I Think My Mom is Insane

13 April, 2017
Q I am a 17 years old boy. My mom always hit me as a kid. She would slap me, throw me mugs, push me on walls or even hit my head. When as I was growing up, I had this mindset that I would get back on her when I’m strong. As time passed by, she stopped hitting me but she became verbally abusive she would shout at me in public places, she would leave me behind every time she walks. Her temper worsens every time. If she’s mad at me she would hide my charger or either the Wi-Fi code. Then there are days when she is really sweet and caring and funny then after a few she would storm out again. Do you think my mom is insane? I feel I am getting depressed by her behavior.



As-Salamu ‘Alaikum brother,

It is understandable why you feel depressed by your mom’s behavior. Firstly, her abusive actions towards you will obviously bring you down. Anyone who is treated in this way will have a difficult time being happy, particularly when such actions come from someone you love and respect more than anyone.

Additionally, your mom’s emotions seem to be up and down; she is very nice and caring but then becomes very angry. This confusion will only make things worse for you as you experience a moment of hope where relations are good between you, only to be knocked down once more when she gets angry. In some cases, this can be even more depressing than consistent negative behavior because your own emotions will be following hers – you will feel hopeful when she is in a good mood and then being brought back down again in her negative state. This uncertainty will only add to the feeling of depression and hopelessness more.

Firstly, understand that this behavior towards you is not ok and it is abusive; both physically and emotionally. Never at any point think it’s your fault in any way. Many people in this situation are lead to believe that it is their fault or that there is something that could have done to stop it. This can lead to feelings of self-blame and depression also, so do not ever believe that her behavior is your fault.

Her actions seem to stem from some kind of desire for control. As you have grown older, her behavior towards you has changed in line with the easiest way to control you depending on your age. As a small child, you were physically weaker than her, so physical actions towards you were the easiest means of control. As you got older and stronger, verbal outbursts were the easiest way to control you. Now you are even older, and perhaps more resilient, heading towards independence, taking away the Wi-Fi and your phone charger become means to control what you can do and your contact with the world beyond the walls of your house.

At this stage, she is probably even more worried than ever as you reach the age where you could leave home and successfully manage yourself outside of the home, independently, without her. Most parents when their child reaches this age experience this kind of anxiety about their child leaving home and everyone has their own ways of managing these emotions. Unfortunately, in your case, it seems that your mom does not manage it in the best way at all and still continues with her abusive behavior towards you, perhaps as a means to control you especially at an age where she probably feels that she now has very little control over you.

Certainly, we have a duty be respectful towards our parents as Allah (swt) says in the Quran:

“And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], “uff,” and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word.” (Qur’an, 17:23)

But they are also obliged to be respectful back and show mercy towards their children.

The Prophet (saw) said:

“Anyone who does not show mercy to our children nor acknowledge the right of our old people is not one of us.” (Bukhari: Al-Adab Al-Mufrad)

This can be very difficult given that her attitude towards you much of the time is far from that of respect or mercy.

There are a number of ways you can deal with this situation. First, draw upon that which is stated in the Qur’an and respond to her negative ways with that which is better. Feel content that you are not getting trapped into her own negativity and bringing yourself down with it.

“And not equal are the good deed and the bad. Repel [evil] by that [deed] which is better; and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity [will become] as though he was a devoted friend.” (Qu’an, 41:34)

The Prophet (saw) said:

“Allah is Gentle and loves gentleness, and He grants reward for it that He does not grant for harshness.” (Ibn Majah)

However, this doesn’t mean that her abusive behavior is ok or should be tolerated in any way. If the abuse continues to bring you down and affects all aspects of your life, then you might consider going to stay with someone else for a short time or even on a longer term basis to be free from the abuse as well as to give her the chance to consider her own behavior towards you. During this time, whether you continue to stay at home or if you leave, continue making du’aa’ for her to correct her ways and bring her peace in whatever matter is making her so angry.

Additionally, don’t forget to take care of yourself. When people feel depressed, it’s easy to just let go and forget to take care of themselves. But this would only make the depressions worse. Therefore, don’t neglect yourself but give yourself positive attention; do something fun and engage in activities that bring you joy and happiness.

Also, never neglect your duty to Allah (swt); ensure you perform your obligatory duties as well as the voluntary ones where possible and find solace in the remembrance of Allah (swt).

“Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured.” (Qur’an, 13:28)

May Allah (swt) bring you comfort in His remembrance and continue to give your strength to bear difficulties. May He (swt) guide your mom to the right and bring a softness in her heart.



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About Hannah Morris
Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (www.facebook.com/activemindcare)