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Feeling so low about everything in life... watch

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    I dont know where to start. I hate life and often wish I had never been born. There are many reasons I feel this way. I come from a crappy cultural background that makes everything difficult for women. I feel as though I can never be myself in front of everyone. I have so many dreams and ambitions and desires in life but I cannot achieve them due to the religion/culture I have been born into.

    I never had normal dreams at school...whilst most people wanted to be docters, lawyers, engineers etc, I always dreamed of stardom, particularly acting. I took drama lessons at school and excelled. My drama teacher practically begged me to take up drama once I finished school but my parents never allowed it. They came out with stuff like 'as a muslim girl, how can you even think about acting! As an actress, roles could acquire you to strip off or kiss someone etc' so I never got to follow my dreams.

    Im currently at university studying English and though I enjoy my degree, I have no idea what I want to do with my life. I feel like I cannot be myself. After university, my dream would be to travel for a while and see the world (which my parents wont allow because I am a muslim girl and they wont allow me to go on holidays with friends, let alone on my own) and then I would have loved to have had my own flat and just be independent (which again, I am not allowed. I have to live at home until I get married). There is a guy I know that wants to marry me, hes really nice and caring but I dont love him at all, I like him as a friend but im almost tempted to accept just to escape home. When I tell my mum I cant wait to leave home, she yells at me and calls me ungrateful for all the bills she pays and all the cooking/cleaing she does for me.

    Also as a muslim girl, I am really restricted from a lot of things that would be normal for most young girls of my age. I am not allowed to go clubbing or to bars or anything of the sort and I always have to be home by around 8pm (im 21 years old). I feel like no guy would ever be interested in me because I have no social life whatsoever and would never be allowed out in the evening. I have tried time and time again to speak to my parents and tell them they are being unreasonable but we end up arguing and they throw my religion and culture in my face and say things like 'look at so and so's daughter, she never goes out and she never complains about it either'.

    Keeping the family name is VERY important to my family and this is what winds me up most. Most of the time when my parents are being totally unreasonable, its mainly because they are worried by what people would say about us within our cultural community.

    I hate my relatives, they are all two faced, sly and gossipy. I always feel like i'm putting on a front in front of everybody, I can never be myself. I just realised last night that I have no real friends. I have some friends from uni but they are more 'acquaintances' than best friends and I feel alot of that has to do with my curfews. They go out in the evenings a lot and they used to invite me all the time but as I kept saying 'no, no, no', they stopped asking me and now I only see them and speak to them in lessons.

    I feel so alone and so down, I dont have anyone to talk to, no friends, no nice family members, parents that dont understand because they grew up in a different country and they are trying to make me live by all the rules they had to live by growing up. I dont have any sisters and only have one brother that understand what I feel like and where i am coming from but cant do anything to help.

    I am sorry this is so long but I had to let it all out. I hate life. I wouldnt do anything crazy like go and kill myself over it but I am slowly drowning and dont know what to do anymore.
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    If you let your parents restrict you so much then you may never be happy and do all the things you want to do.You are an adult now and can make your own decisions about where you go and what you do.Consider moving out of their home and if that puts your relationship with them at risk then I say its worth it.I understand that they are religious and concerned about the family reputation but they shouldn't be so possessive and controlling,especially not to a 21 year old.
    It may seem scary but it will be so worth it in the end and you will look back and be so glad that you broke free.If you ever want someone to talk,PM me anytime :hugs:
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    I would agree, you can't let them push you around like this, you're an adult now. Out of interest, are you living at home while you are at university? If you live away from home then that might be a good starting point to try and gain some independence. I understand that it must be really difficult, but if staying with your family is making you feel so miserable then it's not worth it.
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    I really sympathise with you, since my parents can be the same (although I'll hopefully escape when I go to uni). Realistically, if they are that strict, then they probably won't change their views that much, but you should still try. A good argument is "I've done what you wanted me too up to now (eg, doing english instead of drama)." Otherwise, your options are to break away, or bend the rules.

    If you got together with a group of other Muslim girls who do go out, would your parents be more willing to let you out late at night? (Maybe stretch the truth/omit to mention where you're going?) Same applies for holidays. Also, do you have a part-time/summer job? Being financially independent really helps, because there's one less guilt-trip brought up in arguments.

    Or, as above suggestions say, move out so that you can be happy. Your parents might be like "she has brought shame on the family", but I think doing this would be a brave and completely reasonable thing to do, and there are plenty of Asians, even of older generations, who would agree.

    Just don't give up on things, and make being happy your priority, even if the victories are small (staying out till 9pm, instead of 8pm).
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I dont know where to start. I hate life and often wish I had never been born. There are many reasons I feel this way. I come from a crappy cultural background that makes everything difficult for women. I feel as though I can never be myself in front of everyone. I have so many dreams and ambitions and desires in life but I cannot achieve them due to the religion/culture I have been born into.

