Islamic marriage advice and family advice

My narcissistic mother has me in a prison of her making

Prison cell

Assalam o alaikum,

I am a 24-year-old female, and I just don't know what to do anymore. I live with my family and grandmother, and everything is just so hard to deal with. The main issue is that my mother is extremely verbally, emotionally, and psychologically abusive, and even sometimes physically abusive. I have tried countless times and in every manner possible, from nicely to frustratingly to explain to her that her actions and words hurt me, but it makes no difference whatsoever. She adamantly refuses to admit to her wrongdoings and faults, and instead tells me I am the one that is abusive towards her, which is absolutely false.

The thing is, when she goes on and on calling me names and degrading and demeaning me, after a while I attempt to stand up for myself, and because of the built up frustration, I sometimes come off angry or loud. I regret this, and it is not something I do on my own or on purpose. My argument is that whatever I say to her is a reaction to the things she says to me first. I just cannot take being treated like this because it has just gone on for too long.

I have been put down and belittled for nearly all my life and anyone in my place would be angry. I used to keep quiet, and even now I try my absolute best to keep quiet and not say anything when she starts talking but oftentimes she just provokes me and I snap. Then I get punished for "talking back" when usually when I speak I am trying to stand up for myself and explain to her that what she is saying is incorrect or wrong.

She calls me all the names you could possible think of. I have been called a b****, a "shaytan", a "kaafir", a "harami", evil, stupid, useless, dumb, fat, and countless others that I don't have the energy to remember right now. I've been reminded over and over again how ashamed of me she is, how she would rather have someone else as her daughter, and how I just bring shame upon her and my family. I'm constantly compared to just about every relative my age, or younger, and it just feels like I can never be good enough no matter what.

I've been doing poorly in school because of all this, and then they blame me for that too. They expect me to excel whilst being in a toxic environment, and lately because of Covid, classes have been online so even during exams she comes into my room to lecture me over something petty, like "you left dishes in the sink" WHILE I AM TRYING TO WRITE MY TIMED EXAM. It drives me crazy, and I can't even say anything. I just cry.

After a lot of research and trying to figure things out, I have learned she is a narcissist. She fits every single qualifying characteristic almost to the exact. Upon finding this out, I understood that it would be next to impossible for her to change. If this isn't already bad enough, my grandmother is just like her, if not worse. She's extremely old fashioned and adheres to culture so much that to her it is basically religion. Together, the both of them cause me so much emotional turmoil to the point that I am always always crying. I often feel I'll never escape this awful reality. I get panic attacks and I now have terrible anxiety, and no, I have not been officially diagnosed as there is no possible way for me to see any kind of therapist or psychiatrist or anything like that but I have done a lot of research and I am 98% certain of it.

I am also not allowed to go out at all, even before Covid. I rarely was allowed to see my friends and if I brought this up she would bring up the 1 or 2 times I spent with my friends as a teenager and makes it sound like it was all the time. Honestly there is so much that is wrong that I don't even know how to go about it.

She is extremely controlling, to the point where if I don't ask for explicit permission for the smallest and most mundane things, I get treated to a fit of rage and lectured and punished. For example, if I'm hungry and I want to make myself something to eat she gets livid because I didn't ask her for permission to make food, or if I make something for myself 10 min before class she gets angry because I didn't make for my siblings as well, even though I did not have time to. She's always trying to control my every move. I can't eat certain foods, I'm not allowed. If I make it, she'll take it and throw it away or hide it.

Some days I put on a little bit of makeup just because I'll be feeling like it, and she makes me go take it off or harasses me until I do. The only makeup I have is a few old pencils that I got as gifts and things I bought when I had a wedding to attend, and she didn't really pay attention. I am not allowed to purchase nor use any makeup, even though I like to keep it minimal and not at all extravagant. Her justification for this is that she herself doesn't use it so neither should I.

If I want to eat something else for dinner, I can't. She always makes curries for dinner and it's not really something I like, so I say that I will make something else for myself, and she gets angry and tells me that is haram and that I will only eat what she makes or not eat at all. To add to this, there are a lot of things that her and my grandmother call "haram" which are not, and I have noticed they fabricate a lot of things and pass it off as part of Islam when it has no basis in Islam whatsoever. If I point this out to them they scream and shout and tell me I know nothing because they are older and wiser and have lived longer than me and experienced more of life than I have.

