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Being Born as a Girl, I Wasn’t Welcomed in the Family

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Dec 06, 2018

Question

When I was born my father and my grandmother was disappointed because they were expecting a boy. I was the second child since they already had my elder sister. My father was so upset that he didn't come home for 21 days. After my birth Allah blessed him with 2 sons. I wasn't given any importance from the beginning and people used to misunderstand me.

My father would always compare me to my elder sister. My grades were lesser than hers as she was a bright student and I was average. Everyone used to love her more (even I loved my sister a lot) but they would degrade me, they appreciate her in front of me just to make me feel inferior. Once my father slapped me in front of everyone that I just fell on the floor and I couldn't control my urine because at that time I was still little. From that day I lost my confidence, courage, and creativity. In fact, I lost everything. I become a shy kid who couldn't speak in front of anyone and people would misinterpret my shyness as pride or rudeness. I became aggressive because of the hurt and lack of communication but now that I am becoming more, I have realized that there's no use to all this aggression because it'll hurt me even more.

Even now, I cannot speak in front of my father. I want to mention to him that my mother loves me a lot and that I'm very close to her. I want to mention that I was sexually abused by a few family members when I was a kid and I never told anyone about It.

I have grown up watching my mother getting abused physically, mentally, and emotionally by my father. He used to beat her in front of us and I cannot forget about it. He was having affair with his late brother’s wife and she would instigate my father which lead to him taking it out on my mother. He thinks he's always right. He even insults my mother's family, and because of his rude behavior my mother's family never visit us or sometimes they visit just for a few hours.

My father has many extramarital affairs which we all are aware of as are people outside of our family. My father never prays not even Friday prayer and Eid prayers. I have never seen him fast, he has diabetes but still when he was fine, I have never seen him fast. Although he did Hajj (pilgrimage) still he never prays, his mentality related to religion doesn’t make sense. He feels it's OK if you're not praying you should be good at worldly affairs (like you should always take stand for injustice).

I know it's important but still prayers are also as important. He says that because he got into some property issue with his same late brother’s wife with whom he was having an affair. And at that time few people (who use to go on preaching and hajj every year) did injustice to my father. So now he has this viewpoint that every person who prays and tries to become a scholar is bad. Even when I pray, he makes fun of me and sometimes I feel disappointed.Now another point is that my younger brother is a carbon copy of my father. I sometimes feel that maybe Allah is punishing my father for his dissatisfaction with my birth. My brother often disobeys my father and even my mother a lot. From the beginning he was disobedient, he would cry a lot, was stubborn, and made my mother miserable. Now he’s 20 years of age but still, he doesn’t commit to his duties. He almost never prays, is careless of his personal hygiene, and is violent enough to attack my parents. My parents become afraid of him. My mother fulfills his every wish because otherwise, he'll become violent. He even abuses and uses foul language a lot like my father.

He makes fun of me when I pray and when I am reading the Quran, he becomes aggressive and shout at me and tells me to read it quietly because he's getting disturbed. My brother also beat me when he becomes aggressive. I have another younger brother but he's nice and caring and he knows we all are suffering, in fact, he himself is suffering because of my father and brothers’ attitude.

Now as my life was full of mess, I just came to know that my cousin from my mother’s side asks for my hand in marriage. He was also going through tough times as he lost his mother. Now he wants to marry me because he's alone and we both know each other’s situations. I also like him a lot and want to marry him, but my father is creating issues. He's blackmailing me that he'll leave my mother if I go through with it and my sister and mother aren't supporting me because they both are afraid of him.

Please advise me on what to do, thank you.

Counselor

Answer


Being Born as a Girl, I Wasn't Welcomed in the Family

In this counseling answer:

• I feel that acceptance is the first step toward healing. You are already on the path to healing, having admitted and said all these things. To heal, we need to bring our pain into our conscious awareness, and then take small steps towards growth.

• It is time that you learn to stand up for yourself and your happiness. When something bothers you, speak about it with your family, and let people know your limits which they should not cross.

• Make istikhara and ask Allah (SWT) to guide your heart.


 Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu,

Sister, your post has touched me. I am sorry that you are going through so much at this point in life, and that you have always endured this pain since you were a little girl. It is apparent from what you have mentioned that your father has been abusing you and your family mentally, emotionally, and physically.

