Back For More

back-for-more

I make repeated mention of how we always come back for more. This of course is the brilliance of the hoover. Some people struggle to comprehend that we will always keep returning for more fuel, if the opportunity arises. Why would we not? We love fuel. We love your fuel (after all that was why you were chosen as the primary source) and even better we love the hoover fuel which you provide. The hoover serves many functions. First and foremost, it provides us with fuel. It is also a means of exerting control, seeing how the land lies for potential further machinations, a means of preventing you moving forward, a means of hindering your understanding, a method of reinforcing our superiority, dominance and omnipotence. It serves these functions and many more. Hoovers take place throughout the dance with our kind, but most possible associate them with the aftermath, the period following escape or more likely discard. When we look at the hoover in such a scenario, when we come back for more, we do so for one of the following three reasons: –

  1. To draw you back into the relationship again so that the whole narcissistic cycle can begin once more;
  2. To hurt you. We don’t want the formal relationship again but we want to remind you of how worthless you are and thus we aim to hurt you through this form of hoover;
  3. To draw some positive fuel (it may be a drop or it may be lashings of it) but we do not want the formal relationship to start again or indeed ever, but we know you provide delicious hoover fuel so we will keep coming back for more. We do not do enough to recommence the formal relationship but we certainly extract some fuel from you. It might be a text, it may be a telephone call or personal visit, but it is passing. It may only take a moment or an afternoon, but it is temporary and then having extracted the fuel we will withdraw again (only to appear at some later stage). The formal relationship does not begin again.

It is this third manoeuvre (which is a benign follow-up hoover) which often confuses people. You can understand hoovering to start the relationship again. You can understand lashing out at us and being nasty because hey, after all we are Grade A Bastards aren’t we? However, why make the effort to gain some fuel and then withdraw again? It may be because we have a reliable primary source in place but cannot resist a slurp of the hoover fuel. It may happen because circumstance makes it too good to resist. There are several factors but one of the chief factors is the role which you are allocated post escape/discard. The application of the benign follow-up hoover which does not seek the restoration of the formal relationship relies on you conforming to a particular role and the fuel which flows from it. There are many different roles which can be assigned to you at this point, but here are ten of them.

  1. The Wish You Well

Whenever we hoover you, you ask with your well-known decency how we are faring, you ask about our progress workwise, our health and about all other matters. You do so with that goodness of heart and nature for which you as an empathic person is famed and whilst there is no torrent of raging emotion, your kindness and compassion still fuel us. You may well have largely moved on from us, but you are unable to sever all ties. You know not to go back but you cannot help but always want to hear that we are doing good and that you can accordingly wish us well.

  1. The Optimist

This contact gives you hope that there might be a return to the golden period. You do not push it, since you know how this can cause us to react, but you are receptive to our advance, pleased, no delighted to hear from us and you engage with enthusiasm, trying to keep your pulsating heart under control. You see each time we “drop by” as the possibility that this time we sweep you in our arms and take you back once more. Each time you are disappointed but this does not dim your hope and optimism, perhaps next time will be the time?

  1. The Guilty

You feel bad that the relationship did not work out and you blame yourself as much (if not more) than us for its demise. Your status as a love devotee means that you still believe that love will conquer all and you spend your time apologising for what you did that was wrong and that which you did not do right. Of course we do nothing to cause you to think any different, enjoying your self-flagellation which always rises to the surface whenever we get in touch.

  1. The Navel Gazer

You are obsessed with understand who you are and regard your interaction as an integral part of that. You want our views and opinions on your introspection and use any contact from us as an opportunity to invite us to comment about you, no matter how brutal it might be. You believe that you are unable to establish who you truly are without understanding the nature of your relationship with us and each occasion that we reach out to your again provides you with an opportunity to engage for the purpose of finding these answers. Your reliance on us is both edifying and fuelling.

  1. The Healer

You will not let go of the notion that we can be fixed and any interaction between us results in you resuming the mantle of being that healer, putting our interests ahead of your own with the inevitable fuel which arises from your compassionate and kind-hearted behaviour.

  1. The Nymph

You hate us for what we did but the sex was oh so good and you cannot resist the lure of a late night text for some sexual interaction in the hope that it might lead to a tussle between the sheets again. You maintain that all you want is sexual gratification and adopting this stance is a form of payback for us, but your engaging with us through sexting and flirtation provides us with the hoover fuel that we want.

  1. The Tourniquet

You are not a tourniquet but you need one. You cannot work out what has happened and every engagement is a fuel-filled questioning session as to why did we do what we did, why did we hurt you, why did we say those things, why did we mess around and such like. The pain remains raw and the fuel that flows from it is too good to resist.

  1. The Old Reliable

You know you should ignore us but you cannot. Those messages we send are like a nagging itch and you need to scratch so badly. Of course we know this and we regard you as a reliable source of hoover fuel. All we need to do is send a message and you will respond in some form or another, you cannot help yourself.

