In this counseling answer:
“You need to find a way to respectfully let your parents know that you are not finding enough time to study and their conflicts are having a negative impact on you. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this in person, perhaps you can write a note or an email to your parents. At the same time, find a friend or a couple of friends who can support you and who you can study with at difficult times.’
Wa ‘Alaykum As-Salam my dear sister,
Thank you for your question. Let’s start off with identifying the main issues in your question which, I believe, are the lack of time you seem to have to complete your studies due to the many house chores, the difficult environment in your home due to conflicts between your parents, and your high sensitivity which can sometimes lead to excessive thinking about matters or sadness and may have an effect on your mood.
Before I start, I want to commend you ma sha’ Allah for remembering that Allah (swt) is the closest to us and knows us better than ourselves, and for trying to maintain your prayers which are very important in your connection with Allah (swt) and also for your overall well-being.
In terms of the issue with too many chores and your parents’ conflict, I think you need to find a way to respectfully let your parents know that you are not finding enough time to study and their conflicts are having a negative impact on you. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this in person, perhaps you can write a note or an email to your parents. Open your heart to them; let them know how much you love them and care for them, and that you know how much they love you. Tell them you would like to work hard and do well at school so you can not only make them proud but ensure you are working toward a bright future and also ultimately pleasing Allah (swt) because He loves if we do our stuff with ihsan (excellence).
It may take time for your parents to adjust, but maybe you can seek help from others. If you have older siblings, maybe they can support you by speaking to your parents. Or if you have a close relative whom you trust, he/she can perhaps indirectly support your parents with their disagreements, without necessarily disclosing that you spoke with them in case you worry that your parents may be upset that you spoke to another adult regarding this. Ultimately, you need to remember as much as possible that we cannot control other people’s choices and tendencies; therefore, we should try to focus as much as possible on what we can do. Perhaps, if you find it difficult to study at home, you can start studying at a library.
As for being very sensitive, this can actually be a blessing because highly sensitive people are usually very compassionate people who can use that to do great things. The flip side is that as they are so compassionate and empathetic, sometimes, they may find their emotions overwhelming which can lead to excessive thinking, and perhaps anxiety and sadness.
I would suggest reading the book called “The Emotionally Sensitive Person: finding peace when your emotions overwhelm you”. You can get it on amazon.com and has very practical ways of dealing with this tendency, which once again is not something you need to be ashamed of as it can, indeed, be a gift and actually found in 15-20% of people. You just need to learn to manage it in a way that doesn’t affect your life negatively.
Another great resource you can look at is http://hsperson.com/ which stands for the highly sensitive person. You can start off by trying to minimize triggers, as you mentioned. For example, if a trigger is your parents’ fight, respectfully pull yourself out of the situation; go to another room and put on headphones and listen to some Quran or anasheed (songs without musical instruments) so that you don’t end up listening to their argument. Also, taking regular breaks and even ‘mini-retreats’ could be helpful like going out to the park regularly, or if you live in a cold climate, perhaps you can visit your favorite coffee shop or the library to work or read at. Exercising can greatly help as well.
I would also recommend you find a friend or a couple of friends who can support you and who you can study with at difficult times. Look for good, righteous sisters who will remind you of Allah (swt), and if it seems difficult at school, then perhaps joining a local youth group or attending the mosque for youth activities could help with developing new relationships that will support you through this phase in your life. Indeed, loving a sister for the sake of Allah (swt) and developing those strong bonds of sisterhood can be one of the most beautiful gifts in life which have great reward.
Finally, remember to rekindle your relationship with the Quran for it is truly a source of healing and has answers to our life’s most complex questions. Br. Nouman Ali Khan has excellent lectures on YouTube about the meanings of the Qur’an. Remember also to call unto Allah (swt) with all of your needs. Make du’aa’ to Him for He is truly near and answers the call of those who call Him, as He promises us in the Quran.
All the best to you my dear sister. Stay strong and you will get through this in sha’ Allah.
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