I grew up in a broken home and I’ve spent countless moments in my life where I’ve wished I was someone else, experiencing a different life.
But over the years, I’ve learnt to be patient about my situation.
A good number of people grew up and are currently growing up in broken homes. For us, growing up in a home like that is like constantly trying to navigate a war zone or carefully walking on eggshells. Dealing with and living in a situation like this takes a huge toll on you both emotionally and mentally. We often struggle with bouts of spiritual emptiness, depression, emotional exhaustion and trauma. Many times, I’ve had awful memories which I’ve tried to bury in my mind surging up and leaving a bad taste in my mouth.
As a child and currently an adult with parents who are constantly ‘at each other’s throats,’ I can say this is the most difficult situation to be in. I grew up never understanding what was always happening. The constant shouting, why my parents were always fighting, the hurls of insults flying about, the tears, the lack of expression of emotions, love and support in my family. It was always as if there was a void in between us all, a sort of heaviness hanging in the air the whole time. There is a lot to worry about being in a broken family. You wonder when everything would be over, you wonder if you’ll ever experience continuous peace and happiness with having to prepare yourself for when the next crisis happens, you worry for yourself and for your siblings and this has always been a constant worry for me. I worry that my brothers will grow up thinking that marriage is like a ticking time bomb and that relationships are devoid of feelings and expressions.
As a young Muslim woman now, who has found a way to manage herself, I can say that my experiences and years being in this sort of situation has made me realize that there are a lot of people most especially women out there with the same or similar experience who feel the same way I feel and hope to do something about it.
There isn’t an instant guideline on how to magically get out of a broken home overnight but there are tips on how to manage yourself and stay sane in such a situation. Here are some personal ways in which I’ve navigated a broken home
I know how hard it is to stay neutral in a situation like this especially when you know who is constantly at fault and who’s not. Staying neutral will prevent you from getting too emotionally attached to either parents. You don’t end up favouring one parent over the other and being neutral and not taking sides will allow you to have a better perspective on the situation. The situation is much more than about you so it’s always best to look at things with an open mind plus fairness and justice is what we should strive for regardless of the situation at hand.
Constant forgiveness is very necessary in a situation like this. I can’t emphasize on the importance of forgiveness. It’s so easy to hold a lot of resentment towards your parents or yourself but it’s always also best to clear your mind of any ill feelings by forgiving. Try to look past the mistakes your parents have made and allow yourself to move on from the feelings within you. I personally am on a constant healing journey which I believe will allow me to honestly and completely forgive my father who I try not to hold resentment against. Remember, Allah loves those who are merciful and when we are merciful to others, He becomes merciful towards us.
Another helpful tip would be to take up a hobby and doing the things you love. It could be poetry, art or pottery. It’s so important to do something that gives you joy and doesn’t feel like a chore, immerse yourself and find comfort, peace and happiness in it. It would really help to make you happier and take your mind off things happening at home.
You can always confide in someone who you trust when the going gets tough. It’s hard to keep things to yourself especially when you are overwhelmed with emotion. At this point, it’s only right and helpful to speak to someone, pour your heart out and let all those bottled up feelings and emotions flow. We often become accustomed to bottling up our emotions growing up in a broken family but it’s easier when you’re talking to someone you know and trust.
A very helpful tip which aids in successfully maneuvering your way in a broken home would be to write down your feelings. When you write down how you feel, it makes you feel a lot better and like a huge burden has been lifted off your shoulders. I highly recommend journaling because it’s something that has often helped me feel lighter whenever it was so hard for me to deal with all the negativity happening around me. Get a small book and pen which you can constantly write how you feel.
These are some of the ways through which I’ve helped myself stay sane over the years which have helped me to heal and grow. It’s been so tough growing up as a child into an adult and experiencing every heart breaking event I ever witnessed. I have tried a lot to undo a lot of damage within myself and heal my inner child. I’ve had so many situations where all I wanted to do was run away or break down in tears but at the end of the day, there is always so much that you can do and it’s sometimes best to get professional help when you feel it’s necessary.
I believe the best course of action is to always talk to Allah about your problems, tell Him how you feel because no one understands and loves you the way He does. I can’t count the number of times I’ve sat on the prayer mat talking to Allah about everything that’s ever happened and is currently happening.
Remember, Allah does not burden a soul more than it can bear and growing up in a broken home does not define who you are , does not stop you and your ability to get the love you truly deserve one day as you love and take care of yourself now.
This piece was written by a member of the Amaliah community. If you would like to contribute anonymously, drop us an email us on firstname.lastname@example.org