A sixteen-going-on-seventeen year old stopped by and had a question. Her mother, she says, is narcissistic and she's worried that she'll be that way, too.
A few other kind readers offered wise words of reassurance. I'll echo them. Nah, don't worry about it. If you were headed down that path, it probably wouldn't even occur to you because you'd have little self-awareness. If...if...you occasionally acted in a self-centered way and didn't like that about yourself, you can change that by simply being more mindful. I suspect, instead, you'll always be hypervigilant guarding against becoming narcissistic and will "err" on the side of being a super good listener, supportive, overly responsible, etc. Just my two cents, but I'd be more worried about becoming co-narcissistic than narcissistic at this point!
Because there are readers who stop by who were more recently teenagers than moi and even us oldsters can remember so clearly what it's like to deal with a narcissistic parent during the teenage years, here's a bit of what this young woman shared. It would be lovely if you could give her some feedback:
my n-mother seems hell bent on guilt tripping me and listing all the things she's done for me. it could be the 'teenage phase', as they call it, im going through but i disagree as she is exrtremely controlling and self-absorbed - to the point where she blamed me for a car accident she had because she was continuously complaining about me. NOTE: at this time i was in an exam during school. i came home to find her waiting for me so she vent out her anger at me and give me a lecture over the problems i'd caused. i'm the reason she has a bad knee, the reason she gets angry most of the time - lets say all bad stuff. i get very frustrated as im not allowed to participate much in outside activities and she very much told me straight up that im not allowed to have a social life.yes, teenage problems but my frustration is beginning to worry me and cut into my abilities in performing in life/school:sleep deprivation. spent many years trying to make our relationship work but how is one possible if there is only one talking and directing it?
First, I admire your initiative in researching the problem. Obviously, you are a very intelligent young woman capable of being proactive.
Your biggest problem...at this point...due to your very young age is what you're going to do now that you've identified the problem. I mean, it's one thing to be out of the house and deal with it then, it's another that you are still a minor (with legitimate needs) dependent upon a self-centered mother.
Rosa had a great suggestion...I agree...let your fingers ZOOM across the keyboard to click on the daughters of narcissistic mothers website link.
I have no idea what your health care situation is. Some families have mental health insurance that would cover therapy. Is it possible to find out if you have access to such services? You could say you are feeling a tad anxious or worried about insomnia and would like to talk to a professional (be prepared for your mother to make that into her drama). Perhaps you could ask your high school counselor (only if you trust that person) for a recommendation for free teen counseling services.
I think it would be highly beneficial for you to see a real person/therapist who could listen to your concerns. While the online world is a wonderful, safe place....I can't tell you how much I loved my therapist, how nurturing and supportive she was...and how much I gained from just...you know...talking without being interrupted for once!
Just joking...but you are a mighty powerful person if you can give your mother a BAD KNEE!
Hah! I was responsible for my mother's bad back! I can sooooo relate! RIDICULOUS!!!
What do you mean you are not allowed to have a social life? Are you a sophomore, junior? Do you think your mother will allow you more social opportunities when you're a bit older? Is there a cultural reason behind this? For example, some of my daughter's friends are Persian or Asian and their parents are much stricter than, say, I am.
That said, you mentioned lots of behaviors that take me right back to my own teenage years...and made me cringe! It's so awful to have to tiptoe around...fearing what you'll be blamed for next...and to feel like you are TRIPWIRED to your mother's central nervous system!