In this counseling answer:
•We want to appeal to you to get personal counseling because it is not possible on your own to attempt to overcome the highly destructive consequences of abuse that has occurred for over a decade.
•One way of dealing with them is to minimize entirely the interaction that you and your family have with them. It is better that you do not give them a chance to be negative, and the less interaction you have with them, the better, in sha’ Allah, it will be for everyone concerned.
•Despite your deepest frustration towards them, on a very personal level, fight the instinct to respond with anything less than kindness, compassion, and love.
We appreciate that you took the time to make such a clear presentation about some of the challenges you have been facing. We understand how frustrated you must feel with your parents and siblings and can only say that, in sha’ Allah, we make du`aa’ to Allah Most High to grant you relief very soon!
Firstly, we want to appeal to you to get personal counseling because it is not possible on your own to attempt to overcome the highly destructive consequences of abuse that has occurred for over a decade. You owe it to yourself to be able to process all of the feelings of anger and frustration that you feel towards your parents and your siblings. In sha’ Allah, the counselor will help you to put the relationship in perspective. You also owe it to your husband and children to seek counseling because as long as you are stressed about all of this, you cannot continue to function properly, and it will inevitably affect your relationship with them.
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Secondly, it seems that your parents are not likely to change their outlook towards you and your family any time soon. This does not mean they will never change, but for now, it seems clear that they are intent on maintaining a very negative stance towards you. Because they will not change, you have only one option: to persevere and to withstand whatever negativity they direct towards you. However, one way of dealing with them is to minimize entirely the interaction that you and your family have with them. It is better that you do not give them a chance to be negative, and the less interaction you have with them, the better, in sha’ Allah, it will be for everyone concerned.
Thirdly, despite your deepest frustration towards them, on a very personal level, fight the instinct to respond with anything less than kindness, compassion, and love. Recall Allah (swt) has said,
„And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], “uff,” and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word.” (17: 23)
Therefore, it is our sincere advice to you to remind yourself of this verse every single time you interact with them. In fact, you should also explain to your children this verse so that they are aware of the Qur’anic injunction on how children should treat their parents. Of course, your children will see that your parents are abusive towards you, and you should make every excuse for your parents. In turn, your children will come to appreciate you more for not responding with negativity!
Fourthly, make lots of du`aa’ to Allah (swt) to give you and your family the stamina and the compassion to deal mercifully with your parents and siblings despite their negative treatment of you.
Be intentional in your planning, as we have said above, so that you give your parents their rights by visiting them, by inquiring about them, and by offering them whatever help they seek. However, there is no need for your children to either be in harm or to witness you being abused by your parents. If such abuse occurs, immediately remove yourself and your children from that setting. Apologize to anyone else present for your abrupt departure and, in sha’ Allah, most observant people will understand.
Finally, as we reminded you earlier, you should seek out face-to-face counseling and, in sha’ Allah, also turn to your husband and children for support. Whatever causes your parents and siblings to behave in such an abusive manner is not your fault. You are the victim of the abuse, and you need to have a solid support system to be able to overcome the negative consequences of the abuse. Develop a strong relationship with Allah (swt) and do not underestimate the power of du`aa’. Make du`aa’ for your parents, your siblings, yourself, and your immediate family.
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