I understand this is sinful, to make things up and call it religion. They both are the type of people who act really religious and pious and are always reading Quran and praying extra prayers and watching Islamic lectures but I find it baffling that even though they watch and listen to all these things and talk about it so much, they follow so little of it. They use foul language with me and hurt me and don't care about my feelings ever, and when I bring this up to them, my mother especially, she says, "I am your mother, I have every right to punish you or say whatever I want to you." And I feel like she just abuses her position as "mother" to do whatever she likes and treats me however she feels like, because she thinks as my mother she has every right.

And then on top of that she'll make me watch these Islamic lectures about how parents are to be highly respected and you cannot say anything to them or question them or talk back to them and I feel like this is used to make me feel guilty or to remind me that I am just a bad child and she is doing everything right. If I tell her she is being abusive towards me, she tells me I am a liar and that if anyone is being abused, it is HER and by me. She acts as though I have no feelings. The sight of me crying only makes her angry. According to her, I deserve to cry because of what a bad person I am, and that Allah is punishing me for being bad to her.

She constantly tells me I am going to hell, that Allah will punish me severely, and that I am going to have a very bad life if I don't "change myself", and sometimes I'll be like, "what about you, are YOU not going to change?" and she tells me that no, there is nothing wrong with her that she would need to change. It is me who must, because I am disobedient and corrupt and in "in full control of Shaytan. Because of this, she treats me like a criminal and has me sit and force me to read numerous duas as a way to almost exorcise me of the devil.

I constantly feel like a failure, like I am nobody, and often times I feel like I AM being punished, and that they are all right, I deserve this treatment because it feels like Allah has favored them. I cry and make dua every day, all day long, and just when I feel like something is going to change, it immediately gets worse. I get treated to another punishment. Because of this I sometimes find myself believing that things are never going to get better and that I am just always going to remain in a state of punishment.

Before anyone says "move out", let me tell you that I desperately want to. But I cannot. I have tried to speak out about this to other family members, only to be met with disappointment because they either don't believe me or they tell me they have their own things going on in their life and cannot help me. Aside from that, sometimes they tell my mom what I have told them and when she finds out she tells me I have betrayed her and badmouthed her to everyone, and then she tells them I am a liar and a bad child and should not be believed or trusted and that if they let me stay at their homes I am going to corrupt their children. So they haven't been any help.

I even tried to talk to a local imam but when I messaged him he ignored me. So you can see why I feel absolutely so hopeless. I have two younger male siblings but they don't give a rat's bum about me, they actually ignore me most of the day and I blame this on my mother, she has made me look like such a horrible person that they just always take her side no matter what, and she favors them and treats them with love and kindness. My dad has been brainwashed by all the things my mom has told him about me. She always comes off as the victim in her retelling of things, and he does not even witness the times she hurts me because he's not home a lot. So when he gets home she immediately tells him her version of events, where I am the villain, and he too, dislikes me.

She has also stated that I will not leave this house until I get married, so moving out on my own seems impossible, especially when I have no help or support from anyone. I am not looking to get married anytime soon, I find it ridiculous that they want to just throw me into some strange man's house after all this, and then what? I'm just expected to adjust to this new life without even healing from my current life? She's also mentioned several times that I won't have my own choice of husband, because she herself will choose him. What I really want is independence and freedom. I yearn to be free.

I don't know what to do. I feel like Allah doesn't even hear me or care, because I've been begging and crying and hurting for years and nothing has changed. Then I think that it's because I deserve all this? 🙁


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20 Responses »

  1. As-salamu alaykum dear sister. I'm so sorry for all you have gone through, and all the suffering you're experienced. What a truly miserable existence. I'm amazed that you still have your sanity. You must be an extraordinarily strong young woman.

    You said it all. She is an abusive narcissist who does not love you; and she will not change. If you stay, one day (as you said) she will marry you off to someone you might not like, and the nightmare will continue.

    You must escape that environment, before you lose your mind or become completely ruined emotionally.

    Do you not have a single relative or even friend who would be willing to take you in?

