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Aunty Bella: Miss. I Want to Hear My Family Say ‘Sorry’

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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.
***
Dear Bella.

I write this with tears and mixed emotions in my heart; on one end, they are tears of pride at success at the person I have become. On the other hand, they are tears of resignation because at the end, it is what it is.

Let me start by saying this: I was the ‘it’ child growing up; smart, tall, beautiful and complete. The type to represent the school in competitions and all; the child that would go places. I was also a bit of a tomboy, I was pretty and all but in the end, I was always in the midst of guys, I was the typical guys girl.

Getting into the university, I was the girl with a sign on her head ‘ask her out’. I was pursued by guys and being a tomboy, I just was friendly with them. I later heard that the gist about me was ‘speak with her for 5 minutes and you’ll want her badly’

I stayed with my elder sister at the time and she was always screaming at me, shouting at me and saying all sorts. I took it as her way of being protective. I was the sanguine type never to take anything to heart. People said she was jealous, a fact I do not believe. She’s just a product of her mother’s upbringing.

You see, my mum is someone who due to her temperament, rehashes every slight and negative thing done to her. She’s also very unteachable. She believes the world should conform to her rules, heaven forbid that she adapts. My mum believes that she sacrificed for her younger ones and they took her for granted so she would speak with my sister on the phone and tell her not to allow me disregard her, that I shouldn’t take her for granted and so when my sister screamed and shouted, I just ignored her, because I understood the root. Besides, my sister had challenges getting into the university so I didn’t want her to feel bad; this was my 1st error – see in life whether with family or friends, you need to set boundaries. My sister began to take things too far, she’ll take money from my purse etc.

After my 1st semester, I began to discover my fashion side. I changed my wardrobe and generally became more girly and I faced issues with my mother; she’d burn my clothes, spit on me and call me a witch.

Let me give you another background to this.

My father was a successful man, until life happened and he lost his wealth. He began to experience treatment given to poor people and anger set in. Morning devotions in the family became playbacks of each slight and negative treatment; my mother would go out and feel bad because she didn’t have clothes. She began to propagate the theory that the way we dressed didn’t matter and we should walk alone; now these are good ideologies but the spirit behind them was wrong.

To please my family, I began to lie to myself, pretending I didn’t like fashion and cultivating ways to repel guys. Looking back now, I think her attitude was a defense mechanism out of fear that I would sleep around.

I began to suffer identity crisis because lying to yourself causes that and then a mild depression set in. People noticed and spoke about it, but my mum didn’t notice, she was all about replaying the evil done to her. A part of me feels she enjoyed seeing me that way; my mum loves solving problems and being needed, someone told her that she liked relating only with poor people and I think it’s true.

Every evening and minute was spent berating me, mentioning my faults and putting me down. I became a joke to my family and one day, I snapped, I lashed out and decided enough was enough- this was especially when I noticed I was becoming a laughing stock in the real world due to my low self esteem. I wrote my parents a letter and poured out my heart. I told them their choosing to cut themselves out of the world was making them hermits and frankly the world didn’t care. I told them I loved fashion and make up and they’d have to live with it whether they liked it or not. I told them my sister was a joke in the real world, she practically smelt and no one wanted to relate with her. My mother told my siblings that I insulted them etc but she never showed them the letter till date, she said the insults were too much, she had to tear it.

During my youth service, I had a heart-to-heart talk with my mother. I remember telling her ‘if there’s no one else to take you for granted, you’ll say the chairs are despising you’. It was my way of talking to her to get to see her deciding to play victim and being angry with the world was costing her a lot. She told everyone I called her a witch eating her children’s destiny. To be fair, I told her that what she was doing was stunting her daughter’s progress, that the only child who listened to her every word was the one who couldn’t find her way but I meant this in terms of her attitude and the things she tells us.

Youth service was a trying time because the family cut off all support but I survived, fought for the person I wanted to be and with prayers and a lot of the word of God, I became a much better version of myself but it was hard trudging on without the acceptance of family. When I experienced setback, my mind played tricks on me replaying every negative word I heard but I kept moving on with a smile on my face. There were times I’d walk into the company restroom and pray for a while. Joyce Meyer’s books and messages were also helpful.

My brothers had their challenges too. My elder brother battled insecurities which I noticed though he covered his by being a braggart. He even had counselling sessions with one of our student pastors but he handled his by staying away from the house. He moved away from home asap and when he came home, he only mentioned stories of successes and left not too long after.

