A choice. What would you do?
When I left Islam, I left not only my culture, my family, my heritage, and my future husband, and my potential future. I left part of my identity behind forever. I think the hardest part was forging a new identity. Not the same as before, but not entirely different. I was still the same person, but an entirely foreign girl at the same time. It was disorientating.
But I want to make it clear, in my case I had a choice after I left Islam. I could choose to fake being a pious Muslim still, keep my family’s love, time, acceptance. I could remain a solid part of the vast family unit. I could have children, a husband, nice clothes, a house, my beautiful little sister and older siblings. At the cost of pretending to be something I wasn’t. I knew what the price was. It was clear to everyone in my family if we left Islam, we would be permanently disowned. I was the first one to leave. Most likely, the only one.
Or another scenario, I could be free and live my life as an apostate, a disbeliever. I could live the way I want, uncover my hair and face from veiling, have control over my love life, what I eat, read, wear, go, watch. I didn’t have to have a male guardian or a niqab to hide my face. I didn’t have to keep crying every day from living in terror. But I’d be alone. Away from my beloved siblings and any single person. The door would be shut, and I’d earn the wrath of my community.
What would you do?
I planned to hide my apostasy at the cost of staying in contact with my siblings, whom I adored. After seeing my dad and hearing the Islamic nonsense he spouted, I couldn’t stomach the prospect of a life of lies. I let him know my apostasy over the phone, when I ran safely away. It was awful.
I’d like to let anyone know if you’re in my position, or have been, don’t lose hope. I know it’s hard and every step is/ was agony. But it’s possible.