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Aunty Bella: Miss. Desperately in Need of Someone to Talk to

BellaNaija.com

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Aunty Bella is our  agony aunt column on BellaNaija. We launched this column in the early days of BN and periodically feature issues sent in by BN readers.

We hope the BN family can offer insightful advice.

***
Hello team BellaNaija,

I luckily started reading your blog recently because a colleague made noise about how her wedding guest outfit was featured. She forced us all to go and click. I went through your Aunty Bella posts and I would love to lay my heart out.

I am deeply suffering emotionally and I need help. I have been working with this organization for two years, four months
now. I served as a Youth Corp Member with them and got retained. I have had great satisfaction from the work, even though my salary barely sustains me through the month, I have gained good experience from working there, and I am grateful.

Recently, It has become quite straining working there. Aside from the lack of compliance to paying our salary, the tasks given to me is quite worrisome. I work from 9 AM – 7 PM weekdays, and recently I have been enduring working on weekends too. It is not like I get help getting home after staying at work and leaving when the place is dark. I have endured harassment on some days that I have been stranded after work. I complain, and I hear things like, ‘you are a fine girl, you don’t want men to talk to you?’ All these for a salary of N25, 000.

My bosses make it even harder, making promises of giving bonuses to get us working during the weekends. We never see these bonuses. It has become an environment of terror and disrespect. I am extremely lonely. I can’t communicate or have a sustainable relationship with friends. At 24, I can’t point to anything happening socially for me. I rarely know what is happening around, which explains my recent addiction with your site to indulge in some pop culture.

The extent of harm coming from everything happening reflects in my interaction with people around me. I have always been uptight (the extremely serious girl), and critical about climbing the successful career ladder. Unfortunately, it is not happening as I expect it to.

Family members think that I can take care of everyone’s needs because I work. I mean I receive the strangest calls with demands on everything. I barely have needs of my own. I lack friends. I totally lack a life outside of work.

I would have loved to apply for my masters and further my education starting from the beginning of 2018, but here I am unable to afford even a Masters form in Nigeria! And I work, Really hard too! I have not seen the salary for September, or the month before. Excuses continue at work. I am barely surviving. Depression is growing louder and I have been acting quite irrationally.

My emotional frustration has created a seriously mentally unstable person out of me. There are attributes I am beginning to trace in me. For example, I am beginning to crave attention from people so much that I would do some of the strangest things, just to get attention.

I also fear for my health. Extreme dizziness occurs sometimes. At night, I lack sleep. By day, I lack mental concentration. I need help! I want to talk to people that have encounters to share because I have tried asking Google for help. Not working. I have tried visiting loud places to indulge in some new activities but it only leaves me feeling worse.

Can you connect me for some genuine conversation with some of your Aunty Bella readers with my email: [email protected]

Photo Credit: © Renaud Philippe | Dreamstime

21 Comments

  1. Becksy

    October 12, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    Hi dear.. I understand what you are going through but first things first, you need to figure out what your fear is on this your current job, then from there we can find a way out.

    • iq

      October 13, 2017 at 11:13 am

      What does this comment even mean bikonu?

      After everything she’s said, you’re still asking her to figure what out again regarding her current job? Has she not said it all? Na wa.

  2. Jane

    October 12, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    This is a serious issue. I know most people going through this phase now, particularly with the recession issue and no job. Whenever I come across them, I tell them to be happy and most especially trust in God. Do not give up your desire to live or to strive to be better. Y do you think people believe and trust in God , it is because of this feeling of hopelessness, the fact that nobody seems to care. Now sometimes you pray and you feel as if God is not listening but there is this feeling that He is there and you can rely on him and all would be better with time.
    Dear poster, you have to find what makes you happy and do it. Life is too short to live it sparingly. Do you have goals and visions you want to attain? set them and against all odds , strive to meet them. Do not listen to people and ignore the ‘I can’t make it voices in your head’. Stop unhealthy comparisons, strive to be a better you and know that you don’t live to please anyone. Get a Good friend that knows where they are headed in life, be friends and constantly share ideas
    As for your masters, it’s never too late when you have saved enough to start it. While you are doing this job, search for others , you can also look for scholarships.
    I hope this helped. Otherwise someone here can offer you a better job or maybe that word you are searching for. Wish you success.

