Tag Archives: abuse

Can mommy be daddy?

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From very early on we are given a strong idea of what a family looks like, and it usually consists of mommy, daddy, brother and sister.  This idea is pushed via movies, books and everyday life deceiving us in to believing that happily ever after can only exist in this scenario, but what happens when it don’t turn out that way?

The answer is evident and is taking place all over the world, in Britain alone there are 2 million single parents!  Unfortunately most of these single parents are women who are forced to make tough decisions, either swim against the current or get swept away leading you to one destination which is often one with poor life chances.

Now the dynamics of single parents is vast because of course as we started to tackle these high numbers we first have to clarify how single these parents are.  What I mean here is when parents are successful at establishing good co parenting despite separation we can quickly anticipate the well being of the child.  But when it all goes wrong and communication can’t be established it is unfortunate that the only one that suffers is the child who is in no way deserving of this outcome.

In the absence of the father, mothers are forced to be both mommy and daddy, not only taking on the goodie and baddie role’s but also working through times of illness which can only impact their well being.  This means children are being raised by mothers who are often working under extremely stressful conditions, and when they get things wrong, people fail to remember this.

Why we live in a country that seems to make it all to easy for fathers to abandon their responsibilities.  Child Support doesn’t make a great father, emotional support does, and whilst mothers continue to play mommy and daddy, I question the well being of a generation raised in one parent families.  I could go on but I think thats enough to think about for now!

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I was never the victim in their eyes

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I was so confident something would happen.  I’m not quite sure what exactly, but something.  Sat in a circle on our chairs everyone’s faces were dark with the weight of what they knew.  Confronted I was sure he would deny it all, so I took a great leap of faith with my counsellor by my side.  Only 15 years old, and while some may call it naive, I saw courage and strength.  My counsellor had prepared me, and thought it was very optimistic that all of the family were so interested.  And so the moment came, someone asked, ” Did you abuse her then, did you sexually abuse her”?

You could cut the air with a knife.  I don’t remember anyone sitting next to me, however I do remember the faces in the room.  Waiting for his answer was like a man standing in front of me with a gun, would he fire a blank, kill me or walk away.  “yes he said I did”.  Quite a lot of people burst into tears, including his wife, who I felt it most for, If I’d have kept quite I wouldn’t have put her through so much.  The echoes of the past that still live with me today.

So what next?  How did this family react, did they react even? The answer is a shocking NO.  NOTHING, no shouting, no beating no screaming.  For me it just seemed like business as usual, and little did I know what lay ahead of me.  All the preparing my counsellor did went down the drain. Cause what took me years to learn is that been abused was the least of my worries.  It was how my family responded that lead me further into a world of abuse, vulnerability, guilt, denial, acceptance and forgiveness to free myself from a harsh reality.  I never was a victim in their eyes.

The path of abandonment

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They could no longer hide the truth, ‘they don’t care, harsh but true’, from the words of those that did. I cried in despair feeling helpless and exhausted from shifting through the endless ways I could find excuses for the way they treated me.

“Why do you punish yourself”? Many began to ask me the same thing, and I had to start changing my answers. I never perceived it as me punishing myself but rather another opportunity for them to love me. All of the movies I watched had happy endings, so why couldn’t mine be one I thought. University taught me what was right, so why couldn’t they fulfil that role.

When your life contradicts your reality it can turn you crazy as mine almost did. Young Pakistani Asian girl raised in an Off Licence. That was my first hurdle, and yet I never quite got it then either. People were shocked, but rather than ask this young girl more questions I was given the silent treatment. People back then were 10 times more cultural then what we have today which is nothing more than a diluted cordial drink. I was in the core of Pakistani culture, Salvar Kameezes, trousers under my skirts and two pig tails.

My teacher always said, “One day, I’m going to turn on my TV and see you on it”. She wasn’t wrong, I’ve been on TV alright, but for reasons not even I would have anticipated.

Draped in material with my head in my hands I lift my head up and took a deep breath. “I’ve got nothing to be ashamed of. If anyone should be ashamed, its them, for not protecting me or defending my innocence when I was a child”.

