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I’ve Low Self-Esteem, Thanks to My Family

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Sep 12, 2018

Question

Assalamu Aleikom. I'm having a really hard relationship with my mother for a few months. My elder sister came to us for holidays for 4 months as she is studying abroad. I feel like for my mother I only exist when my sister is not here and as soon as she's back I don't exist.

Ever since we had a lot of fights where one of them led me to stop talking to every member of my family. I turned to Allah and cried every day on the prayer mat! My mom made the first step and talked to me and told me that she didn't like this attitude of mine. Then I cried a lot for her explaining her the issue which I thought she would understand, but she didn't. She told me that I'm crazy and I am having a depression and that I'll end up alone in my whole life.

On a daily basis my whole family reprimands me by saying there's something wrong with me. This led me to have zero self-esteem. I know I'm the most difficult child and I'm stubborn and that my mother is hurt by my reaction, but what about me and my feelings?

A family is supposed to be supporting you in your bad moments, but my bad moments are created by my own family. What should I do?

Communication doesn't work with us because she never gets my point. She has never felt what I'm feeling and she had never faced this crisis from my sister and that's why she labeled me as the most difficult child she has.

When I stopped talking to them and was alone I was better, but then my mom told me that Allah wouldn’t accept my duas since I was cutting relationship with my family. What should I do?

Counselor

Answer


I’ve Low Self-Esteem, Thanks to My Family

In this counseling answer:

• Make space between you and your family members.

• Remember Allah often.

• The first step towards filling your mind with positivity is devoting time towards an activity that you truly enjoy.

• Exercise.

• Network and connect with people outside your home.


Assalamu Alaikum dear sister,

Thank you for placing your trust in our ability to propose a solution to your current situation. I am very hurt to hear about the troubles that you have been undergoing in life right now. But, regardless of all the troubles, dear sister, rest assured that Allah hears each word you cry to him or whisper. Allah SWT also hears what your heart says but your lips cannot. Dear sister, everyone in life is bound to face the trouble of some kind, and the best one of the believers are those who never turn away, like yourself.

From what I can deduct from your question, your mother seems to be lacking the most important ingredient of happiness: effective communication. This is often the problem in many families these days where the parents do not want to communicate with their children exactly what it is that they are expecting from them. They do not tell them what is bothering them and instead choose to direct their children using anger, strict guidelines and verbal or physical abuse. This, unfortunately, renders the children unhappy. As a result, they seek other means to be happy, often indulging in what is Islamically prohibited, or go down the path to mental illness.

Relax your mind

Before I suggest any steps, you need to relax your mind. Everyone relaxes differently. However, I suggest you take the following steps to ensure that you are not consciously or subconsciously stressed about what is bothering you.

  1. Take slow, deep breaths. Or try other breathing exercises for relaxation.
  2. Soak in a warm bath.
  • Write out your feelings.
  1. Focus on what is about your life that you appreciate.

Realize that sometimes toxic people in our lives are those who we are related to. When this is the case, all we must simply do is to make sure that we are not letting their words and actions bother us too much.

Make space between you and your family members. Every time they verbally and physically bother you, make a note to yourself that you are quite the opposite.

Shift your Focus

I sincerely advise you to stop focusing too much on the negativity you feel because of your mother’s behavior towards you and your family’s inability to see the psychological harm their misbehavior is doing to you. It is very disappointing to see that some mothers fail to understand their own daughters and misbehave when they are going through an emotionally disturbing time in their lives. However, dear sister, your agony over the behavior of your mother or that of your siblings is not going to change their behavior for the better but will rather break you.

Allah SWT says in the Quran, “Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” (Ar-Rad, 13:28)

True sadness and despair tend to deviate us from believing in the power of Allah. So, remember Allah often. Your degree of happiness depends on your level of connection with Allah, and your knowledge of Him. Dear sister, once that love grows, everything else will fall into place.

