This is part of a conversation that I found to be most interesting:
How should we relate to our parents? Honor and respect aside. Do we owe them like my mother said; for raising us? The following may give some of you pause for thought.
'Not sure what you mean when you say 'the codes' but me and my mom are like a never ending story. A therapist friend once told me, as I was describing my relationship with my mom, that it was crazy-making because I was running on two separate realities: on the surface, mom was dedicated, and put us at the center of her life. But we had to walk a very fine line not to be in her shithouse. I knew how to walk that line and got a lot of surface approval, but felt a TON of internalized disapproval, because it was really negative conditioning ("don't do this or mom will..."). I got good grades in school and was self-sufficient as a kid (read constantly, didn't cause too much trouble) but as I became a teenager, attempts to express myself as I pleased did not go over so well. Imagine how little miss iconoclast Aquarius rising punk rock high schooler managed being raised Mormon! I actually left home for two months at age 15 due to a major dust-up with mom and refused to come back unless she'd let me stay home from church. She agreed, but watched me like a hawk til I went to college. We have since made peace -- I was always the family-appointed Sane Child-peacemaker -- and I owe her so much of my success now as a grown up writer chick in the big city. But it was a struggle, man.'
My reply: 'You owe her what?'
"Haha! I was just rereading my reply and thought you might jump on that. Her example was a lot of it: she started what has turned out to be an oddly-recession-proof business out of good taste and thin air, and she showed me how to do that every day (she worked out of home so we witnessed her whole career as kids, and I used to come with her on appointments after school). She wears her expertise comfortably -- which was a good example to me, who makes a living by expressing expertise in a breezy enough manner to be palatable to magazine readers. She paid for my private high school education and college when she could not afford it. She really raised all of us to feed our brains. She's compassionate, articulate, has a ton of backbone (ha! irony!), integrity, etc. And was always very vocal about the importance of those things -- they became core values for me too. So in a lot of ways, she laid the groundwork for me to do what I do now by her example and just by being a hardworking mom. That said, when I first told her I wanted to be a writer, she said, "are you sure? That's a really hard career path." 'Oh well. I showed her'.
`Also, I'm feeling extra indebted to both my parents after my dad's death, and one of my reactions to it is, appreciate mom as much as you can while she's still alive to hear it.`
"Okay: appreciate, say thank you, give her a big hug, go forth and be happy, right? In my view, we don't owe our parents our success, or our lives. We're not their property, or their vassals, or their surrogates, nor is our destiny their business. They hopefully do their best as parents, and get out of the way -- or we learn to get out of their way and move on, as you seem to have done. But that Aquarius Moon rising is a kind of a warning that unless you take over the process of running your own life every day, mom's presence will loom large all the time".
"Rather than our owing our parents anything, I would propose that our parents have a responsibility to help us deal with the unprocessed material that they passed onto us; with their burdens that they passed onto us; and with their false beliefs that they passed along. They are the ones, if anything, who owe us OUR lives. And they need to pay up and be on their way. Few parents do; few cop to the damage they do; instead, many try to keep control, and engage their kids in neurotic relationships where nobody gets to be an adult; it's always parent-kid stuff, and we see this played out in the world all the time".
"The dynamics of control are particularly insidious between mothers as regards their daughters. Many never give up their grip, and many never stop living vicariously through their daughters. Men at least are rewarded for a measure of independence, professional, financial, sexual or otherwise".
This post was a little too long, I doubt many will take the time to read it.
I think it is a mistake and a sure ticket for guilt trips and power struggles if parents are convinced that their children owe, or that they should somehow pay us back for the upbringing we have given them. While I hope that if I have children they will want to stay connected with me and that we will always be a family who looks after and cares for each other. It would not be good for my kids if I were to lay this kind of a trip on them about how I expect them to pay me back. It is best that we not be remembered as a dictator, even though it can be tempting for us to expect our children to live their lives to pay us back in some way.