I stayed home. I couldn’t afford to move out of the house but I asserted my independence and got it. Now my mum asks me to buy her make-up, buy her clothes, pay for her spa sessions; this I do with joy but there’s a tiny bit of resentment when I remember how she used to lie to herself and force us to lie to ourselves too.

My elder sister is a story for another day, her insistence on not moving forward and learning certain things is amazing.

I am the family black sheep, the outcast and for a while I thought it didn’t bother me anymore untill yesterday, something happened and I had a quarrel with my sister. After that, I told my mum in clear words ‘for 10 years since the 1st day I carved my eyebrows, I have begged you and pleaded with this family to accept me, I have battled depression, dealt with identity crisis and in various ways, I have begged for acceptance but you have refused to give it to me’. My mum just kept singing, ignored me and started laughing. Did I add that she was speaking in tongues and singing ‘the blood of Jesus sets me free….’ as per I’m a demon.

My elder brother was about to go into his room but he stopped for a while, looked at my mother, looked at me and looked at my mother again. He wanted to say something but he went to his room instead. He understood, but of course he will say nothing. I am the black sheep and I bear him no ill. My mother loves to be told lies both in words and actions but I’ve never been good and that. I am who I am and I’m proud of it. You will never know how many times my mother told me I’m possessed. Infact she insists that anytime she finishes her fasting, the devil uses me to distress me.

I feel a range of emotions for my mother ranging from pity to disappointment to resentment.

– Pity, because she is in a self imposed prison and no one can help her. She has legitimate hurts but her reaction to her pain worsened it. She alienates people and then pretends she doesn’t need people in her life. Even if she changes which I hope she will, I pity her for the years she lost in a self imposed prison.

– Disappointment; because every child expects the mum to prepare her for the world.

– Resentment; both at her and myself. At her for everything I’ve written and myself for not responding differently. I also resented some of teh advice she gave my dad. My dad sorted out his resentment after a while and began to smile. He will talk to her about being a bit nicer, smiling more and behaving in ways that endeared people to her but she will refuse and make so many statements that are idealistic and don’t work in the real world. I remember one day my dad goes ‘you need to make friends, human beings are relational, there’s a way to behave that endears people to you’. After arguing he just had a smile and said ‘sometimes, talking here is like throwing pearls to Dogs’. My mum believes what she believes and if you try to think otherwise, you are her enemy.

I’ve tried everything to deal with this;

1. Being grateful and counting my blessings-

– I’m extremely good with people and younger ones because of this,
– I am a very personable and adaptable person (from my write-up, you’ll notice I have a bit of my mother’s temperament. Watching her has made me maximize my strengths and fight the negatives),
– I am extremely self aware; anytime we attend office training/take personality tests, I will always state clearly where I fall in no matter how new the test is.

2. Being thankful for her good sides

3. Putting myself in her shoes

But yesterday, I realized that I really needed the acceptance and to be frank I don’t know why I’m begging for it. If somebody doesn’t like you, it’s not by force.

I am not a misfit in any way, even the time I was battling issues, most people claim not to have noticed. I am someone many would wish for a daughter; beautiful, successful, warm, great sex appeal, multi-dimensional and creative’. People go out of their way to be friends with me (please this is not pride, I’m reminding myself of a good sides because I know going by the child I was, I haven’t lived up to my potential; I haven’t turned out the way my mother hoped and she is disappointed in me)

I need healing because a part of me is afraid that because I don’t want any of my children to feel unaccepted, I will be a permissive parent and that scares me. Infact, the one deciding factor of who my husband will be is that he accepts me flaws, warts and all and that he’s fine with his upbringing so he can put me in check if I become too permissive.

I need acknowledgement of hurt inflicted from my mum but I know it will never come so please advise me on how to get over this gnawing desire. I respect my mother and speak so highly of her outside.

PS: Forgive me if I rambled on, I have a lot on my mind and I really need release.

Photo Credit: © Andrii Kobryn | Dreamstime

38 Comments

  1. Sharpe

    October 16, 2017 at 6:55 am

    I can relate. Feeling like ur upbringing failed u. But, as an adult, I want to take control and fix my own damn life!

