Saying my mother went ballistic when I left home is an understatement.
Screaming, abusing, crying, manipulating, if you can think of any negative reaction she did it.
Conversations would start off with “I miss you, please come home” and quickly progress to “You are a whore, a traitor” and end on “I am so disappointed in you, what am I supposed to tell the Muslim community?”
My stepfather didn’t really react much besides telling me to seek repentance from Allah and sending me ayats and hadeeth.
A few weeks after I left home it was Eid. I went to the festival because I missed my siblings. When I found my family, my siblings were so excited and happy to see me. The only person who didn’t want to have anything to do with me was my mother. She basically told me that I wasn’t allowed to speak to anyone in my family and I had to leave immediately.
Fast forward 6 years and the relationship between my parents and I is nonexistent.
At one stage I did have my mother and siblings on Facebook, and I only interacted with her when I felt like it. Anytime she mentioned Islam, put my partner down or how I lived my life, I would cut her off completely.
Recently my mother reached out to me because she and my siblings needed my help. Given that I am not a cruel person, I helped them. I even went so far as to visit them but I’ll leave that encounter for another post.
Now I have removed all family members from my social media. I was constantly battling them and the anxiety and stress of continuously seeing pro-Islamic propaganda, particularly pro-Sharia, pro-Islamic State posts pushed me to the brink.
I decided to give my mother one last chance. I sent her a very long and confronting email covering everything from the child abuse she allowed and even encouraged to forcing me into niqab and depriving me of an education. She denied all of it, saying it was all in my head. The last thing I said to her was that she has lost me as a daughter and that if she doesn’t want to die alone, she needs to change.
With my siblings, it is a bit of a mixed bag. One sister is what I would call a Denialist Muslim. She says all the bads things about Islam are people just twisting it to suit their desires. When I pointed out that I would be killed for being an apostate as is justified in the Quran, she shrugged and said don’t go to a Muslim country. My other sister is so deeply brainwashed that she sincerely believes that she doesn’t need to go to school and that she will just get married and have her husband provide for her.
My brothers are also differing on their opinions of me. The eldest of them treats me with cold disregard. I think it may have to do with the fact that I managed to ‘escape’ whilst he couldn’t. He is now married and has two children that I have never met. My second brother told me that I am a whore that deserved to be raped and murdered because I am a traitor. He said this to me when he was just fourteen. He believes that women are to serve men and believes in Jihad as a righteous cause. He lords over my mother calling himself the Amir of the house and controls all my sisters with a tight leash. I have often remarked that if I hear of him dying in a suicide bombing I would not be surprised.
I have not cut my family off. They still have my number and can call me at any time, but I did choose to remove them from my social media and do not actively seek them out as they do not bring any positivity to my life.
Does it suck not having a mother I can call for advice? Yes.
Is it hard seeing other people having healthy relationships with their family? Yes.
But I have learnt that I can build my own family and I have done that. I am surrounded by amazing and positive people constantly and I love each and every one of them more than I thought I could be capable of.