Episode 36 – ADULTING: Leaving the Parental Path

Dec 6, 2018

What does it mean to separate from one’s parents and parental complexes—the attitudes and values that have been deeply instilled since infancy? How do we discern when we are in a parental complex, whether we are aligned with it or rebelling against it? What can we do to resolve the hold these complexes can have over us and become more of our unique, individuated selves?

Here’s the dream we discuss:

“I was in front of a white house. I felt like it belonged to me. Some creatures attacked. I remember two of them, one was blue and the other one red. The red one was called Prometheus. I also had allies with me, but I paid no attention to them as they were behind me. It was a fierce fight. We fought with the creatures and after a while, the creatures fled, except Prometheus. I fought with him, and in the end, I subdued him, grabbing him by the head and speaking some kind of banishment to him. He collapsed. After the battle, I withdrew to the house to rest. As I was catching my breath, I turned around and see Prometheus, now transformed into a lion with a fiery mane and glowing eyes. I roared like a lion trying to protect its territory and he roared back. We stood there for a while and then he comes closer and tells me: “Don’t you see you’re everything to me?”

Kwame Scruggs’ work with young men can be accessed here.

Photo by Mantas Hesthaven on Unsplash


  1. Angelino Tuksar

    Thank you for the most valuable insights.

    • Joseph23455

      You’re most welcome Angelino. ~ Joseph

  2. Lillian Johansen

    I was really soothed by the male voice in this piece….ofcourse I enjoyed the content as well, but it really struck me how comforted I was by his voice.

    • Joseph23455

      Thank you Lillian! ~ Joseph

  3. Diana Ng

    This is so helpful, thank you for sharing your insights so generously and thoughtfully. I echo too the views above of how soothing Joseph’s voice is.

  4. Jennifer D

    Joseph I got right away what you were talking about when you reacted to the comment it’s “okay” (to live with a complex – around 20 minutes in the podcast). The wider consequences of it, or maybe even its existence, may not yet be illuminated. Someone seeking therapy may be suffering for what only appears to be unrelated to parent complexes, perhaps an emptiness in the soul despite a high functioning life. I observed a case where a woman stayed in a dead marriage largely due to a negative father complex; the complex had such an unconscious hold on her that she believed she should be happy in the marriage and that she just needed to fix herself. Without identifying the complex, no amount of somatic, spiritual or emotional work helped, really, and her inner light was slowly dying. Your words struck chords..


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