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Aunty Bella: Miss My Mother is Draining the Life Out of Me



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.


My mum is presently draining the life out of me because she will not stop having business transactions with people who keep getting her into trouble with her clients and with the police.

I, some family members, and some of her friends have been advising her for a very long time but she’ll act like she’ll change and the next minute she’ll do something that will get her into more trouble. When she gets into trouble with the police, I will not rest until she’s been bailed.

She’s now in so much debt that she couldn’t pay our house rent and we were almost thrown out, but thank God for some jobs I did, that made it possible for us to pay the rent. She’s so restless and I can’t remember the last time she was really happy.

Whenever she goes out and doesn’t come home early I get worried about her safety and hope one of her clients hasn’t arrested her.

According to a medical test I had in August, I’m prehypertensive because of all this her problems.

Presently she has been detained by the police because one of her clients went there to lay complaints and request for her arrest, but I have decided that I will not go to beg anyone to help stand as guarantor or even be bothered by it because I have had enough of all the trouble she’s been putting me through for some years now.

But some people say I should not leave her there or say I don’t want to be bothered, because she’s my mum, but I can’t keep having sleepless nights and stressing myself over someone who doesn’t listen to anyone. She doesn’t even care about the effect her action or inaction has on other people, especially me. She’s not even bothered that it’s just the both us. She even got mad at me for not visiting her in prison the last time she was there.

I really don’t know what to do, I even thought of running away and renting my own place, when I got the paid for the those jobs I did, instead of paying for the rent, but after people advised me not too and I also thought about it, it didn’t seem like the right thing to do.

I know people say that if someone is draining the life out of you either, physically, emotionally or mentally, you should cut them off but what if that person is your parent, what do you do?

Please I need your advice.
Thank you.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime


  1. Author Unknown

    October 18, 2017 at 5:44 am

    Get a court to declare your mother unfit, and then get appointed Power of Attorney to make decisions on her behalf, or the reverse order if your mother will be giving the Power of Attorney. Any deal she enters into will not be valid. Not sure if this will work (especially as she’s not medically or mentally unfit – though the mental part may be questionable) but I can’t really think of anything else. Note she could always challenge this, but… Good luck!

  2. john

    October 18, 2017 at 7:32 am

    what is it with daughters complaning and fighting with their mothers , nowadays

    • Miss Ashley

      October 18, 2017 at 7:52 am

      And what is it with Mothers putting their children and whole family and friends in a lot of stress and trouble nowadays?

    • Jummy

      October 18, 2017 at 8:33 am

      So that’s all you had to contribute to her predicament? I worry for you John.

      Plus mothers have been complaining and fighting with their mother since time immemorial. It not a “nowadays something.

      My mum did it with my grandma, who did it to my great grandma, and we just recently got to a good place in our relationship. I hope mothers of this generation can be better mothers.

    • Kiishi

      October 18, 2017 at 8:49 am

      Haba Jummy, why waste time worrying for someone like this our John?

      You should know by now that he gets a [email protected] whenever he sees an opportunity to berate women. Don’t spoil his fun oh.

    • Bee

      October 18, 2017 at 9:58 am

      Will you just shove it.

    • Aliyah

      October 18, 2017 at 4:32 pm

      Did you even read it?

    • Nana Akwetey

      October 18, 2017 at 4:39 pm

      John you wont understand……Its not easy to explain except youre going through it Considering relocating abroad just so I can have some rest and we can do our mother and daughter love over the atlantic. When you are constantly being harassed and have someo one breathing down your neck maybe then you will understand.

      I’m at work and cant type much, one day ill send BN my story. I’m 30 and yet we keep arguing over the pettiest and smallest of things. Imagine someone not letting you live your life. Once I save up enough cash God willing I’m leaving

    • skojgle

      November 16, 2017 at 2:30 am

      nawa o

  3. Jummy

    October 18, 2017 at 8:46 am

    Poster I perfectly understand what you’re going through, as well as thousands of not millions of other Nigerian girls/women.

    The Nigerian mother/daughter relationship has been strained for a long time, largely because they keep passing the problematoc ways of bringing up a daughter from generation to generation.

    My mum and I had a VERY strained relationship. She hurt me so much physically, verbally, and emotionally. I felt so much resentment in my heart against her and lived in bitterness, until 5 months when she had a 360 degree change of heart! I don’t even know where it came from.

    She started to nicer and more understanding than she had been all my life, and it was hard to be mean to her if she’s nice to me. Still, I felt so much resentment and refused to let her in. But I prayed to God and he was able to heal me of all my hurt, and now we have an awesome relationship!

    If anyone had told me this would happen, I would have been like nah, not ever. She’s apologised to me for not being the best mother, but I understand because she didn’t exactly have a role model. My grandmother is by all ramifications worse than my mother behaviourally.

    Poster, my mum didn’t go around owing people so I didn’t have to live with that. It would have been my breaking point. I think you need a break from your mum. Damn the consequences. Leave social media if you’re on there. Get a new number so all those people who keep telling you to tolerate her won’t be able to reach you. You can’t be there for your mum if you’re not there for yourself.