    I never had normal dreams at school...whilst most people wanted to be docters, lawyers, engineers etc, I always dreamed of stardom, particularly acting. I took drama lessons at school and excelled. My drama teacher practically begged me to take up drama once I finished school but my parents never allowed it. They came out with stuff like 'as a muslim girl, how can you even think about acting! As an actress, roles could acquire you to strip off or kiss someone etc' so I never got to follow my dreams.

    Im currently at university studying English and though I enjoy my degree, I have no idea what I want to do with my life. I feel like I cannot be myself. After university, my dream would be to travel for a while and see the world (which my parents wont allow because I am a muslim girl and they wont allow me to go on holidays with friends, let alone on my own) and then I would have loved to have had my own flat and just be independent (which again, I am not allowed. I have to live at home until I get married). There is a guy I know that wants to marry me, hes really nice and caring but I dont love him at all, I like him as a friend but im almost tempted to accept just to escape home. When I tell my mum I cant wait to leave home, she yells at me and calls me ungrateful for all the bills she pays and all the cooking/cleaing she does for me.

    Also as a muslim girl, I am really restricted from a lot of things that would be normal for most young girls of my age. I am not allowed to go clubbing or to bars or anything of the sort and I always have to be home by around 8pm (im 21 years old). I feel like no guy would ever be interested in me because I have no social life whatsoever and would never be allowed out in the evening. I have tried time and time again to speak to my parents and tell them they are being unreasonable but we end up arguing and they throw my religion and culture in my face and say things like 'look at so and so's daughter, she never goes out and she never complains about it either'.

    Keeping the family name is VERY important to my family and this is what winds me up most. Most of the time when my parents are being totally unreasonable, its mainly because they are worried by what people would say about us within our cultural community.

    I hate my relatives, they are all two faced, sly and gossipy. I always feel like i'm putting on a front in front of everybody, I can never be myself. I just realised last night that I have no real friends. I have some friends from uni but they are more 'acquaintances' than best friends and I feel alot of that has to do with my curfews. They go out in the evenings a lot and they used to invite me all the time but as I kept saying 'no, no, no', they stopped asking me and now I only see them and speak to them in lessons.

    I feel so alone and so down, I dont have anyone to talk to, no friends, no nice family members, parents that dont understand because they grew up in a different country and they are trying to make me live by all the rules they had to live by growing up. I dont have any sisters and only have one brother that understand what I feel like and where i am coming from but cant do anything to help.

    I am sorry this is so long but I had to let it all out. I hate life. I wouldnt do anything crazy like go and kill myself over it but I am slowly drowning and dont know what to do anymore.
    First I wish to say that I feel deeply, deeply sorry for you, you are in an awful predicament for which there is no easy solution.You have shown tremendously mature insight and clarity in your analysis of the situation, and for that you should be applauded.

    Unfortunately, by the way you describe your family's beliefs, it seems impossible that they shall ever change, these despicable convictions they hold are key to the way they see the entire world, and are no doubt effectively embedded and reinforced by living in a closeted community.

    The only course of action that I could endorse fully would be simply to tell them what they want to hear, until you can escape totally. Your views and aspirations are fundamentally incompatible with theirs - there can be no middle ground or solution which satisfies all parties - you must strike out on your own in order to lead a fulfilling life.

    Simply don't tell them that you still have an ambition to act, work towards that while you are at university. Once you have finished your university course (which, directly linked to acting or not, is still worth completing) go directly into a graduate job and leave home as soon as it is financially viable to. Don't marry just to escape, anyone who your parents deem suitable is likely to be absolutely vile. That, really is it - just give up on ever satisfying your family, just tell them what they want to hear until you are ready to cut them loose.
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    I feel terrible for you, honestly. If there's one thing that really grinds my gears, it's parents restricting their children's lives and happiness due to 'keeping the family name', or culture/religion. I would echo the advice on this thread and tell you to just strike out and ignore what your family want, because otherwise you'll be forever living in the shadow of their, quite frankly, ridiculous expectations...what would the consequences be of you doing this, if you dont mind me asking?
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    I must too sympathise with your predicament as i am sure that a vast majority of Muslim girls across the UK must feel the same. Unfortunately parents who were not born in the UK are still firmly rooted to their beliefs and religion as these values were deeply embedded into them when they were growing up in the strict commuties that they lived in. Not a problem until they extend it too far with regard to their children!
    I believe that a parents child and thats childs happiness should be the parents first priority NOT the opinion of the neighbours or the community and thats goes for ALL religions!
    Muslims who grow up in the UK today are not just Muslim but are British too and want to fully integrate into their society - I applaud them! Unfortunately their parents aren't as flexible about they way in which they may want to behave and live as a British Muslim e.g. going clubbing, partnering with non muslims, courting others outside marriage etc.

    Do NOT marry this man - Marry for love or you will always regret it! As nice and lovely as he is can you imagine how sad he would feel to know that you never cared for him but used him as an escaped route, also think how unhappy you will be.

    I would have suggested talkin to your parents however as you have clearly stated they will not listen.
    You ARE an adult by law - You are 21 years old. You must decide if you will allow this madness to continue, because lets face it if you let it carry on then what are the chances for your little brother?
    (I understand that men may get off little lighter than women)

    You have a choice - Stay at home and rebel e.g staying out till 10pm instead of 8pm, go out etc. But I have a feeling that there could be hell to pay for this.
    What are the most serious punishments your parents would give you? You must then decide if this is the best way forward, or if it will make your parents clamp down on you even more?