  2. Joyce

    October 16, 2017 at 6:59 am

    Dear you,
    Seems life happened to all of you as a family but I am sorry to say it seems you only see yourself in all of these. I am nearly sure 80% of Nigerian families go through this or have similar stories of families not encouraging our passions. I really don’t know how to say it so you can get it but sis what you need is the Wisdom. You need wisdom to understand your family, wisdom to be patient and wisdom to handle them.
    Our parents love us ultimately,at least to me it seems yours do love you from all I have read here. The problem I see here is you haven’t convinced your parents that you are responsible regardless of what you choose to do. I mean parents are ALWAYS scared and worried when their kids want to be independent and it’s mostly because they can’t trust us yet enough with ourselves.
    You need to be patient,you need to be humble,you need to speak love to your family just the way you would love to hear said to you(yes I mean it).
    Speak Love to your parents. I am not saying your family is perfect heck no but I can smell here you have an entitlement mentality.
    Your family owes you NO apology,in case you don’t know the things we go through in life mostly work out patience in us for the greater good so we are more grounded,loving and compassionate to others who might also go through such.
    Carry your Cross’s,it’s part of your journey in life. Our parents are humans too, your parents seem to have financial struggles too and mentally it’s affected them,they are also going through a lot. Sometimes comfort them, look!!!!your feelings about being depressed are very valid but I do not want you to feel that it will only get better if you heard then say sorry.
    People will hurt you,you will become a CEO your employees will hurt you in ways you can’t imagine. You must know it’s not just about them. To every cloud,there’s a silver lining,there’s a lesson in every difficulty. If you are too inpatient to humble yourself and learn through trials you are not ready for the life that’s your ultimate destiny.

    Don’t judge your sister, she is not you. I see she is not perfect at all but she’s on her own journey too. Send her love, speak love to her,be kind and see if she doesn’t blossom. I am yet to see anyone who doesn’t respond to love.

    Above ALL,be prayerful. Life is bigger than us,it takes wisdom to live it to the maximum. Sweetie,you have a lot in you to accomplish don’t let hurts and offences deter you,don’t tie people down in your emotions. What is ahead of you is bigger than what you are seeing now,pray for wisdom to have life under control. May you not lose your mind or your family.
    #Enjoy

    • May

      October 16, 2017 at 11:08 am

      What are you saying???? I think you need to read that story again so you can comment from a point of proper understanding and not theory.

    • Bia

      October 16, 2017 at 11:55 am

      Noo, you are the one that needs to read properly. The poster is one hella entitled homosapien. Gosh, l don’t want to be your family. Show love, be humble and love will come to you. Your parents are struggling financially and what have you done for them in return. In their struggle they saw you through school, housed you, fed you and di not ask you to bring money for food as in push you to prostitution as a student. Yes some parents are horrible like that but what has she given them in return? All l read is me, me, me. You go and read again @May.

    • Weezy

      October 16, 2017 at 6:45 pm

      I don’t agree with this at all. In human psychology it is widely known that a child must separate emotionally from parents in order to become a healthy adult. So long as she prioritizes being “humble” and forgiving, she will never separate. Look at female celebrities that have bad marriages where someone is stealing from them, cheating or beating them etc. The reason they have bad relationship is that their families of origin taught them to accept harmful behaviors. Their families and the wider culture taught them to be humble and forgiving.

      Just because something is common in our society does not make it okay.

  3. Dr.N

    October 16, 2017 at 7:31 am

    Hi. You will be surprised to hear you are not the first to go through this. Many adults grow up to realize the issues their parents had were due to the fact that no one coaches parents before marriage and when the kids come. They become overwhelmed and lash out.
    My advise is begin to plan your exit. Find a job that will require relocation or just rent a place with godly friends. Your mom may not change anytime soon.
    Another advice I give people is that when you become an adult you have to teach your parents to treat you like an adult. Set boundaries, establish rules, don’t tell them every thought in your head and contribute financially. Also speak boldly but politely. Your time of voice should command respect.
    If you can…pray for her that she will be released from the effects of her unmet needs unheard hurts and unresolved issues; that she will experience the peace of God and never open the door to bitterness again
    Cheers

  4. Dr.N

    October 16, 2017 at 7:32 am

    *unhealed hurts*

  5. Mama

    October 16, 2017 at 7:49 am

    You didn’t ramble my dear. You needed to let it out. I understand and even share some of your sentiments. Truth is, you need to be at peace with the idea that you may never get the acknowledgment you desire from your mother (family). Honestly, it is VERY HARD for people like your mum to change; infact, i have come to believe that it may be a form of psychiatric illness (no jokes).

