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Can a mother be this wicked?
Dear Taiwo,

Please, help me out. I am going crazy because of the way my mother has been meddling with my affairs. It has got to a stage that I cannot take it any longer. The funniest and most painful thing is that those who are supposed to understand my actions are the ones nailing me.

I celebrated my 30th birthday in January, and I want to believe that I should be able to handle my affairs myself. My travails started when I was in 200 level in a state university. My mother, a successful textile businesswoman asked me to come home from school for the weekend. It wasn’t a strange request.

However, when I arrived, I met her at the shop, I had no cause to feel anything was wrong, until when we got home and I realised that her friend who was in the shop with her came home with us.

After dinner, she introduced her to me as her childhood friend who resided in the Northern part of the country. Her mission in the South West; however was to look for a wife for her only son who lived in England.

My mother then informed me that both of them had spoken and decided that I should marry her friend’s son. She went ahead to inform me that plans would start the following week to get me a passport so I could join my mother’s friend’s son (Ahmed) in England as soon as possible. To say I was shocked, was putting it mildly. She showed me Ahmed’s photograph and assured me that I would love him. His mother also spoke with me, but I was still dazed and shocked to utter any word.

Both mothers advised that I stayed back on Monday to begin the process of obtaining my international passport. This was the beginning of my travails because, eventually, I had to drop out of school in my 200 level to face the processing of getting a visa to UK which sadly I never got till date.

Along the line, a formal introduction and engagement was organised, but Ahmed was absent, his immediate junior brother stood in for him. I kept praying that things would work out, but I really do not know why all these happened to me.

After waiting for almost three years, I realised that the overseas trip would not materialise. I then told my mother that I would like to go back to school, but she refused.

She claimed that if I went back to school, there would be temptation for me to date other guys and I realised that her major fear was my boyfriend who I was forced to abandon for my mother’s arranged marriage.

So instead of allowing me to go back to school, she gave up one of her shops for me to manage. Instead of respite , it fuelled a quarrel between my siblings and I.

I am the third daughter she had for my father and two others, (a boy and a girl) for another man. My elder sisters did not like the idea that she gave the shop to me and I had to contend with this too.

This, however, did not create much problem, but the fact that my life is grounded.

Although, Ahmed was always nice whenever we spoke on phone and he tried to make me believe that everything would be okay, but I never understood the reason my visa application was rejected all the time I tried to apply

My major problem however, started three months ago when Ahmed stopped speaking with me on phone.

I have never seen him before and the funniest thing was that despite the fact that I was unable to get a visa to the UK to meet my betrothed husband, his mother and two other siblings visited him and came home with news and gifts for me. There and then, Ahmed stopped calling me and if I called him, he wouldn’t reply nor call back. I sent him several text messages, e-mails and even messages on the facebook without any reply. I noticed that for a long time he was not available on-line for chat even on facebook. Whenever I asked his mother what was happening, she would tell me that all was well. One of his siblings however told me that he had some problems with the immigration office. I raised this with my mother, she told me the problem he had was not something that could not be sorted out, and in fact she told me that she spoke with Ahmed several times.

I wondered why Ahmed would speak with my mother and his own people and not me. I made sure I told my mother all these and whenever I did, she would ask me to be patient.

I also learnt that his mother travelled to England to stay with him for over six months, I kept wondering why my visa application was not granted while others had theirs.

When I called my mother’s attention to all the information I got concerning Ahmed and his people, she told me to be patient and face my business, she said she wasn’t ready to lose all she has spent trying to get me a visa and other travelling documents if I refused to marry Ahmed. I was shocked when she told me this. Because I thought my happiness should matter to her and not the money she had spent, because this wasn’t my making. She disrupted my life by pulling me out of school and rendering me useless.

I discussed this issue with my elder sister, who happens to be my confidant and she told me to do whatever I know would make me happy. She made me realise that she wasn’t in support of my mother from the outset and that was why she did not intervene all along.

She also told me that my mother and Ahmed’s went into this partnership because my mother owed Ahmed’s mother some money and the arranged marriage was a way of pleasing her. Hearing this made me unhappy and I did not want to confront my mother because of the source of the information.

Consequently, I wanted a way out, but I did not know what to do or how to go about it because I had lost all my contacts, friends.

I feel inferior whenever I saw any of my friends. Another problem I had to contend with was that of funds. Despite the fact that my mother gave me one of her outlets, I never had a free hand, I had to report every transaction to her and all she does was pay my salary. Although that was not our initial agreement, but as time went on this began to happen.

It was also about this time that my mates came back from the service year. Learning about this compounded my problems.

Way back in school, I was dating a guy who worked in one of the new generation banks in town then. We had a good relationship; I was not given enough time to explain the situation of things to him when I left school abruptly. All the while that he called I told him a lot of lies to cover up for what happened to me. In fact, at a time I lied to him that I had travelled out of the country.

When I was going through all these, a friend of mine who was my coursemate stood with me and tried to help me several times by taking me to see her pastor. She remains the source where I get all information about our other friends.

Few days after her service, she called to inform me that she would be coming on a visit with a guest. She did not tell me who the guest was and I didn’t ask her because the last person I was expecting to see with her was Kolade, the guy I dated in school.

Apparently, Kolade travelled to the US not long after I stopped seeing him. They met few days after he came into the country. Naturally, they spoke about me and I guess she told him all I was going through.

He did not hesitate to ask her to bring him to me. When I saw him, I felt bad, but he told me not to worry. Kolade said my friend told him all that happened to me and he said he was willing to have me back if I would not mind and that if it would be possible for us to get married before he leaves the country because this would easily facilitate my travelling documents.

My mother however would not hear of this, she opposed every step I took and threatened to disown me if I disobeyed her. We were on this when I learnt that Ahmed’s mother returned from another trip to the UK where she went to take care of her grandchild. I wouldn’t have been too enraged if the baby was a half-caste, but the baby was mothered by another Yoruba lady. This time, I did not inform my mother before going to see Ahmed’s mother. I gave her a piece of my mind.

Could you believe that Ahmed called me that day? He pleaded with me to give him some time to explain and make it up to me. I played along, but I knew that it was over between us.

My problem however, is my mother; I don’t know why she is insisting that my life be destroyed.

She has vowed to make me miserable and her hostility towards Kolade is frightening.

Please, what can I do? Help me.

Binta, Ibadan.


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