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Sick Mother, Step Mother & Uncertain BF: I’m Lost

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Sep 27, 2016

Question

Hi, my mother has been sick since I was 7 years old and my parents don't have a good relationship. My father beat up my mother and she became sicker. We are two sisters. We are clever students by the grace of God. My younger sister got full scholarship in Australia to study engineering and I'm studying in Bangladesh. My father had several affairs and recently he's got married the second time and we had to accept it. My mother is now mentally impaired as she can't process anything and I have to look after her all the time. I feel really depressed, but I don't show that to anyone. I have always been the top student in my class but lately it's very hard for me to concentrate on my studies. I feel really bad to say but I hate my parents. My sister is my best friend and since she is not here I feel helpless, but I'm still doing good in my studies even though it's really difficult for me. I had severe vertigo problem from 2008 to 2011 and hence I had to drop many semesters. I cannot relate to anyone in my class. I feel very lonely. I had a boyfriend for 4 years who was my best friend, but after a while he started showing less interest in me and gave excuses e.g. he is busy. At the end of the first year, I left him. Then after two months he came back saying he was sorry. Then we got together again, but broke up again after few months. I told him that I don't think he loves me, and we shouldn't continue like this because I really love him and it hurts me a lot every time we break up. Then he finally said that he doesn't love me; he only likes me a lot and he is sorry that he realized this after 4 years. We haven't talked for 7 months and I'm glad that it's over. But this relationship affected me a lot; now I can't talk to guys anymore. I am lost. I don't know how to forget these hatreds inside my heart, how to deal with my mother, and how to concentrate on my studies. I'm in constant fear that my mother would die any time. She has lots of sleeping pills which is making her even sicker. But if I try to reduce her meds, she becomes very angry. I'm so tired of being afraid. I really want to be stronger but I just can't anymore. I can't trust anyone. I feel helpless. I would be so grateful if you could find some time to reply. I really want to be established and live with my mother and sister happily and peacefully. Thank you.

Counselor

Answer


Sick Mother, Step Mother & Uncertain BF: I'm Lost

Answer:

As-Salam ‘Alaikum,

You, your sister, and your mother are survivors of extreme and chronic trauma. Each of you most likely has symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. To grow up watching your mother being beaten is very, very traumatic. The stress that lives in a family with this level of chronic stress will cause changes in your cortisol levels and you’re over all functioning. It is likely that your vertigo is related to the chronic stress that you have been experiencing. You are now expressing signs and symptoms of depression. You depression is quite understandable.  It is both circumstantially induced and you are also likely beginning to show physical inability to continue to meet the demands of chronic stress. In other words, depression is not just a condition of the emotional and psychological state of a human being; it is also a physiological and biochemical state.

The combination of the disappointments that you have suffered as a young woman in relationship to love and hope for marriage, combined with your worry about your mother, and now your separation from you sister is no doubt weighing very heavily upon your heart. When we work so very hard to be good people, to care for others, and to meet all of our responsibilities and then feel alone, it is only natural to feel alone in the world being helpless. However, it is in these times when we must reach out and find God’s (swt) presence in this world.

I encourage you to reach out to support groups, to female friends you trust, and to additional family members to help you care for your mother. If your mind begins to feel “foggy” and you cannot think clearly, and your emotions begin to take over, try to journal. Typing on a computer can be just as effective as writing in a notebook – it is the action of writing down your thoughts and emotions that helps to clear the mind. There may be solutions that you have not thought of yet.

With that said, there are some actions which are highly recommended for you at this critical time. First, encourage your mother to go to the doctor and ask her to get a complete physical examination. Tell the medical doctor about your mother’s behavior and of your concern and worry. Ask him to recommend a counselor for her and to encourage her to go. Seek out counseling for yourself immediately. You must take care of yourself at this critical time. Even though you sister is away from you now, the connection that you have with her is vital to both of you. Your sister needs this connection with you just as much as you need it with her.

As for your relationship with men:  give this time. Do not get yourself into any relationship with a man for two years. Completely focus on nurturing yourself, taking care of yourself and becoming strong, while strengthening your connection to your sister and getting help with caring for your mother. Over time, through your college years and your career, you will be exposed to good men. Over time, this will help your mind sort out the idea that there are all kinds of men, including men with good intentions, and men with evil intentions; men who are violent, and men who have self-control and the ability to regulate their emotions. Mature men who care for others, and selfish men. You will be able to develop instincts over time that will help you identify what type of man you are with.

While you were growing up, you were exposed to a limited number of men. Not all men are the same.  However, when we are traumatized by men, out subconscious mind generalizes the bad behavior of one or two men to represent all men. Yet, this is absolutely not the case. There are many, many very good, honorable, caring, honest men who have the ability and desire to make a commitment to a woman, and to dedicate their love to a woman and mutual goals with a wife.

As you heal from your trauma, you will begin to notice when you are around a good man. Over time, you will learn how to listen to you initial instincts and follow them. When there is something whispering inside you that you are not in the right relationship, you will have the courage and strength to separate yourself and to be on your own until you meet the right person for you.

Over time, you will learn how to be with yourself and not feel abandoned and lonely. Indeed, those feelings of abandonment and loneliness are carry overs from when you felt abandoned and lonely as a child. So, by nurturing yourself and taking good care of yourself, you will become less and less lonely over time. By making the promise to yourself that you will never leave yourself and you will take care of yourself, you will overcome the feelings of abandonment. This way, you will grow and develop and will have much to offer in a positive relationship.

This takes time, and this is why I advise you not to get into any kind of relationship with a man for at least two years. This will give you time to sort out the care for your mother, nurture your connection with your sister, heal from your last relationship, and step onto the path of healing from the many years of trauma that you have experienced growing up.

This journey of revelation, healing, and regeneration on a personal level is the door to the journey of reconnecting with God (swt). The stronger you become as a person on the inside; the more you are able to love and nurture yourself, the more you will understand and experience the connection that you have with Allah (swt). Though we must reach out and get connected with others and experience Allah (swt) within the collective; we experience our oneness with Allah (swt) by strengthening within. Iman (faith) is a holistic concept; it is more than mere belief, or even just faith in Allah (swt). It is the strength within the core of our own being and this strength is what connects us to Allah (swt) by pushing our awareness beyond our limited concepts of self and of the outer world of creation. Thus, go within, discover the parts of yourself that you have not yet claimed and you will find a strong Iman.

Salaam,

***

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