    Your story reminds me of my devotional reading today (our daily bread). As much as i ‘hate’ to preach (because sometimes people need more ‘realistic’ solutions other than what the bible says), I will leave you with the verse from Genesis 50:20 “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives”.

    You have already won the war, don’t let the little battles steal your joy. Even if she never appreciates your help, God has not only vindicated you but has taught you what not to be with your children. Just be easy on yourself.

  6. Ruffy

    October 16, 2017 at 8:47 am

    Good piece. Good you’ve spoken your mind. But to start with, forgive yourself first then forgive her and then accept her for who is. She may not change. But do remember that people don’t change because you want them to, rather they change because they want to. So if you keep yourself in that state of expecting a remorse from her for her actions towards you, you may never get.
    Also, there is need to change environment. Because being there will always be reminder of your resentment towards all that is happening to you. If you can get a place, kindly do or cohabit with a friend that you will both share the rent. With that inner peace will set in

  7. ladyb

    October 16, 2017 at 8:57 am

    singing. this is my story…………. this is my song………………. if i didn’t know any better i would have thought i wrote this. Just let God do the healing ! i have accepted that my mum will not change so i am changing the way i see things realizing i am responsible for my own happiness so no more shouting , no more replies from me NO MORE just living my life away from the toxic people that are called FAMILY

  8. Fabulous

    October 16, 2017 at 8:59 am

    What I think you should do?
    1. MOVE out of the house.
    2. Come to terms with the fact that you may never get an apology or acknowledgement from your family especially your mother.
    3. If you can, be giving your mother money every month.

  9. ajankolokolo

    October 16, 2017 at 9:25 am

    If i start my own ramble eh, i wont finish. i understand how you feel and what you are going through. I’m currently at a phase were i don’t want to see my father, i feel so much resentment towards him, and then my step mum, i don’t even want to feel anything towards her because i will just kill her.
    At the moment my younger brother is a lost and troubled teenager, my dad has done absolutely nothing to be a father. i feel like i’m losing my brother, the more i try to help him and reach out to him, the more i’m losing him. i don’t even understand him. He has been through alot from been accused of witchcraft (by my stepmum, supported by my dad) to been starved for days.

    i’m very confused and depressed. I’m squatting somewhere i don’t like cos i cant afford rent yet, and i cant even help my own brother. Our mum died many years ago.

    I dont even have a social life, my life is a big mess.

    • marvel

      October 16, 2017 at 10:53 am

      @ ajankolokolo…am so sorry about what you’re facing.. trust me, I know it hurts. Pray that God’s faith and love surround him. Have a sincere relationship with God. That works wonders.. I know because I’ve been there and it’s gerring berra for me. I love you.

    • Dr.N

      October 16, 2017 at 11:10 am

      Fight for your brother dear. Let him motivate you to get it together so you can get him out of that home

    • May

      October 16, 2017 at 11:17 am

      My heart bleeds for you. I pray that God in His mercy intervenes in your situation. I pray He redeems your brother and I prophesy to you that you will not lose your brother in Jesus name. Let any ill-feeling you have towards your dad and step-mom go. Just trust God and serve Him. God bless you abundantly.

  10. Flow

    October 16, 2017 at 9:55 am

    I’ll make a post concerning my dad like this someday, He is a terrible human being!

    • teni

      October 17, 2017 at 3:08 pm

      wait until he dies and you’ll miss him.

  11. Bia

    October 16, 2017 at 10:08 am

    Well, l beg to differ. You did ramble and your story was disjointed.

    What did your Mother do to you apart from burning your clothes and resenting you wearing make up? I do not know what her issues are from your story. At a certain age we all rebel and mothers often bear the brunt as they are the ones that provide primary care. You do come across as entitled and bragadacious. What is your reaction to your mother when she corrects you? What about to your sister? She smells, your sister smells? Have you told her her hygiene is not up to par in a NICE way, what did you do to help? Girl, check yourself. We all had fights with our mothers growing up especially when we thought we were all grown up and wanted to do adult things. I am by no means saying there were/are no issues in your family, but what where these issues that cause you to paint your mothers so? There are bad mothers, really bad mothers but, l find it hard from your write up to see what your mother did so terribly wrong.

