I am writing a situation of my friend. I am a graduate. I belong to a middle class family. I have been a family where women get no appreciation.
I wake up early in the morning and do all my home chores, I make lunch, dinner, tea, washes cloth pressing and all that stuff what a women is supposed to do. I do them all and they give me no appreciation for it.
I applied for many jobs but couldn’t get the opportunity.
My family always complain to me that you cannot do even a single thing right.
I always face abuse.
I cannot talk to anyone about it. I often have suicidal thoughts. I feel anxiety and stress.
I am always worried about my future. I have degree but my grades are not good due to this situation. I am finding no way out. I just hate my life.
As-Salaamun ‘Alaikum – peace be with you,
Thank you for reaching out to us, we know that it isn’t easy and we appreciate the confidence you have placed in us. May you be rewarded, Ameen.
Your friend is coping with various emotions, mainly feelings of anger directed at her family who appear to not be providing the level of support that she requires. We can reassure you that this emotional reaction is completely valid as it is only natural for us to want to feel appreciated for the work we do. We are glad she has confided in you about her feelings as reaching out to others for guidance is the first and most crucial step towards finding a solution.
The first step for her to take, personally, might be to respectfully distance herself from family members who make regular negative remarks that is putting her down. This does not mean to cut them off completely, but rather to start setting healthy boundaries. It might be worth trying to encourage your friend to seek inner approval rather than relying upon the opinions of her family to define her self-worth. For example, if she feels that no one appreciates her effort, she can exchange that thought for a more positive one to help ease her anxiety. For example, ‘I am sincere with everyone and Allah (SWT) is aware of my intentions and efforts, and this In Shaa Allah, will be rewarded’
Another great way to empower herself is to create a gratitude journal, by writing down the things she is grateful for every day. This doesn’t have to be a long list, but can just focus on 2-3 things that she has in her life to be grateful for. Seeing the good she does have (i.e. food and shelter for example), can help refocus her thoughts and energy on the positive and In Shaa Allah will gradually lead to a positive shift in her mindset over time. After doing this gratitude exercise everyday, it is so powerful to take a few moments and ponder on the source of these things that you are grateful for – where do they come from? Who provides them? Through this we can ultimately realise that it is Allah (SWT) who gives, and He takes away.
“They plan and Allah plans, And Allah is the Best of Planners.” [Qur’an 8:30]
Advise your friend to make a daily timetable so she has structure in her day and small personal goals to achieve. Creating a routine can helps to reduce the feeling of helplessness, increases our sense of responsibility of our life, and helps set personal boundaries with the people we live with. It would be especially healthy if she incorporates small acts of self-care such as going on walks, meditating or exercising.
For the moment, she is identifying with the negative labels her family gives her but she can overcome this by exploring her self-identity and her own virtues. Encourage her to do self-awareness and personality building exercises, which you could do together, and through this learn more about the qualities that define you and those that you can improve on.
Remember, Allah (SWT) states in the Qur’an:
“Do people think they will be left alone after saying ‘We believe’ without being put to the test?” [Qur’an [29:2].
We are sorry to hear that your friend is also finding it difficult to find a job. A suggestion to tackle this could be to try to volunteer for a local charity inorder to gain practical experience or contacting a recruitment agency to see which job opportunities best match her current skillset. The latter option may also allow her to identify strengths and weaknesses in the approach to job applications. Another option could be to try contacting her local Job Centre or Work Coach.
It is also worth reassuring your friend that this life is a test and In Shaa Allah (if Allah wills), she will be rewarded for taking some of the steps outlined above and maintaining good manners towards her family, despite their comments.
It may be helpful for your friend to also consider reaching out for some faith-sensitive support to help her talk through her emotions. Please see below for some options:
These are just some humble suggestions. We sincerely hope and pray that one or more of them will be suitable to your circumstances and help create ease for you, In Shaa Allah (if Allah wills).
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any further support.
Allah knows best and we hope this helps.
Du’as (supplication) always,
IM Support Team
Ask Inspirited Minds is a safe, anonymous and confidential space for you to ask specific questions or seek advice around your mental health and wellbeing. We will publish your question and our response on our website but will make sure to make it anonymous and change any identifiable details. If you are going through these problems, then it’s highly likely someone else is going through something similar and we hope our advice can also be of help to others in a similar situation.
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