In this counseling answer:
• It seems your dad fears losing you.
• Try talking to the imam of your local mosque.
• Get some counseling at your school.
Salamu ‘Alaikum my dearest sister,
I am so sorry to hear about what you are going through. The positive factors are that you are going to college and you work. Your distress and the fact that your father highly monitors you while you seek independence is a sign that mediation at the very least is needed. Is there an Imam in your community whom both you and your father like and would be able to talk to?
Also, you did not mention where your mother is in all of this or your siblings if you have any. By the information you provided, I am under the impression that it is just you and your dad living together with no other family in the home or community within whom you can confide.
While I do not know your family history, it seems your dad fears losing you. Maybe you are all he has. While I do realize that this is not a comfort for you, please try to understand that your dad may be going through something that causes him to cling on to you so tightly.
If he (or you) refuses to speak with an Imam, I highly suggest you get some counseling at your school. Most colleges offer it. It can be done during your time there, and you may find, in sha’ Allah, that there are options for you to deal with your situation.
While I understand your pain and frustration, please know that your father loves you very much and wants the best for you. Sometimes, as parents, thinking of our fears of something happening to our child, or even things that may have happened to us, we go overboard with our demands and expectations. Parents are not perfect, but as Allah (swt) commands, we must be kind to them and treat them with respect.
In return, you as his child deserve the same. You deserve to live in loving kindness, free from abuse, and as a young adult, you are able to make some of your own decisions now, such as living in a dorm with other sisters. While it is optimal that you strive to work things out with your father, in the event you just cannot, there are other options. A counselor at your school would be best suited to determine and help you along those lines.
My dear sister, as I did detect anger and depression as well as hopelessness in your question, I urge you to get counseling as soon as possible to help you through this. By doing so, you are proactively doing something about your situation. You sound like a very responsible and pious young lady. By seeking counseling now to remedy this situation, you are in effect stating “I am ready to live my own life and in a responsible manner”. As it is more independence you seek, this would be your first step.
I would also suggest joining a support group for Muslim girls who may be experiencing similar things. You may be surprised to see how many young girls may be going through the same thing as you, and you will make lasting friendships, in sha’ Allah.
Lastly, my dear sister, know that Allah (swt) loves you and that this situation is only temporary. Allah (swt) will not put more on you than you can bear. However, it is our responsibility in life to make things better if we can. It is my feeling that your father suffers more than you for some reason. I ask, dear sister, that you be mindful of that as well. Draw close to Allah (swt); make du’aa’ for this situation and for peace in your home.
Please let us know how you are doing, if you received counseling, and if you decided to make other living arrangements. The most important thing though, sister, is that you get the help and assistance you asked for and that you follow through with recommendations for counseling to show that you are responsible and do desire to change your situation into a positive and happy one for you. This means you must take the first step. I pray to Allah (swt) that you do.
You are in our prayers,
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.