365 days. 525,600 minutes. It seems as though it has been quite a while but here we are at the end of another year.
For most people, the end of the year comes with a lot of merriment – events to attend, parties to host and celebrations to look forward to – but for others, it comes with a fear of what the next year might hold.
The latter are people who spend most of the time they have at the end of the year reflecting on their achievements and counting their losses.
I am one of the many who likes to reflect, but I hardly ever nurse the fear for the future (I have always had implicit faith in God and He has never disappointed me), instead I set targets for my next year after the reflection, as well as drafting a budget.
Sure, 2018 was a super dramatic year for me, one where my social life survived a number of trials and errors,
I revamped my work life and moved some continents away from home. Oh, yes… I can’t brush off the fact that my career path is still a little grey; I do not have the kind of income/savings I desire, I am still single and still trying to find ‘the one’, and more… but in all, I remain grateful to God.
Why can’t I write this down in a journal?
Is this a sign that my end-of-year ritual might not be the way to go this year? Is there a better way to mark the end of a year?
I really doubt it.
In the quest to rev up my own motivation, I have decided to, maybe, consider how other people are getting on with wrapping up their year.
Epilogues were helpful, and pictures/videos of people celebrating were uplifting, but then, I came across a particular story.
A 300-level student of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, ended her year by committing suicide.
She reportedly drank a poisonous after updating her Whatsapp stories with the messages:
“I love y’all” and “Rest girl…you need to rest.”
She also left a very detailed letter blaming her parents for her death, especially her mom for tagging her a witch.
Part of her letter read:
“… If I am no more, please hold my family, especially my mum and dad, responsible. I have tried to be the best I can be,
Stayed away from them just because they blame me for their mistakes and they can’t love, help and take care of me like their own.
My mum has made life a living hell for me only because she is bipolar and frustrated. Accusing me of being a witch, trying to bill her and being a cursed child even though my brother is responsible for my education and upkeep.
The only thing she helps me with is my feeding money. I have gone out of my way to take care of my mum by giving her food and money but I still end up being her problems.
My brother can’t stick to his promise anymore because he feels I am not his responsibility and I have my own family.
I hope and believe that now that I am gone, It will bring them relief and happiness. …”
The comment section on the post where her story was announced had several comments from young people who share their frustrations with their parents and empathizing with the deceased and it got me asking: Why?
Why would any parent decide to have children if they are not psychological, financially, spiritually and mentally ready?
Why subject a child to emotional torture to the point where she feels hopeless enough to kill herself?
A number of people blamed the girl for not being strong enough and even for being narcissistic, but there is no basis to even judge her.
Throughout the year, there have been incidents of children committing suicide, drinking bleach/sniper, maiming themselves and committing crimes as a result of some ill-treatment from their parents.
It may seem like a negligible number compared to other topics that have been reported in the news, but there is no denying the fact that a great number of Nigerian parents are sending their children into depression!
Sure, a number of them became parents as a result of ‘unplanned circumstances’ or the expectation of the society that everyone must get married and have children at a certain age, but I don’t think that is reason enough to project their frustrations and dissatisfaction with life onto their young ones.
Nigerian parents should be mindful of their behavior and not push their children too far, as their actions may lead to unintended consequences, as witnessed in the case of the young lady.
May her soul rest in peace, Amen!