Seeing my family after six years

As I mentioned in my previous Post I saw my family for the first time in six years a few months back and the only thing I can say about it is that it was an honest shit show.

I refused to visit her at her house or to go to a neutral location by myself, so we organised to meet at someone’s house and I brought my partner with me.

During the entire ride there I was having anxiety attacks and we sat outside the house for a while before I could muster up the courage to walk through the doors.

It wasn’t fear of being hurt or anything like that, it was just being near my mother. The best way to describe her is narcissistic. The world revolves around her and her feelings. She has absolutely no regard for other people’s feelings or views. In basic terms, she is a Class A Bitch.

A good example was when I walked through the doors.  She walked up to me and goes “I know you don’t like being touched but I am your mother and you must hug me.”
Really, that’s the first thing you say to your daughter you haven’t seen in six years? I remember thinking.

Another instance was when she was asking my partner what he does to relax. His response was that he likes to watch Anime. My sister asked him if he gets invested in the characters and upset when a character dies, he responds in the affirmative.
My mother jumps in going “It’s a cartoon, it’s not real! IT’S NOT REAL!”
Now, my partner is what I would call a militant atheist, he argues with his ageing grandmother about God all the time and I had to grab his knee to stop him from making a snarky comment back at my mother (after we left he said that was going to tell her that her god wasn’t real either! XD).

All throughout the agonizing three hours we were there she was constantly picking on my weight, what I was wearing, how I was sitting and I began to fill like the pathetic weak teenager I had been at home.

After being with my partner for many years we have developed a silent language and we both signaled our desire to leave. We abruptly stood up and said we were leaving and walked out.

I felt nauseous the entire time. I was miserable every second I was there but I learned a very important lesson. My mother does not and will not accept my choices. She will never be happy for me and I am okay with that as I do not need her acceptance or happiness for me.


Why I don’t keep in contact with my family.

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.

Emotional Manipulation

Parents are Grandmasters at Emotional Manipulation

The sighs of disappointment. The clutching at their chests. The sobbing. The wailing.

You would think that we had murdered someone by the way they go on about things.

“How can you do this to me?”
“You don’t love me anymore.”
“What will the people say?”

Aaaaannnddd there it is. The real reason your parents are upset.

It is a big no no if you leave Islam and when your child leaves Islam it is a reflection on well…..let’s just say that you are a terrible parent.

When I left home, I didn’t care what my parents said to the community. My choice to leave came down to me wanting to maintain my sanity. However, I do know how vicious the Muslim community can be when someone is seen as being weak. They’ll turn into rabid dogs and tear you to shreds.

So out of respect, I removed myself entirely from the Muslim community.

But even that wasn’t enough. A child disappearing still raises questions. So my parents changed their tactics.

When Emotional Manipulation Tactic A doesn’t work, parents will normally try Tactic B.

This is where they’ll use your siblings or other family members as ammunition.

First, They will ban any contact with you. You are a bad influence after all.

Then they will accuse you of ruining your siblings’ futures.

They will say you don’t love them INFACT they will tell your siblings that you hate them.

And finally, they will turn your siblings against you.

The final tactic, which is where they appear to try. This is the most dangerous tactic. They use your own love and hope against you.

“I love you.”
“I just want the best for you.”
“What are your issues with Islam?”
“We can talk about it.”

I really didn’t want to lose my family, so when my parents appeared to be trying I believed them. I will admit, I fell for this a couple of times.

And once you fall, they destroy you. They try to make you feel foolish and stupid. They treat you as though you are just going through a phase. It is a belittling and heart breaking time.
I am not saying this is what every exmuslim experiences. All of our situations are unique to us. Some parents do eventually come around. A dear exmuslim friend of mine has a great relationship with her family.

But sadly many parents don’t.