Tagged youth

The Day “Imam” Became A Four Letter Word

One summer morning, about a year ago, I found myself in a car with a young Muslim man who had memorized all of the Qur’an. I hadn’t really hung out with a young, male Muslim teen in a while, so I thought I’d pick his brain. This was at a time when I thought I wanted to be an imam, or religious leader. Before I got a chance though, he let out a yawn.

“Man, I’m so tired. I was on the phone till four o’clock this morning.”
“Who is the girl?” I replied, smiling.

He stiffened. He thought he could slip one by me.

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Teenage Muslim Suicide

The following is something I wrote when I was 15. By reading the following you may not understand the full picture of what my life was like then so let me clue you in. I was a sheltered 14 year old, with no friends. I was angry at God because I thought God was unjust, and that I was going to go to hell anyway. My parents were immigrants, and I didn’t feel comfortable talking to them about my problems. I didn’t feel comfortable talking to anyone about my problems. I didn’t fit in to public school. Throw in some really messed up Islamic Sunday school system plus puberty and everything felt like it was going to collapse on top of my 14 year old body, and this is how I felt at the time. If you’re having similar feelings to the ones I had, keep in mind that its not the end of the world, your life will continue to change. If you ever need someone to talk to who has gone through it, don’t hesitate to e-mail me. I’m always looking for new friends anyway. If you are in the UK, there now exists a Muslim help-line for teens. If you aren’t comfortable on the phone, they even have a real-time help-chat. It’s run by open-minded, amazing people. If you have money, you should definitely considering donating.

It begins.

Will it hurt?
People don’t care…
Why did God put me here?
What did I do to deserve this?
ìIt’s too late to turn back.
The conflicting voices in my head right before trying to kill myself. A state of illusion filled my world months before that Sunday. Why? What made me do this? Confusion. I was the outsider (so I thought) amongst kids that I thought wouldn’t like me. I was picked on, shy and closed in, with no outlet for my feelings. My only escape was silence.

It builds.

The trigger. I tried to reach out to someone whom I thought was wonderful, a “popular” classmate. Seeing that she was happy, as all the popular kids seem to, I would learn that secret of popularity. Ideally, she would guide me to happiness. But instead she let other people in on what I was telling her. What followed was more ridicule. My anger clouded my judgment.

It can go no further.

My mother once said that killing yourself is the easy way out. When I was ten, not realizing the seriousness of suicide, I told my mother I’d kill myself, she replied in a “Ha, no you won’t” sort-of fashion, at least that’s what it felt like. “What would she say if I told her I was really serious now?” I thought, “Probably just the same thing.” My siblings are at college, in a different world, they couldn’t understand. No where to turn.

It explodes.

Forget about life! So what if I scribble profanities all over the walls of my room? What’s the point of going to school? My parents dragged me out of bed every morning and listened to me as I screamed insanely, cursing at them, God, and other (in)animate objects.

It continues.

The plan is set. D-day, don’t want anyone to go through my stuff, burn it. A mass bonfire fueled by small possessions in the garage. Okay, All I need is the keys to the car. The keys were no where to be found. In a state of absolute derangement, I got a hammer and beat the plastic shell underneath the steering wheel. Please, let me go.

It climaxes.

Searched for something painless to end my life with. Running into the kitchen, I seized a knife. Staring at the serrated blade with zombie-like eyes. Flash A funeral procession in my head- conversations of kids at my school. I stumbled, the knife fell; warm tears trickled down my face. I ran upstairs. The radio was on. The music deafening, I sat crying myself to sleep.

It ends.

The following day, my sister called. I poured out what was left of my frustration. She asked me what my options were. Going through them together we decided living life was better than choking on mucous. She inspired me to pull up my grades, and in doing so, persuade my parents to let me have a vacation. The vacation helped in my recovery, it also made me realize that I needed to be honest with myself, and those around me.