How Can I Cope with My Abusive and Condescending Mother?


Question: My question is regarding parenting and children. I am a 21-year-old female and the eldest of my siblings. For as long as I can remember, I have always tried my best to please my parents especially my mother, but all my efforts go to waste. My mother constantly yells and belittled me, calls me various names and literally makes me feel like I am useless and the most horrible child on earth. Allah is my witness when I say I do try to be patient but most of the time I tell back.

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. The very best thing that I can tell you is to read the excellent advice in these articles:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/extent-boundary-can-dysfunctional-parents/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/how-can-i-deal-with-my-difficult-mother-in-a-respectful-way/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/i-cant-stop-misbehaving-with-my-mother-what-can-i-do/

As you can see in the above articles, your mother still has the right to be treated with politeness and kindness, despite her hurtful words and abuse. This will be very difficult, so I pray that you can find a way to cope with living with her, at least until you get married.

 

Steps

-First, pray all of your prayers on time and read some Qur’an with the meaning every day, put your religious obligations first, that is the only way to overcome this.
-Turn to Allah with fervent du’a and the Prayer of Need for guidance and help
-Keep yourself busy with work and/or study, and limit the time that you sit with her
-Sleep early and rise early, do not stay up late with her, chatting, and try to spend some of your free time outside alone or with good religious friends. You do not have to give her all of your free time!
-Do not answer back when she yells at you, but tell her that she is hurting your feelings and you are going to your room.
-Buy her a gift, now and then, pick her up a coffee, and do little things for her that she might appreciate and notice.
-At the end of the day, do not bend over backward to please her, but rather do everything that you can please Allah, and he will make sure all of your relationships are set right. If you put Him on the backburner and put your mother’s pleasure first, you will never succeed.
-Trust things will not be like this forever. Parents change when spouses and children come along, and with time, they tend to calm down and see where their priorities are.

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next, and give you the ability to cope, and heal from this situation.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.