Case Study H1 – Why is the whole world against me?

By: Khalid Iqbal, Founder Rahmaa Institute

Asma had a tough childhood. She came from an almost broken home where she witnessed her mother being constant abused mentally and physically by her father, her In-laws and her elder brother. Despite her siblings constantly asking her mother to leave such abusive relationship her mother stuck with the situation saying she has no one to turn to in this new city and culture. Although she moved to US from Egypt with her husband and children 15 years ago. Her mother always stayed at home to take care of her 9 children and extended family.

Asma was determined from the beginning to take care of herself and never fall into a situation similar to her mother. She worked hard to become a medical doctor and started work in a local hospital. She had a mistrust of all men and looked at them from the eye of the violence her mother suffered with the hands of her father, grandfather and brother. Life for her started to look up when she married Ahmed. From day one she had difficulty accepting his position as a head of the family. She refused to have a shared joint family account. She was very suspicious if her in-laws are talking about anyone, thinking that they are directly and indirectly talking negatively about her.

Her overprotective nature seem to develop very negative environment in her home. She would not talk to her husband or in-laws for days. It became a ritual for her and Ahmed to fight on the way back after every family event. All they would talk about is her suspicion of what who said about her. For the first year Ahmed would support and console her but now he says he has reached his limit and now all they do is fight.

In recent months her tantrums started to get out of control. Ahmed will also respond negatively. All she would do is to leave the house, jump in her car and drive putting herself and others in danger because her mind is in the state of super anger and self-pity. She has had a couple of close encounters and missed accident. Once as she was backing off from her driveway at a high speed nearly missing her own 5 year old son who was riding his bike on the driveway.

This incident prompted them to seek counseling.


1. Where will you put the blame of their marital problem?
2. How is domestic violence and abusive home effect the children short term and long term?
3. Is it OK for the parents to just close the door keeping the children away when they are arguing with each other or being physically abusive.
4. What are the problems with Asma?
5. What about Ahmed? How is he contributing to the marriage problems?
6. Does anger and resentment create a poisonous environment at home? How?
7. What effect does physical violence have at home?
8. How does anger and domestic violence affect young children (Under 12 years old)?
9. How does anger and domestic violence affect teenage children?
10. How does anger affect adult children and family members?
11. What would you suggest for Asma?
12. What would you suggest for Ahmed?
13. Should Asma let go some of her over protective nature? In what and how?

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