In this counseling answer:
• While I know that you cannot do anything to change or fix your family’s behavior towards you, you can explore more about yourself and be aware of how their actions make you feel. You will eventually be empowered enough that you are able to lift yourself from their trap.
• Realize that you are absolutely worthy or love, acceptance, and respect just the way that you are.
• Convey to them how they make you feel.
• Focus on your strengths.
• Seek help.
As-Salamu ‘Alaikum Sister,
In your post, you have mentioned that you feel depressed and suicidal because your family does not treat you equally. You feel as though your mother treats you differently as compared to your other siblings. You have also mentioned that you even feel that she treats the adopted brother better as compared to you while you have always felt left out and alone. You are going through emotional devastation because you have no one to love you unconditionally or just be there for you.
Sister, I am truly sorry and distressed by your situation. I can understand how difficult and emotionally painful this may be for you. I wish I could do something to ease your pain.
I want to reassure you that there is nothing wrong with you, or who you are as a person, but rather with your parents who are not able to give you the nurturing and love that you deserve.
Your mother’s behavior towards you or her favoritism towards her other children is condemnable not only in our society but also in our religion, Islam.
According to Hadith, the Prophet Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him said,
“Your children have the right of receiving equal treatment, as you have the right that they should honor you.” (Abu Dawoud)
On another occasion, Prophet Muhammad (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam) also said: “Do justice among your sons (kids),’ and repeated it thrice.” (Muslim)
Fear of Rejection and Abandonment
Sister, I would like to help you make aware of what you might be feeling so that you are able to manage your emotions, feelings, and sadness better.
When people are emotionally abusive towards you and you have no support – it is traumatizing! Further, since this has been happening to you since your childhood you may have developed a fear of rejection and abandonment.
The reason we develop the fear is that naturally as human beings we strive to make positive emotional connections with the people we love. However, when other people continue to reject you or fail to acknowledge you, you automatically develop a constant fear of rejection and abandonment.
Check out this counseling video:
While I know that you cannot do anything to change or fix your family’s behavior towards you, you can explore more about yourself and be aware of how their actions make you feel. You will eventually be empowered enough that you are able to lift yourself from their trap.
The Consequences of Emotional Abuse
When you are emotionally abused, it is natural that you start feeling ashamed of yourself because you tend to internalize what other people project on you. Your mother’s neglect and differentiated behavior towards you must have caused a lot of internal damage inside you which is why you feel so depressed. You may continuously feel like “I am not good enough” “if I was prettier, maybe my mother would have liked me” “If I could do this, maybe I could please my mother”. Hence, this is a never-ending trail of thoughts that form the vicious cycle of depression.
Sister, it is important to realize that you are absolutely worthy or love, acceptance, and respect just the way that you are. And if your mother and other family members are unable to provide that to you; it is not your fault at all.
Be Aware of How You Feel
I know that being aware of your feelings will make you sad that your family does not treat you well. However, being aware will also help you break the unhealthy patterns in your relationships. Being aware of your feelings “ at the moment” will help you recognize exactly what things your mother does that make you feel the worst. And with time and awareness, you will be empowered enough to point out those things to your mother.
Communication is Essential
You have mentioned that you do not feel like facing your family. It seems like you want to avoid the situation. While I would not say that it is a bad approach, considering how emotionally drained you must feel at the moment, eventually it would be beneficial if you can communicate your feelings to your family.
I know this may be quite difficult initially since we are taught to respect our parents and also because we usually fear a “confrontation”. But since you have been going through so much all your life, it is essential that you convey to them how they make you feel.
Focus on Your Strengths
We are all a mixture of strengths and weaknesses. It is essential that you focus on your strengths. It will not only make you feel good about yourself but also help to ease away your depression.
Try out new activities and hobbies such as writing, painting, drawing, cooking, exercising or gardening. Focusing on things that help you feel better about yourself will improve your quality of life.
Sister, understand that at any point in life do not hesitate in seeking help from other people. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but rather of strength. It is essential to realize that we are all vulnerable in some ways.
If you feel too overwhelmed by your family’s behavior, you could consider moving to a shelter home for a while. If you feel emotionally overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to seek help from a mental health professional or a counselor.
Ask Help from Allah SWT
It is also essential to realize that Allah is the All Knower and All Seer. He sees and knows all the injustice you have borne at the hands of your family.
In the Quran Allah SWT says,
“And indeed We have created man, and We know whatever thoughts his inner self develops, and We are closer to him than (his) jugular vein.” (50:16).
Have faith in Allah SWT and ask him for help. He will make the path easy for 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.