Monday, May 14, 2007

Loss of resiliency

I had a long rant here about my family, how I feel like I'm being pushed out and how pushing myself back in is getting harder and starts to feel more destructive, about falling apart and getting emotional and wanting to be stronger.

ctrl+a, delete

Socially, I'm not alone. I have friends, someone to talk to and someone to listen just about any time I want. I don't have to look far to find someone who cares, and that's a nice experience. Until a few years ago I was not a social person. But I had my family, whether times were good or bad, someone to listen and help me out. I don't think I have that anymore... and I don't think I can get it back.

I know I'm supposed to be good to my parents but that's going to get harder; everytime I try to stand up for what I believe in, for my faith, I feel like the only option I have is to take a step back, and out. So I'm quiet for a while and try to sneak in... and realize how I've been pushed out, excluded... how I'm losing ground. That's a terrifying and depressing thought... all I see are things not working, I don't know what to do to make things work, to make things improve, to rescue any semblance of a familial bond still remaining... what I've tried so far seems to be failing.


Aviator said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy said...

Actually it's quite the opposite. I have been going to my parents; for a while I would go every weekend to see them and I haven't been able to lately just because my weekends have been busy (bad excuse I suppose.) I have tried going out to dinner with them, shopping, or just coming over.

And it's only after doing that, that I say I start to feel unwelcome sometimes. The real problem is with my sisters, actually.

It's easy to keep up with my friends--I didn't have a whole bunch of friends (just being honest) before becoming Muslim; mostly just my sorority. And I am still friends with them! Although a lot of the sisters I don't "hang out" with anymore because whenever we got together it was to go to a club! And that's not who I am and I'm not going to sacrifice that part of my deen just to be friends with these people.

I said I've been visiting my parents, and sometimes it seems they're coming around, and sometimes it seems they just can't wait for me to leave.

The problem that is bothering me now, and has bothered me all along really, for over a year now I guess, is my sister's husband. My nephew's 2-yr birthday party was this weekend... my parents were there, and my other sister. It was just family, not even other kids. And I was *not* *invited.* My sister's husband, after news got out I was Muslim, told my family that he wouldn't let me see his kids; then he wouldn't let them see his kids if they saw me!

And I can't, I just can't push that point, and I don't want to. I don't want to take off my hijab in front of my brothers-in-law, but they won't let me visit them if I wear it. So what's the solution? Not visit!? Take off hijab!? My parents won't let me wear it in their house, so it's difficult to visit them if anyone is there.

For thanksgiving and for christmas I took it off, this is my family... but I don't know how to encourage them to accept it, how to make them not feel offended that I want to wear it. (And mostly it's my bros-in-law because I would wear it in front of them but not my sisters.)

I feel like I can't or don't want to visit anyone because of it, and when I do it's really strained. And at the same time, it really really hurts to be excluded like I was this weekend.

So you can tell me to try to get closer to my parents--I took my mom to lunch on Sunday.

But on Saturday I was not invited for my nephew's birthday.

It hurts.

Aviator said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy said...

Listen here, you don't know what you're talking about. You don't know me and you certainly don't know my family--you don't know what I've tried to do, what has met with resistance, what has been treated like an insult, and what has been totally forbidden.

I don't think you even know what the situation is like for reverts in the United States, you and a lot of people who try to give advice but have no idea what it's like to have an invisible barrier erected between you and the people closest to you.

So do me and every other revert a favor, and mind your own business when it comes to issues like this.

Aviator said...

did not mean that at all !

Anyway, remember the actions of Shaba at situations like this, when they were the only muslim members in their families.

Also, the common role for muslims should be: this is my fault, because i was not able to explain well about my faith to non-muslims.
Why one assumes errors in other persons?? i think everyone has shortages that dont know: and me is the first !!

Holly said...

{hugs} Amy...sorry you deleted your blog post, sorry things keep getting's so hard when people "handling" you in these ways is family {hugs}

Amy said...

It's one of the most awful things you can tell a person, how to treat their family. To say be persistent, is one thing. To say do this, do that, they'll like you, they'll be ok, they'll change their mind...