My hands crept to the keyboard of my laptop, I took a deep breath, “Lets Begin”

A snippet from my book… watch this space

Depressed Muslims

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Depressed Muslims

“Been a Muslim is Depressing”, there I said it, and the repercussions of doing so are very typical. Immediately comments come through asking me if I want to talk, recommending I should change my friends, change my wording… change my attitude.

My motivation behind such a status was provoked by a hadith which I’ll relate at the end (God Willing) and my struggle to see changes that really matter. Over the last year my invitation to events has increased which I’m grateful for, but overall it has given me a birds eye view of what’s really happening on a local scale in our Muslim communities.

I’ll get straight to the points-
Multiple charities seem to be coming out of the wood works that raise Thousands upon Thousands of pounds been invested into charities that help people abroad. Now of course my issues is not helping those abroad but it is why people feel the need to replicate charities that meet the needs of others while they ignore the needs of those around them closer to home.

I’m not saying those abroad shouldn’t recieve aid, of course I will continue to champion for anyone raising money for my brothers and sisters abroad. But when I get calls or see people, majority been women wanting to commit suicide or with mental health issues because they don’t know how to find contentment with their hardships, I also see a need for charities to look closer to hope before helping those furthest from home. BE BALANCED??

These needs that I talk about are divided into various groups and most certainly need some attention.

Youth- I see so many parents struggle to establish healthy relationships with their children as a result of them not been able to connect. In addition to this youth have no where to go, especially those from single parent families. Rather than invest money into making masjids look prettier, its time to invest the money into employing youth workers that can deliver sessions compatible to the needs of youth.

Elderly- I’ve seen a new culture emerging where parents of ‘so called Muslims’ are now been put in care homes. I know majority of peoples circumstances are different if reference to why they would choose to do this but ‘having a break’ just ain’t good enough.
Prophet Muhammed SAW has already related to us that masjids would go in this direction, and further more the recent video of Bradford been ambushed by a bunch of angry men highlighted that they are just empty buildings when Salah is not been performed.

Our parents didn’t drop us off to social services so they could do what ‘they like’! Further more, majids need to get more involved in providing elderly coffee mornings or activities for them to meet. Nothing is healthy about been in doors most of the time on your own.

Hygiene- “cleanliness is half your deen”, apparently, so why I attend Muslim areas and see so much mess is beyond me! I’ve heard the argument that council focus on the posher areas, well if this is the case there is a process waiting to be exercised when people are ready to take action. (Inform Your local Council)

Mental health- Some blame it on Jinn, some say their attention seeking whilst others don’t even tell anyone else till its too late. One aspect of neglecting this area is the treatment of women unfortunately isn’t something high on the agenda of big Muslims establishments. While for the west it is! If Masjids and other organisations do not recognise they need to change their approaches differently then it will not be long before we see the result of this, just look at our younger generation.

Medical health- Everywhere I go I see an abundance of fat Muslims. Our religion is meant to have all the answers including been overweight, tackling diabetes and other illnesses that result from the gut.

Finally I’m not depressed alhamdulilah, May Allah Protect me from such a thing Ameen!
Indeed I’ve gone through a collection of experiences that forced me to be depressed, and it was through that Allah presented me with Tawakkul (Dependence Upon Allah SWT). But in doing so I’ve seen many things that need to change as a result of my own experiences. I feel like my pain has a purpose. Islam has definitely been medicine for my soul providing me the naseeha that continues to strengthen me Mashallah!

Solutions- Please write to or contact your local masjid. Let us make the masjid the hub of every community once again.
Khutbahs need to address the many stigma’s attached to Islam, FGM, Domestic Violence, Sexual Exploitation, Honour Killings, Forced Marriages, Drug Abuse, Mental Health, raising children in the 21st Century and meeting the needs of those with special needs.

Hadeeth narrated by Imaam Muslim in his Saheeh which he attributes to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him):

“Whoever among you sees an evil action, then let him change it with his hand [by taking action]; if he cannot, then with his tongue [by speaking out]; and if he cannot, then with his heart – and that is the weakest of faith.”

I’ve done enough talking, now I’m getting in their with my hands, helping, writing and speaking.

I commend the many organisations like Muslim Women’s Network, Women’ Networking Hub and Amirah Foundation who continue to stand up for these changes. How different our communities would be if Masjids aided these organisations to aid the thousands of families collectively helped by these organisations Mashallah.

