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PAGE 20 — SUNDAY Vanguard,APRIL 8, 2018 08056180152, SMS only Mothers who have toxic relationship with their daughters WHILE arguments between mothers and daughters are normal, especially during the teenage years, most mothers are eager to understand and meet their child’s needs. However, in 20 per cent of cases, something very different happens. Most ‘Mother’s Day’, daughters are eager not only to buy ‘To the best mum ever’ cards, they plaster their wa1ls on socia1 media with how wonderful their mothers are. “But spare a thought for those women who will have struggled to buy a card bearing any endearing messages for their mums,” says Abigail sadly. She gave a heart-wrenching account of having a mother who was cruel and indifferent towards her. She recalled how her mother often said she wished she’d ca1led her ‘Devil’ because she’d never given her a ‘moment of pleasure.’ According to her: “As a child, my mother banned me from reading the books I loved. One day, without warning, she gave away my beloved puppy given to me by a cousin because the poor thing was fouling up the house. She criticised my friends and boyfriend, and when I became pregnant, she said she hoped the baby would be like me so I would understand what she’d had to put up with. “My mother was never violent, but she would occasiona1ly dispense ‘welldeserved’ spankings across my legs and I a1so remember the pain when she yanked my tightly plaited hair hard - she could be cutting, cruel and relentlessly critica1. Over the years, in the course of my profession as a psychologist, many of my clients have described how a toxic relationship with their mother had permeated through their lives. Many of them were children of mothers who rea1ly didn’t see themselves as having a choice in the matter. A generation or two ago, it was assumed that a woman would marry and have children. To choose not to was seen as peculiar, condemning those mavericks to a life of suspicion where society viewed them as something of an oddity. Continues Abigail: “I know only too well that the impact of growing up with a woman like my mum - what 1 term a ‘difficult’ mother - lasts beyond childhood. My mother’s violent and unpredictable outbursts continued until her death from cancer when 1 was in my early 20s. I was terrified that we’d be estranged when she died; and rang her every day during her last illness. Despite this filial devotion I never did feel that I had managed to please her. My legacy was a long shadow of self-suspicion, what some might call low self-esteem. I can be sensitive to criticism, don’t expect people to find me likeable and feel it’s my role to placate others. “However, it’s thanks to my mother that I began my career as a psychologist, a subject I pursued because I wanted to understand why people behave the way they do. And after decades of observing family dynamics, I estimate about one in five mothers has a toxic relationship with her daughter.” She then identified five types of difficult mothers: Controlling, angry, narcissistic, envious and emotionally unavailable - though most difficult mothers may display all traits to a greater or lesser degree. “The controlling mother’s need to control a child is more important than a child’s need to discover its own preferences and thoughts. The underlying message is that a child’s choices and desires are bad, defective or dangerous. For instance, one of my clients recalled how her mother wanted control over her social life. “My mother never wanted me to go anywhere without her or have friends of my own.” She said “Any friend was a ‘bad’ influence and wasn’t allowed to the house. She always told me that no one would want to marry me as apparently I was sulky and not good looking. If I put on makeup, she would say: ‘Who do you think is going to look at you?’ “The narcissist mother is totally self-involved. Narcissism is often used to describe a big ego, but in psychological terms, a narcissist has a very fragile ego and needs constant reassurance. This mother demands adoration and compliance. This was certainly my experience. My mother was an ambitions and successful chartered accountant - yet very insecure. Eventually I learned the secret to handling her was to constantly remind her how brilliant and accomplished she was, that her outstanding talents weren’t being recognised by others. My older sister refused to play this game and they were enstranged when my mother died. “An envious mother resents her child’s positive development. She betrays the most basic terms of the parentchild emotional contract, which is to take pleasure in seeing her child thrive. Since envy is one of the most unpleasant feelings in the human register of emotions, both for the person who envies and for the person who is envied, an envious mother is almost always unaware of her envy. She disguises it from herself with a range of other explanations for her displeasure: ‘You think too much of yourself,’ she accused or ‘Your hopes are too high: you’re headed for disappointment.’ “It’s confusing to a child when she offers her achievements as a gift to her mother, and then finds that these threaten or offend her. If I talked about having done well in tests at school, my mother told me I was boasting, and if I produced any artwork at home, I was told not to show off. Nothing of mine was kept or displayed. Later, when I began to take an interest in my appearance, she would ask me: ‘Who do you think is going to look at you?’ Any blossoming self-confidence was always firmly squashed.” The million-dollar question is; why are some mothers like this? According to Abigail: “Psychologists used to think that mothers were innately jealous of their daughters’ youth and beauty, a constant reminder of their own fading bloom, but this theory has been debunked. For some, the reasons will be circumstantial. Many of the mothers were born in the Forties and Fifties. Their mothers had endured the stress and privations of the war years. Some had made hasty marriages. It was also a time when women were expected to focus their lives on the home, to set aside personal ambitions to bring up families - though this was not the case for my mother, who was able to make success of her career. One of the fears of growing up with a difficult mother is that you will be one yourself. Only I discovered parenthood to be about wanting the very best for your children, which was so different from my mother’s attitude. And having the insight to acknowledge what your mother is like is often enough to break the cycle. It can make you a particularly responsive and loving parent.” Colours of Your Love Y OUR column to express your loving thoughts in words to your sweetheart. Don’t be shy. Let it flow and let him or her know how dearly you feel. Write now in not more than 75 words to: The Editor, Sunday Vanguard, P.M.B. 1007, Apapa, Lagos. E.mail: Please mark your envelope: “LOVE NOTES" I relish the rainbow In the bare sky more By peering down On your glossy visage. Your chromatic smile Is the path that leads To your lovehead, Then all the way to the rainbow. I see the rainbow in your smile, I see your smile in your lovehead, I see your lovehead in the rainbow. Kingsley Alumona 08030872649 Don't be tired of her While it takes time to study her, you should not feel discouraged. Make sure you are tired of her. There is a way capture her fancy by showing her love which would give her some hope that you trully love and care about her. Keep letting her know that you are in love with her and that she will be your one and only love. Michael Adedotun Oke 08027142077

SUNDAY VANGUARD, APRIL 8, 2018, PAGE 21 KOGI: KILLINGS LIKE NEVER BEFORE Our children, women, elders were butchered like rams – Survivor •Heart-breaking story: Schoolboy clubbed to death after telling suspected herdsmen he wanted to become a doctor •Monarch murdered, queen saved by ‘fingers of God’ BY BOLUWAJI OBAHOPO, LOKOJA It is close to one month since the people of Oganenigwu, Agbenema and Ojuwo- Ajomayegbi in Kogi East fled their communities following attacks by suspected herdsmen which left no fewer than 50 dead. When the people would return home despite government’s deployment of special forces to the communities remains uncertain. The victims, who make a living from farm produce, are gripped by fear of hunger occasioned by their inability to harvest their crops, most of which are believed to have been destroyed by herders who have taken over their farmlands. When Sunday Vanguard visited Oganenigwu in Dekina local government area of the state and Ojuwo-Ajomaigbi in Bassa local government area, they had virtually become ghost communities. The residents were said to have fled to neighbouring Anyigba, Etutekpe and Ikpakpala and Ologba in Dekina local government area and Ikende in Bassa local government. The survivors still think they are in a dream and praying they wake up soon. Of the attacks on the communities, that of Oganenigwu was overwhelming. It was there a family of seven was wiped out in the morning. While the community thought that was the end of the massacre, the assailants returned to launch another attack in the night. A total of seventeen persons were dead. The attackers, said to be numbering over 500, had arrived in boats that morning of Wednesday at Oganenigwu and opened fire on the people. The attackers later set fire to the residents’ homes. A resident said the attack might not be unconnected with a 2015 disagreement that led to the death of four herdsmen and unspecified number of cows. He narrated how the herdsmen used to undermine the natives by feeding their animals with their farm produce. There were even allegations that the The dead could not be buried until three days after the attack even as four bodies were said to have been buried in one grave due to lack of energy to dig separate graves herders were fond of harvesting the villagers’ cashew nuts, which they took to market for sale, until the natives started asking how they came about the nuts when they didn’t own any plantation. It was gathered that this was what caused the crisis in 2015, leading to the death of four herdsmen in Oganenigwu. The fear of a reprisal attack in the areas affected the 2015 governorship *Above: Salifu, nephew of murdered monarch. Below: One of the communities after the attacks election, as people in some wards did not come out to vote. This was one of the reasons given for the supplementary election in the 2015 governorship election that created the opportunity for the All Progressives Congress, APC, to ‘impose’ Governor Yahaya Bello on Kogi after the death of its standard bearer, Prince Abubakar Audu. Gory stories The survivors told Sunday Vanguard gory stories. Aside the slaughtering of those that could not be killed with gun, the invaders, some recounted, looted the community and carted away not fewer than 47 motorcycles belonging to residents, foodstuff, while destroying farms, especially cashew plantations. And because of the incident, women and children had to be moved to safe locations. The dead could not be buried until three days after the attack even as four bodies were said to have been buried in one grave due to lack of energy to dig separate graves. Ojuwo – Ajomayegbi, on its part, is a remote community located on a hill, with undulating topography and alluring vegetation. It is a fertile land suitable for crop farming which may have been the attraction for settlement. It has an estimated population of 1, 000 inhabitants. It is about ten kilometres to Oganenigu. The main means of transportation is by motorcycle - which is not readily available. Ojuwo-Ajomayeigbe had been in conflict for many years with herdsmen. Continues on page 22