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Thread: My dysfunctional family

  1. #1
    Unregistered Guest

    My dysfunctional family

    My brother and I only have an age difference of 2 years. So growing up we always played together, did most things together, watched cartoons, shared toys, had mutual ferinds. We were happy kids growing up. My parents, are decent hardworking people, the were not born well off but have managed to do pretty well. My mother was an excellent student at school, she excelled and thus is the primary breadwinner for our family, it because of her generous salary we are able to have this lifestyle (I would call it slightly upper class). My father on the other hand had 9 siblings so he had to wok to support his family since he was 17, he got a low paying government job and stuck to it, government jobs in my country(3rd world country) dont pay very well, and you get transferred around a lot. My dad never really studied properly, I don't know if he has a university degree, I've never seen it. When asked he says he has a degree in political science, I've never seen it but the lack of my father's education is a taboo subject we don't really talk about it. From the begining my parents marriage was a mismatch (it was an arranged marriage). Often arguments would get too heated. My dad would hit my mother, I have very vivid memories of crying on the bed while my dad beat my mother. But again, it's not all black and white. My dad is also pretty amazing, he wold come back from work and make dinner, he played with us. He is in no way a bad father at all. He never shied away from cooking and helping around the house when my mother was working long shifts. My mother is also harsh with words, she's not perfect either, to her she married into the wrong family. It is not a woman's job to earn but she hasd to because my dad couldn't earn enough to support us at all. Plus my dad's sisters and his mother were cruel to my mother they emotionally abused her and threatened her and kicked her out of the house while my dad did not say anything to them. But he moved out with my mother, but not once did he say anything to my grandmother or anyone.
    Moving on, since my dad came from a family where the men worked and women were at home and cooked and cleaned. I guess he expected my mother to do that on weekends. Which infuriated my mother because she wanted to rest after a long week of work. She'd get home at 7 or 8 while my dad would come home at 3,4 or 5.and on the weekends my dad wouldn't help in the kitchen so my mom had to cook.
    Anyways, it's hard to explain but dad never gives my mom enough credit for earning so much and supporting us all and she still uses harsh words and profanities and usually fights about little things. My dad is usually calmer than my mother. He doesn't get infuriated about little things. But when he does get angry he can get physically hurt and say hurtful stuff to my mother 'You're a woman, you do nothing for your kids. You just come back from work and sleep or watch TV. You're of no use.' My dad is sometimes very patriarchal and sexist. My mother is not very different,to her working wasnt something she should do and constantly reminds us how working has sucked the life out of her, how she's sick all the time because of work stress, about how she works all day for us. Ive heard that constantly since perhaps the day I was born about how much my mother has sacrificed for me. To her other housewives the same age as her look young and fresh because they sleep all day whIle she looks twice their age because she works.

    Moving onto my brother, he picked up a lot of my father's qualities and amplified them by a hundred thousand. And he is emotionally abusive towards me. Even though he is younger than me, he's taller than me and obviously stronger as he is a guy and I'm a girl. He can raise is voice at me and that is enough to make me cower in fear. He constantly accuses me of talking to boys ( note: Im Muslim living in a 3rd world country) and having multiple boyfriends ( I've gone to Co ed schools my entire life and so has he). He calls me different names, constantly slut shames me, makes fun of degree (I'm studying to become a lawyer, my parents wanted me to become a doctor), says I'm a embarrassment to my family (even though I've gotten better grades than him my entire life), says I'll run away from home because I dont care about my parents, he is not afraid of hitting me. My parents know all this is happening he does this in front of them, they domt stop him. I've confronted them numerous times about it. According to my mother she has no respect in this house so she can't get me any. When he is verbally abusing me my parents make half hearted attempts to make him stop. But he doesn't listen. Moreover, he has no social life at all. He is 18 years of age, he doesn't go out with friends and will constantly meddle in my life asking me who I'm talking to what I'm doing, he basically doesn't have a life of his own. This emotional abuse is getting worse day by day. Plus I have amother brother who is 9 and I love him dearly but my 18 year old brother has managed to turn him into a miniature version of himself. My 9 year old brother talks to me the same way, calls me the same names. Today my 18 yeat old brother was telling him how big of a slut I am because I had a boyfriend in the 8th grade. Is my brother even normal??? What do I do? Thankfully this hasn't had as much affect on me. I'm mentally sound and I attend college in another city. But I do have to come back during the incredibly long summer and other holidays and face my brother.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    i truly am sorry to hearof your struggle. i agree that its wrong for family members to abuse each other, no matter what the circumstances. not right to yell, call names; definitely not right to get physically violent. thing is though, every country is different - some have (and enforce) laws to protect the victims of family violence, others still struggle with the issue. so while in usa, for example, you could call the police when things get violent, move out, file for orders of protection, etc - in other countries this might not be an option.

    i mean, just recently Qandeel Baloch from Pakistan was killed by her brother because he didnt like what she was posting on facebook. said he was proud of what he did cuz she was bringing dishonor to his family. obviously its not ok to kill your sister over facebook, but it doesnt sound like this guy was a random nutcase, honor killings seem to happen quite a lot in middle east, and idk if theres a way to protect yourself from it by legal means. its kinda the reason im concerned, cuz youre describing the scenario where these things seem to happen - cultural customs are broken in the family, son is upset about it, calls his sisters a slut and such, is unhappy about her career or lifestyle choices. do you feel you might be in danger?

    im not from middle east but i have some personal experience with navigating the issue where my family/neighborhood/employer/etc isnt happy with how i live my life, can harm me for non-compliance with their standards, and i cant have protection from the legal system. frustrating and deeply unpleasant arrangement. communication seems to make it smoother, if i try to work with the people rather than against them, cuz im not gonna win by just outright rebellion, they'll overpower me. im not advocating for sucking up and doing what youre told to do, just for communicating, getting on the same page with people, resolving the conflict by negotiating compromises, reaching mutual understanding, exchanging compassion, etc. idk, youre upset about me having a boyfriend, i understand it embarrasses, but i love this boy and need an escape from all the yelling we have at home, so if you agree to yell less and let me spend some time with him, i will agree to not kiss in public or brag about my relationship at family occasions till we get legally married. seems to help me, in such situations, cuz this way they understand where im coming from, if i consider their feelings - they start considering mine too, and so we brainstorm solutions together, they end up agreeing to compromises they wouldnt even consider before, and the yelling significantly decreases...

    for you
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Kindness & hugs.
    I am so sorry that you live in a culture that does not support your right to be treated respectfully...that you face the family issues you do on your own. Not much practical that I can offer, however can not stop thinking that your decision to study law is not a random one...hopefully it will bring you into contact with others who seek to champion the rights of minority/oppressed groups including females like you. I am glad that your family supports your education (which I know is not the case for all girls/women) I hope being a well educated woman increases the opportunities for you to influence positive change in your own and others lives.

    For you.
    Rest in my arms precious child; cradled and warm. You are safe. The war is over.

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