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SOABM

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About SOABM

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  1. I have realized recently that my mother has almost all traits of a narcissistic parent and as I read more and more on the topic, it dawned on me that having such a parent has adverse psychological and personality disorders, and that I was not treated fairly by her growing up (still going on - I am 34 now, not married and live with her still). I have no idea how to stop the unjust treatment that I face without breaking Islamic rules of disrespect and disobedience towards a parent. I live in US now, and the culture here suggests distance and moving away from such a parent. I agree that this approach is wrong and our culture and especially our religion does not allow this. Some scholars when asked about this situation say that we should never raise our voice, and ignoring or avoiding arguments is the best way, even when you are right. To save yourself from: a) being forced to reply and misbehave; b) and maintaining a boundary with parent that allows you to disengage and not be affected by the parents hurtful and stinging words. I agree that this is a hard thing to do, and I have been trying to do it for years and still slip up now and then. For me it became a way to avoid setting her mood off or to avoid her next outburst of rage and contempt. Just agree with what shes saying, nod and move on. Even though I dont agree with what shes saying about people, religion, everyday life activities, how i should behave with relatives, neighbors, co-workers, siblings etc. (In most cases, I disagreed with her on things because I felt that you cannot control everyone and bend them to your will, like she had bended me to hers - ofc I didnt say this to her) She would be easily annoyed with the smallest of mistakes, and when angry her words hit me like daggers. When she is angry she is the most vile person I know. Negativity and hate pour out of her and it is extremely uncomfortable to witness this. On top of that, if I dare disagree with her and tell her no on anything in this state, then it is all directed towards me. But after so many years of not wanting to openly disagree with her or do exactly as she says and does (for eg. cleaning or mopping the floor in my way, not as she does), and after all the anger and resentment that I keep inside of me just bcoz it is wrong to raise voice, especially since she has taught us well, 'Dont even say uff to parents", it has taken a toll on me. Especially since my mother knows me, that I am easy to control and that I would not go against her no matter what. I feel she takes that for granted, and has had so much total control over me that I have lost my own sense of self. The bottled up emotions and resentment because of not saying anything or standing up for myself has started turning to rage and can lead to outbursts. My siblings (all brothers) say I dont know how to communicate with her and I see them speaking their mind and disagreeing with mom very easily. Whereas I struggle to do that especially since her reaction to my disagreement is extremely harsh compared to theirs. Its hard to explain everything I feel as there is countless scenarios to talk about. And having contemplated on these for years and years I can definitely say that I am not being selfish and that my mothers behavior is not justified. Of course she may have her reasons in her mind to be tough and strict, but even on such minor things in household. Things which I have always seen and deep down envied in other families thinking why cant I ever feel loved or good enough. I have come to the conclusion that I will never be good enough. An outsider will always look at the situation differently and say oh come on she is your mother and I am sure she loves you and one day she will be more relaxed and easy on you. I myself thought that, and always blamed myself or thought myself as a failure. Only to recently realize that what I have gone through from childhood is not normal. Even though my brothers agree to some extent, they do not know the full extent of damage I have gone through. I have tried and tried, being with mother in the recent hard times of family, to learn to let go and be more positive. To forgive. To stop trying to fix everything and everyone. She has done enough and now its our turn to handle things. But she has trouble letting go of her position of power and control over the family. She says that now we want to put her aside and that we dont want her in our life. This is far from the truth. I acted as an emotional punching bad for her for so many years. She would unload everything that she thought ppl did wrong with her (friends, family, relatives etc.) My job was to just silently comfort her or be part of her revenge or further her disagreement. Hardly could I ever tell her that she was wrong. I would very politely tell her sometimes no dont do that. Theres only so much a human mind can take. My personality is so affected by her domineering every aspect of my life that I cannot function as a normal human being in society. Although I keep hoping for a future life where I can live independently and be myself. Where I can act as an adult and take my own decisions without being influenced by her. I did get a few years of living away from her in another country and it was nice, but I wasnt still out of her reach. Its hard to explain. One can still be controlled and cajoled over the phone or through relatives. It is still very much possible to stay away from her, but guilt stops me. Seeing her age stops me. Seeing how she is becoming even more rigid and negative worries me. I always thought age would calm her down and she would finally be at peace and be happy in her children's happiness. As is the case with all the families I know. But alas, this is not to happen I believe. I see a future where she is always bitter and she has already started pushing people away because of her attitude. She used to be cruel and angry behind closed doors when we were young and to the outside world a completely different person. Now that split personality is changing and becoming one person. Something inside of me has died, and I cannot keep on going like this. In her eyes, I am the crazy one and something has gone wrong with me. But how do I explain to her that I have never felt the love, compassion and tenderness of a mother. Why do I always feel like she doesnt know her own son. That I have goodness inside of me. That I dont see the world as she does. That I dont want her to be involved in everything I do. That I dont have to explain every step that I take. That I should have her trust, as my friends and people who know me trust me. That my opinion matters. That I am not just a door mat. That I know my responsibility, to care for her, to do khidmat to her as is required by Islam, but that I am not just a glorified slave. That I have the right to have my own desires and be happy in the things I want to do and that to have time for myself is not wrong. For the last 6 months or so, I had tried to be there all the time... regardless of the time of day or night, to go to her when she beckons, and after doing everything she wanted around the house when expressed that I do something for myself, to be ridiculed and criticized and to be called selfish. It just leaves me shattered inside as to what I did wrong to be treated in this way. Of course I cannot challenge any of this, bcoz she WILL not take criticism on herself or ever accept her mistake. It is always something which I have not done, and everything that I have done or will do for her is her right as a mother. Any word said in annoyance to her is the ultimate disrespect, even though we never mean what we say, and she knows the context of saying it is understandable. But all the bad duas and horrific things she says in anger are justified bcoz shes a mother and she can do it, and the reasons for anger are so petty and avoidable that is just ridiculous. To truly know my situation, I would need to explain so much more detail for a normal person to realize that I am not an ungrateful person and that its not like I don't value my mother. My present mental state was probably inevitable. Hard to keep going through the motions of life like a robot, when I keep getting flashbacks from my childhood. Punishments, beatings, scoldings, ridicule, contempt, made fun of, everything I received since I was just a child. I have clear vivid memories of times I should not even remember. (2-3 years of age). I am just emotionally drained, and sick of doing things to which I dont agree. I cant anymore. Just being in the same house as my own mother is so taxing to me I cannot describe it. I dont even know why I wrote all this here. Maybe just the lack of someone to whom I can tell all this...
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