albatross around one's neck
Originated from an old maritime tale that killing an albatross brings bad luck and subsequently wrapping it around the killer's neck signifies the curse. Nowadays, people more often refer to the latter (the punishment) as the cause of the bad luck rather than the former.
- (idiomatic) Something that one is associated with that keeps one from succeeding in what they want to achieve.
- He bought the properties last year hoping to make a profit out of reselling them; however, with the economic downturn, they have now become an albatross around his neck.