There was a comment left on another entry that I will address here. I hate hijacked threads. It’s something many would consider private, even myself but it needs to be clarified since it was put out there. I wrote this with no hard feelings or animosity. When you blog about fragments of your life, people often time do not get the whole picture. Not that it is anybodies business, but the Prophet salla Allahu Alayhi wa Salaam, would do what he could to remove suspicion from him. In this case some suspicion and doubt have been placed on my husband and I that I would like to shed some light on.

  • MyopicVision Says:
    July 30th, 2007 at 5:42 am eAssalamu Alaykum
    …As for your issues with your childen. May Allah make that easy for you.
    Your nephew is only a reflection of his upbringing..and forgive me sister..but you raised him. What did you do?…Or didnt you do to cause him to have such an angry attitude towards your husband and children? Your husband sounds rather ignorant. To me you seem like a strong woman of color. whether you are wheat, coco or ebony. What have you done to influence your husband? Maybe him seeing your husband say dubious things(mulatto??!) hasnt helped him. Maybe he feels like the ugly duckling because he is the only “black” family member. I mean if you “pass”.Your kids “pass” then what about him?
    Dont be mad at me for pointing out what I see. I have three children. I call them my Benetton kids due to the advertising campaign of United Colors of Benetton. My three sons all vary in complexion. One is ‘red bone”..another a rich lovely chocolate. I have worked very hard to give each child self esteem as relates to themselves and their brothers. As a result I never hear my children tease eachother because of color.Now they tease eachother due to fat or bad haircuts but never ever complexion.
    I also have a 2 yr old. He is bi-racial. He looks like his rather white skinned latino father. He takes after his father. One of my biggest worries was how would my children react to a child that was so obviously different. Alhamdulillah they have had No issues at all. They call him their little puertorican brother and thats cool with me. Spanish people think Im panamanian. They are surprised when i tell them i am jamaican with a cuban grandfather. My point? Its all down to you and what they see in their environment and you being the parent get to control that environment.
    Last note..i was married to a white brother who was racist. I consider him racist because he referred to black people as monkeys. When I stepped to him about it…he said i was different. i was ‘alright”.
    Suffice it to say i kicked him to the kerb and kept it moving….

MV, my nephew is brain damaged. Nothing he does is a reflection of his upbringing. He was a mentally, physically, and emotionally abused and neglected child when my husband <b>insisted</b> that we take him in. The damage was done to him in the womb. I don’t know ANY brothers who would have put up with the things we have had to endure. He gets more attention and material things than all of our children combined. He is a challenging child to raise.

He is jealous that he is not the only person in my life anymore. We have always been very close (remember all my little Woo Woo post before Saudah was born?). He even had sympathy pregnancy symptoms when I was pregnant with Saudah.  I have been taking care of him since his mothered abandoned him at 6 months old. Only I had the help of my mother and brother then. I was away from him for a year and then my dh and I got custody of him. The resentment grew for my husband as he got older because my husband tried to enforce Islamic values on him and make him do chores that any other family member his age would do. And yes shaytaan would come to me at times and make me angry with my dh every time they had a fight over taking the garbage out and I would tell him, “he’s not your slave!” If I ask my husband to do something and he tells me to have my nephew do it, I get angry. This is from Shaytaan.

Now that we know he has Fetal Alcohol Effects, we have been advised by a Shaykh that the pen is more than likely lifted from him so not to stress ourselves out if he misses the salat at the masjid, or wears his pants too long, etc (things that were causing major problems for my dh and him and making me want to kill them both). Now we are concentrating on how we can get him to possibly live slightly independent as an adult and to keep him out of trouble.

My nephew has caused a lot of friction in our marriage. Sometimes I feel I have to choose between the two of them. Also, many well meaning people who don’t have a clue always has so much advice for us. Half the people tell me we need to get him out of our house and focus on our kids. Others say it is cruel to even put him in boarding school and that he is our responsibility. I once had a friend (American married to Saudi), who asked if she could raise him. She thought that my husband and I were inexperienced, too new of a couple, and the other children in our home were too young. She went to a Shaykh and got permission to give him breast milk from a cup, even though he was 11 years old and told that she could be his foster mother.