    I don't know what country you are in, but most Western countries have shelters for battered women. You could pack a bag secretly, leave the house and check yourself into one of those shelters. Stay there until you find a job (if that means dropping out of school for now, then do so. You can go back later). Then you can rent a room. Perhaps a room in someone's home - we have a lot of those here in the USA, you can find them on Craigslist and they're fairly inexpensive. And gradually build your life from there.

    Allah has NOT given up on you or abandoned you. But Allah's help will not come from the sky like manna and salwa. You must take steps to help yourself, and Allah will aid you. May Allah make a way out for you, heal your heart and give you a bright future.

    Also, please check back here and keep us posted.

    Wael Editor

    • walaikum salam, i appreciate your response. I am replying anonymously but it is me. I am not in the United States but north of it.. all my relatives reside in the states and because of covid and all these restrictions it is very difficult for me to cross the border or for them to. I have spoken to them but all they tell me is “have patience” and that they cannot do anything and i think this is because they don’t want to confront my mother. Sometimes when they call and speak to her it only makes her more angry and she gets upset at me for “betraying her” and cries and then threatens me to keep quiet because telling others family business is apparently haram and if i do it again i will be punished. As for sneaking out and leaving, i have thought of this but it just seems so difficult because i live in a small place and it is hard to even open the front door without someone hearing or seeing it, even in the dead of night. Oftentimes she also sleeps really late and stays up praying or reading Quran near where the door is and it’s difficult to plan such an escape. i don’t have a car or anything and escaping alone at night by an uber or something isn’t really safe especially for a female.

      i don’t know what possible steps i can take, i’ve asked friends and their moms for help too but everyone just tells me there is a lockdown and that will be hard. Lately even it’s progressed to the point where she says she WILL control me, and has used that word. I was hoping that now that it is ramadan maybe my duas will get accepted and Allah will send help but so far nothing has changed. She attempts to force me to do whatever she wills and i cannot even say no because i am not allowed.

      • Sister, I see a lot of excuses. People cross the Canada-U.S. border every day. The lockdown is being eased since half of adults have already been vaccinated (you are eligible as well, if you haven't done it yet). I find it hard to believe there is someone monitoring your front door 24 hours a day. And as for Uber, I drove for Uber for a year and I transported many young women late at night without incident. You say you hope that "Allah will send help." I'm not sure what you imagine will happen. A man on a white horse will ride up and catch you when you jump out of the window? You have to make an effort to change your situation.

        Wael Editor

        • You might find it hard to believe but I assure you that because of the lockdown, everyone is home almost all the time and i don’t want to say why because this is a public comment but yes, someone is always by the front door at all times, the plan of the house is like this, there is a sitting room directly in front of the door and there is always someone there even during the night... i don’t want to go into the details because, again, this is a public comment. The door also makes a very loud sound when opened. I have not yet been vaccinated. I know you may find what i am saying hard to believe and laughable even, but this is the reality of my situation. I am not just making excuses, things are a lot more difficult than what you may be imagining. As for crossing the border I also do not have my passport, my mother keeps it away in a locked safe which i do not know the passcode to. Asking for it will not work, she will become suspicious and not give it up. she’s not one of those immigrant mothers who does not know how social media works or is miskeen and doesn’t know basic things. she is an immigrant, but she has figured out how to do just about everything, and will not fall for any excuses i may give her. Yes, you may have been a good Uber driver but not everyone is a good person, and for someone who has been kept home most of her life and not given any independence it is frightening to just delve out into the word alone. I don’t mean a man on a horse, i just mean “a way”, or an opportunity. Allah (swt) knows best what will be of the most help to each individual person and how best to assist them, does He not? This is what i mean. Sneaking out into a big city alone when i have never done it is frightening to even think about. Please do not think I am just making excuses. My room is even checked in the middle of the night at odd times, to make sure i am asleep and not awake on my phone or doing anything else. As is my room, there is no possible way for me to even hide things in my room because my mom goes through everything whenever she feels like it.

  2. Asalamualaykum Sister,

    "Your Lord has not at all forsaken you, nor is he displeased with you." (Surah Ad-Duha)

    Do not give up hope sister. As long as Allah has decreed you to be alive on this earth, He will see to it that you get your needs for survival met, as well as your need to thrive.

