Sorry for leaving the cliff-hanger so long University, Third Year
I had a few job interviews during the holidays for my placement year. I was getting quite worried that I would not find a place, I've had several interviews already but did not hear anything back from them. The rejections were tearing away at my confidence, I felt completely useless and that thought reduced me to tears. I'm not a very confident person to begin with and this wasn't helping me at all. During my 7th interview I finally managed to impress an interviewer! They were thinking of taking me on, but they called me at a later date and told me they changed their minds and did not want to take a placement student that year. That upset me a great deal, I nearly collapsed into tears during the phone call, I tried so hard to hold them back and stop my voice going shakey while I was talking to them. It really felt like some supernatural was working against me trying to prevent me from getting a job.
The fact that they nearly accepted me boosted my confidence somewhat, my nervousness in interviews was slowly going and I became better at selling myself. I felt the next interview wouldn't go too badly, I was very determined to get the job.
I used the job interviews as an excuse to come see my boyfriend during the holidays. Seeing him helped calm me. I wasn't coping very well with the holidays. I had too much time to myself to think about nonsense. I had a habit of creating situations in my head (usually involving my boyfriend) that always went wrong and ended up with me getting hurt. I always ended up crying due to these events that never happened! I knew that these events; if they were happening in real life would not have ended in such a bad way as my mind made them to but that thought didn't stop me from getting upset over nothing. I don't know why they affected me so much either as they were entirely made up. They drove me crazy though and I couldn't stop them. I tried to keep myself occupied to stop myself thinking this way.
My next interview came up, the two people interviewing me seemed quite nervous to me for some reason. It went quite well, I had a lot of confidence to talk and I felt I showed my strengths excellently. I met two of the other people being interviewed, they didn't seem as qualified for the job as I was so that boosted my confidence. An hour later I got a call from my uni telling me I got the job!! I was so happy! I finally did it! I met up with my bf after the interview to tell him the great news. It was such a relief to know that I wasn't completely useless.
The day of reckoning finally came. I had to move into my house full of boys. I told them to clean up any alcohol lying around, get rid of anything that might point to guys living there and stay clear of the house when I came to move in. My dad wanted to take the whole family to see my new place. I was terrified, my mum loved to peak into places she wasn't supposed to. Luckily my sister did not want to come so that meant my mum had to stay at home; 2 less people to worry about. I was worried my younger siblings may go into the other bedrooms but I could easily tell them off. My dad also wanted to go to the cinema while we were there meaning they would be in there for hours! I was feeling very nervous.
We finally got to my house. I opened the door and took a quick peak inside to see how it looked, it was quite clean! The cleanest I had ever seen it be. We moved all my stuff in. My dad wasn't too impressed with the house, it was quite scruffy and the kitchen was appalling. We were told by our landlords that they would redo the kitchen but they did not put it into the contract and so went back on their word. We went to the cinema soon after, I could bare concentrate on the movie as I had butterflies in my stomach. When the film finished they dropped me off home and left. You could not imagine my relief! I got away with it! A huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I called my house mates to let them know they can come back.
I started work the next week. My boyfriend moved in a month later. I had missed him so much during the holidays and was so glad to have him back. I really enjoyed living with him, we got along very well. I usually spent the weekend at my parents so it never felt like we spending too much time together suffocating each other.
It was our one year anniversary in October. We planned to go to Bulgaria for a few days. I did not tell my parents this, instead I told them I was staying at my house for the weekend and came up with some excuse as to why. I was very nervous. I had never sneaked off into another country before! The list of things I did to disobey my parents was growing by the day! The day finally came, I was both nervous and excited. I couldn't wait to see Bulgaria but at the same time I was so worried that I would get caught. We booked a first class train down to London, the first class tickets were cheaper then the standard ones for some reason. I loved it there, we were served drinks every half hour and given free snacks.
We arrived at the airport a few hours later, sorted our luggage and boarded the plane shortly after. We soon arrived in Bulgaria. The building of the flat we rented looked very tatty and unsafe on the outside, but when we got into our room it looked amazing. It was very clean and well done. It was better than the house I was living in! We enjoyed our anniversary in Bulgaria, I also tried some alcohol for the first time. I had finally overcome my fear of the stuff that had been indoctrinated into me when I was a muslim.
Bulgaria was an amazing place with a lot of culture. We spent most of the time getting to know the city we were in, we tried to learn the language using a translation book but it was no help at all (surprise, surprise). We pronounced everything in the wrong way and nobody could understand what we were trying to say. It was quite comical to say the least!Coming out to my parents
A few months into the year my parents were thinking about getting my name changed to a muslim one. I was strongly against it for both the obvious reasons and the fact that I loved my name. It was a part of my identity and I did not want to change it. They finally stopped pestering me when I made it clear that I did not want to change it. My dad gave a talk some time after this, I cant remember what exactly he said but it was a load of random stuff related to Islam, about how it's our identity and such, and then he said... I don't mind if you decide to not be a muslim... BINGO!! I could not believe he said that! I thought he would go livid at the very idea! I used this moment to say that I was an agnostic. He was very surprised. He didn't expect this from me. We ended up having a long discussion about Islam, I had many questions and when he couldn't answer them he said he didn't want to go too deep in to this. In the end he told me to continue researching and I said I would. I made it quite clear that I was very sceptical of Islam, I think he realised that he did not provide many good answers to my questions. He said we may go visit an imam one day.
We had one more discussion on Islam a few days later and again he could not answer my questions. We haven't talked about it since. I'm very glad he is understanding about this, it has lifted a huge weight off my mind. I have been feeling very guilty since I left Islam, I felt I betrayed my family and this thought reduced me to tears so many times. My dad's reaction has taken most of these feelings away. In time I hope to come out completely to my dad and family and introduce my boyfriend to them one day, I know this move will cause a lot of anger and resentment but it has to be done. People need to be shown the possibility that Islam may not be the 'right' religion and that it certainly isn't perfect. Hopefully I can show some people the real truth of Islam. EDIT:
Things's never went as expected. If you want to an update on what's happened since then go to post 40 on page 3.EDIT AGAIN (on 7 July 2010):
Things are finally going much better than expected now
They've accepted my apostasy and bf. I'll update this one day with the full story, but for now you can read up about what happened that led my parents to accept things on this thread- http://www.councilofexmuslims.com/index.php?topic=3776.475
(from post 476).EDIT AGAIN (31 Oct 2010):
Things went downhill again, surprise surprise. They never accepted my decision, they were just hoping that I would drop it all over time as if it was simply a phase. Well I didn't and they were threatening to kick me out. I had to do a runner in the end. You can read what happened here: http://www.councilofexmuslims.com/index.php?topic=3776.700
Go to post 707, that's roundabouts where it started. My current situation:
I'm living near to my bf for the moment. My bf had already signed a 9 month renting contract when I did a runner so I had to find my own house-share place for the time being. We will be moving back in together after that's over.
My auntie is the only member of my family who is staying in touch with me, her husband seemed ok with me too. Hopefully one day my family might come around.
That's pretty much the end of my story. I will write up the rest of the chapters soon.