This morning, after a solid full nights rest, I get up, feeling severe feelings that I’m not good enough. I didn’t pray witr. Or I’m going to be praying at home, and the fajr prayer is going on and I can hear it. I had this severe paranoia as I tried to pray fajr because I could hear the jamat praying in the masjid. But “Hey, I was so exhausted and I had to take my wife to work right away,” So what’s the harm?” Yet, my concentration was shattered completely, feeling instead this overwhelming, overarching feeling of just not being up to standards.
This is tied with an overall paranoia to punishment. It has become so severe I can’t describe my dehabilitation. I feel too paranoid to even open the book to read about people getting punished in hellfire. The mere mentioning of it, makes me lose all trust and hope. I can’t take the idea for a minute that I could be punished and rejected. Being rejected is something I’ve dealt with my whole life, and there is not an ounce of tolerance for dealing with this notion of feeling rejected anymore.
But now I’m in a trap. “How was I connected to Allah and memorizing and reading Quran, and studying Islam full time all this time, and then now I’m in this paralyzed state?” What am I supposed to do with my life now, if I have no comfort to read the Quran, let alone pick up Islamic books and study?” “What on earth has caused this downfall?”
My wife then tells me, “It’s just your true pain is coming out from your mom. Your mom, who said she loved you so deeply and cared so much about you, yet she judged and criticized you.” My hidden trauma with my Mom is so deeply inside my soul, that it became manifested with Allah.
At the coffee shop, the ideas my wife told me resonated with me, and made me feel calmer from the anxiety episode. And it triggered my heart to feel the source pain come out from mom and some tears of pain were released. And it became manifest who the source of my self esteem and stresses were. The extreme amounts of love, with disapproval and criticalness formed the recipe of disaster for me. And I felt this empowering, justifiable anger in wanting to talk to her and tell her how my life has become as a result of her emotional dishonesty with me. Telling me you love me and making it an obligation in our family to say “I love you” multiple times a day, yet showing something else in her behaviors, guilt trips, and passive aggressiveness and holding grudges and silence when she gets upset, that she doesn’t approve and accept alot of what I do, if it isn’t up to her perfect “standards.” That it was ingrained in me as a child, that if I am able to do things, and do them “right.” only then will I be an acceptable human being.
You better believe that this belief stuck with me and is still with me, and always was with me, throughout school, college, marriage, work, and islam. And now I’m suffering more than anything because of how I still function off of this belief.
After connecting to my pained and troubled soul, I felt a bit better until I went to class. The teacher was discussing grades, and my heart and emotions began to cringe and feel very awful, resentful, despair, and anxiety. Especially after I heard my poor grade, it set off this emotional upheaval inside me. I tried to think about why this would upset me so much, but the emotions were out of control.
Then again, I reverted to feeling resentment to Allah for also thinking that my efforts weren’t good enough, the same story of my life. My Quran reminder went off, and I was “reminded” about how I am not good enough, with the ayah:
ألا بذكر الله تطمئن القلوب
Indeed in the remembrance of God do hearts become tranquil.
Indeed, how this ayah make me severely more resentful and upset, because I wasn’t getting tranquility anymore, but just feelings of upsetness and anxiety, etc.
And then more ayat started coming into my brain, each of them making me feel that I’m not up to the “standards.” outlined by God in the Quran. And all of this made me more severely upset, and resentful. Like this ayah, my emotional reaction is, more resentment to the fact that, “hey, Quran is supposed to make you feel peaceful, but it doesn’t for you, so it’s just another proof that you’re not good enough.”
What keeps me even remotely grounded, (if you want to call it that) is I have felt all this tranquility and good feelings from the Quran in my past 10 years. But the issue is, my core beliefs and resentments have been placed towards Allah, the Quran, and the religion.
As emotional as I have gotten, all these emotions are a result of my extremely traumatized soul for the past 30 years of my entire life. Living off of the beliefs I established with my mother, ingraining in me the way life is and what I need “to do” and how “to be” to survive in it.
I still scratch my head, wondering why or how come I have this extreme trouble just connecting these emotions and resentments to my mom in the first place, if my awareness is there that it’s just my Mom and only my Mom who is the sole source of all my unhealthy beliefs about myself and about life. This in fact bothers me and troubles me a lot, because I make myself more miserable when I do transfer these emotions to Allah and feel He did the same thing to me, and believes the same thing about me, by “taking away” my khushu’ and love and desire of studying, where I used to feel that comfort and ease from the quran. I just feel that it is a repeat of my life story.
So it’s only natural that someone like me who had a mother who expressed so much love and care from one angle, yet on the other angle, had her own self esteem issues, judged, criticized, and didn’t approve of how I was for who I am, that caused me to develop severe trust issues with Allah. These “distrust” issues came out at the moment that I started feeling not being up to standards with Allah; that my lack of trust and resentment started getting pushed onto Allah, which further made me feel worse and deeper in the pit of negativity I keep getting stuck in.