Remember that Allah will never ever place you in a situation which He SWT does not think you can handle. Therefore, use this opportunity and the lack of connection with your family to connect deeply and strongly with Allah SWT.

Allah SWT says in the Quran,

“So, do not weaken and do not grieve, and you will be superior if you are [true] believers.” (Quran 3:139)

Never in the Quran, or in the sayings of the Prophet Muhammed SAW will you find that you are asked to despair, fall into hopelessness, and isolate yourself constantly thinking about your troubles. Instead, you are asked to see every situation from a positive angle and see growth.


Check out this counseling video:


Prioritize self-development

Dear sister, you are 18 right now, you are now an adult. You need to shift your focus from what is bothering you too much. This will hinder your development into a strong woman that you need to become in order to face life with intellect, strength, and grace.

You need to take control of your mind. If you do not take control of your mind and fill it with the positivity of what will benefit you soon, then you will suffer in the future and you will also harm your mental and physical health.

The first step towards filling your mind with positivity is devoting time towards an activity that you truly enjoy. Focus on making it your passion, your work, and potentially even your career.

Find yourself a passion:

  1. The intention to please Allah.
  2. The intention to do good to people
  3. The intention to remove the evil deeds that you have done.

You need to find yourself a passion. A passion that will not only render you satisfied but also occupy your mind and prevent you from thinking back into the troubles.

But the question arises, how do I find out what exactly I am passionate about? How do I know?

Remember, your passion should these three questions:

  1. What subject could I read 500 books about without getting bored?
  2. What could I do for five years straight without getting paid?
  3. What would I spend my time doing if I had the complete financial abundance to do anything?

Therefore, once you find an activity which successfully fits the three requirements above, then invest time and increase productivity.

Thoughts that promote hopelessness are not going to steer you in the right direction. Not only will they distract you from becoming productive from the world but will also distract you from preparing yourself for the afterlife.

In order to make yourself ready for the future, you must not acknowledge everything that comes your way. It is at this point in your life that you need to become goal oriented and not let any hurdles bring you down.

Decide What You Want in life. To get what you want, you must first decide what you want.

Be Willing to Dream Big Dreams. When you consider what you want to be and are willing to dream big, you will see how little insults from even your own family become meaningless because your mind is set on something even bigger.

Set Goals that will stretch You, that will make you work harder and see the benefits in improving yourself to be of service to others.

Start a success/personal development/goal journal and write your goals down. Writing down your goals makes you feel as though you can plan and achieve them rather than letting them be abstract and simply part of your imagination. In addition, when you write down your goals, you feel lively, less bothered and better than any insult that may come your way.

Exercise

There is nothing better than exercising to promote productivity, positivity, creativity, and happiness. In research, it is found that people who are regular at exercising are hardly victims of depression, anxiety, sadness or even hopelessness. It also shows that after simply going for a 30-minute walk, individuals are more creative than before they had gone for the walk. Walking outside with a happy friend or a family member also makes you forget things that once bothered you.

Network and connect with people outside your home

Sometimes, dear sister, when we do not have any close friends or other good company, we tend to make anything that happens at home at the center of our universe. This, as I have mentioned above, proves to be very detrimental for our own health and future success.

Therefore, I suggest that you get involved in activities relating to a mosque, volunteering work, or simply spending more time with your friends doing activities that you enjoy. I can guarantee that time will change your mother’s and family’s behavior towards you. You have done nothing wrong, so you should rest assured.

In conclusion, I really think that in certain cases you may need to force yourself to change yourself for the better as the negativity in your mind will constantly bring you down. However, by exercising, turning other people’s negative thoughts into positive comments about yourself, you will see a difference in your life.

May Allah help you,

***

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.

Read more:

My Daughter Has Low Self-Esteem

How to Deal with Low Self-Esteem?

Love Your Self..




About Madiha Sadaf

Madiha Sadaf in an undergraduate student at the University of Ottawa, enrolled in BSc. with Major in Biology and Psychology with Minor in Health Social Sciences.

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