    Sending you light and hugs from someone who’s almost been there. ??

  4. marlee

    October 18, 2017 at 9:21 am

    you know what, your mother is your responsibility if she was sick, disable, or old. As of now she is fit as a fiddle and she is suppose to be responsible and the two of you are supposed to have each other’s back. i suggest you let her deal with her demons until she wake up from her slumber. some people never learn, so its not your fault she is who she is. let her deal with it. my mother at the age of 75 (i am 43) still ask me if i am properly taking care of myself, that i ensure to be clean and health (mind you i am model material and mother of 2), that;s how caring she real is. thank God for her. i send love and good wishes to you. and ask God he will make her better

  5. ajankolokolo

    October 18, 2017 at 9:50 am

    Please take the first poster’s advice

  6. Berry

    October 18, 2017 at 10:23 am

    My own is that my mum is a kleptomaniac, whenever she come around, she must take my things. i am in my late 20s ( married) and she around 50 yrs. i don tire

  7. Zuleiha

    October 18, 2017 at 11:14 am

    i think your mother might need help. i know its not what we are used to in this part of the world but she needs therapy to help her sort things out. i believe there is a reason she is acting the way she is and it might even be beyond her control. Psychological issues manifest in different ways.

  8. Tosin

    October 18, 2017 at 11:35 am

    deez a serious mama-as-pikin somtin. i can’t.

  9. E

    October 18, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    Where is the comment I wrote?

  10. OO

    October 18, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    Going the legal or therapist route as some have suggested is not bad. However from the post, the young woman clearly has no steady job, therefore solutions that would involve expenditure might not be within her reach (for now). Are there any bodies or government agencies or even individuals to whom she can be referred to for real practical help? Is there a way she can separate herself from the causes of her ordeals right now without having to spend too much?

  11. Seyi

    October 18, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    Daughter to a physically, emotionally abusive and financially ruinous mother here. I cut her off six years ago after she put me in N20 million of debt and almost ruined my marriage.

    My husband and I are still paying the debt till this day but not before it became police matter and I even ended up in jail too on top her matter. She on the other hand has turned her attention to my siblings and is proceeding to drive them to bankruptcy also. But she is out of my life and I cannot even begin to tell you the peace of mind I have now.

    Yes I am in debt but my marriage and family and sanity are still intact.. One day, I will eventually finish paying the debt but at the height of the problem, I was literally suicidal. I had to distance myself from her to protect myself and my children and my marriage.

    The fact that she is your mother does not give her the right to ruin your life. I suggest you get your own place at the earliest opportunity and start to set boundaries. What will you do when you have children of your own to deal with? Will you still be running to police station to bail her or use all of your children’s school fees to pay her debts?

    She is an adult. and she needs to deal with the consequences of her actions

  12. Letty

    October 18, 2017 at 8:13 pm

    This woman might be a single mother struggling to put food on the table for her children. I am inferring this because she said nothing about her dad. Is Nija not the land of 3 or more hustles? Her mom just probably needs help with financial education. Let’s not judge her harshly and read between the lines. You all know surviving in nija is extremely rough and the hustle is very very real!!!!

  13. 3

    October 19, 2017 at 8:46 am

    Hmm. I understand you…mainky because I have lived in your shoes. The only difference is that no one has arrested and locked her up yet. But, I have told her severally, if you get arrested, I won’t come bail you. I think by bailing her, you keep giving her hope and encouraging the habit. Leave her to enjoy snap vacation in the prison sometime. Visit her and give her food. But don’t bail her, afterall you don’t have money (even if you have). The truth is you have to take care of yourself to be able to take care of others.
    My mothers owes to the extent of oweing tomato seller 100naira. She owes banks and cooperatives in hundreds of thousands too. She is an assistant head teacher and earns well monthly. Fortunately for me, I had a well paying job but I always told her I was broke. When I had enough to cover her… I give her.
    After so much managing with her poor financial management, I knew my best option was to leave home. Family won’t let me move out… Single girl living in Abuja all by herself when her parent live in Abuja too. They thought I wanted to start Aristo.
    So I applied for a full scholarship by UK government to study abroad. Worked hard and got it. But I told my mum they won’t be giving me living allowance so I will have to be doing night shift and mortuary shift to make money for upkeep. LOL
    If you see my whatsapp picture… Hahahha. She had to message me if I am OK. That I look sick, can I change it. I told her it is the stress of the night job. I won’t kill my child, so my mother cannot kill me.
    Lastly, I told her not to be putting me as her next of kin. I have a younger brother… He should be her next of kin. I did that incase something happens to her, her debtors won’t come for me… Instead they will bundle my brother. Hahhahahha My brother too now started begging her to remover him as next of kin. It pained her. Me, I can’t be bothered.

  14. Nurse Jane

    November 19, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    the last speaker is wicked……….lwkmd wooooo

  15. Ayodele

    May 21, 2018 at 10:12 pm

    Beautiful for mentan

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