    You are beautiful, smart successful and you still live at home even in what you call a toxic environment? Girl, check yoourself before blaming others. I think your mother’s coping mechanism is isolating herself. It is tough going poor after tasting wealth.. Show love and see it return to you. If not move on.

    • BN Contributor/Poster's friend

      October 16, 2017 at 11:52 am

      @Bia, you don’t know this poster at all.

      She called me crying and pouring out hee heart and I asked her to write to BN. She refused saying she won’t wash dirty linens in public so I convinced her to send me a mail which I sent to BN(BN can confirm this). There’s a lot more I can say but I’ll respect the posters privacy.

      I’m taking this P because I convinced her to do this and I don’t want to make her situation worse

    • BN Contributor/Poster's Friend

      October 16, 2017 at 12:09 pm

      @ Bia, I know the poster well, she called me one evening crying and pouring out her heart to me. Because I write for Bella, I told her to send a mail to Bella. She refused saying she would not wash her dirty linens outside and so I told her to send me a mail based on how she feels and I’d send to Bella on her behalf. So I sent this mail unedited to Bella (Bella can verify this)

      The poster is not what you think; in fact I was surprised cos she speaks positively of her family and plays the dutiful daughter and sister. Not leaving the home for her is an African thing; we don’t do some things here. I’ll send this link to her and hope she gets useful closure. There is a lot more I would have said but it is the poster’s family and so I can’t spill.

      I’m taking this P cos I convinced her to do this and I don’t want anyone worsening the situation.

    • lady

      October 16, 2017 at 1:37 pm

      oh please. what do you know about toxic parents. this shit is deep rooted stop sounding like you have it figured out. do you know how it feels to be doing everything right from public perspective but at home you are still the no good, chisom is doing much better than you, everything is always late for you, you look like a witch with that make up. cant you think properly, why are you always making stupid decisions, shouts at the slightest thing, you are always bad because you havnt bought a car yet and their friends kids have so she feels below her friends. please do not get me started on my brother too and the harm these sought of comments have done. you are just like your father, do you think at all, you cant have an opinion because it will be a dumb one. please please please if you have nothing tangible to say just be quiet. they pick on everything you are doing wrong never what you are doing right.

    • Weezy

      October 16, 2017 at 6:49 pm

      Her mother emotionally abused her. That’s what her mother did to her. Her mother burned her clothes, spit on her and called her a witch. It’s sad that you don’t see that as abusive.

      Dear poster, ignore people like Bia.

    • HerTwoCents

      October 19, 2017 at 2:01 pm

      You clearly haven’t been in her shoes. This is not growing pains. It continues to adulthood and if you don’t move out/marry and go, you end up like rivals in the house. I thought this problem was unique to me!

      Dear Poster, I don’t have the answer you need and I don’t mean to sound preachy but remember that she is and will always be your mother, nothing can change that. Try to remember the good times, it helps a lot. She’s human and prone to mistakes. If you can’t/don’t find it in you to think positive thoughts about her, you’ll only harbour bitterness, don’t let anyone mess with your insides!

      Also accept the fact that majority of African parents will never apologise. Let that bit go. Face forward and be good. God’s got you!

  12. Oprah

    October 16, 2017 at 10:31 am

    Sweetheart, your mother is a malignant narcissist. Google it and save yourself from more pain. You will never get an apology, and it will only get worse. You need to detach emotionally and heal independently. I wish you the best.

  13. john

    October 16, 2017 at 10:50 am

    I can feel ur pain My sister but one thing I learnt earlier in life is that there is no cure for toxic people..the only prevention is to stay as far way as possible like I suspect ur elder brother is doing…some people go as far as separating themselves for atleast 5, 7 or 10 years..if u continue to live with them or stay close to them..no matter how strong u may think u are , u will fall apart gradually in the worse way possible…my advise to u , start now to plan ur life in ways that can take u away from them or atleast make u less dependable on them( emotionally or physically) bcos I can sense u still are…u can even channel that energy u use in battling ur mum or sister and talk to ur elder brother or ur dad and that includes ur plan for the future, u will be suprised on what good can come out of it… ..u talk about having a husband who can accept ur flaws bla bla bla …honestly,I don’t like that level of women entitlement..after all, it is the same thing u complain about ur mum and sister which makes it hard for u to accept thier behaviours….I would rather u work on that ur flaws ( first of all) and be a better version of yourself bcos I don’t think u understand the level of psychological damage ur mum and sister has done on u..work on that before u unknownly transfer that psychological damage on some some poor dude and ur children, friends or even ur future house helps..I see this kind of thing as a circle and it takes the grace of God and honest self -will to break that chain bcos u may think ure not ur mother or sister but unknownly their behaviour and character manifests in u from time to time…..Don’t wait for their sorry or forgiveness bcos u wont get it especially the way u want ..like in the movies…the only u thing u need in this life is to be successful in your personal endeavours and decisions and be happy in it
    …anyway , that is my own rant and apologies for the typos..u will be fine

