Misunderstood

>> Wednesday, September 28, 2011

salamualaikum warahmatulahi wabarakatuhu little Aunties
Bismillah.
i speak slowly so i can understand myself and make sure others to do. My dad does not understand me. I try my best to understand him, but he does not try at all. He calls me stupid when i try my best. He says im a bad muslim even though i know im becoming a better muslim. I reaally try my best to be my best muslimah, but he doest care. He calls me stupid so much that sumtimes i believe it. He cuts me off before i can talk to him. And when he is with my friends he is so nice untill he gets home. I get very sad. my dad seems to love everyone except for me. i never do anything wrong to him and i am extra carefull all the time, i dont know y he hates me. When i put on jilbab he acused me of doing it for the wrong reason.When i go online to learn about islam he accuses me of going online for other reasons. He does not trust me. i have a sister who hangs out with the wrong croud and mingles with boys, but my dad is so nice and gentle with her. He calls me stupid all the time, but i try my best not to be stupid. How do i get my father to understand me? please answer ASAP. i really have nobody else to tell this too.
~misunderstood


Dearest Misunderstood,


Wa'alykum as salam wa rahmatullah wa baraktoo,

Your e-mail broke my heart. It really did.

First of all, I want to reassure you that you are not stupid. You are not!

Unfortunately, as we said in an earlier post, a lot of parents have this 'backwards' idea that calling their children "stupid" will motivate them to be 'better". That's obviously not right. Your dad is wrong in calling you this. Absolutely wrong.

Everybody is intelligent but not everybody is intelligent in the same way. You have to realize that intelligence isn't something necessarily measured by school grades. There are lots of different kinds of "intelligences". There's emotional intelligence, social intelligence (interpersonal skills), spatial intelligence, etc. It's not fair of your father to judge you by 'one thing' only (e.g. math grades).

Let me tell you about myself personally. I was one of those nerdy nerds at school. Give me a word problem/ a book to read and I'm happy. But give me a hands on science experiment and I'm lost. Seriously, I can barely 'use keys', have a problem with putting staples inside a stapler (I'm not kidding), and am absolutely horrible with little paper crafts and origami things and a zillion other things. And you know what? When I tell people I have a problem with reading a normal clock and all those other things, people think I'm "stupid".

But it's unfair. It's unfair of them to judge me by the things I'm not good at. All of us have something we need a little extra help in and other things, we're very good at. And that's why, I want you to stop believing that you are stupid.

Stop it.

Right now.

You are a beautiful intelligent young woman. NO matter what anyone calls you.

Like Shakespeare said, does calling a rose by any other name change the rose? If I call a rose ‘garbage’, does that change the rose/ or its essence? NOPE, NOPE, NOPE, NOPE.

Whenever your father says "stupid' and when he treats you differently from how he treats your sister and your friends, his actions and his words are not a reflection of you. His words are not a reflection of how intelligent you are/ how beautiful/ whatever...whether you're a good daughter or a bad daughter/ a good person or a bad person.


His words are a reflection of him and, and I'm sorry to say this, but his very bad parenting skills.

That said, I can't promise you that your father will understand you....

But one thing you can work on is clearly communicating to your father all that you're trying to do to improve yourself. Show your father all the steps you're taking to tackle any weak subjects/ difficult areas for you.

- Like if you've arranged for a friend to tutor you, tell him that. If you use a website like "Khan Academy" or "Sparksnotes" or whatever, tell him that you've found some helpful sites and you're doing better. Take practice tests/ do practice questions and tell him if your scores are improving.
- Get to know your strengths with a guidance counselor- if possible- and make a plan of action for your weaknesses
- Ask your teachers to recommend some books for you and go out with your father and purchase them....Or ask them for extra assignments and tell your dad....
(Be sure to also read our link:http://dearlittleauntie.blogspot.com/2011/03/failing.html)

And tell him that you need his positive support....and that your feelings are hurt when he calls you stupid.

As for being a "bad Muslimah", hunny, I'm very sorry that he calls you that. Just from reading your letter, I felt that you were really trying...I mean you wore jilbab, ma'shaAllah!

