Mitigating a difficult relationship with a parent

Mitigating a difficult relationship with a parentCategory: OtherMitigating a difficult relationship with a parent
Sakinah asked 4 years ago

As Salam Alaikum,

I come forth with these questions with the intentions of finding guidance and understanding on how to make the best decisions in Allahs eyes as how to move forward. Ameen,

I’m a 29 year old single female, that lives outside the home with a roommate. I work in the development field so I’m based in a bigger city about a 6 hour drive from my mothers home. I come from a single parent home for the most part; my mother adopted me at birth and married my father when I was 5. Unfortunately things did not work out and they split when I was 17.

I’ve been raised in an Islamic household and I am grateful everyday for the sacrifices my mother has made and the blessing that she was placed into my life and I was placed into hers. However, over the past 3-4 years since I finished graduate school and moved right afterwards to start my career there has been a huge fracture in our relationship. Despite talking to her everyday and driving home to visit no more than 6 weeks from my last visit to the next I am met with a lot of lectures on how I’m selfish I am for moving away, constantly put down about how I practice Islam especially as it relates to hijab, and at times called out on my sexuality because I am almost 30 and unmarried. Below are some examples of things that have been said/done to me:

1. “You look like a slut dressed in jeans”
2. “You’re too close to your roommate (female); are you in some sort of relationship with her?”
3.” Are you a practicing Muslim, because your turban is not a hijab”
4. “You must be so emotional , thats something you inherited from your birth mother”
5. I’ve had objects thrown at me; a set of car keys, a broom, and I’ve had incidences where my mother has gotten into my face and screamed at me.

I dont say any of these things to shed bad light on my mother. Aside from this I love this woman more than I love the blessing of sight and breathing every morning. She is one of the most caring, wise and witty people I know. She has gone above and beyond for me and I can only pray that one day I can be a fraction of a mother that she has been for me if this is Allahs plan.

However, I cant ignore how detrimental these constant attacks on my character and questioning of our relationship has been on me. I am not perfect, I have flaws and I dont condone her checking me when she feels I may be going astray or on a path not good for me. But I also think there are ways that you speak to people, and ways to give advice or to condone behaviour that doesnt involve mentally degrading them. I know I must hold my mother to the highest regard in Islam but I often question how does one do so at the expense of their own mental health and spiritual resolve?

We’ve now reached a crossroads because mom has received a diagnosis of Parkinsons. I am exploring ways to move her closer to me and mentioned that I would be open to buying a home and having her move in with me. However, with the escalation of the insults and the weight this bears on me on a daily basis I recently told my mother I dont believe we can live under the same roof. I dont want to put myself in a situation where I would be at conflict on a daily basis, questioned if I wanted to get a cup of coffee with a friend or go for a jog because my mother also believes my time should be soley devoted to her, and also berated because I remain unmarried which I dont believe is my fault; the right mate has simply not been put in my life yet ( Allah knows best)

I’m looking at senior living homes and trying to figure out how I can move her from the rural town we are from to a bigger city with more muslims and a support system that I feel would help mitigate the fractures in our relationship.

I feel immense guilt that I feel this way, but deep down I cant bring myself to give in and opt to live with her instead. I’ve also shut down as person to the extent that my prayers are half hearted, I really have no interest in wearing a hijab or turban (this is a whole other topic but I bring this up because its another sore spot with my mom) and my own spirituality often sits in the corner because I feel a sense of hopelessness. I make dua and ask Allah simply “please send help”; and with Ramadan coming up I’m pushing to strengthen my prayers and find a better way to fight these internal demons.

Overall, I’d appreciate guidance and wisdom on how to best manage this situation.