My mother had crucifixes in the home and she would buy us Christian literature and Bibles. I was not permitted to study any religion that was not Christianity. I was so sheltered that I didn’t know the history of my family’s faith. I had been brainwashed. Whenever I would get in trouble I would pray that Jesus would save me, but it never happened.
I grew up very poor and living in a slum. My education was not placed in importance. I was even sent to a Christian day care center.
As a child I had taught myself to read so I could comprehend what I was reading at an earlier age. I didn’t care for religion itself and I just wanted to be normal.
My mother would be beat me constantly and would use the Bible to justify doing so. Often she would leave me at home with my stepfather who was a Catholic. When I was six years old he molested me when my mother was not home. It continued for a few months. I was so terrified because I was scared no one would believe me. I told my mother, but despite what I told her she permitted my stepfather to continue living in the same house as us.
As I grew I just developed a sense of individualism that my family did not like. Deep down inside I just wanted to run away. As I became a teenager I became an atheist. While at the same time pretending to be a Christian in front of my mother. Atheism wasn’t working for me because I still believed that there was still a life force just watching over me. So one day I stumbled upon a copy of Malcom X’s autobiography. I was so intrigued because I was never permitted to listen to other religions.
After listening to this manifesto of hatred I had become inspired. I had began to hate Christianity more and more. So when I turned 17 I converted to Islam. My family found out after I had been converted for six months. I fasted during Ramadan and even prayed five times a day. I was so happy because I was no longer a Christian. After my mother found out that I had become a Muslim she tried to kill me. I was so terrified because I was so alone.
My boyfriend did everything that he could to ensure my safety. So I fled and began living with my grandmother. She was also a Christian so she wanted me to return to the old faith. We constantly fought about this. She even tried to make me eat pork, but I still would not listen. She would take me to church every week and I hated it. However, I was also starting to move away from Islam. I listened to lectures and read the Hadith, but eventually I stopped praying and reading my Qur’an.
This was my freshmen year of college so I loved to read. I read the Ramayana and was in love with the Vedic culture and it’s ideas. I saw how beautiful it really was. After my second semester of college I moved to Tampa with my boyfriend. This is when I truly learned that I did not belong in Islam. I went to the mosque and got treated horribly. They even tried to marry me to a Muslim man, but I refused. They also tried to force me to wear the burqa and the niqaab. I wantedd no part of this so I left the mosque. And deep down inside I had also left Islam.
I started drinking alcohol and no longer reading the Qur’an. I kept the Muslim identity, but had began practicing Dharma. I loved Buddha’s teachings as well as the teachings of Krishna in the Gita. I was in love with Hinduism, but so afraid of abandoning Islam. I was scared and so confused. And six months later I realised that I had been running from my true self the whole time. I had always been a Hindu. Now I have accepting Shaktism and now embrace who I am.
The Dharma had saved my life and now I am proud. I can proudly say that I belong to the Hindu community. I so glad that Brahma accepted me.
This is how I became Hindu.