    MashaAllah you are blessed with such clarity of sight, to be able to see your mother for what she is, your family for who they are, despite all the gaslighting you have experienced, and despite our natural tendency to want to trust our parents. Many others have fallen prey to brainwashing where you are instead enlightened with knowledge. We have to look for our blessings in even the darkest of moments. not waste an ounce more of your energy on your narcissistic family than you absolutely have to. You must recognize that they are not worth even your thoughts. If you cannot get your thoughts off of them and onto yourself, please see a mental healthcare provider. If you mother forbids you to do so, then follow brother Wael's advice and check yourself into a local domestic violence shelter or womens'-only shelter, and seek a mental healthcare provider, a doctor or counselor, from there. It is nearly impossible for you to have survived in such an environment without your mental health being severely compromised. Even if you are able to intellectualize and label your mother's behavior, it doesn't mean you are in control of the situation; it is merely a defense mechanism.

    In your situation, the most important thing is to pray and make dua to Allah profusely. If your stress-level does not permit you to pray, then make dua only. Make dua, facing the Qibla, as many times a day as you need, to cope with each and every encounter and circumstance. Along with your own duas, which you can either recite out loud or in your heart, recite this following dua:

    Allahumma Rabbas-samaawatis-sabi, wa Rabbal Arshil-Adheem, kun lee jaaran min [here you mention your mother's name] wa' ahzhabini min khalaa 'iqika, 'an yafruta 'alayya 'ahadun minhum 'aw yatghaa, 'azzajaaruka wajalla thanaa 'uka wa laa 'illaha 'Anta.

    Oh Allah, Lord of the heavens and Throne, be for me a support against [my mother] and her helpers from among your creatures, lest any of them abuse me or do me wrong...there is none worthy of worship but You.

    Sister...your mom has a hold on you that only Allah should have. You should feel free to escape and find your own place, such as the room that the above brother suggested. If you do not feel free to escape and are worried about what your mother will think, say, or do, and are truly almost disabled by that, that is once again evidence of her hold on you.

    Only you can decide how best to cope and act, based on your personality and experiece. Trust what Allah has given you in terms of your mind, heart, and intuition. Allah would not leave you on this earth to fend for yourself without aid...He surely has blessed you with whatever you need to survive and act in this situation! For example, right now, He has led you to this site for support, no?

    If you choose to go and feel you can, then Alhamdulillah. We are instructed as Muslims to leave the place we are being oppressed and/or terrorized if it is at all possible, and go to a more peaceful place.

    If you find that you cannot leave or otherwise choose to stay, then there are a few things that might help you. Firstly, narcissists are very aware of what their victims' (survivors') can give them or do for them. It's really the only reason they even have relationships with people. You can use this to your advantage. As your parents start to age, they may need your help with things. Starting now, show them what you are able to do for them, be it chores around the house, knowledge you can impart, favors you can do for them. When your mother sees the value in it for herself, she may back down a bit on the abuse. She'll realize that if you are mentally-incapacitated, she will not have access to those things you can do for her. Furthermore, only do said chores if your mother asks you in a respectful way. If she rudely asks you, tell her that you are busy. She will not be happy, but she will have to accept because she cannot physically force you to do anything.

    If on the other hand, she is still physically abusing you, please call the authorities on her. One or more times of doing this will put her in her place. She may not be the most loving mother after that, but she wasn't to begin with, and at least she won't continue to put her hands on you. Plus, the neighbors seeing the police car outside your place repeatedly will be an embarrassment and deterrent to her, and she may stop abusing you. Remember, narcissists are very superficial people...they can change their attitude on a whim with a flip of a switch because it's never real to begin with. Even "fake nice" in your situation would be better than not nice at all. You just need her to stop stressing you out.

    Say the Istikhara dua daily. You may be thinking this is only for marriage, but honestly, it's such a powerful and beautiful dua that you can say at any time, for any reason, for blessings in all that you undertake. Make a habit of saying the first part of the dua, as it does not require that a decision of any kind is on the table:

    "Allâhumma inni astakhiruka bi ilmika wa astaqdiruka biqudratika wa as’aluka min fadlikal-azimi, fa innaka taqdiru walâ aqdiru wa ta’lamu walâ a’lamu wa anta allamul ghuyub"

    O Allah...I ask you to show me what is best through your knowledge, I ask you to empower me through your power, and I beg you to grant me your tremendous favor. For you have power, while I am without power. You have knowledge, while I am without knowledge, and you are the knower of all things invlisible."