    • Mama

      October 16, 2017 at 11:52 am

      Awww…so you can be this nice? Poster, you’re already blessed for bringing out the ‘reasonable’ side of egbon john…?

  14. jay ray

    October 16, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    I think many people can relate with your experience although I didnt have it as intense as you did. mine was also a mother-daughter issue. We butted heads from when I was as little as age 5 until I became an adult. However when I became a teenager, something changed. The more asserted myself, the more she spoke highly of me behind my back. Finally I realised that although she felt like she needed to control me and spoke a lot of harsh words to me, she was proud of me. She gradually became my best friend and today, I am grateful for my relationship with her. Please forgive your mother, keep some distance ( move out as soon as you can afford it, negative environment do no one good) and stop throwing fiery words at her. It only makes her more insecure. It is well with you, Sis. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Iya ibeji

    October 16, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Bia,its not normal or okay for a mother to call her daughter possessed or a demon. It stays with that child for a long time.
    Poster, the power to live life as the best you is in your hands. You may never be apologised too and you may, but it doesn’t automatically fix all past hurts. Forgive yourself, release yourself from expecting better, forgive them too, breathe and make better choices when it comes to friends and a spouse. Your end will be more beautiful than your beginning!

    • Iya ibeji

      October 16, 2017 at 2:50 pm

      *better from them

  16. Gem

    October 16, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    This post sure hits home.
    My mother says I’ve always been “queer” and that it seems I worsen day after day despite her constant “wise counselling and reproach”, which interestingly inspires me to write a book that would bear; “Fine Queer” as the title. One thing I know is that I do not love her. There’s no connection whatosever. When people celebrate their mothers, I go: “really??Is she all that?” in my wounded heart.

    Seeking her acceptance and love was what I did in secondary school. Now, what I do is rebel. We share different ideologies and well, she refuses to accept that because she’s an authority figure in my life does not automatically make her idiosyncracies superior. My mother hit me into timidity as a growing child, and half the time, I blamed myself for aggravating her. Not anymore.

    I remember writing letters in secondary school threatening to “run away” if the verbal, physical and emotional didnt stop. LOL. I remember her saying she would kill me and nothing would happen because she’s my mother. She’s someone that feels
    motherhood entitles her to her children’s life. I know it’s crazy but I have intentions to leave the house after my 1st dregree which I should be finishing by next year. I plan to seek psychotherapy after I’ve left. It’s going to be tough but anything is better than sharing the same roof as her. Yes, she would call me a witch too and say I need to either visit the blessed sacrament or meet a priest for deliverance.
    My mother is abusive, narcissistic, manipulative, insensitive, toxic, and I could go on and on.

    So dear poster, I can relate. Don’t be too hard on yourself, it’s not your fault if someone sees no good in you. But I’d suggest you keep a distance and break all contacts with your manipulator because the moment you say a hello on the phone to her after leaving, trust that she’d guilt-trip you for daring to liberate yourself from her toxicity. I’m sure you can afford rent, because it’s time to say a bye without looking back. If you must help her in future, I’d suggest you do that from afar and indirectly too. You have to take control of your life and eliminate ANYTHING that threatens your peace of mind. You deservr happiness. You deserve to live your success. Blood is not so thick where toxicity is concerned. Look up “Daughters of unlovinh mothers” and “toxic mothers” on goggle for a better understanding of this not-so-much talked unhealthy relationship.

    I know this would be alien to so many Nigerians to whom mothers do no wrong. “All mothers are loving” is a myth. Get that? A dangerous myth.
    I’m sorry for the epistle.

  17. Weezy

    October 16, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    I relate to this so much – my parents were not as bad, but there were a lot of times I felt like an outcast.