You have also mentioned that being continuously compared to your siblings, and being abused physically by your father, made you lose your confidence and made you a shy person, and were perceived as being rude. You have mentioned that you were sexually abused by your family members but were not able to tell anyone about it.

In addition, your father is very far from religion and mocks it, and that he has consistently had extra-marital affairs. You also expressed in your post that one of your brothers is an exact copy of your father – who is violent and abusive towards the parents as well. Lastly, you have stated that you want to marry your cousin; however, your father is creating problems for you and is threatening to leave your mother if you marry him.

Sister, I would like you to know that you are a strong and brave young lady, who is fighting life’s trials very patiently. May Allah (SWT) make things easy for you and give you an immense reward for what you have faced in life.

The Prophet Muhammad Sallahu Alayhi Wassalam said,

“No fatigue, nor disease, nor anxiety, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The magnitude of emotional pain you have experienced in life cannot be healed through my trivial efforts in this post, however, I would surely like to help you get a better understanding of your situation and therefore make the right decisions for yourself.

Accept Your Self and Your Environment

Sister, I know it is easier said than done, but I feel that acceptance is the first step towards healing. You are already on the path to healing, having admitted and said all these things. To heal, we need to bring our pain into our conscious awareness, and then take small steps towards growth.

The basic dilemma you and your family are facing is the mental, verbal, and psychological abuse by your father. While he may have different excuses to do it every time, he would have done it even if those excuses were not there. For instance, you have mentioned that you were disliked by your father because you were a girl and not a boy – from what I understand from your post; your father would have still found an excuse to harm you psychologically and emotionally even if you were a boy.

The environment you are living in is continuously depriving you of your peace and happiness. It makes you feel sad, threatened, overwhelmed, and depressed.

Learn to Be Assertive and Set Your Boundaries

You have already borne a lot of pain where you had no fault. It was not your mistake that you were not a boy, or the eldest child. Allah (SWT) has created each one of us unique and special in our own way. I am sure that you have lots of good qualities in you that neither your elder sister possesses, nor do any of your brothers.

It is time that you learn to stand up for yourself and your happiness. When something bothers you, speak about it with your family, and let people know your limits which they should not cross. For instance, if your father objects your marriage to a certain guy, let him know that Islam gives you the right to marry the person of your choice.


Check out this counseling video:


If he threatens to leave your mother, let him threaten – because he is only saying that to manipulate you. If he had intended to leave your mother, he would have done it before when he was busy having affairs with other women.

Ask for Help from Allah SWT

Sister, I absolutely understand that it is not easy to go against your family, and especially parents; nor am I enticing you to. However, I just want you to realize your own rights and act accordingly. You cannot let a tyrant to keep ruling over you or your emotions; even if he is your own father. Ask Allah SWT for help and guidance. Ask Him to lead you to the Straight Path.

Marry for Religion

When it comes to marriage, a girl has the full right to choose who she marries. However, our religion guides certain things that we need to keep in mind when selecting our future spouse. The most important of this is marrying a person who is pious and God-fearing.

Sister, remember, a person who is pious and fears Allah (SWT) will never usurp your rights, he will be mindful of prayer and will know that he must answer for his actions on the Day of Judgment.

At times when we are emotionally focused, we may overlook whether our future spouse is a God-fearing person or not, and this may cause problems in our marital life later. So, when considering your cousin for marriage, do make sure that other than having a good heart, he is also a God-fearing person.

Do Istikhara (The prayer asking for guidance)

MashaAllah, you are connected with Allah (SWT). Before you decide to marry your cousin, do make istikhara and ask Allah (SWT) to guide your heart. If it seems like the right decision, do not fear your family’s influence on your decision to marry him.

May Allah (SWT) make life easy for you and Bless you with all the happiness.

Wa Aleikom Salam,   

***

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: 

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About Zainab Farrukh

"Zainab Farrukh has an MS. in Mental Health & Counseling and has been working as a counselor for over 3 years. She is also a Research Specialist working with Psychology professionals and students internationally. She has recently founded The WomeNetwork (www.thewomenetwork.com), where her goal is to help women get better at their game."

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