When I was 18, my parents threatened to kill me. And they meant it. If they had their way, I would probably be dead today.
he trouble started when I was 15. At the time, my family was living in the Austrian city of Linz, a world away from our native Pakistan, where I had grown up in a rural village in the shadow of the Kashmir mountains. I loved the freedoms of my new life inEurope—the T-shirts and jeans, the lipstick and eyeliner. My conservative parents didn’t. We fought about swimming lessons and acting classes, which my father said were for prostitutes. Tampons were an issue, too—my mother thought they would ruin my virginity.
When my mother found my diary one day and learned that I had kissed a boy in the park after school, she cracked me across the cheek, slammed me against the wall, and kicked my legs, calling me a whore. When she herself was my age, she was settling into an arranged marriage. She thought it ……………
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