    OR you can take the big step of moving out on your own.
    I know it wouldnt be that easy to say "Bye Guys, Im going now" but consider moving into rented accommodation with your uni pals for your 2nd and 3rd year at University. Yes you will accumulate debt however if you were to meet with someone at your Local Education Authority & Social Services and declare that you are in effect homeless with no financial assistance from your parents I am sure that you will be able to access more grant aid and perhaps accommodation. You must check this all out first.
    I would be happy to assist you.

    OR make your parents sit up and listen - I was going to suggest telling them that you have tried taking to them but they wont listen so you are moving out unless they are willing to compromise. I have a funny feeling though that this could be pointless and that they may in fact stop you from leaving.

    Your hopes and dream are not completely unachieveable, however if you continue the way you are then it might be that you could end up in a career that makes you unhappy. It seems to me that your parents are living your life and not you - You are obviously VERY unhappy!

    Try contacting the following organisations: -

    The Muslim Women's Helpline
    Tel:020 8904 8193 or 020 8908 6715 (Mon-Friday, 10am-4pm)
    Website: www.mwhl.org
    Provides any Muslim girl or woman in crisis with a confidential listening service on virtually any subject. Can provide referral to Islam consultants plus practical help and information.

    The Muslim Youth Helpline (MYH)
    Freephone: 0808 808 2008 (Mon-Thurs, 6pm-9pm; Sat 10am-10pm)
    E-mail: [email protected]
    Website: www.myh.org.uk
    Confidential enquiry service for young people covering a range of social issues, particularly those regarded as taboo within the community and requiring culturally sensitive responses and support, such as homosexuality and mental health problems.

    Hopefully they will provide you with practical and achieveable advice.

    If you would like any further assistance/help or just want someone to talk to, please dont hesitate to PM me

    Otherwise just message to let us know how its going and what you are deciding to do!!
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    Thank you all for your replies, I am really grateful to you all. I wish I could say I feel better but I don't, however, your responses have made me realise more than ever that I cannot go on living the way that I do.

    Spartakist, the consequences of me lashing out or rebelling or doing anything of the kind would be awful. My dad can get really temperamental, he'd probably beat the crap out of me and both my parents would disown me. Dont get me wrong, my parents are not evil people, they are loving and I appreciate the fact that the care for me but I just feel trapped, especially as I have been born and raised in England so this is all I've ever known yet I have to live by twisted ideas that were inflicted on my parents/generation in a strict country back in the 50's!

    The reason they wont let me out late or out to places like clubs/bars are because you see so much on the news about things like rape, and in my twisted culture, no matter how nice of a person you are, no man would ever want to go near you if you've been touched by another man, even if it wasnt your fault. So it all comes back to the family name, my parents want me to be a good, pure little girl that will have all these good, respectable men knocking on our door.
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    Awww thank you so much Karlz for such a long, detailed response. You've really given some great advice, I really appreciate it.

    I'm home alone today so I might just take advantage of that and get out! lol
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    Will they let you go to a restauarant in the evenings? I'm not allowed to go clubbing but my parents are ok-ish with me going to a pub or something for a few drinks (non-alcoholic of course) to meet some friends and it's fine for me to go out with friends to a restauarant for dinner (though I did get an earful on one occasion when, shock horror, a couple of boys from school were present as well as the girls! If your parents are as strict as they sound, it's obviously best to keep it to female friends). Or you could ask a mate or two to go to the cinema one night. They can't really have any objections to you going out for a meal with pals - if they do, then try to explain to them how it's not a big deal at all. If you go out to do these kind of things with friends (which I think are much better than the alternative of going to clubs anyway!), then you'll gain a little bit of independence and be able to enjoy a social life, making friends out of your acquaintances. Good luck.
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    They would let me go to a restaurant in the evening, yeah, but not often. For example, I wouldn't be allowed to go once a week but I would be allowed to go every two months or if it is somebodies birthday or something.
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    No wonder why you seem very depressed. It does sound very unreasonable.
    You say that you only have a few aquiantances atm - Try to hang out with them a bit more (If possible) before your 8pm curfew and build on your friendships e.g. shopping, doing lunch, cinema in the day, the gym etc and if they ask you out in the night and you know you cant go - Tell them the reasoning behind the fact you cant, otherwise it can come across like you just don't want to go (U havent got to tell them everything)
    Hopefully then if there is one person you can trust you will be able to turn more to them for support.

    I was afraid that you might say that rebelling could cause that kind of trouble.
    I am sure that your parents love you very much and are not bad people. However beating is not acceptable in any way shape or form.Period.

    What do you think you will do? Is moving out an option for you???
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    Wow my parents are like the opposite of that. I can do whatever I want whenever I want. My life is so great. Unlucky. But at 21 why don't you arrange to go into uni halls? Get a job and get your own place?
 
 
 
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