Tie Your Mother Down
Kofi Fosu Forson
Earliest memory of my mother and me is that of my 4th birthday party where my younger brother and me both of us sharing our birthday in the month of May were surrounded by a cast of people including distant family members and friends.
My mother's name Eva is somehow derivative of the Biblical Eve. At least I see it as so. She is stark in her beauty. Somewhat of a threat juxtaposed her brilliance and intellect.
Much of these memories also include time spent alone with her whether going to church or driving to market in her red Datsun. She was always mother. I felt her as nurturing and available to my emotional needs and that of shelter.
Having moved from Ghana to America to be with my father our relationship took on different proportions whereby she was torn between finding a career, rekindling her role as mother of four sons and being a wife to my father.
Soon enough complications began concerning peer pressure from those I went to school and that of societal pressures emerging from pop culture and cable television. My father was frail in assuming a leading role. He was a demonic figure in the eyes of my friends. My mother was the one who embraced most of my classmates.
Sex on cable television during the early 80's was very visible. I slipped into the living room when my parents went to bed to watch shows like Interludes After Midnight and Ugly George. My mother serendipitously walked in on me one evening. That moment and catching me with an adult magazine and chastising me affected my sexual growth.
Independent of the rest of the family my mother and I had a torturous relationship where we fought. Our dueling egos usually ended in conflict and argument where we fought or she scolded me. Ironically I was always turned on sexually after we fought. In order to relieve this stress I would have to go to her and faun on her where I would apologize and accept blame.
Soon enough I gained an important role in her church as a regular reader and participant in functions. The church members embraced me as her son. They were used to seeing me at church every Sunday.
During my last year in high-school I had an emotional breakdown. I was diagnosed with depression. After weeks of not knowing what was happening to me and knowing I was loosing my mind I went to my mother for help. She said they didn't believe in psychiatrists and left me with no hope. I wanted to and could have killed myself that night but I didn't. I bravely went to school the next day and a teacher brought me to his office and started me on a life long series of therapy sessions. I look back now on it in pain and indeed realize my mother was a savior.
During these moments when my mother and me would sit and commiserate I gained a friendship but at the same time I became a sponge for her emotional dissatisfaction with my father. Our relationship became almost romantic as some people thought we were a married couple. I woke up in the morning to drink tea with my mother. The conversations we had were legendary. They have encouraged a sense of talk and conversation in me as professional.
In retrospect the circumstances surrounding my relationship with my mother was certainly that of love. There was a sense of neurosis perhaps oedipal. In a way our egos clashed as a form of attraction, empathy and strange lust.