    Sister...I am confident...100%...that you will be fine. This is one of the hardest tests any human being could endure...our parents should be a source of comfort, education, and support, and our mothers in particular have such a high significance in our lives. They should love us more than anyone else aside from Allah, so to be treated this way by your primary source of comfort is a great loss and test for you. You have a "hole" where others have love, and it's the largest hole one can have because it occupies the place of "mother." Allah will reward you immensely for enduring what you have endured, and you will come out on the other side one of the strongest of individuals.

    I hope that you found some solace here dear sister. Please feel free to comment or respond back, and get back in touch with us no matter your circumstances. I pray that Allah grants you steady relief, strength, and wisdom to navigate your situation, Ameen.



    • walaikum salam sister,

      i appreciate your reply and your kind words. I desperately want to leave this place and I wish for freedom and the ability to not live in fear, to breathe and to have the rights that Allah has given me. However, it is so difficult. So so difficult. She does speak rudely to me a lot and forces me to do chores or to help out and i cannot say that i am busy because she DOES physically make me do it anyways. it’s always “you have no choice” and if i even speak up my grandmother gives her two cents and also proceeds to shout and speak to me in that awful way. So you can imagine two people now surrounding me and shouting at me at the top of their lungs and staring at me with their eyes wide, grinding their teeth. That’s the price for speaking up or saying no. They will even follow me around until i do what they say. There are no boundaries. I am a grown woman and it does not stop them from confiscating things from me, from physically hurting me, from treating me like i am less than them. Nothing stops them. I even point out things from islamic lectures we have listened to together where the speaker has outlined that such and such things are wrong and even knowing that they continue to do it. Sister Nor these things have even happened in Ramadan. I have over exerted myself trying to preserve my sanity. I have studied psychology and know the effects of such things on a person and i myself am almost astounded at the fact that i have not yet gone insane. I even asked if i could go stay with a relative and that caused her to be so angry, and she told me i am never, not ever going to escape until and unless i get married. What i want is freedom. i want to be able to live on my own or with someone else. I want someone to come
      here and physically extract me from here. i have begged relatives to help but they all give me excuses upon excuses about why they can’t come or why they can’t help. They also always say “just have patience” or tell me that there are people in the world with no where to live or no food to eat and i should be grateful that i am so blessed to have a place to live and food to eat and i understand that, of course there are people like that and i AM grateful and blessed but also that makes me feel guilty like i don’t matter or that my problems are not as bad as someone else’s and then i get confused as to what i am supposed to do. Thank you for the duas, I will definitely read them.
      Yes sister Nor, I have always wanted a mother. I see others with their mothers who are so different and so loving and caring and it makes me cry. I have felt so alone for nearly all my life.

      I just wish Allah would send someone to rescue me.

      • i just wanted to add to this, that if i say no or speak up or even talk about my rights, i get treated to a lecture about how i must obey my parents at all costs no matter what and that they basically own me and that i have no right to disobey or say no unless they are disobeying Allah and when i mention that their actions ARE against islam i’m just told that “no they are not. that’s just what you think.” and that’s the end of that. I constantly live in fear. I don’t know how to explain it but everyday is just so hard for me and I sleep not knowing what will happen tomorrow. I have tried and tried and tried and my patience is really wearing thin. I am desperate for any kind of help. All i want is to get out, to have my freedom.

        • Sister,

          I do understand very well what you are going through, and am here to tell you that Allah's help is not lose hope and focus on solutions...even partial solutions.

          You need to keep praying and making dua. Have you prayed Tahajjud? It can unlock miracles, really. As I said, your mom knows exactly what she is doing, and therefore can change her behavior with the flip of a switch. Allah will soon answer your duas in the best way. I promise you. It is even completely possible that your mother will change her behavior. My stepmother went from being straight out of the pages of Grimm's Fairy Tales to being not just neutral, but NICE. I kid you not. While I tried every action in the book and suffered for years, it ultimately could only happen in Allah's timing. And as you say, Allah knows what is best for each individual, so if you are going through this period of struggle, there is absolutely a reason, an added benefit in it for you in the long term.