  3. mz_danielz

    October 12, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    Nne, resign, Yes I said it, resign.

    Find a job as a sales girl or something, you’ll be better paid than that 25,000 and you’ll have time to send out CVs, meet new people, etc.

    Start applying for other jobs too during this resignation period. 25k work no be wetin dem dey get emotional instability for abeg.

    • tunmi

      October 12, 2017 at 10:06 pm

      thank you.

    • Me

      October 12, 2017 at 10:58 pm

      I would advice you get another job before resigning though. I was in the exact same situation you’re in about 2 months ago (mine was probably even worse, as in borderline kolomental, sleepless night, day time heart palpitations) prayer really helped (I’m quite close to my Mum and my pastor). Their prayers for and with me from a place of love really helped. I know it’s hard to find a pastor or anybody (to be honest), that truly cares about you. A good place to start is to pray for God to bring people that genuinely love you into your life, and keep applying and seeking for an alternative job. Apply for scorlarships, visas (that you can use to migrate to another country e.g. Canada).

      Keep in mind that this situation shall pass….nothing last forever.

  4. abby

    October 12, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    Dear poster, this was me some years ago. I was a frustrated human being, i began avoiding my mates because i was ashamed, everyone knew i was working, but didnt no i was being paid next to nothing, my salary was not stable..My mom sometimes made the meanest most insensitive remarks about my situation..my sister(younger) embarrassed me once because i didn’t have bath soap. I felt like a failure..here is what i did..I began applying for Jobs almost morning, afternoon and night steady mon-fri non stop..It didnt happen immediately but i started getting called back..some positions came but were even worse than my present job..I was praying in faith also..one day it clicked, i got called i interviewed got a better job (three times my initial salary)..I didnt believe it till I resumed..Poster you will be fine..dont relent on job search, tell people about it too..pray in faith..dont bottle it up inside..everything will work out fine in the end.

    • EJ

      October 15, 2017 at 10:24 am

      Please can u rope the sites u were looking for jobs thanks

  5. Bodunade

    October 12, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    I agree with @mz_danielz.

    This job is no job.

    Take charge , don’t be a slave to this type of life.
    Makes sure your decision in this matter is devoid of emotions (especially fear, the biggest culprit).
    All the best!

  6. olanna+odenigbo

    October 12, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    You didn’t state what you do, in what industry and what kind of opportunity you’re looking for now. I didn’t know people still paid 25k per month.

    What you feel can be a resultant effect of the prolonged frustration and stagnation in your circumstance….Fear is strong no doubt… but you know who is even more so- is a woman who dares face her fears and conquer them— bit by bit by bit… I would say do not be hasty with yourself- That only gets you anxiety…. Be patient with your self…it took me a long while to understand this, so when I have one bad season, I instantly felt like the world was over….but no honey, one bad season, is just that.. and the next season is another time to try… It will be a daily struggle to confront and conquer each fear, some days you will win, some days you will lose, the difference is not to lose and land on the same old spot….lose forward, fail forward…..always progressively and that will be the fuel you need..

    Slowly work up the courage to first define what it is you would rather be doing….define this first and define it well…..remind yourself exactly how much closer to this dream each day can bring you and slowly start stepping away from ANY AND EVERYTHING/PERSON/PLACE that has the potential to take you further from your dream life, than bring you closer to it… once you get in the driver seat of your life my dear, hunger or not…you will be joyful and that’s the inner strength you will need to plough through the tough grounds you need to walk on someday….

    Breathe in and out please, and drop a phone number if you need me to call for a chat. God bless you.
    Hugs hun.
    xoxo.

  7. Ruby

    October 12, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    Hi,

    I saw masters and that you have 2 years experience. Chevening scholarship is currently open for application. It will close in November. You might want to give it a shot.

