When Gloria read Mama Ken’s story here and how she spied on her son, she called me .
“Is it a true story, Mam Lipsete? ” She asked. ” I would not imagine that my son Shane could do something like that.”
She was worried though because like Ken, Shane loved a private life in his closed bedroom. He insisted that he liked locking his door because his small sister always burged in when he was studying or sometimes when he was dressing.
Well, I encouraged her to do as Mama Ken did:spy. Gloria was hesitant. She was afraid of what would be revealed. Her instincts told her Shane was hiding something. He needed her help. She tried calling him to private talks severally.
“Ever since your father passed on, you are not yourself any more. You are quiet, introverted and even mean to your small sister.” She would say.
“Mum! I am ok. It pains when I think of dad. Don’t remind me all the time about him, ok?” He snapped and went to his bedroom, taking his dinner with him leaving Sue, his small sister sadly staring at his fading back.
“Mum, we all miss dad. But Shane misses him most. He is always in the bedroom. I put my ear near his door one day and heard him making cry noises.” Her seven year old daughter told her mother.
Shane was waiting for university admission. He had a B but a B was not Shane’s grade. He would have scored an A. His teachers had said. He was a good performer in academics but things had changed in form 2.
When Shane’s father died of prostrate cancer, he buried him courageously, like a soldier burying another. He had held his sister and mother’s hands throughout the funeral day. His father’s last words kept echoing in his mind.
“The mantle is now yours my son, take care of your mum and sister.”
Shane did not know the weight of the responsibility handed to him until he went back to school. He was constantly worried about the women in his life back at home. He tried to sink in his books but the load he was supposed to carry felt too heavy. When he went home, he rarely spoke to them. He felt as if he had failed his father.
Hence oblivious of this ‘failure’ feeling , Gloria decided to find out why Shane prefered to stay alone. Only a few friends came to visit him but he would often make them feel as if they should not have passed by. This was far from the welcoming, humorous and chatty lad that Shane had once been.
She bought a camera and secretly bugged his room. She had to sent him to the shop for him to leave his bedroom. The bedroom was neatly arranged. Everything at its place. Gloria sniffed keenly for any sign of bhang or a stronger drug but the open windows let in fresh breeze.
That evening , Gloria went to bed early. Fortunately , Sue was an early sleeper so Gloria had ample time to watch her son’s activities through her laptop. She was ready to see an activity like sneaking out of the window or picking some hidden cigarettes from a hiding spot and smoking on them like a chimney. But No! Gloria was in for a rude shock.
Shane took out his laptop and switched it on. She gasped at the internet site he opened. The camera was strategically facing Shane’s back. She could not see his face but she could clearly see what he was watching. He was not for any softcore pornography. He went for the hardest core. Gloria thought of waking up and going to knock on his door but her instincts urged her to stay on.
When he had absorbed enough movies in his head, he shut down his laptop. She thought he was about to lay down to sleep but another impolite shock slapped her. Shane pulled down his trousers and fondled his genitals. Gloria could not take it any more. She shut down her own laptop in disgust.
She knew her son was masturbating to all the pornographic videos he had watched for two hours. She prayed and weeped at the fear that she had lost her son. She understood the cry noises that his sister had told her about. She could now tell why he took very long showers . She had always wondered why Vaseline in that house disappeared only for an empty container to be seen in the dustbin days later. She could now make out why he liked to lock his door.
After sleeping just a wink that night, Gloria woke up with a goal to seek help. She did not want to look at her son’s face when he came to sit for breakfast. She knew though, a counsellor was needed. She was not wealthy but she was willing to pay whatever amount to a qualified and experienced counsellor to help her son get rid of the wicked addiction.
When she finally received contacts of a recommended counsellor by a friend , she eagerly called. The counsellor was not shocked, he had seen it all. He assured her the counselling sessions would be helpful to the young boy. He guessed the addiction must have been connected to his father’s death. He should have been counselled after the death of his father. Teenagers are not that strong to handle such severe traumas and move on with life swiftly. They sometimes project through such ways as masturbation and pornography-watching. Others start drinking or smoking while others become violent.
Gloria has told her story because she wants other parents to learn. She knows it is never too late to correct a misdeed. She is sure her son will stop the bad vice and be the amiable son he once was. She will give him all the support he needs.