I suppose it is possible that due to the upheaval in my life right now, my self confidence has been somewhat diminished. That, in turn, may explain the ease at which I become upset at criticism directed toward me. However, I really don’t care about the psychology right at this moment – I’d really like to muzzle my brother. Currently my euphoria at returning home and the joy I felt travelling down memory lane have been shattered.

I have four brothers. Sadeer is the oldest, then Adnan, Ghaith, and Marwan. Marwan and I have always been at odds. Perhaps because I had usurped his position as the youngest or perhaps because our personalities are such that we can never be in agreement. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t surprise me that he has been the most vocal with his criticisms but it’s still extremely irritating. My best friend, Nadia, has suggested many times that I should ignore him. I try. But have you noticed that when you have your own doubts (justified or not) about your actions, that other people’s criticism of those actions become magnified in your mind?

Marwan has always striven to be an outstanding citizen, a follower and enforcer of rules – both civil and religious. You might ask why that is a problem and for the most part it isn’t. He’s a good husband, father, and employee. He’s made a good life for his family. Marwan has set a high standard for himself and others and if he feels you don’t live up to this standard, he judges you and ultimately condemns you. We all judge to a certain extent, either consciously or not, but to Marwan the world is very black and white. There’s no wiggle room.

I don’t want to get into the details of my marriage but this is topic which leads to the biggest battles between the two of us. From my point of view, I’m lucky to have escaped the marriage alive with my mind still in tact. From Marwan’s point of view I didn’t try hard enough to please my husband which led to him expressing his displeasure by physical means – a man’s right “according to the Quran”. I’d really like someone to show me where this is expressly written in the book.

Frankly I really wonder if this is about me or more about him; about how he feels that my returning as a divorcee has brought disgrace upon him. I can’t believe that he would actually want me to be harmed. I think he may be embarrassed to tell others about my return and the reason behind it. Whatever his thinking, I don’t see a conclusion to this argument forthcoming. We are both strong willed and I intend to continue defending myself – holding my tongue is not my forte.

For now, I think a walk up Al-Katib and a peek at the old jaunts would do me some good. It’s a lovely evening. Ma’a Salaama.


2 thoughts on “Shattered

  1. if he perceives everything in black and white, perhaps discussing it in black and white would make it clear. you have your understanding of your life and he has his understanding of your life. you understand that he judges your actions as unacceptable, you understand your actions to be acceptable. nothing, no argument will change your or his understanding. black and white. the past will not change and neither will your perceptions of each other regarding this situation. now make it clear, make it black and white, you are choosing to move on. now ask him what he chooses to do? what is his action, shame, hostility? then so be it, and let him know you understand it and expect it, though you do not accept it. you are moving forward mariyah, do not be anchored by his immobility. use it to navigate from, to go further. do not mistake arguing with him as arguing with your self, your past. you cannot validate your actions through this disagreement with your brother. don’t bother. peaceful days


  2. To commonunity: Thank you so much. I debated airing this personal struggle on a blog…but now I’m glad I have. Your advice is very much appreciated and makes a whole lot of good sense!!


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