Today I had the strong urge to bring a knife to my mother and tell her to take the life she always reminds me she brought to this world. I’ve held so much in, but today I just blew up. I didn’t care that she was saying I’m disrespecting her. I told my grandma to let me talk when she tried to intervene by telling me to listen. I crashed through all the arbitrary glass ceilings and refused to be held by parental guilt. I asked her, how is it that I do stuff for you 10 times but if I’m unable to do it the 11th time you nullify everything I’ve ever done and place on me an unjust narrative that oppresses me and makes me into a monster? I asked her, have you ever asked me what is up with me, what I’m feeling, before you rush to judging and shouting at me?
I was done. All my life I’ve been taking it upon myself to pander and please people’s emotional states, and adapt to their egos. All my life I’ve served 2 realities ; people’s perception and my own awareness of the raw truth. In order to balance the two I had to erase my needs and feelings to make room to be the dumping grounds for those who felt so entitled to do so. I had to in order to survive. I didn’t think I’d be able to survive without their “love”. More like proximity and attachment.
In the past 13 years I’ve been shown how deeply damaging it is to go along with others emotional imperialism. I saw how fatal it could be when I discount the value my own feelings and awareness holds. I saw how having people around me whose presence was conditional and hinged on how much I appeased them and sacrificed myself for them, was so much more destructive and damaging than I ever thought. I was shown all the ways I made choices against myself.
Being dutiful towards parents is an obligation on me, not for my parents to monitor and blackmail me on. Allaah does not burden a soul beyond what it can bear but people’s egos do. And I had to remind myself that my dutifulness isn’t gauged by how pleased my parents are because I can’t please them absolutely. They have unrealistic expectations and dreams they want me to fulfill that I’ve wrecked my mental health, and indeed my life in pursuit of. But it’s gauged by my authentic state of being, and what I’m capable of. I’m always honest with them, regardless of the consequences and I try to reach a compromise on what they ask of me if it’s difficult on me. But I realized today that parents abuse the authority Islaam has given them and indeed, feel entitled to something that is a blessing and a privilege they are to be grateful for. Parents forget that their obligations don’t stop at conception, birth and keeping the children alive. It becomes a form of slavery and submission that is only due Allaah.
A lot of my emotional and mental issues stem from me repressing the impact my parents expectations has on me and especially how my mother has been ruthless in her demands of me. It took me many years to be able to even think this without feeling immense guilt. It’s not right. And when people use the deen to justify these practices, it’s the worst type of oppression and guilt-tripping.