The truth is that your father is sending you mixed messages. First, he tells you that you are a bad Muslimah....Then, when you try to be a good Muslimah, he accuses you of things. No wonder you're all confused and miserable!

You need to tell your dad clearly, "Dad, I'm trying to be a better Muslimah. I've joined a few websites to learn more about our beautiful religion. You're welcome to read them with me...join them, too".

-Try forwarding him some nice articles you read and sharing interesting hadiths with the family. Maybe he sees the stuff you're reading, he'll be more reassured.

It's really unfortunate that your father treats you differently from how he treats everyone else. Do you think that maybe can you try writing a letter to him? And telling him in gentle terms how much you long to have a better relationship with him?

Can you try and find some connection and common ground with your father? Maybe try reading some Qur'an with him or praying with him? You could also watch the news with him and ask him his opinions about something. Try building a relationship not only on your grades/school work, but broadening it a bit.

Most importantly, keep making dua and never losing hope. Believe in yourself...spread your wings and SOAR :)

InshaAllah things will get better. Lots of love!



p.s. if you're on a mixed forum, I would suggest going to an all female Muslimah forum :) I've found them to be a lot better, Islamically :D

9 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

Anonymous,  September 28, 2011 at 10:13 AM  

Assalam alykum.
I feel strong sympathy to you sis!
My parents are nice but I kept being bullied for whole my childhood...get discouraged and abused all the time because of my shyness.(*I am not from muslim country btw) Now i am 23 but still suffer from lack of self confidence.

I hope you not to be like me, means, dont believe what others talk about you, when you think you are not. You seem to be smart&religious enough to be proud of yourself. Just keep try to maintain your inner strength then there will be chance to show your real value:)! and Allah knows what is inside your heart and reward you for your patience and good deeds, insha Allah.

If you have limited range of relationships,(like..only your family and some friends) then please don't think not all the people will think like them...and again, what is important is what you think about yourself.

I will dua' for you to cheer up, your situation being better. plz dua' for me to be strong too, sister.

Aziza October 1, 2011 at 8:48 AM  

MashAllah good advice as always Little Auntie. :)
This sister's letter breaks my heart, she is really in quite a difficult situation. We all try so hard to please our parents and it helps when they also acknowledge that. It keeps us motivated and saves us from giving up.
My dear sister, just keep your head up, your faith in Allah and in yourself, and doing the best you can. InshAllah your dad will come around eventually. Maybe he has really high expectations for you because he knows you can achieve them. :)
And never ever believe that you are stupid or that something is wrong with you. Allah made you perfect, girl you have a purpose to fulfill just like the rest of us.
May Allah soften your father's heart, give you the strength to be patient with him and guide your sister to the straight path. <3

Anonymous,  October 1, 2011 at 10:46 PM  

" Allah made you perfect, girl you have a purpose to fulfill just like the rest of us."

Yes dear Sister, "believe" that! MashaAllah great advice Lil Auntie.
Sister, I believe even in the darkest of days, the silver lining that keeps us going and motivated is "hope." Hope from Allah that your father will inshaAllah come around, your sister too, and keep making Dua.. lots n lots of dua, and harbour lots and lots of hope in your heart! You are a brave girl and may Allah give you tremendous strenghts, Ameen!

dawnrose October 7, 2011 at 8:06 AM  

Assalammualaikum, sister.

My heart ALSO broke when I read this. I could feel my heart being twisted really hard because I can REALLY understand this. Of course, it might never seem that way, but it IS. :(

Your dad obviously does not know you the way YOU know yourself. The way ALLAH knows you.

“He knows what is in the heavens and on earth; and He knows what you conceal and what you reveal: and Allah knows well the secrets of all hearts.” (Surat at-Taghabun, 64:4)

If others don't get you, know that there is another Being, a very GREAT Being, that Knows you, understands you, and even Loves you. Now that's not to say your dad doesn't love you. He might, as Little Auntie said, trying to express his love for you in a stricter and whip-you-up way. I HAVE SEEN THIS.