    Writer, your parents are not going to change.

    You need to move out and be independent. You seem like a very sensitive and expressive person,but our traditional culture is hateful towards people like you. The smartest thing you can do is limit the control your family has over you. The money you spend on makeup, spa visits and clothing for yourself and your mother is better spent on rent. It is possible in 10 years your mother will realize she was wrong + that’s what happened with my parents. But frankly Nigerian parents NEVER EVER admit their parenting style was wrong while you are dependent on them. You need to give up your expectation of an apology and instead take care of yourself. Prioritize earning enough money to live on your own or share a flat with a friend.

  18. TRUTH: Please read this is for u

    October 17, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    Wow poster, I guess I was meant to be passing this message to you as fate would have it, just a few days ago I randomly stumbled across a page on instagram @theblacksheepsurvives I went through the posts and even read the blog which is a support community for people like you who come from a family of narcassists. Yes that is a real thing and you expressed your experience so well. It is not a well known experience because most people do come from loving homes and cannot comprehend how a whole family can be so poisonous- target the most vulnerable (you in this case). This was definitely some sort of divine intervention because I do not come from a family of narcassists but for some reason i felt the need to read that page and everything you have experienced is there. REAL and not imagined. You are not the one with the problem so please do not let any negative comments here steer you away from the truth! I guess I was meant to pass this message on to you without even knowing you! I encourage you to visit the page theblacksheepsurvives and I hope you can get some support from there. It seems to me very unlikely that you will get an apology and the only way to heal is to cut contact completely with these people. I am sorry you have gone through all this but one day you will have a family of your own who you will show real love to, and who will unconditionally give it back! all the best

  19. TRUTH: Please read this is for you

    October 17, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    Hi poster, following my last post (which i hope BN approves) please log on to theblacksheepsurvives.com and everything you explain here will be understood! You come from a family of narcassists and it is important you understand the experience and believe it is not you, it is them! It is a real condition in families but not many ppl recognise it or understand it especially in our society where parents sometimes struggle to express their feelings of affection accurately and mask it with tough love in a bid to be strict. This is very different from what you are experiencing. I really hope u read this!

  20. Anonymous Jane DOE

    October 17, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    Dear Poster, i keep coming back to your story because we connect. In my case i am married now, and God used my husband to compensate me, he protects my interest and he’s a mother and father to me, though my parents are alive. I can’t talk about how my mom battered my life with low self esteem, timidity, bitterness, hatred, can’t say them all. She Is the perfectionist, always not happy, in fact few months back i told her nobody can make you happy except you do that for yourself.
    Could you believe she got offended and didn’t speak to me for months.
    But the reason i choose to write you is to let you know that you don’t need their apologies.
    Please forgive them all, the power to succeed, happy and live a good life is in your hands, has been released to you in Christ Jesus. Get the Bible Woman thou art loosed by TD Jakes it will help you spiritually, i am more confident that God will heal you emotionally as well.
    Forgiveness does not exonerate the perpetrator. Forgiveness liberates the victim. It’s a gift to give yourself. It has less to do with somebody else did as much as it does with your decision to move on with your life and not be continually victimized by rehearsing that issue or incident over and over again Quote by Bishop TD Jakes.
    Submit totally to God, when your mom wants to get on your nerves Press the Ignore button, People like this seem irredeemable.
    While i was in the University, if i tell my roommates about my mom, some doubt the story, some think she’s my step-mom that it’s impossible for someone to treat her child that bad.
    May i announce to you that God will bring you out of the pit and set you with Prince and Princesses, In the word of Bishop Td Jakes my mentor and bishop:
    a: You are Fit for the Fight
    b. Your Pain will pay you.
    c. God promised he will never leave you nor forsake you: this means physically and emotionally.
    d. The Devil knew about your glorious destiny that why he’s fighting you from your roots.
    e. But we are more that conquerors through Christ Jesus our Lord.
    f. There is Favour in your famine.
    Keep being you. Much love from a sister who feels your pain..hugs hugs hugs..