When they won't talk to me
When they refuse to be seen in public with me
When they won't let me visit them
When I invite them over but they refuse to come

I mean, do you have any idea what that's like? And telling me I should do all these things that on top of not having worked in the mildest sense, at the intensity you suggested are more offensive than anything else...

You had no right...

Aviator said...

"at the intensity you suggested are more offensive than anything else..."


Nothing is offensive with parents and siblings.

They are not a new boy or girl friend to be afraid of being offensive.
You love your parents and you are afraid that they dont enter Jannah, right?? So, you are struggling to save them!!

Somedays, i find myself in need of these words that i have just deleted.

To tell the truth, i was shocked when i read the original article, because i understood (with my small brain) that you lost hope about the family issuse; so i wanted to return this hope again, but this came in a ... way!!

Again and gain, my apologizes for that stupid annoying words.

Amy said...

Well then I forgive you for what you said and am sorry I took it so strongly and rudely. But it hurt.

You said: Nothing is offensive with parents and siblings.

This isn't true, not from the mouths of my parents or sisters.

"It offends me" is their constant complaint against the hijab.

Don't wear it in my house, it offends me.
He doesn't want you to wear it in his house because it offends him.
I'm offended that you want to look like "them."
They're offended with you living in their house.

Words that aren't new to me... trust me, parents and siblings can easily be offended. Mine seem to be little else.

Anonymous said...

I think you should build a kill loneliness.

I think you should keep in touch with your parents and your matter what they think of you.

I think we should keep our hope open to Muslim community that ideally work as a big family...though I feel it's not exist or very rare.

Peace be upon you.

Aviator said...


I could understand that the problem is with your external look(hijab and islamic dress) which is a good thing. I think they are going to adapt this look after some period. Probably they are struggling now to force you take it off, and after some time their peak will go down.

To be honest: your parents have the right to be offended. Should excuse them.
Yes, they have the right to offend from being muslim.
However, if they know the clear and right picture of Islam, they will appreciate this faith.

"An object in motion will remain in motion unless acted upon by an external and unbalanced force." Sir Isaac Newton's second law of motion.

This is called the inertia. They still have inertial unfair forces about hijab and islam. We can't change the minds, thoughts, beliefes that they used to practice from 50 years in just one second.
Once this inertial force stops or decelerates, it will be in your playground then.
You are that external force or disturbance that shall stop or decelerate the unfair inertial forces.
Media and the surrounding community is exerting forces on the inertial direction (against you).

Media show up problems about Islam to your parents, and you are going to discuss and explain and defend.
So, the resultant forces should be in your direction.

ALSO, Many people change their opinion about islam once they know some of its principles and fundamentals. Then they begin to search and read about Islam immediately.

Yes, the hearts of all the people are under control of Allah, and Allah may change it at any time.

Metta said...

Salaam Amy,

I see some of the comments have been removed since yesterday. I'm sorry that your family situation is getting worse instead of improving. I have amways admired your strength and will, especially where it concerned dealing with your family after you reverted.

I'm sorry that it's getting worse, I really will keep you in my dua's. There isn't much advice I can give you as far as how to deal with your family. Are you particularly close or were you particularly close before with either your father or your mother? Maybe you could break down and tell them how you feel isolated, how much you love them and how much it is hurting you? I don't know what else to say.

I can really feel your pain and it is really hard being Muslim when you are surrounded by a bunch of non-Muslims. It's like your family doesn't understand so you don't fit in there, a lot of other people don't understand so you don't fit in there.... and if you're not able to surround yourself with good Muslimahs you feel really alone in the world.

But the worse thing I can imagine is not having my family, they're supposed to be the ones that are always there for you when the rest of the world turns their back on you. So I can only imagine what it feels like for you.

All I can offer you is my support. I think you are a very strong woman and I admire that about you. I know we haven't really gotten to know each other two well in the 2 plus years we could have done so thus far, but if you need an ear or a shoulder, you know where to find me.