Therapy Sesssion: My “Abusive” Mother

Therapy Sesssion: My “Abusive” Mother

Sunday, October 24, 2021 7:09 pm

Johnson Babalola

By Johnson Babalola  

“Good morning Mr. Ironu and how are you today?”

“Very well Ms. Sopotimi. How are you?”

“I am good and how can we assist you?”

“My wife asked me to see you to talk through some issues”

“And what might those issues be?”

“Abuses from my mother for years”

“Hmmnnn … since when?”

“Since when I was a kid”

“Tell me about what you recall”

“I recall her forcing me to attend primary school when I was only six years old despite my protests”

“You protested?”

“I did. I was not ready”

“What made you think you were not ready at the time?”

“I only wanted to eat and play in the neighbourhood, but she made me attend and forced me to study. She kept reminding me of the importance of education”

“So, you were not allowed to have fun, right?”

“She allowed me to play soccer, attend birthday parties, relate with my friends and so on but only after I had finished my homework”

“And you found those abusive”

“Yes. She did the same all through my secondary and university schooling lives”

“What do you mean?”

“She was always on my case. Asking how I was doing in school. She would ask me to remember I was a role model to my siblings and others. She would meet with my teachers to ask about my progress”

“You also found those abusive”

“Very. That was a lot of pressure on me. In addition, she would remind me that she was a single parent who had sacrificed a lot for me and that all she wanted from me in return was to do well in life”

“And that was abusive”

“Very abusive. I just wanted to have fun. It was emotionally draining for me. She wanted to know who my friends were. She kept reminding me to stay away from criminal minded people”

“And you found that abusive”

“Very. What happened to freedom of association? She would speak at length to me about staying away from the use of illicit drugs”

“And you found that abusive?”

“Very abusive. What happened to freedom of choice? Imagine, she would speak for several minutes on a regular basis to me, often late at night or early in the morning about the importance of being a good citizen with positive characters”

“And you found that abusive.”

“Very abusive. She deprived me of my sleep. Not just that, she would often remind me to treat others well and live a life of integrity”

“She said all these?”

“She did and many more. She would speak with my friends, cook for them and remind them of living a life of truth, focus, financial discipline, contentment and positivity”

“And you found that abusive?”

“Yes. She should not have been involved in their personal lives. In fact, most of them are very successful individuals today, and they talk about my mum all the time”

“And you found that abusive?”

“Sure. Each time they talk about my mom, I am reminded of the abuses I went through. She even got involved with my choice of a future spouse. She would question each potential spouse I brought home. Today, I am at peace in my home. My wife and I have raised beautiful children. We support one another. But then, each time I look into the eyes of my wife, I am reminded that my mom got involved in my choice of her as a spouse.”

“And you found that abusive.”

“Again, yes. I talk about the abuses from time to time with my wife, and she asked me to see you for counselling”

“You have raised serious issues and we can start with weekly counselling sessions that will last for seven weeks. We will review where we are thereafter. What do you do?”

“I run one of the most successful businesses in my country. Part of the abuse I suffered from my mom was that she suggested the business idea to me because she said she saw a gap in that sector”

“What else are you known for?”

“I am a mentor to many, philanthropist, teacher, community leader, a husband and father”

“Are you happy?”

“I am very happy except when I am reminded of the abuses I suffered in the hands of my mother”

“I’ll like you to bring her to the next session so that we can start addressing those issues with you both”

“That is the problem. She cannot make it”

“Why not?”

“She is dead. She died soon after I got married in a car accident returning home from my wedding”

“I am sorry. So, she did not see you …….?”

“She did not … but I cannot stop thinking and talking about her”

“Hmmnnnn …. Just say thank you mom, each time you think about her”

“Thank you, mom. Thank you for the ‘abuses!”

*Johnson Babalola LL.B, Group Managing Partner, TOPMARKÉ ATTORNEYS, LLP. @jbdlaw

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