Diary entry Number 60 by the Tales of the Sisterhood
“Everyone always has pointed out how guys have “mummy issues”. It’s always an issue when it comes to marriage and separation in indian lives lately..
I am a girl and I have severe mummy issues. This is my story.
I was the much anticipated daughter of a man who always relished his relationship with his mother and sisters. Obviously he would do the same to a daughter. I do not have a single issue with my relationship with my father. He is modern and outspoken. And I credit my feisty personality solely to him.
However, we all know that to bring up children, effort has to come equally from two parents. My parents have never lived apart but my brother and I were raised differently in the same house.
Through this, we are completely different people with different lives and completely different outlooks. How is that possible you may ask? Considering we are a year apart.
The answer is simple. Our mother raised us to believe that men are better than women, regardless what women bring to the table. My brother was younger, treated like a Prince and I was only good if and when he was not present.
He got the “spending money”, the name brands, the attention. I got the leftovers. It hurt, and I turned the other way, happily accepting being neglected.
In time, his being spoilt led to a drug addiction.. me, on the other hand, I learnt to work and study in order to buy what I needed on my own terms.
He got married three times in shotgun weddings.. all prepared literally within 2 days.. none happy. All on impulse. Because a man is allowed to do as he pleases.
I got married and divorced and watching his movie of a life, I instead chose to look after my parents instead. It has paid off, however the drawbacks of living in the shadows for 30 something years are not without pain.
I have no relationship with my mother to present date. My girlfriends and cousins are as thick as thieves with their mothers, the further I am from my mother, the happier I am. I live with her with remorse and resentment. I only tolerate her because she is good to my child. Even so, it has to be on her terms and all my decisions are constantly undermined and mocked at.
I should be grateful. Lots of people my age don’t have parents. But nowhere in Islam it says to oppress your children. Children have an obligation to be kind to their parents, and my kindness stems from the love both my parents have for my daughter.
As a single parent I would be lost in the world when my ex walked out when my daughter was 18 months old. I worked long hours and they looked after her.
Now I am on the verge of completing a degree, have an upper management position in the corporate world and they still step in as her primary caregivers, while I work long hours.
My mother and i are constantly arguing, I feel I have overstayed my welcome… however I have tried on numerous occasions to leave. Each attempt sabotaged by my mother. While she clearly resents me, she needs to control me.
It has come to a stage where she has no idea what my position at work is, she has no clue what my job entails, and has no inkling of what my salary is. Most days I feel like the chicken who lays golden eggs, as what keeps my mum happy is the constant flow of cash coming from me.
On the other hand, years went by while I watched how she molly coddled my brother who, until present day, struggles to find a job due to drug adiction – which she constantly denies. Any money made by me was given to her son for cigarettes, petrol and of course, his habit.
I had a mouth to feed post divorce and all she worried about was how much I could give her at the end of the month because her son wasn’t working (the correct term was – did not want to work) and his wife was having a baby.
Today I am much better off, and my father has put control back into our home. He tries, my dad is the ultimate champion when it comes to family issues. He tries his best to limit the oppression put unto me, but when I am alone with my mother, it is very rare for a fight not to break out.
After marriage, I was living in a different country and I was happy. As soon as I fell pregnant, my mother manipulated me into moving back home, even though the career opportunities were scarce.
She meddled constantly in my marriage, and along with my ex mother in law, it was a tug of war over which mother had the last say.
In my divorce and attempted reconciliation, she threatened to kill herself if I wanted to go back to my now ex husband. The one time, she took a belt and whipped me like I was a 12 year old runaway. These are all memories and part of my Taqdeer.. which have made me who I am today
Today I am independent, outspoken, feisty. . But it did not come for free.
I am currently working on immigrating to a far away country as living with resentment is not the way Muslims should be. Most days I smile it off, and make shukar she is alive..
Perhaps when I move away, she may learn to appreciate me.. and even if she doesn’t, I appreciate myself.
In this life lesson, I have chosen to always envelope my daughter with love. Cuddles, hugs and kisses are our early morning and bedtime routine, so much so that when my daughter travels with my parents, I physically am in pain because I miss her.
I refuse to treat my daughter any less because she’s female even though I wanted a son. She’s a part of me, grew within me and is the reason I have the courage to work for a better tomorrow.. “