I Really Hate Myself, But I Cannot Help Myself

 

I haven’t written anything in a long, long time. However with Ramadaan gone, I really wanted to reboot and re-energize my blog once more. When Ramadaan came this year, it made me think about many things, but one event really stood out. As many people know that my mom suffered a stroke around mid- February, and is totally bed ridden, unable to talk or even move  her fingers. My two sisters and their families are caring for her, and are doing a very good job. I visit her every few months and every time I go, I make a new resolve before going. I promise myself that this time I will massage her hands, read Quran to her, you know the little things. The problem is, with every trip, it takes me a about a day to muster up my courage to go inside her room. I cannot reconcile the stranger on the bed making inhuman sounds that I see with the larger than life person that I knew. What I remember is a very strong personality, one that could wither a person with a single look. I remember her fasting during winter months for years,  for two-three days a week.  I remember her reading newspapers and magazines, and I remember her as thoroughly enjoying the company of others. I remember that she liked to cook, and was extremely picky about her clothes. She had such an odd personality full of contradictions, likes/dislikes and strengths. She was born and raised  in India, and had a very interesting  and idyllic childhood. She used to share some pretty spectacular memories of growing up in the pink city of Jaipur. There’s so much to remember and not enough space to write everything that I recollect.

 

I am so ashamed for not being able to go inside her room, so ashamed for not being able to fulfill the purpose of my visit, so ashamed to be scared of the barely alive person on the bed.  Instead I go outside to do shopping, sit outside the room, do really insignificant chores inside my sister’s house, and take care  of really mundane things that can be left undone. To put it bluntly, I do everything I can to avoid going inside the room to face her, a life that’s really just hanging in there by nothing more than a single breath. I don’t even know if she can be called a life. I know with certainty that she would have hated this existence. I am so bewildered and grieved by her condition. Maybe I am afraid that one day I will be like her, maybe worse than her. She has very dedicated family memebrs taking good care of her, but I feel that nobody will be there for me. I have an existence without a country or a people, and  I fear that in the end I may be in that same kind of room with a thread of my existence  and no one to even check if that thread is intact or not.

 

Finally, I had a conversation with my seventeen year old son about the kind of death I’d like to have. He only offered one perspective, and it was that he didn’t want to die of old age. However, which death is better? The gradual death from age or sickness or a sudden death from an unforeseen accident. I am very scared of dying in an airplane crash, but my mom makes me think that dying in an instant in a ball of fire and explosion might not be so bad after all.

10 thoughts on “I Really Hate Myself, But I Cannot Help Myself”

  1. Just read your blog Ayesha……Really feel sorry for your mother
    May Allah Subhanahu wa taala bless her with shifa and make life easier for her….And reward those abundantly who are taking good care of her.
    It was a pleasant coincidence that my father was also from Jaipur….he used to tell us a lot abt it.
    I too dread the hapless and helpless days of old age….but I think you should , instead of avoiding her…spent more time with her so that both her comfort and your reward increase…..You might not know…how much distressing it would have been for her……just an advice and thought from me……
    رب راحمهما كما ربينى صغيره

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  2. Dear , your feelings are very natural and can only be understood by a person who herself/ himself has gone through it. Loosing your father at a tender age you always looked up to your mother. You idealized her , she was your role model. You always found strength in her. But now seeing her helpless is very hard . It will take some time and courage to accept her condition. But believe me if once you accept it as it is and consider it as a blessing given by God to take care of your mom you will find solace in yourself. Don’t waste this time as you might not get it again.
    I still treasure those last three years my mom spent with me as an Alzheimer’s patient, though she never recognized me.
    So be brave and next time you visit her try to spend as much time with her as you can and don’t hate yourself for this because what you are doing is very normal it’s just you have to make an extra effort and push yourself.

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  3. Oh my God i am out of words ayesha , really speechless, its so emotional that I couldn’t stop my eyes running with tears . May Allah swt ease out your mother’s pain and give her ajr . And give you patience and ajr for this whole difficult time ameen.i know its very painful to see our so closed lovedones in such an extreme disturbing condition. May Allah swt remove all these difficulties and bless you and your family ameen.