  1. The Contender

You want back in and you are going to prove to us how damn fine you are and what an a-hole we are for letting you go in the first place. You will tell us just how good you will be for us, what you will do and how we will never get anybody better than you as you do your utmost to convince us that you should come back into our arms. Even if we rebuff you, you will not give up because your desire to be our intimate partner is huge and so with it is the fuel that you provide.

  1. The Burning Oil Well

Your flow of fuel just cannot be shut off. Red Adair would never be able to snuff out the flames and cap the oil well. You are angry, seething, furious at the way you have been treated and you hate us. You absolutely hate us. Each time we reach out to you, you seize the opportunity to vent your anger at us, insulting us, labelling us and going on like some crazed harpy. You think it will upset us but you don’t understand the nature of fuel and whilst we may argue back it is all done to keep this blazing fuel flowing.

Do you recognise yourself in there at all?

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65 thoughts on “Back For More”

  1. Hello, HG. I trust you are doing well. Does this article only apply to former primary sources?

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      1. HG, the secondary sources you have written about, the ones which become intimate, are they often the ones who meet the narcissists but may live “long distance?” A woman who he may see every couple months for days on end, but keep their hold on you through our use of technology. Or someone who he may accidentally have let in way too close and revealed way too much but he still cannot part from and just let me be?
        Thank you for these insights. I’m trying to figure out if I’m dealing with a very sad, mixed up “friend/lover” or a man with npd. I posted my first time in Down, just a blink of an eye of what I have been going through for over a year. Considering an email consultation; it is rather intimating and my trust levels in my own willpower and in others are very “DOWN” at this point.
        Thank you!!

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      2. Hello LynnieRN, yes an IPSS may well be long distance and will be seen for a few days and then not seen further.

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      1. HG how do I get my narcissistic man to be interested in me again? We was together for 5 years.

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  2. Are their such thing as midrangers who don’t like negative reactions? I saw the ex N react poorly to any kind of negativity directed at him via his ex wife and women from his work. He did not seem to use it as fuel, rather it seemed to ruin his day. I’ve lashed out at him, exposed him for who he is and he’s lashed back and projected (this is via email). However, afterward he said he was never going to communicate with me again and he has not. I see him as a coward. I’ve even run into him a few times and he hasn’t said a word in person or following. He seems to be pleased with his new primary. I might also add that this man has ruined his reputation in the community already, has no lieutenants and very few friends. I just find it hard to imagine that he likes negative fuel when he went to great lengths during my discard to tell me it wasn’t me, that I was wonderful, he just needed to figure himself out. I didn’t see the monster until I caught him that week with the new primary.

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    1. Much of it depends on how the response arises – a negative response from you may well be negative fuel which is Challenge Fuel or it wounds. If you read the article Fuel, Fight or Flight this will shed light on the matter for you.

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  3. Having worked very hard and diligently in the earlier years of the ltr(orig thought I was the crazy one) then years of education as well as my own form of devaluing the ex bpd/narc. After 6 months NC,(i escaped) im somewhat feeling reason #2? Mostly for my own vindication…holding a little hope for a confession of sorts from the ex? I am aware this is most likely a pipe dream so I keep my expectations low. As more time goes by, this urge to benign Hoover fades…which I’m taking as positive and healthy. Two questions…one being, is this fairly normal for me to feel this way? And also what is the possibility of her hoovering me in the future? (early on after GP, she went on a total silent treatment for over 3 months and engaged a prior IPPS at her place for 4 straight days. Then grand hoovered me back immediately afterwards…telling me she was thinking bout me the whole time, wth?)

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    1. Hello Iansealan,

      1. Yes it is normal ; and
      2. The possibility of hoovering you in the future is based on there being a Hoover Trigger and the achievement of the Hoover Execution Criteria. There are many factors which influence this (the strength or otherwise of your no contact, type of narcissist, their fuel matrix, obstacles, has there been wounding, strength of your fuel before, passage of time re wounding and so forth) and therefore in order to give you an accurate prognosis as to the future one would need more information and for that to be provided through consultation.

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  4. hate? he does not deserve the energy it would take for me to remain angry or hate… I have better use of my energy…

    I’ve gone through navel gazing, tourniquet and healer, as phases but I know better… I’ve grieved all of it; he will not change, he will never change… he would have to have an epiphany to change… you cannot change if you cannot self-reflect… you cannot change if you do not understand why your behavior is wrong… narcs would need incentive, a self-benefit, in order to change… a permanent benefit for a permanent change (“good luck with that one”, to use HG’s own words here).

    the only emotion left when looking back is the immense satisfaction of having stood up to him and learned not to fall for it anymore. I grew. I shed off his attempts at keeping me hooked up. I am focused on me, on what I learned, on what I am still learning, on my progress. There is no fear, no hate, no anger, no fuel left for him, not even thought fuel. No positive fuel, no negative fuel… all he would find if he attempted hoovering would be narcissistic injury. If ever I chose to share fuel, which he does not deserve, it would be intentional and then I would b in full control – he would hate that all the more – but I dislike games… I see no point. I gain nothing by playing them. I find fulfillment in being genuine and learning and growing and being a better me then I was yesterday. I enjoy where I am right now in my growth. I may struggle to rebuild but I have fun (most of the time) while I struggle, if only because I am free. It is MY choice. It is my life. I am not under anyone else’s thumb unless I decide to be. I was blind, I see and decide for myself now.

