Big Sister Syndrome

07:43 Edit This 5 Comments »
Things have been rather hectic at home and I’m trying to find a balance in appeasing my family and husband. So far I’m not doing a good job!

I believe that being the eldest brings about too many responsibilities which if one does not learn to say ‘no’ to will eventually lead to unfortunate circumstances. For instance, my family are finding it hard to let me go and once this eventually happens, inshallah, I can only live one door away from them while my husband wants to live on the other side of the country. How to appease both is going to be a challenge and a half. I’m battling between both and trying not to make the wrong choices but what seems to be holding me back is my divorce. This feeling that I cannot hurt my family by my decisions because I am afraid that if this marriage does not work (I believe this is unlikely as both my husband and I have sworn never to leave each other regardless of what may happen) they will be there for me. What a dilemma, ha! Then there comes the time of dealing with all sorts crisis’s. This has to be left to Big Sis as she seems to be the only one that can prevent World War 3 from striking. I call this the Big Sister Syndrome.

The Big Sister Syndrome is not uncommon. If you are the eldest (male and female), sit back and think about what your role is in your family’s household and I’m sure that the list in your head is growing. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes being the eldest can bring its own rewards and benefits. I love the feeling of bring joy or resolution to a problem for my family. I love seeing their excitement when things have worked out well for them especially if I have helped in someway. Most of all, I love the fact that I brought my mother great comfort, support and joy to her life when others have failed her. I believe in my heart that Allah is happy with me for being there for my family but I ‘m slowly realising that Allah does not want me to be miserable with all the unnecessary responsibilities I have taken on. Allah would want me to be happy in my own home with my husband and inshallah kids.

I am waking up to myself and trying not to feel immense guilt when I don’t want to do something for my family. This feeling is becoming more prominent as my coping mechanisms are shamefully not working. I think they have taken me for granted and expected too much of me. This is partly my fault as I should have plucked up more confidence to say ‘no’ to them especially as they find it very easy to say it to me. Alhamdula. One particular occasion was when I managed to accidentally break a stack of plates. I asked my sister to help my mum clean everything up as I needed to ran some errands for the family by which she kindly told me to ‘get lost’. She was probably having a bad day and seemed very tired but I know that doesn’t excuse her from talking to me that way. However, what was most sad about this incident was that the broken glass was a metaphor of my life. I do feel like I’m in pieces and that I can’t tide up my life. As soon as the plates broke, I wanted to burst out crying and I ran out the door as fast as I could so I didn’t have to tidy them up. Alhamdula, mu mum was there for me and took charge of the situation which allowed me to stop thinking about all the negativity of that situation. Inshallah, I will be strong enough not to ran away from my problems and face my internal fears in order for me to move on and be more happy.

Many Allah help us all through our trying times. Ameen.


Safiyyah said...

Salaams Sis:

I smiled when you said that your mom stepped in and "took charge of the situation."

Could your other divorce play a role in your anxiety to move away with your husband? (I'm thinking of your post on divorce.) It's natural, I think.

Talk with your husband sis, tell him how you feel and about your concerns.

otowi said...

wa alaaykum salaam

Wow, I can totally relate to your post. I'm not the oldest, but I'm the youngest and only daughter. I've been divorced. I am struggling to find a way to move forward in married life, etc., which will probably mean moving away but knowing my family (really mom) won't accept it.

Big Sis said...

Jazakallah sisters safiyyah and otowi for your comments.

I'm slowly opening up to my husband which is helping me a lot alhamdula but I think a lot of it is self-confidence and the need to make the RIGHT decisions for MYSELF. I'm going to try out tactics and inshallah let you know how they work especially with my mum.

Umm Salihah said...

Salaams little big sis,
Your a big sis, but you're a beautiful young woman too: in love, looking forward to a family and wanting to have fun, right? You DO have the right to ahve all of those things. You dont have to please everyone, but you should try to please yourself first and foremost - come on sis, start having fun, when the little ones come inshallah, you'll be happier if you make the most of this time.

Big Sis said...

Jazakallah sis - inshallah i will start to enjoy myself now!