If you want to know what a community is like then look at the women, a well known quote from Islam. Well the reality of this statement can clearly be seen in the statistics coming out of our criminal justice systems and mental health care to name but a few of what is really happening. May Allah Forgive me for that which I did not know of, and aid our Ummah to help each other as they would themselves Ameen!

Are Salafi’s the problem or a small group of people?

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Are Salafi's the problem or a small group of people?

I guess most communities have their secrets, but its when those secrets breach peoples well being that we must choose to speak out.

In the books, it all sounds perfect, the way it should be, but the reality is far from the truth. Stories over time have continued to emerge where women either break down or declare they have abandoned As Salafiah. I’d like to highlight in this post how a small group of people have succeeded to ruin the name of As Salafi because of their failure to manage a community without the interference of their own desires and Jahil (past of ignorance) ways.

Stories that have been related from this small community are as follows:
Brothers marrying and divorcing women, having two or three wives on rotation, when they can’t even manage one. Sisters refusing to give salaams to sisters who do not behave or dress a certain way. Children been sent to schools that are clearly unable to do children justice delivering them with a balanced education. Marriages in secret, sexually transmitted diseases going around, families splitting up!

Like many, when I began to see these issues from the community I once affiliated myself with, I found myself retreating to my home. There I continued to feed my hunger for spiritual enlightenment from books.

Eventually a time came where I felt the need to defend the veil, something strongly associated with the Salafi Sect. I learnt through various journalists how far the reputation of this group had spread. It saddened me as I feel nothing but love for As Salafiyah as it is clear in how we approach our Religion of Al Islam, but contending with this reputation was nothing but exhausting.

The happy ending for me is slowly but surely Allah has presented me with the company of those who still choose to adhere to As Salafiyah but in a way that resonates the beauty of how Allah’s 99 names apply to our lives as Muslims.

In the meantime I can only pray that in time the leaders of this community will either be guided or replaced with those that can do what needs to be done. And the media give these brothers and sisters a platform to amend the reputation of a group of Muslims that are not extreme just having ‘Silent Revolutions’ In sha Allah.

The Silence that kills you, protects them!

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The Silence that kills you, protects them!

Only the black sheep of the family, would really know how it feels when you’re own family turn their back on you. You become the ‘Billy Mitchell’ of the family, sometimes treated even worse. You’re laughed at, the last one to be told, the last one to be invited if not at all. You’re great achievements are belittled to nothing, as everyone else notices you but THEM.

For years I’ve battled with the idea that eventually we can resume happy families, but in the meantime my own family grows, and the questions begin as they see the injustices before them that they REFUSE to remain silent about.

Its the very thing that makes me who I am today. I’m able to speak to people and relate to THE SILENCE THAT KILLS YOU.

However my silence is now beckoning me to be released as I’m approached by media, students, publishers who want to know more about me. At night I meditate and meet the same wall again and again and again.

Faith and belief is charged by life’s new understanding to shift from one paradigm to another. What I’m presented with is fear of the unknown. Do I love myself enough to continue with this journey of self discovery that not only liberates me but others who have become spectators with their own secrets, anticipating my next move.

To be continued….

The pain will stop when the abuse stops!

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The pain will stop when the abuse stops!

Some people were abused when they were children. It was out of their control. And when they recognised they were in pain, they tried to ask for help only to be silenced!

The journey of reclaiming your self worth begins. The movies tell us, the books tell us, and everything else that we bump into tells us it will be ok, but in reality it never works out that way.

What actually happens when the ones we love let us down? Time after time I meet people confused and in turmoil trying to understand why they always get things wrong!

The most common failure occurs in relationships. When we almost welcome a form of abuse to be initiated again and again and again.

But why would someone do that to themselves! It seems the answer can only be found when the one that has been hurts finally accepts that the failure to feel loved at a time it was most needed was not accomplished and blame is not the answer, rather forgiveness and acceptance is.

The beginning starts when the people who have been abused acknowledge and accept how the abuse determines their behaviour. Once this is accomplished the journey of self empowerment can begin, by learning to say no to what is often known all too well will only cause a lot of pain.