My nephew is very impressionable young man. Handsome and articulate…so it must be our fault when he misbehaves. We let them have a shot, after warning them and advising them that it was not as simple as they thought. I cried the entire time he was gone. The house was a lot less chaotic and my husband and I got along a lot better. I was not as easily frustrated with my own children. However, I felt like I failed and abandoned my nephew. He was loving being away, because everything is an adventure for him. After a week they bailed out. They returned him, saying he was our responsibility and that he was corrupting their children. They could not get him to do chores or recite Quran with enthusiasm and were worried for their children as their kids looked up to him and thought he was cool so they started slacking off. The same Shaykh told them that since I was family we had to have him, then a year later they went back to the same Shaykh and told him some other stuff (they had taken him to a fast food restaurant and he took some buns that were by the storage room door and passed them out to all the kids) and the Shaykh told them it was haram for him to be in our house because he was corrupting our children. Every since then my dh has cut all emotional ties with him and now he resents having him here. Even after I put him in a boarding school that my mother is killing herself to pay for!

Once he cut my daughters hair out (took the whole braid and cut it). I told him to stay in his room while we ran to the salon to even it out. He threw a fit so bad it scared my dh. He started going into convulsions and babbling. My husband said please let him come with us…look at him. So we said come on. As soon as we said it, he jumped up and hopped in the car and talked nonstop witha big happy smile. Another time, he had done something and we had to run a quick errand. I told him to stay home and to stay in his room and not come out. When I got home every light in the house was on so I knew he was out of his room. My husband was unloading the car when I came in and immediately noticed the computer on. It was surrounded with all of the things he considered precious. He left word open with a suicide note saying by the time we read it he would be dead. Willed his boys handbook and soccer book to my dh and told me he loved me. Told us not to look in the laundry room because that is where we would find his body. I stumbled out to the car and told my husband, fell down , and actually wet myself! My husband lost all the color in his face and told me to stay outside with the kids. He looked so sick and pathetic. He searched the house for him and didn’t find him. I asked him to look in his room and he found him in the bed. He checked him and saw he was alive and woke him up. I was so hurt and angry and happy at the same time. But I couldn’t look at him. I had already accepted that he was dead and seeing him was freaking me out. He just kept smiling and saying “what…what I do?” I had a friend stay with me briefly when we were in America. My nephew had misbehaved that day and we did not want to reward him by taking us to run errands (we were going to apply for passports). We left him at hoe with her and came back to a war zone. She reads my blog and I’m sure she will understand what we are dealing with. She had to physically restrain him!

This past year he has improved so much (the boarding school is perfect for him…he gets well balanced meals, no junk food, no skipping meals or late meals, plenty of physical and recreational activities, a completely structured and supervised environment), alhamduillah and now the only problems we have out of him is his resentment,laziness, and irresponsibility. He and my dh avoid each other, so it is really my issue. I deal with it alone with no support. He doesn’t even always resent them. It’s how his brain works. He doesn’t think before he talks, he just blurts out. So my dh could have just taken him shopping, gave him spending money or whatever, Saudah could be being extra nice to him and he could be in a great mood – then all of a sudden out of nowhere comes some evil comment. I believe that shaytaan whispers to him and without the eemaan or sense he does not have the strength to fight him off. This is why he has to have constant structure and supervision. This is why I am grouch and exhausted and don’t have time to take care of myself. This week he is with my surgeons family (took my gall bladder out and has been a family friend every since), so I have had time to come on and blog. The two weeks before when I hadn’t been on the blog, is because I have to watch him non-stop. He came home and told me how some boys torture other kids by giving wedgies and twisting their nipples. I told him well we don’t play like that in this house and do not teach the kids. One day I was on the computer, with my door open and kids in full view. My daughter screams and comes crying to me that he pinched her. She later showed me her chest where he twisted her nipple. It was bruised all over. She said she was too embarrassed to tell me before and begged me not to get on the computer anymore. I felt awful cuz I pride myself in always keeping an eye on the kids. She cried and said, “Don’t tell Abi…he’ll be mad at [nephew]”. Part of the damage he has is that he lacks good judgement and is impulsive. So even though, he was told not to do that to my daughter he did. The bad judgment can kill somebody wa authu billah. He picked up his big size 10 roller blade the other day and swung it full force at Saudah’s head, she got out of the way but instead it hit her hip and leg and bruised the left side of her body. He did this right in front of me…it’s could have killed her if it hit her head!

