Guest Author: Yasemin S.
Shall we talk a little bit about your family, your acquaintances? Let’s begin with your mother; for instance, what can you tell about her? Who is she? How is your relationship with her?
- Okay, I can, but first let’s get one thing clear, my mother is not a person with whom we can get over in just one session, my friend.
That’s what I exactly thought as well. Our mothers, their attitudes towards us have really a certain effect on our characters and thoughts.
- I’m the eldest daughter of my mother. My mother is an educated working woman. She has a work life along with her activist life she maintains as a volunteer in social responsibility projects. The social responsibility projects she involves in voluntarily have such an utmost importance for her that she can even endure hunger, long restless hours, coming back home very late to just catch up with them. She spends all of her spare time that is left over from her job in these projects.
Wow! It’s wonderful, isn’t it? A mother who devotes herself to good deeds?
- Well, it is not. Actually, it is not as wonderful as what it looks like from outside. You may even be shocked by my next sentence; however, there is a strong bond between the “charitable” part of her, of her being that much “devoted”, and my vaginismus. I’m so sure of it.
An interesting angle to the issue. Can you please explain it a little more?
- For as long as I’ve known myself, my mother has been in these projects. She was also in them when we were very little. In fact, I felt very sad when I learned about the term “secure attachment” and realized that I was not successful at all in receiving it, that I hadn’t spent enough time with my mother to do so. Well, I hope that will be enough to help you understand how much she was absent in our lives and how much she was in those projects. In addition to that, it wouldn’t be wrong if we say that the projects she participated in voluntarily are her most significant occupations she likes mentioning while describing and introducing herself. She is such a devout person that you cannot even comprehend her limits, you will understand me better with the examples I’ll give you soon. My mother always likes underlining how much she is devoted to her religion. Her religious belief resembles Catholics in some ways, in which it can turn into a torture if you combine it with academic education and intellectuality. You cannot comprehend her reactions to incidents. In 80’s, she was one of the passionate Muslims along with my father, like my mother dressed in a chador and my father with a long beard. Protests, meetings, detainments etc. Now she is wearing a hijab of course, but I’m telling all these for you so that you can see through the whole story. I’m the firstborn in my family, my parents wanted to raise me, with that passion, as a female combatant. Actually, it wouldn’t be right if I include my father in this, it was only my mother who wanted to do so. We can totally describe my father as a Muslim in name only. Nothing has changed so drastically since then. He shouted slogans and went to the protests back then but that’s all. He is a very simple and selfish man who hasn’t got any idea about the notions such as “the head of the family” or “father” but only a parent who would like to keep his nose clean. Anyway, this is the subject of another session. What had we been talking about before this came up?
You had been talking about an idealized female combatant?
- Yes, she consecrated her children to Allah before my birth as the mother of the Virgin Mary did. During my childhood and adolescence, the despotism I’ve been exposed to in order to force me to do the most perfect all the time has hurt me so much indeed… I was only 5 when they first covered my head with a headscarf. For example, once she threatened me to leave me when I got hot and wanted to take it off for a while. When I think of if, I can find out why she was, so to speak, so “obsessed” with me, I used that word on purpose. She is both a perfectionist and a super snooty person. There is also an emotional side in her and she has had some expectations from my father since they got married but they’ve never been fulfilled. There have been always some quarrels, arguments between them. They haven’t been even sleeping in the same room for the last 13 years of their 23-year-old marriage. They don’t get a divorce. I’ve been also witnessing my mother thinking herself as someone hung the moon and stars, it is because she doesn’t get a divorce despite of all those arguments, uneasiness, stress while talking about the difficult situation that widowhood can bring into her life. Well, would it be better if they get a divorce? I’m not sure. But there is one thing I’m certain of, having stayed with them for 23 years does more harm than good to me and my siblings… She probably thought that, even if she cannot get her expectations fulfilled, she can still raise her children “well”. I myself find the word “idealized” more suitable than “well”.
Why did you think like that? Isn’t it the common purpose of every parent from diverse backgrounds to raise their children well?
- I guess so. I don’t know. Maybe her methods were not wrong in theory but in practice. She was praying for me to enter puberty in high school, so that I could directly go from middle school to imamhatip high school (Islamic divinity students’ high school) and in this way, I wouldn’t have committed a sin by going to school bareheaded. When someone’s name from the opposite sex was mentioned for the first time, she exactly told me this: “if a Muslim takes a man in her heart before marriage like taking him to her bed, she commits adultery, because someone who takes a man in her heart is also considered as someone who takes that man to her bed.”
Did she really say that?
- Indeed! She did. It’s hard to believe but that was exactly what she said to me. For example, she once experienced a miscarriage but she performed the abortion herself by using some nostrums, ignoring the chance of getting poisoned by them, since she couldn’t find any female doctor to operate on her. And all these things are the reasons why she is so proud of herself.
- Well, when I started high school, I had a love affair with a boy. But don’t get me wrong, I mean I described it as a love affair but actually we were only dating outside to get a cup of tea together or sending each other some messages and maybe a letter. I didn’t even let him hold my hand, I was that pure… I was just a child… Of course, my mother heard of it from her acquaintances she knows from those projects she participates in. Her ego got hurt by this really so much. I still remember all those brutal beatings enough to injure me terribly as if it was yesterday. While beating me, she kept saying that “You are a person who has been taught by me, whom I sent to those reading camps, who comes from such and such environment. How could this thing have happened?” The more I got beaten up, the more I kept doing what I was doing by getting away from everyone. But each time I was caught doing them, she beat me without batting an eye. One time she woke up at 3 A.M. and woke me up as well to tell me that she couldn’t fall asleep since she couldn’t stop thinking about the mistakes I made, and then she beat me again. I couldn’t stand on my feet because she even beat the soles of my feet. I couldn’t hear the things she told me thoroughly because of the pain and all the beatings I received to my ear. But there was one sentence I cannot ever forget; “You commit adultery, the more I beat you, the quicker your sins get diminished in the hereafter, it’s better to get beaten up here than to burn in the after life.”
Mother, were you really the precious khalifa of Allah to punish the ones who inhabit this world?