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  4. Assalam Alaikom Sister Umm Hassan;
    This is your brother Shakir, Lamees’s father, from Columbia Missouri.
    I first make duaa to Allah the forgiver the merciful to shower your mother with His mercy (Rahma) and to bless your heart for this spectrum of feelings your inner heart has.
    Allah Has created death and life as a test for us to see who is better in righteous dead (Surat Al Mulk)
    When to die, where to die, and whether to have a sudden death or a slow one, all are part of the unknown for us. Only Allah knows that.
    But one think is within our choice; the state on which we die. I mean the state of Islam or not. This is within our reach , as it is a command of Allah to us to make sure that when we die we die on the state of Islam.
    No country to die in ???? You never know sister!! Allah said earth belongs to Allah, so wherever you may be you are in the land of Allah.
    You may not find people around you those last days???? You never know sister!!! Allah may provide many good sisters to be there for you. Today after fajr, an elder whispered in my ears: “when I die, please continue to make duaa for me” I promised him that and am sure we will have the whole community with him. How sure? Very sure, because he has been there for our good projects whenever we needed him, the school, orphans, masjid expansion, and many more. As Allah said: those are competing in goodness. I know you and your family are among them. You have been for my duaghter Lamees like a mother, jazaki Allah Khairan.
    Sudden or slow death? The prophet taught us a duaa to seek refuge with Allah against sudden death. Slow death will give us the opportunity to repent and do whatever it takes to achieve the Rahma of Allah. Also every moment of suffering one of us has shall relieve him or her from the sins until they meet Allah with no sin. I pray that your mother is in that category.
    Hate myself???? Absolutely no. Sister you should never reach this level of dispare. Every day in your life is a sign that Allah loves you. He is giving you another chance to achieve His Rahma via your good deeds. Never undermine the goodness of the day you are in. And sister count the bounties of Allah upon you and your beautiful family.
    May Allah be with you, and salam to brother Abo Hassaan and the children.
    Guard Allah, Allah will guard you.
    Your brother Shakir

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    1. SubhanAllah this is a beautiful reply and I wonder what more I can add to it.
      I would urge you to be less harsh on yourself. To remember that Allah tests us and whilst testing us, Allah knows – He knows the limits of our endurance and the pain that we go through whilst enduring. He is the loving and His love for us, emanating from His being Rahma, means He wants us to turn to Him – continuously and most especially in adversity – with hope and conviction in His promise that no suffering here will be unrewarded. The secrets of your heart, which you have so honestly and touchingly here expressed, resonate with so many of us who have have had to endure their parents suffering ill health. It is a most painful and difficult test, but all tests are from Him and lead back to Him. I pray that Allah showers you with strength and hope – may we all return back to our Creator successful.

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      1. Thank You so much for the wonderful answer. I am so hard on myself because I genuinely believe that this could be my end too. In my twenties, I used to beg Allah for an easier end. I haven’t prayed for that in a long time, and now I have started again. I know that Allah loves us and knows what’s really hidden in our hearts. However, that said it is very difficult to not judge myself for not even wanting to look at her.

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    2. Brother Shakir:
      Thank you so very much. When I read your reply I couldn’t stop crying because I genuinely believe I have failed as a Muslim and as a daughter. Both of my sisters caring for her do it so lovingly. No nurse or paid help can do it. Yet, I simply cannot handle it. I pray too for an opportunity to remember Allah in every deed, but also remember Him before dying.

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  5. I’m speechless ! You touched me and brought tears to my eyes with your blog.
    I couldn’t stop crying .
    May Allah help you and your family to take care of your mom and inshAllah bless her and be with her during this difficult time.

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  6. I have seen Aunty and also can relate to
    This as my father in law also was in this situation for 3 years until he left us .i deed a very difficult time for family members .irs very hard to c specially parents in this situation but then Allah knows the best . May Allah swt have mercy on her and
    Make it easy for u
    Love

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