Renee offers us the following dilemma,,,
Hannah has suffered for most of her life at the hands of her narcissistic mother Joan who emotionally abused her throughout her childhood. As Hannah grew into adulthood, she had a hard time making decisions independent of her mother and found it difficult to stand up for herself, even when she knew she was right because her mother was insanely defensive and extremely sensitive to criticism.
Shortly after she married Hannah sought counseling due to her increasing anger, spells of depression and anxiety. In counseling she learned that most narcissist rarely seek treatment as they are not aware of the disorder or are in denial about the diagnosis. The only way Hannah could cope with her mother would be to break off all ties with her or learn to manage her reactions and emotions, as well as set boundaries. For the next several years, Hannah worked at the latter. Over time, the frequency of Hannah’s exchanges with her mother became fewer and fewer and Hannah became much stronger and healthier.
When Hannah’s mom turned 70, her mother had a stroke, which she wasn’t able to recover from. As Hannah’s mom was in a permanent vegetative state, the doctors contacted Hannah to explain the situation. Hannah’s mom did not have an advance directive and it was most likely that Hannah’s mother would never recover from the stroke. Hannah had to make a decision, should she keep her narcissistic mother alive or should she let her go? There was no living will, but Hannah knew for certain her mother’s wishes as she told Hannah many times – “that she wanted to remain alive at all costs, no matter what!”