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 guys. This is a bit long, please bare with me.
How do I restart my life? I am a 30 year old female. May 2018 will make it a year that I have been in Nigeria since I got back from the UK. I have a degree and masters in Accounting. I am ACCA part qualified. I have applied to over 700 jobs. No luck. My account balance at the moment is N10,980.
I never wanted to go to the UK. It was all my dad’s idea. Even when I had job opportunities he made me forego them for my postgraduate studies. He was management level staff with a first generation bank and he had highly placed friends and a strong network before he retired. Along the line, he married a younger woman (4th wife) who has been a liability to him and he abruptly stopped sending me any money. Unfortunately I was diagnosed with a chronic illness and I had a couple of surgical procedures. I had to combine this with studying and working in a warehouse. I almost ran mad. For the first time in my life, I needed to see a psychiatrist. I scraped a few hundred pounds before coming and I used it for businesses that made huge net losses. I can bake, I sold clothes, I sold food at tradeshows. All losses.
My dad’s new wife is vile. A divorcee with 2 kids. She’s very razz and local. My dad went and caught HIV a few years back and he’s at the mercy of this woman. She turned me to her housegirl. Even when her kids (18 and 23) are around I will cook and wash plate for all of them. She will wake me up to go and buy matches. She’s a housewife who has an OND. She does nothing. Nada. TV from morning to night. She told me that I don’t sound like somebody who studied in the UK, that she was expecting me to return with an accent. This woman can’t say one sentence without bullets. Let me tell you how vile she is: one time my dad fell terribly ill due to some antiretroviral ish. She called my sister and I to tell us that if we don’t get married now that he is alive, our wedding will be boring because his highly placed friends won’t attend.
My dad is the bread winner of his extended family. He’s answerable to no one. Around August last year, I had malaria with a cold. She didn’t add my food when she made breakfast. I (intentionally) went and ate my father’s food that she kept for him and that’s how my own father told me to leave the house. I have a male cousin who was nice enough to accommodate me and I have been with him for some months now.
You may be asking if I have siblings. How about my mother? They think I am entitled. I have never asked for 1 naira from them since I got back so I am confused. My mum is verbally abusive. She once told me that if I die, she won’t miss me. It was for something very trivial oh. She’s difficult to live with and has recently started displaying serious Munchausen syndrome, which has complicated this wahala a lot more. I have learned to live with it but I try to stay away from her as much as I can. Too much negativity. She’s a chronic complainer. We went for her brother’s burial recently and she was complaining about the meat they gave her. She complained about about how they put stew on her efo riro. She complained that they gave her tea with caffeine. People that were mourning oh. Anyway, She has been nice enough to send me 10k every month. She retired well and I am the last born of her own 3 children. Her pension is 200k. She has a business and rental properties. I have never asked for more. She will even give me money to go and deposit for her relatives. My older sister is gainfully employed. I won’t go into details because honestly I’m not feeling entitled to anything. She works with a multinational oil company. She told me that I have longerthroat, I should have been contented with the little food at home. I don’t expect her to give me anything but at least little emotional support na, abi?. She said I’m doing as if I am the only person suffering. I wrote a professional exam recently and failed. I sold my gold to pay for that exam. She called recently to ask how the results were. I told her I didn’t pass. Her reply was that I don’t feel sober and sad for someone who just failed an exam. She also called my mum to tell her I failed an exam and I was not sad when I told her I failed. Something I paid for myself and oh, in case you’re wondering, I was not asking her for money.
Bellanaijarians, how do I restart my life? My father doesn’t know where I am. Except if my sister told him. I want to cut off my family. I have stopped picking phone calls, I will go cold turkey soon. My eldest brother is autistic. He’s the only one I like in that house. My dad stopped paying his fees long ago. That he’s wasting his money. I tried to learn client side programming languages, my laptop has packed up. Suicide has crossed my mind several times. I know ways that I can lower my blood pressure till my heart stops. I have researched suicide methods. My cousin I stay with is a widower who is in debt from his late wife’s illness and funeral costs. I am just grateful he gave me a roof over my head. I can’t ask him for anything again. This is a cry for help! My life is a huge mess. I want a job. Internship, graduate roles, whatever is available. I went to my cousin’s tailor to ask how much he charges for an apprenticeship. N30,000. My head is full of disgusting nonsense and terrible things. Should I start exercising? I heard it helps with depression. Are you a therapist in Abuja who can give me pro bono sessions? Do you have a vacancy at your place of work? How do I restart my whole life?
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