I am a 27 year old Economics graduate from Delta State University, Abraka. I finished service in 2010 and worked for a while in a secondary school in Enugu where I served but in 2011, I decided to relocate to Lagos to look for a better job.
Since both my parents are in Delta State, I was very happy when my newly married aunt offered to house me. I thought everything will be fine as she's my mother's youngest sister with only a few years between us while my mom is the first child of 7 children.
At first everything was perfect, just the way I thought it would be. I started job hunting and eventually I got a small job while my aunt had her first child.
Since the child came, she treats me worse than a maid. She ordered me to move into the maid's quarters as she doesn't know when she'll be ready to set up my room for her daughter. She said that's the original plan and she can't let me destroy her dreams for her baby.
She used to have a maid, unfortunately, the maid couldn't handle the treatment being meted on her, so she left. Now, I have practically become the maid at home.
She expects me to clean the house, wash the baby's clothes, bath the baby, make the family breakfast and lunch, sterilize the baby's feeding utensils and whatever chores there could be in the house before rushing out at 6am. We stay on the mainland while I work in VI, so I always have to go early to catch a bus to Obalende.
No matter what time I return in the evening, be rest assured that there'll be no dinner until I prepare it. In short, she gets angry if I come in late. She also expects me to serve the food and and knock at her door to inform her that the table is set.
All these things are driving me crazy as I don't even have a life of my own anymore. I dare not say I'm going out on a Saturday or Sunday. She always has one thing or the other for me to do. It's either I have to go to the market to shop, wash their clothes or accompany her to one of her friends' babies' parties to babysit the child. Truth is I'm so so tired. I wake up at 4am and sleep at 11pm just to meet up with her expectations. I always feel sleep deprived these days.
The newest one now is that she has become physically abusive. The last time she asked how the last vegetable soup I made got finished so quickly, she slapped me across the face even before I could answer. She has always been verbally very abusive and I'd always taken it with the mind that it can't cut deeper than the flesh. Now, it's getting to me really bad. I'm afraid I'll react one day and she'll throw me out on the streets.
I really can't talk to my mother about this because there's absolutely nothing she can do except to feel really hurt and maybe cause a strife between them.
I can't move out because my salary is only N60k and I'm trying to save up for a masters' degree program. I also send 7k to my parents every month and can barely survive on the rest, so getting my own apartment does not even come up in the picture.
I've been searching for a better job but yet to find anything good enough.
What I face at home is beginning to affect my productivity at work and I'm afraid that I could even lose my job if this continues.
A problem shared is a problem half solved.
This is a real story of a young woman whom I know personally crying out for help. Please feel free to offer your candid advice and also share your own personal experiences here if you've ever passed through this kind of situation. Maybe that could give her an idea of what to do.
For the purpose of this post, she'll use Bella as her name. That's not her real name, she'll rather not put her real name here. I've told her to come back here often to check and respond personally to your posts.