    Kimd Regards

  8. Mahka

    October 12, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    E-hugs to you poster…
    We are almost in similar situations, working and not seeing Shi Shi,
    If you want to further your education, uniport is selling their Msc form and the tuition is paid installmentally- check it out.
    Try to eliminate Fear of the unknown, I struggled so much here until I had to literally hit reset, you can do it.
    If you have horrible mood swings n no concentration, can I suggest you play Hillsong music, it helped me a lot, put it on while you work., try to listen to uplifting messages (T.d Jakes, Devon Franklin) that encourages you to get by your day. Anything to help clear your mind so you can start early planning for next year…it’s never too late, don’t give up, watch God work.
    Welcome to BN, be inspired by Ik is also a good uplifting section n their daily motivating little post helps.
    All the best dear.

  9. steven

    October 12, 2017 at 11:57 pm

    Hi, I think you should leave the job thing and start developing or cultivating whatever talent you have and be excellent at it,.solve problems with it , in no time you would start seeing the result ..its never to late to try…

  10. Elle

    October 13, 2017 at 6:31 am

    Sweetheart I’ve been through that shiiit before. Definitely a very difficult situation. I would advice to start a job search intensely. That’s a very negative space you are in and you really don’t have to be there. To be facing harassment is even the height of it. Ask yourself what you really want to do and start making effort towards it. If it’s a masters you wanna do, there are many Scholarship opportunities to study abroad. Google advanceafrica.com, scholarship-positions.com.

    You need to work on your frame of mind first and trust me even of you were in a crowd you still might feel lonely. Start with drawing close to God if you believe in Him, take your challenges to prayer and ask God to help you get comfortable with yourself.give yourself a mental timeline to get out of that job. Sometimes it’s better to be jobless than be in such a negative environment that’s affecting your health. You can start a small business from home if there’s nothing to do. My point is there are endless possibilities for you dear. You are young and the world is your oyster. Stay positive always, smile, forget about friendships or socials, just be yourself, you can join a group in church or a gym if you really want to socialize, but above all tell yourself you can rise above this and you can be a better and do better. You will get over this phase just don’t let it drown you. You are fine. Ehugs. Send me an email if you wanna talk more.
    Cheers dear. [email protected]

  11. bubu

    October 13, 2017 at 10:10 am

    sweet heart, this too shall pass. been there done that. 15 yrs ago I was working for 7/8k (some months 4k or even nothing) with my 4.2 gpa kpali, what saved me from suicide was love from my mum and my mums’s unwavering faith in God she had instilled in me. my turning point was when a an old friend called (I no kuku get phone, so all calls were through a relative) to find out what the best grad student was up to. i told her straight up I was in a dead end job. she just said “babe go to the blessed sacrament,you will get a job, ” and I did. i took a month out to pray and fast. and i remember going for a payer program and the priest said we should not pray for specific jobs but tell God the needs we want the job to meet. I also started self motivating . reassuring my self am the daughter of the most high. i have a mission and i shall fufil my destiny. read the bible, listened to soul lifting music (women of faith,cece winans, njideka okeke). and three month later I got an 80k job that paid like clock work.

    life will continue to throw up challenges, when I feel weary, I tell myself i survived those 16 months of hell i can survive anything. and I have

    about relatives making demands. that will not end but will increase as u go higher. personaly i set aside 5% of my income for friends and family aside my mom and sibs. and bcos i have remained consistent it works seamlessly now. i remind them I am 30 day one pay so i need 30 days notice for their demands. and i pick the ones that i want for the month i tell the others I have given so and so this month you will be considered next month.

    as for sleepless night. turn them to vigil night(sleep go come sharply after wards trust me)

    at the end of the day happiness is a personal choice. choose to be happy gal

  12. moi

    October 13, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    sweet heart pls resign, most times our fear of the unknown holds us down, i think u are scared u might not be able to secure another job and thats why u r stuck, let go of ur fears and u’ll fly. those willingly to help u might not do so cos they believe u are content with were u r,the moment pple know u have nothing doing opportunities would come just take the leap of faith.

  13. boocakes

    October 13, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    i was in your shoes once ,but what saved me was i learnt beadcrafts during my youth service and this has helped a lot by going to offices and schools to make beads for casual and official wear for as low as 800 naira and made bracelets for 500 naira whenever i have an errand to run for my boss at my former place of work which my income was not even up to 20,000 because its a call center work that you get paid by the numbers of calls you make .its was crazy before i finally got a job after complete 21 days of midnight prayers none stop and i believe you can try to do some side hustle even with little amount and continue praying dear ,i wont advise you to quit your job but please be very steady at applying for jobs and please update your CV and include your experiences too ,its helps. All the best dear…..

