On the Subject of Mother (Part I)
Mother worries about a lack of morality, an absence of guiding principles, if one is godless. Mother blames herself that I have become a heathen daughter. She tells me she has failed as a parent. Mother says, Your act of leaving religion is wrong. She says that she should fly here and bring me back for counselling to show me the right way.
I have disappointed her, and it hurts — but I cannot live a farce. I say, My act of giving up religion is not wrong. There is no right or wrong religion. It is just a set of beliefs that you adopt. How do you know that Islam is the truth? There is no way for you to truly know this. Christians believe their religion is the truth; so do Jews, Buddhists, and Hindus. You only think the others are wrong because you cannot see beyond the confines of your own religion.
She replies, I pray that God will save you.
I say, I need saving from nothing.
I say, I don’t think you understand, or perhaps you will not accept, how deeply my eating disorder and obsessive behaviour were tied in with my practice of religion. The rigidity and inflexibility, the repression of biological drives. I was trapped in a state of deep unrest. To move forward, I had to leave that behind.
I say, I am proud of who I am and what I have become. I have no regrets.
She says, I pray that God will protect you. She says, the daughter I had who used to shame me for not having stronger faith is lost.
Our conversations always turn to this; end in this way. It is the same iteration of the same thing. My heart breaks, because I owe her my life, but I will not allow her to imprison my mind.
24th June 2015