As far as him passing. He fits in here better than all of us! He and I are the same, but I don’t speak Arabic. Once I open my mouth it’s over! Saudis completely accept him and treat him like there own. The boy has been getting marriage offers since we came here. Mostly from white Saudis, until the other night at the black walima when they tried to hook him up. There is a Moroccan woman who keeps calling the house inquiring about him. I met another Moroccan woman a few weeks ago and she told me to tell her when it’s time for him to get married, because she wants to find him a wife. If he was in America he would be a fitnah for some little girl. He is a cutie and a sweetie pie. He’s tall and in good shape. Having adorable dimples gets him a lot of attention. In Bahrain I had a Bahraini woman tell me not to send him to the store because he was very attractive and they had bad men who grabbed kids. Everybody that knows him loves him. He is very likable. He just has issues.

 However, he is embarrassed to be seen with us. If I ask him to help with the kids in public, he doesn’t want to because he thinks people will look at him funny. He was once told to get away from them by someone who didn’t know he was suppose to be with them. I think he is more jealous that they have both of their parents who love and care for us and he misses that. He loves hs mother and father with all of his heart but neither of them ever tries to contact him. Teasing my kids about being white is just a smoke screen. He teases Saudah about being fat, Ramlah for having a big nose, and Adam for having a big head. He drew a picture of the whole family and it said “The Big Family.” He resents our family, because he wants his own. I pray that Allah gives him a loving family of his own someday…Allahumma aamen.

On my FASD group, I have read many caretakers say that once their child found a significant other in their lives…things improved tremendously. FASD children are very charming. I often think some some of these good for nothing men who can sweet talk any woman has FASD cuz one of the traits is that language wise they are highly sophisticated. My nephew is fluent in Arabic and can parrot any dialect after sitting with you for a few minutes. He can speak with basically any Arab in any dialect. He can even detect a Shia…right away because he said their accent is disgusting and harsh. He picked up on French and Spanish with very little effort and went on a 10 day safari to Tanzania African in May and came back teaching me some of the language.

My husband and I have made many sacrifices raising him, yet all we get is constant criticism. When he started using bad words at the Saudi Schools, they told my dh that the children there do not use such language and implied he got it in the house. My dh told them we do not speak Arabic in the house, so where did he learn the words? Saudi kids have filthy mouths, but they’d rather blame us. Even the school he is in now, faults me for his low grades. They say I don’t encourage him to succeed and do better. He’s peaked academically, there is nothing I can  do. We hire tutors and everything just to make sure someone sits with him to make sure he gets all his work done. The tutors, who really like him, eventually have to give up. It’s exhausting. My FASD list scares the hell out of me! I had to unsubscribe because everyone was advising me to get some help for myself and told horror stories of caretakers who have suffered horrible physical and mental conditions as a result. Stress will kill you or deteriorate you! When they found out I had my own kids to raise as well they said to put him in a home. Most of these parents adopted these kids from Russia, Romania, and Native North Americans (Indians on reservations have a huge drinking problem) and did not know they had FASD. You don’t hear much about African Americans with FASD cuz our kids are overlooked and just considered bad. So they end up a different statistic. Dead or in jail. That’s what I’m trying to save my nephew from.

Allahu Musta’aan.

As for my husband being an ignorant racist. It’s possible! No, really, he is a typical suburban white boy who had no exposure to minorities. He isn’t racist but he holds some racist and sexist views and was raised by racist parents. He often reminds me of Archie Bunker. We argue over stuff like Affirmative Action. Me being for it, him being against it. Him thinking every black with a good job only got it after AA beat some poor qualified white guy out of a job and gave it to some unqualified minority. He doesn’t mean any harm. This is how he was raised to think. He does not treat people based on their race. He treats everyone fairly. If I were to be honest, I’ve heard worst things said by African American Muslims about whites then I have ever heard him say (and he really doesn’t say anything). I have had an African American Muslim, ask me if my husband smelled like a wet dog, another ask me directly about the size of his private part, and one tell me that she could never marry a white man because of what she heard about white men! My husband would never say such things. His thoughts come from his past and his republican views (he’s not a republican anymore). He’s a good man with good character. Unfortunately, we are from a culture that inbreeds certain ways of thinking and places certain stereotypes on people. He doesn’t mistreat my nephew, but at the same time he doesn’t know how to raise a child with his issues. He provides and maintains for him as he does all of his children, and the love, affection, and nurturing I provide (as I do for all of my children). We are not perfect.