitler have the street.
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #56 - June 09, 2017, 01:47 PM

    Congratulations on your new job, Xainab. All in all you sound a lot better than when you first came to this forum.

    Your parents’ going back on their promise about the hijab didn’t come as a surprise to me. You gals growing up in the west have the privilege of being shocked by that, but I have seen my parents going back on their promises my whole life; they just don’t think a promise made to a child is a promise worth keeping (or most promises in general, as we have this whole culture where half of the time people don’t mean what they say, just mumbling convenient phrases.)

    Anyway perhaps because I grew up being told the act of confronting a parent itself is evil, I just don’t think that well of your ‘keeping up the resistance’ idea. Like three said, your parents are not some elastic band; at some point they might break. I also agree with going for ‘less restrictive interpretations of verse’ rather than the sacred Islam that your parents hold so dear. I just can’t see any practical meaning in refuting your parents’ fundamental beliefs. And I would recommend the ‘Asian women style passive resistance’. Many women in my community wouldn’t even conflict with their husbands on furnishing choice (I know men who would get violent on trivial like that); The women would say yes yes yes to their husbands’ face for their masculine pride, and do whatever they what in subtlety. Their husbands do notice the entirely different furnishing results, but wouldn’t be able to start a fight when their wives play dumb and speak sweet.
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #57 - June 09, 2017, 02:31 PM

    Thank you so much! I did call Karma Nirvana today and they were very kind and understanding. The lady told me a bit about refuges I could potentially access if I felt like my safety was being compromised, and things I could do if I ever thought I was about to be forced into marriage with someone back in Pakistan. It's good to know there is a safety net. I appreciate you sharing <3 I guess her advice was very practical and more relevant for situations of immediate danger rather than for my long incoherent rambles about the emotional/guilt whirlwind I'm experiencing, but it was good to speak to someone and not feel judged. She was also very clear that they are there to support people even if they are not being physically abused, which made me feel better.


    I called up a helpline way before I left, just to see what options I had. It's always good to know in case you leave in a hurry. Karma nirvana are better for women like us, as in ethnic minority religious issues, but the domestic violence helpline are equally as good and don't judge based on whether it's physical or emotional violence.

    In my case my mum was better than my dad, but in the end she was loyal to him and said there was nothing she could do if he stopped me doing stuff. The problem is many Muslim parents don't respect their children's choices, whether this is religious or anything else really.
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #58 - June 09, 2017, 03:11 PM

    Congratulations on your new job, Xainab. All in all you sound a lot better than when you first came to this forum.

    Your parents&#38;#8217; going back on their promise about the hijab didn&#38;#8217;t come as a surprise to me. You gals growing up in the west have the privilege of being shocked by that, but I have seen my parents going back on their promises my whole life; they just don&#38;#8217;t think a promise made to a child is a promise worth keeping (or most promises in general, as we have this whole culture where half of the time people don&#38;#8217;t mean what they say, just mumbling convenient phrases.)

    Anyway perhaps because I grew up being told the act of confronting a parent itself is evil, I just don&#38;#8217;t think that well of your &#38;#8216;keeping up the resistance&#38;#8217; idea. Like three said, your parents are not some elastic band; at some point they might break. I also agree with going for &#38;#8216;less restrictive interpretations of verse&#38;#8217; rather than the sacred Islam that your parents hold so dear. I just can&#38;#8217;t see any practical meaning in refuting your parents&#38;#8217; fundamental beliefs. And I would recommend the &#38;#8216;Asian women style passive resistance&#38;#8217;. Many women in my community wouldn&#38;#8217;t even conflict with their husbands on furnishing choice (I know men who would get violent on trivial like that); The women would say yes yes yes to their husbands&#38;#8217; face for their masculine pride, and do whatever they what in subtlety. Their husbands do notice the entirely different furnishing results, but wouldn&#38;#8217;t be able to start a fight when their wives play dumb and speak sweet.



    Thank you so much Pebble. I definitely do feel a lot better, and stronger, since getting advice from people on this forum.

    How does one reconcile your suggestion of passive resistance with the fact that I'm planning to move out eventually? It's the least passive thing I could do. What reason could I give for 'running away', ie: being so stubborn as to move out against my parents' wishes - apart from the truth? When I say the truth - that is, that I want my freedom and independence and ability to make my own decisions, including moving away for a job if I wish to do so? That's still creating a huge conflict with my parents, which they will see as evil.

    Edit: After thinking more on what you said, I guess maybe what you're saying is THAT conflict (me moving out) is ultimately inevitable if I want a good life, whereas I've tried challenging my parents' fundamental beliefs on certain topics like hijab in the past and it hasn't lead to anywhere positive - only created drama and suffering. So it's best to avoid all explicit, open confrontation for now and just wait for the absolutely necessary conflict, which will be me moving out for my independence. But I shouldn't screw up my chances of achieving that by making my family situation even more difficult beforehand.

    Sorry if I've completely misinterpreted your meaning, but I think that's roughly what you're saying and I believe you're right. It makes sense, and multiple people have said it to me, multiple times, in different ways... but what can I say - I'm still learning, and it takes a while for things to sink in Tongue ... I often have these moral ideals in my mind about being completely honest, always engaging in dialogue with people whose views I disagree with, etc, in the hopes that dialogue will lead to a more positive, understanding world, but I guess I have to recognise where I'm being unrealistic or where I've tried dialogue and dialogue is not working. Thank you Pebble. Always good to hear from you. <3
  • Headscarves and Haircuts
     Reply #59 - June 09, 2017, 10:01 PM

    I would cover all your tracks, internet-wise. I feel like I ought to say that again, but seriously, do it.
    I think you have to see how the conversation goes before you know what to bring up. But to bring up your doubts about religion, is that going to change your mind? Probably not. Can you change your father's mind? I wouldn't assume so. So carefully examine why you would air your doubts, make sure you understand your motivations and your willingness to accept what results from that.
    My inclination is to work with/present what is already there, such as less restrictive interpretations of verse, if I ever need to get into religious particulars.
    But really, do what is right for you, and most of all, congratulations on your new job and your new opportunities. I know you will make the most of it.


    Thank you as always, Three. I already cover my internet tracks in that I only ever access this site through private browsing so that it leaves no cookies/history. Perhaps I'm just paranoid, but I guess that if my dad really wanted to find out things I'd been accessing, there's probably ways of doing that beyond just looking at net history? Is there anything else I should be doing to cover my internet tracks that you're aware of? <3

    When you say focus on less restrictive interpretations of verses, do you mean that if, for example, you had to argue with a family member about your life choices, you would try to find the most lenient interpretations of verses and mention those as supporting your choices? My parents are unfortunately not the type to consider what they feel are modernizing/deviant interpretations... They have one authority figure whom they go to for religious advice (there's generations of family history with him and his predecessors as advisers to my family) and what he says goes, unfortunately. And he's not the kind to agree with the "hijab is not obligatory" readings of the Quran...

    Your point about carefully thinking through what I'm expecting to gain by airing my doubts, and considering how realistic/optimistic my aims might be was pertinent... I may have to play this one more tactically, instead of just hoping that blunt criticisms of faith might suddenly result in my parents opening their minds to a new perspective. It may be too much for them, and too late at this point for them to change their views.

    I appreciate you. Smiley
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