          However, I did have to show my stepmother that I respect myself in the ways I advised tolerance for abuse. You need to call the authorities on her when she abuses you. Also, here in the U.S., we have "Adult Protective Services" who often deal with cases of disabled people being abused at home, or where a neighbor calls them to inspect a situation nearby. Have you looked into what Canada's comparable organization is? I'm sure you have something similar. You should contact them and tell them what you have told us here. They are familiar with these types of situations.

          One thing you can do is call them late at night, from under your comforter or bedcovering so that your mother cannot hear you. You can also call various FREE helplines, such as the Suicide Prevention Lifeline and others, that always have a crisis counselor on hand to talk to you at any time of day. We underestimate how much just talking about our problems helps relieve them. And because your mother would not approve of therapy in person if she found out you were going, you should take advantage of these free phone services. Nowadays, they even have texting services so you wouldn't have to talk out loud at all.

          So you see? There is always a way to cope...never give up hope sister!



          • Nor, this is all great advice, thank you.


          • 🙂

          • Thank you so much for your kind words sister Nor, i really appreciate it. I will take your advice into consideration, but there’s so many factors that influence my decisions. I wish i could tell you but since this is a public space i am hesitant to disclose more personal information. Is there any way to speak in private ?

          • Brother Wael? What do you think?

            Sister...I would be willing to communicate by e-mail on this topic alone, if it is approved by the Administrator of this website.


          • yes please do let me know if you can. i just don’t want to say everything here since this is a public space and can be accessed by anyone.

  3. Dear Sister,

    I read your comments and I am really disheartened at your situation. May Allah make it easy for you and give you light in this darkness. Dear sister your mother tells you to obey parents but does she remember to obey Allah? You should talk without getting angry to avoid the guilt trip later. First thing you can tell your mother is to fear Allah because he is watching. If Allah will judge YOU so will he judge your MOTHER. You should ask her if she is ready to say the same things she says to justify herself to Allah. You should mention to your mother that she can oppress you but can she ever have her way with Allah? If she brings in religion for her benefit then you should also because Islam gives justice to everyone not just parents. Tell her you will lose your religion because of her and for that she will not be forgiven.

    Your mother is trying to own you whereas only Allah owns us. Allah is the owner of ALL creation. I remember one time I got so angry at my mother trying to control me that to vent my frustration I started doing sajdah to her to show her control( it was a reaction). As I see this is what the Pakistani parents are looking for. Obedience is compliance and good treatment of parents is to have a good attitude towards them. But what you are writing is not obedience it is slavery, absolute ownership of a person. First thing you can do is to educate yourself on what Islam really says because there is context to all the commandments in Islam. Islam also tells you to take care of yourself and your being. It does not give parents/husbands/brothers/fathers to abuse the well being of a person.

    Second sister you need to prepare and strengthen yourself to live an independent life. For this you need the help of Allah to make your soul stable so you can see which road is available to you. All this misery and frustration it gets very hard to see and think clearly. If you posted this problem just for emotional support then I empathize with you and pray to Allah that he makes it easy for you and give you a happy fulfilling life. Dear sister just praying wont change your situation. You have to take solid steps to protect yourself. I can see the ultimate fate of you being forced to marry whoever your mother choses. It is coming whether you like it or not.

    So beside your hurt and emotion you have to think logically. I understand you have been wronged and you want justice but in households there is a hierarchy and there is no court to get justice. What you can do is to take concrete steps to set the course of your life and your future marriage. I would highly recommend getting a university degree and a job. Deposit the money in your account and secure yourself financially. Your education will ensure financial success and in turn your independence away from your mother. If your mother does tie you to someone you do not like which seems likely then prepare yourself for an independent life. Choose someone for yourself be on the look out and at least try to think of ways you can get free.

    Women in the Pakistani desi households take their frustrations out on their daughters. They control them make them miserable because either they themselves were treated that way or that's how they think the daughters should be treated. On the other side the sons have an active dating modern lifestyle.

