Do You See Me?

Look at me. Do you see me? Do you really see me?
Of course, all you see is a girl that looks like she comes from a good family.
Long-sleeved shirt. Buttoned collar. Loose-fitting pants that don’t reveal anything.
Practical sneakers. Hair tied back. Bare face.
Modest, but not veiled.
Low voice. Quiet.
But don’t be fooled by this quiet demeanour.
I’m burning on the inside.
No one can and no one will ever feel the anger inside me.
All the anger and disgust I carry.

My family thinks I’m the reason why I’m still single.
As if it’s my fault I’m over thirty.
I struggle to achieve my dreams.
And I’m blamed for achieving them.
Working hard to be successful, saving up money to buy a car,
Travelling to learn and widen my horizons, or just for fun.
They say I’m selfish for doing those things.
That I think of no one but myself.

I let go of the love of my life because his faith was different from ours.
I was dumped by my first fiance because, according to his standards, I was a “liberal woman.”
I’ve got my own opinions.
I’ve got connections, and I’ve got male friends.
That automatically means I’m ill-mannered.
I was also dumped by the guy I fell in love with abroad.
Because I don’t drink and have extramarital sex.
Because I’m conservative.

I’m neither happy as a conservative woman,
Nor as a liberal woman.
I’m living in a massive prison.
Its limits are my own being.

I can’t breathe in open spaces.
If I take a breath, I suffocate.
Look at me again.
Do you see me now?

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