  14. Kati

    October 13, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    Having benefitted from advice on Aunty Bella, I can’t let this pass without commenting. You see, I went through such troubling times too and someone here – a stranger, helped. Thanks Lala+
    You feel this way because you are unfulfilled in your work place. Being owed salary is like a slow death to me.
    I took extreme actions. I hoped on God and resigned with no other job in view and that was when God showed up. From irregular 30k job to over 100k.
    What worked for me is resigning to retain my mental health. Then working it out with God from there.
    Its different with everybody, Have faith, leap!

  15. molarah

    October 14, 2017 at 8:32 am

    First things first: resign from that job. It has all shades of toxic workplace environment. Being owed salary after slaving long hours and weekends? Nne, its not worth it. Don’t allow anyone to use fear of unemployment to make you waste your youth in unprofitable ventures. Even if you graduated with a Pass, you don’t deserve that kind of treatment. I guarantee you that in this same Lagos, someone with half your intelligence is earning 100 times your salary. You deserve better: leave that place.

    Next thing: take out personal time by yourself to find out who you are, what you are good at, where you can focus your talents and strengths passionately, given the resources you have and you can get access to. I’m Christian, so for me this kind of time looks like time spent praising God for what He’s done for me so far and the talents He’s blessed me with, and asking for His direction for my life. Whatever you do, ensure you are able to get away from distractions and have a clear head when embarking on this exercise. Believe me, something will come out of it. As women, we spend significant time underestimating ourselves and downplaying our strengths till we start to forget who we are. There is so much power available in the human spirit: you must move past whatever fears are clouding your mind and really believe in yourself. Then take action on what comes out, and start to move ahead. Don’t be ashamed or proud to ask for help where necessary, and don’t feel too disappointed or bitter when some don’t respond: just keep moving ahead. This saying is true: the universe ends up making way for the person who is persistent in their pursuit.

    I know what I put up there seems like a motivational blurb and has derailed a bit from your initial request for companionship, but believe me, it works. We need friends and people to talk to when are down, but I’m not sure the connections you form as a result of this post will necessarily get you out of your current situation. Some will offer a listening ear, others might offer money or job opportunities, but the real intervention required in this situation starts with you. You MUST start thinking better about yourself, stop accepting situations that are less than par, and start being more deliberate about improving your situation. Friends come to those who show themselves to be friendly, so this is the easiest part of your problem. Take that newly found boldness that you are using for attention-seeking acts and use it to step up to strangers/acquaintances: ask them about their lives and how they are faring, be a sympathetic ear to their worries, lend a helping hand where required, become a person of value to them.

  16. been there

    January 26, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    Good day poster I know my opinion is coming late but i just saw this. I have read some comments and honestly if you have never been there you will never know. I was you just last year(i quit in September) it wasn’t funny and like you too i was retained after service, i loved my job description and got mad satisfaction from it too, funny enough i was also paid 25k that wasn’t steady (they still owe me August, September, and half of January sef)

    I was super excited when i was retained i remember going to work the day after p.o.p. i served in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, it wasn’t that bad @ 1st cos most of my “corper” friends still stayed for a while after service, so the whole madness started months after pop when they were all gone the weekends were torture, i was literarily just existing cos i stopped living I didn’t have a life besides work.

    To cut the long story short i conquered my biggest fear of the unknown/going back to my fathers house jobless and I quit. Today I am self employed and still stay @my dads it might not be where i wanna be but its far better than where I was and I thank God .

  17. maryam

    July 18, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    Ladies listen up,
    It is time to smell the coffee.Look at male dominated areas like carpentry, shoe-making and be humble to learn from the craftmen in your area. Also you can make pastry like buttered chin-chin,puff-puff and the rest and sell at parks to motorists,Just wear jeans underneath your clothes and keep your money in ingenious places..Or if you can cook very well,offer to cook for a fee for your colleagues.If you can sew,buy quality second hand clothes and repurpose those ‘Mary Amaka’ gowns into something trendy. Because ,If all of you are looking for jobs, who amongst you will be the entrepreneur and create the jobs?

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