  21. OhDear

    October 17, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    My dear, your story resounds with mine. From the comments above, it is obvious a lot of young women have/had similar parental challenges, especially from the mother. Unfortunately, it is not an often discussed subject. Family ties are very strong in Africa & it’s very uncommon for one to speak out when abused by a family member. Even when you unburden on a friend, you’ll still hear the “keep it to yourself”, “Don’t show it”, “Make sure nobody hears about it”.
    Spousal abuse is getting more & more attention, especially with the advent of social media. But parental abuse? Don’t you dare go there. Many celebrities have come out to share how they were battered by their husbands, but have you ever heard someone speak about the abuse – mainly verbal – they got from their parent? It is never talked about, so some assume such doesn’t exist.
    In my case, my mother berated her girls, she only had eyes for the boys. Success should be theirs while the girls can rot. So, I endeavored to become financially independent while still living at home. When a parent doesn’t have a financial hold on you, the abuse tends to decrease. I was already planning to rent an apartment & move out, when my job moved me to another country. Over here, I bought my first car, bought a piece of land & build my own house – all this while still single. I am the most financially successful child in the family. The result is that she has more respect for me. She hasn’t changed & I doubt she ever will. But I am glad she has no power over my moods anymore. I still keep my distance – even though living in another country. My calls to her are like once in 3 months & she doesn’t care.
    My dear, your first step as others have said above is to move out of the house. Ignore African culture about a single girl living on her own. It is partly African culture that makes psychological abuse of children somewhat acceptable & a taboo subject. Let that culture & move out. Even after moving out, still maintain a distance.
    All the best.

  22. Life is funny

    October 17, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    Poverty and religion i think led to the mum behaving the way she did. Low self esteem too hence her being so badly affected by the change in their fortunes.

    One has to learn to thrive in all situations.

    Poster, may God grant you the grace to start forgiving your mum. She wont apologize to you.

    Stop demanding her love . She cant give what she doesnt have. Learn to love, live and heal from the scars of the past.
    Move with people with a better background so you can learn how not to be a bad parent.

    Wanting a guy that would love you with your flaws is good, but remember we are all fighting one battle or the other. He might have his issuea too and may not be able to deal with your expectations to be loved.

    Once negative thoughts come up, program yourself to think positive thoughts about yourself and others.

    Just as the phyical bodies can heal on their own, emotionally we can heal too.

    God be with you on your journey to healing.

  23. Theimmigrantsjourney

    October 17, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    Dear Poster,
    Your feelings are valid. Now what you do about them is what makes the difference.
    If majority of your family hate you, put you down by all means, don’t try to change them because that is not your place. Unfortunately, if you keep trying to change them, you lose so much energy that you need to channel into making yourself better day by day. It may take a lot of effort, especially when surrounded with so much negativity, but you need to first validate yourself. Surround yourself with people who are high achievers, exude positive energy. Pray for yourself, speak life and words of affirmation to yourself, You are enough. Pray.
    Being positive in the midst of all that, can be so so hard. And as much as you can, avoid the company, till you get to a certain level of strength internally. This is because the more you surround yourself with people who bring you down, the more it affects you mentally. The more defiant you are, the more someone who tries to bring you down tries harder. You are definitely not perfect but anyone who wants to mentally abuse, will aggravate even the slightest mistakes. The mind is so important. Guard it well. It will be unfortunate if the mistakes you see clearly now, are then repeated when you become a parent, or you dont choose your partner well, all this early struggles will then get worse. So look out for signs in yourself and the ones you decide to stay close to, so you choose your company carefully and your life partner very well, not as an easy escape out of all the challenges you are facing now.
    I really dont make these long comments and most times, dont comment at all, but a kind word hurts no one! I wish you all the best! And ignore those comments on here that dont help you at all!
    Take care! And remember you are enough! Work on yourself and be a better version of you! God help you! 🙂

  24. Teni

    October 29, 2017 at 10:53 pm

    @poster: You sound just like me. I went through something very similar but I didn’t grow till I got married. I wish I knew then what I know now. My mum is like your mum but the quiet version. She shut me out the moment she felt I was no longer “got for the Lord”. My dear, the depression…. The man I married is another kettle of Fish.
    I NEEDED my mum for so long. But she was NEVER available. I am free today because I was able to remove myself emotionally from her and see her as her own person. She’s my mum but I’m not bonded with her. I don’t NEED her approval. Second, I had to FORGIVE her. And my whole family and myself for being so slow! Lol! But overall, I’m a happier person. She can see it too and is trying to draw closer to me.
    Wish you all the best! Just take it one baby step at a time! Let her go and FORGIVE her. Do same for your entire family!

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