    So if you posted this asking if you are wrong then you are not wrong. But you need to actively work to take yourself out of this situation. You have to get married and think of your future. Don't let time pass by without doing anything. May Allah shower you the mercy and blessings and answer your duas. Ameen.

    • thank you for your kind words ! i appreciate all the support and advice, I really want to live an independent life and i want to remove myself from this situation but some things are difficult and frightening and a lot of things are beyond my control. You have no idea how few rights i even have, i don’t even have the right to voice my opinions sometimes or speak or be respected and that’s why sometimes i speak out in anger because i’ve been quieted for so long. it’s really “don’t speak until you’re told” and when i say anything i’m immediately shushed, i’ve been told to shut up, i’ve been stifled and told my decisions don’t count... it’s a long and exhausting list, and oftentimes i’m so stressed out that i no longer have the energy for the smallest things... yes i’ve noticed this is a recurring situation in pakistani households but when i try to change things i get punished or told to be quiet. nobody listens, nobody cares. they are just selfish and want their way or no way. inshallah Allah will send his mercy. i am trying so hard to be optimistic, to have hope, but most days it gets really really hard and i feel like giving up.

      • Salaam Sister,

        I would recommend you to do freelancing in website like fiverr upver, basically monetize a skill you have. This will make you independent, all you need is a laptop or a mobile and some skills. Skills can be video editing, coding, cooking etc.

  4. After you have some money just leave, honestly I haven't started earning yet or I would have loved to help you financially, I've experienced what you have to some degree, all I'm doing these days is brushing up my coding skills and to apply for some foreign scholarship. You can do the same too just work hard, do freelancing make money and leave whether she likes it or not. Afterwards do call her sometimes so you don't totally cut her off

  5. Asalamu Aleykum sister,

    I was looking for experiences close to mine because as a Muslim woman I was really desperate to find other sisters in the same situation as me. It seemed so rare to me, unfortunately, it is more common than we think.
    Your whole story, each sentence, is almost exactly the same as mine, I was actually shocked at how identical we both are. I am 23 and I find your title very fitting; 'a prison of her making' is the perfect way to put it. I too have recently been researching a lot about the reasons why my mother is the way she is, and I've discussed with a number of people online, read articles, joined forums, etc. I indeed think that she is very probably a narcissist and is very likely to have some type of undiagnosed disorders/issues.
    A sentence that struck me the most in your story is this one: "What I really want is independence and freedom. I yearn to be free.". This!
    This is the exact feeling I've had growing in me as the days pass, especially this year! As you said the pandemic further worsened it to a point of no return.
    To make matters worse, the only safe, clean, calm place, that I had (which is my own room) is now contaminated by mold because of the long untreated humidity. The room now only makes me feel more sad and angry.

    I truly don't know what I would suggest because I do want, just as you, my own place to live in but I also know it's not attainable for everyone, especially coming from a very low-income family and give the culture/mindset of our parents.

    I have the hope that once I work matters will get easier but then again, I know my parents will be taking most of my money because they need it.

    And also, just know that this is not your fault and you do not deserve this, I too always seem to think that way and that it is a punishment for my lack of piety but what most people won't admit and especially muslims is the fact that not everyone can be a parent, parents aren't always right and no, you don't have to obey their every order. It is normal to feel frustrated and even more so, angry.

    May Allah facilitate it for us, Insha Allah.

    With love.

    • Dear sister, I am so sorry that you too have to go through this awful thing. If you don't mind, could you please email me at ******* I would like to be friends since we have so much in common, and maybe we could help each other and be a support to each other. I too, am desperate to find anyone who understands what I go through everyday. I don't have a lot of supportive friends or know people who understand my situation so this might be beneficial to both of us. if you don't mind, of course. I look forward to your email. Also I am the original writer of this post but I forgot my login so I'm replying this way.

      • السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
        Oh my sister, reading this almost brings me to tears. I am so sorry to hear of this. I too as a male and experience this from my mother and aunt. سبحان الله. It is so tough and emotionally draining.

        I hope and pray your situation has improved, if so please can you provide us with an update إن شاء الله. I pray الله makes it easy for you. آمين

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