Friends,Family, and Religion

Today I am back to the old depressed mood. I was starting to believe that everything’s becoming normal and this is when everyone had to remind me nothing’s changed. It was day before yesterday; I was talking to one of my childhood friend. Since we grew up in the same town he knows my family very well. When I say family I mean everyone; my uncles, aunts, grandparents, and everyone else. At one point of our conversation we started talking about religion and I told him I no longer believe in just one particular God. He was surprised and his immediate reaction was, “does your uncle know?” I should mention that my uncle is a very active imam in our community. And our family has the reputation of being very active in religious matter. So from that point, no one seems to expect such behavior from me. In any case, our conversation ended with the agreement that we will not discuss this issue as he was very shocked to see such change in me. I probably wouldn’t think about this again if another of my childhood friend hadn’t asked me the same question again. When I gave a pretty similar reply to him too, he was also shocked. As if he had never imagined such change in me and he came to the conclusion that I have gone mad. I know by now you are wondering why I am talking to all these childhood friends altogether. Well, after almost 7 years I just suddenly came in contact with every one of these friends whom I once considered best people in my life. So yeah that is why I was talking to them so much. The joy of being able to contact with them was overwhelming. However, I forgot how people from past can bring back the memories you don’t want to remember anymore. So one after another, and eventually everyone was reminding me what kind of family I have come from and what it means in life. I almost started to forget all about it since I haven’t seen anyone for last 7 years. Yet, decisions in my life are bound to what kind of impact it might have on them. I have this nephew who is same age as me and we are very much in contact with each other compared to everyone else in the family. So after all these disappointing conversation with my friends, I called my nephew. I called him to ask what he thinks would happen if my families learn that I don’t believe in God anymore. He assured me at least one person will have a heart attack and requested me to do no such thing. He warned me it will bring a great shame to my family.So at the end, I have canceled my weekend plan to go home.I haven’t been home ever since I took off my hijab and this decision to go home was because I thought my parents were fine with my decision by now. I had this assumption that my family in Bangladesh has become more tolerant than my parents in USA. In reality, I was probably just hoping that it was the case. I tricked myself to believe that my parents are OK with my behavior. When they call me every day and ask me to go home, I wanted to believe they will be alright with everything. It’s my presence which is more important in their life, at least that’s what I thought. Now I am back to this same old feeling. I don’t think my parents will be OK if they hear I don’t believe in god anymore and I won’t be OK if they don’t accept my lifestyle. So at the end I am back to my old boring life of work and living alone. I am already starting to feel lonely and I really wonder how long before my sister’s words become the truth. May be living an honest life won’t make me as happy as I have imagined it would.


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