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Mom is Always Fighting with Us!

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Jan 12, 2017

Question

I don’t know what is the problem with her she keeps on speaking and fighting with the family. If we say anything to her she doesn’t listen and talks very rudely to her children. I tried a lot to change her but she doesn’t change at all. She blames my dad and his family for this problem. She fights a lot with my dad and her children too. I am really frustrated with her because she just keeps on blabbering stuff and doesn’t do anything. We thought she needs a psychiatrist so we wanted to take her there but she says that she is fine and my dad needs a psychiatrist. She thinks very highly of herself. She doesn’t really care about her children too. I have a brother who is a special child but she keeps on being negative about him that he will die eventually. We get really tensed about her as she takes everything in a negative sense. We joke around with her but she starts fighting. She doesn’t even accept her mistake. It is really frustrating seeing her like this. Please help me out.

Counselor

Answer


Mom is Always Fighting with Us!

Answer:

As-Salamu ‘Alaikum,

I am so sorry to hear of the issues your family is going through due to your mom’s emotions, anger (and probably depression). It must be very hard on the family. Often times, when someone is depressed or suffering from some sort of mental illness, they try to blame others and may refuse help. This is in a way a defense mechanism as it provides people with a way to avoid confronting their own issues and pain.

You mentioned that you had a brother who was a special needs child. While I do not know how  long your mom has been acting like this, nor the age of your brother, it is possible that she has become depressed, or angry, or even fearful having a child with special needs. You stated in regards to your mom “I have a brother who is a special child, but she keeps on being negative about him that he will die eventually”. Perhaps, this is the reason for her negativity, fighting with the family and being rude. Although it is no excuse, and it does need to be addressed.

Also, you mentioned that she blames your father and his family. I am wondering what it is she blames them for? It has to be deeper than just her “behavior” as you indicated that was her reason. We are all responsible for our own behavior. Perhaps, there is something that you do not know of that has hurt or angered your mom. However still, it is her responsibility to rectify the matter and not take it out on the family. If a wrong was done, it should be, in sha’ Allah, corrected.

Allah (swt) commands that we treat our families with loving kindness, that we do not hurt or abuse them and that if there is something wrong, we try to make it right. I would kindly suggest that your family utilize Islamic principles to resolve this. It should be a gentle reminder from your dad to sit down as a family and go to the Qur’an to study familial relationships. Perhaps your dad can schedule an Islamic family night wherein everyone in the home gets together and reads selected surahs from the Qur’an, especially pertaining to family life and how to treat one another and resolve problems. If your mom refuses to participate, in sha’ Allah, she will benefit from hearing the discussions and eventually join in.

I would like to ask, do you ever remember a time when your mom was happy and pleasant? Are there any moments in which she is happy and kind? If so, try to make a list of these times and things that bring her joy. If you are able, take her out to lunch one day to one of her favorite places and try to spend some quality time with her without the pressure of an expectation for her to “be kind”. Perhaps she will open up and discuss what is bothering her. I would kindly suggest that you try to make the conversation light and let her take the lead in discussing anything that surrounds the issues of the family problems which you wrote to us about. In this way, she will feel less threatened and more secure in opening up, in sha’ Allah. Maybe all your mom needs is a listening ear and a non-judgmental heart to confide in.  

While you did not mention if your mom has any friends that she enjoys social times with or if she goes to the Masjid, I would encourage her to spend time with her friends as friends are a great support to us in our lives. Encourage her to find solace and spiritual renewal at the Masjid with her sisters and for the daily prayers. Even if she can attend only a few times a week, you may see a change in her attitude.

If you do not already pray together, ask your mom to pray with you when you offer your salat. If she declines, alhumdulillah, at least you asked and planted that little seed.

While you did not provide enough information to know whether she has a mental illness (depression, anxiety, etc.), it would be ideal if she did go for counseling. As she has refused to go to a psychiatrist, perhaps she would be willing to go for family counseling. In this proposal, the issue is on the whole family, not just her. She may be more willing to go as she will not be the main focus (blame) for the dysfunction. Insha’Allah, if you and your family chose this option, have your dad (preferably) approach her and inform her that there are some issues within the family that needs to be addressed and that the family will in sha’ Allah benefit from family counseling. Ask her if she would like to attend family counseling with everyone. If she agrees, alhumdulilah. If she does not, then please still go as family counseling can be a great resource for you and your family in regards to the issues with your mom.  

Family counseling can provide insight into family issues; it can provide education and information for increasing coping skills for you and your family as well as improving communication skills between family members. in sha’ Allah, it will help relieve some of the tensions in your home as well as encouraging your mom to join in at a later time, if she initially refuses. At any rate, it is worth a try in sha’ Allah as it can only be a benefit.

In addition, please do keep your family, especially your mom, in du’aa’, asking Allah (swt) to grant ease and to heal your mom’s heart; to heal any other affliction and to restore harmony in your home in sha’ Allah.

You are in our prayers, we wish you the best.

***

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About Aisha Mohammad

Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word poetry projects.

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