Being an ExMuslim is hard regardless if you are open or closeted if you have just left Islam or have been one for many years. The fears, worries, and isolation can make you feel as though you are completely alone in the world.
I left my family.
I left my community.
I left everything I had known.
I thought I could be strong because this was what I wanted.
I was wrong.
You don’t notice it at first. The loneliness. The quietness.
It hit me a few months after I had left. Up until that moment, I had been constantly surrounded by my housemates and was busy working. I was alone in the house and the eeriness of silence made me long for my family and their chaos. I broke down and started crying. Another time was when I became severely injured and couldn’t walk. I was so used to the community pitching in to help that the hours upon hours I spent alone and in pain, made me long for that community feel.
I found myself becoming increasingly depressed which in turn resulted in isolating myself from others.
I felt like I had shattered into a million pieces and no matter how hard I tried to put myself back together, nothing would work. It was at this point that I started getting back in contact with Muslim who I had grown up with, craving that connection. But it wasn’t long before I realized that I had nothing in common with these Muslims. Every single thing they did was done with praise to Allah. They lived, breathed and defended Islam every time I critiqued it. I knew then that I couldn’t maintain contact with them without losing my mind.
I gathered those shattered pieces of me and slowly started gluing myself back together.
It sucks to lose everything I had known my entire life but I have learned how to love myself. I have built my own little family from all kinds of backgrounds and we all support and love each other.
I have moments where I wish I could just call my mother and ask her for advice, or catch up with my sisters and find out how their days had gone or see my youngest brother attend school for the first time. I have missed out on so much of their lives and they have missed out on so much of my life but Islam is a constant, obvious barrier between us.
Perhaps one day it won’t be.