Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: Assalam aleykum,
My parents are abusive, both emotionally and physically. Mostly emotionally. All they care about is grades, not the emotional damage they do to me or the abuse. I am also severely depressed, and I have been for years because of them. They made me hate myself. They treat me as an object,”we pay all this money for you to study” they say. The choose my subjects. I don’t want to study what they want me to. More often than not I think about killing myself to escape them and the only thing stopping me is that suicide is a sin. I cry a lot. I dont go to therapy because if i asked my parents would tell me its a waste of time, that its for crazy people, and that they wont pay me that kind of money. They constantly degrade me, make fun of me, compare me to my siblings, make me feel like all i ever am is a letter on a report card. I have no one to turn to and I cant speak to them about it.
What can I do?
Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us during your time of great need.
Dear sister, please know that Allah loves you, just as you are. You are enough as you are. You are worthy as you are. Your value to Him is not dependent on your grades, or any other external factor. Please seek comfort in this.
When you are flooded with unimaginable pain and feel like the only way out is by ending your own life, please, dear questioner, pause, inhale, and exhale. Take it one breath at a time.
I pray that you will overcome this awful trial in your life. May you live a blessed life full of joy, love and closeness to Allah.
I do not know the story behind your parents. What I do know, from my own life, is that wounded people wound others. Your parents will be held to account for their sins against you, and I pray that one day, you will have enough compassion to forgive them. Allah gave you to your parents as a sacred trust, and they are letting you down by treating you so terribly.
I recently heard a story about a bowl of light, from Dr Joyce Mills; every child is born with one. Over time, negativity collects in our bowls like stones, and some of us even become stones. All we have to do is tip our bowls over – our light is still there. Empty out your bowl, every night, through heartfelt dua to Allah. Perform the Prayer of Need every night, in the last third of the night.
What can you do to calm yourself? Can you take calming breaths? Step outside into nature? Please see Emotional First Aid.
What makes your heart smile? A warm cup of tea? A walk in the park? Writing? Painting? Do at least one thing that brings you joy, every day.
Dear questioner, the fact that you wrote to me shows me that you are strong. You have endured years of emotional and verbal abuse from the very parents who were meant to nurture you, yet you are still standing. You are strong, no matter what anyone else tries to tell you.
Study for the sake of your own freedom. Nobody can take your education away from you. If you do well enough to win a scholarship, then you have the chance to leave your toxic family home.
Your parents do not need to know that you are seeking out help through life coaching or therapy. Save up your pocket money and seek out online options, if seeing a real-life therapist is too challenging or expensive for you. Find someone who can help empower you based on your own strengths and values. Learn how to be more assertive, and how to set better boundaries. It is sinful to be rude to your parents, but it is not sinful to set a boundary calmly and politely. It is incredibly hard to do this without guidance, so I pray you find a suitable counsellor soon.
Dear sister, please know that even though we have never met, my heart is speaking to your heart. My soul witnesses your pain. Know that once, I was a young girl in tremendous pain too, and Allah sent me a way out. May He bless you with ease after your hardship, and make you a source of healing for other broken hearts some day. You have tremendous things ahead of you, dear sister. Please keep in touch.
[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.