With that in mind, know that (no offense!) his parenting skills are poor, but inside, he DOES love you. Think to yourself, as long as I know myself, as long as "I" do my very best, I must not suffer from what other people think of me. And I'll be REWARDED for this. Stand up for yourself sis! In a gentle way. But don't let unconfidence kill the beautiful person inside of you that we have glimpsed.

Never forget that while others may not understand you all too well, by expressing your problems here, you know that there are other Muslims who are in your shoes and are perhaps doing a silent dua' for you. This is Islam's Love.

Secondly, as I'm very sure you know, don't get discouraged by your dad's attitude and attribute this to Islam. I recommend reading about the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), and how he treated his children with love and pure care, and even other children in general. It will fill your heart with love. Love the Prophet. :)

He does not hate you, your dad. Please, please listen to this because I really understand. He is being an imperfect human, while you strive to be better. You're going to blossom into a beautiful Muslimah, Insha'Allah - who is going to put you down? With Allah, never be afraid, never be discouraged. If you can't find confidence in yourself yet, find in through Allah.

On the practical side, I'm urging for you to exert control over your feelings. It may seem impossible, and even discouraging whenever we are discouraged because we feel so helpless and stupid. But we are not. Don't let other people tell us so. We HAVE to change our mindset. This is VERY important, because some people are likely to persist in their behaviour and change will take time. We have to DEAL with it.

Make du'a for your father. Just like how people made du'a for their parents to change, do the same for your father.

Get a close circle of friends. Study hard. Explore yourself, and don't.be.afraid anymore. Flourish in things you are good at to increase your inner confidence. Think this as YOUR test, seeing that injustice you are facing. There is no barrier between the cry of the oppressed and God, that is what the Prophet (peace be upon him) said. :))

You are a brave and strong person for holding on to your principles all this time. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Love and hugs from me. :))

Misunderstood,  October 7, 2011 at 11:05 PM  

Asalamualaikum my Little Auntie :) Much love for you, May Allah love your moooree and place you amoung the beautiful and righteous people! Ameeeeenn...

JazakAllahuakaiirun little Auntie, for the advise...it really, really, really helped me alhamduilah :)
i really feel a lot better, i feel hopeful. And i know im not stupid now :D

guess what, i gave my dad letter and he talks to me less...but when he does, he does it gentlly.
he listens to me when i talk.
somtimes...he even smiles at me...
SubhanAllah...
Maybe he does love me.
Maybe i love him. ^_^


dawnrose: JazakAllahuakaaairrun dear sister for your comment. Im so happy that you understand...InshaAllah i will try my best to be my best ^_^ Make dua for me and i will make dua for you inshaAllah. love you so much sis <3

jazak Allah khair to all the sisters,

take care,
Wasalamualaikum. ^_^

Anonymous,  October 11, 2011 at 8:59 PM  

to Misunderstood

Assalam alykum warahmatullah.

I am Anon1. I am surprised by your good news! ...and am truly happy with it.
I thought of your situation too negatively and it won't change...but, wow you did it. yes, you can!

you gave me such a hope too. stay blessed.
wa ssalam

Azra,  October 26, 2011 at 12:21 PM  

I read this somewhere and it reminded me of you, Misunderstood.

"Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live it's whole life believing that it is stupid." - Albert Einstein

Misunderstood,  November 9, 2011 at 9:38 AM  

Azra, that made me smile so much :D jazakAllahukaiiirruunn <3

Anon1, jazakAllahukaiirun ^_^ subhanAllah...my dad barly talks to me...but Alhamdulilah...i hope thats not a bad thing. When he is really really, happy, he smiles. But lately he's just...disapointed (in me?). But i know thats not my fault becuz im trying my best. Alhamdulilah

dawnrose February 21, 2012 at 5:39 AM  

Wow, OK now I feel guilty! Misunderstood, sorry for not replying fast enough to your message! Love you lots sis, I'm so glad your condition has improved. Alhamdulillah. Allah will continue Helping you, sis. Insha'Allah. :)

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Asalamu aialkum!
Well, what do you think? You know, you're part of the team, as well. Please help a sister out and share your own advice/experiences/etc. One for all and all for one =)
P.S. I reserve the right to remove any disrespectful comment ;)

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