    One day he might read this and on that day, he should know that If fuel I give, it is willingly and not to him (I’m sure HG is greatly amused at the thought of me giving some fuel willingly from time to time on this blog and none to said ex narc… thought fuel for you HG, none for the ex)..

    skip this next part HG or you might disapprove and feel slighted (fair warning was given)

    I will keep my best fuel (love) for my friends, the genuine ones, the ones that helped me find myself again, the ones that stood by my side when I needed them, online and offline, the ones that are not narcs. Those that don’t hurt others on purpose or much, the sweet hearts, the kind souls, the loving ones, even if they stood back to get away from the drama.

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    1. No slight taken, I understand your position and it is the correct one to adopt. It will not impact adversely on me.

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    2. Ali

      When I first started reading your comment I thought “what the hell is she going to do with all that bottled up fuel” better take a kickboxing class or something 😊

      I get it though and it’s hard not to give in especially when they create these emotions in us. Last night my phone was flashing and I knew it was him. I didn’t want to give him his fuel that day. But that flashing green light just blink blink blink. Drove me nuts but I let it go…baby steps

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    3. Amen. This is the point to which I am trying to get. Each day it gets a little easier, but I know in my fragile state it could all crumble around me should she attampt another hoover. How long did it take for you to achieve this state?

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    4. Ali, I love what you wrote here. It sounds as though you are in such a healthy place.:) I believe this is what HG refers to as zero impact. You are absolutely right, the only people who deserve our love are the ones who have the ability and desire to reciprocate .

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  5. In my opinion, beyond the kind, polite, decent and believable things he said…he’s onto n.2.
    He wants to hurt me and bring me to my knees. Make me beg for mercy again.
    As for me I’m hoping for n.1. I need to know I’m safe from him and I think that being nice and condescending with him will buy me peace of mind.

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  6. I remember the first time I read this over a year ago and knew I bounced between 3, 4, 7, 9, and especially 10. I can read this now and feel un-phased which is great progress, but I never was nor will be No. 1, the Well-Wisher. #Notinthislifetime

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    1. Good for you Clarese! I bounced between many of these as well before discovering Mr. Tudors priceless information. I really do give way less fucks now and I know how to conduct myself in response to My ex Narc The biggest issue I still struggle with is having my Ex Narc in my brain every freaking day! It is less painful but it’s like he is still the default setting in my thoughts and I cannot get rid of him!

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    2. Ha, ha Clarence! That’s the one I am currently in with all of my narcs – #1! Vive la différence! 😄

      It’s always my goal to be a well wisher to everyone, narcs included. I know that won’t make sense to a lot of you all, and I’m not recommending it to anyone else, but it’s what brings me peace in my soul.

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  7. HG, I have read all your books to gain in-depth understanding. I am pleased to say I have gone no contact, maintained no contact, and have absolutely no intention of changing that state of affairs. The experience nearly derailed me, but understanding and then self-love proved to be the keys to escape velocity. Thank you.

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  8. H G let me ask you, you seem to want to help people get away but is that the norm? No.. Is it because you gain your fuel thru this blog?

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  9. So, very odd moment today. I was enjoying my day off, meeting a new person I have been casually seeing. decided to stop at this little coffee shop I had never been to before and pick up a couple of lattes when behind me I hear my name called and it is HIM. Before him, I was a natural strawberry blonde, but he had convinced me to dye it black.Before him I wore figure flattering clothes, but he preferred me wearing clothes that were too big and ” overly flowey” as he put it .. etc etc. The last year I have basically changed myself back to the old me, the real me. The creepy thing about this is exchange with him was right away he said ” you look so different. You have ruined everything! Why did you change everything about yourself??” He seemed really agitated, even more so when I ignored him and concentrated on adding sugar to the coffees with barely a second glance at him. But the really really creepy thing he said next was ” I liked you better before, you looked exactly how I would look if I was a woman and not a man” omg!!! I just turned around and said calm as calm can be, and with no emotion whatsoever.. ” hmm you’re a pretty fucked up person aren’t you?” And turned and walked away without a backwards glance.I am expecting retaliation….

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    1. It is truly amazing the unfiltered sh*t that people will say. That was truly odd. He can stay agitated too, huh?

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  10. Hi, H.G

    I love your work! You are so insightful. I’m stuck on no 9. I have BPD. I’ve always gone back. He’s told me he owns me & I will never leave him. I’ve now gone No Contact. Is there anyway at all to recommence the primary relationship? I’m dealing with a mid/Greater Elite Somatic

    Thank you H.G 🙂

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    1. Yes but only as part of a hoover. Talking to them to find out how they were doing, what would be the point of that?

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  11. Out of sheer interest? Curiosity? Because you had once shared a life together (or she hers with you)?
    *sigh* One day I will understand this non-connecting and non-bonding part.

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  12. Thanks for responding H.G 🙂

    As a BPD I can not let go of him. I was downgraded to IPSS but gave no benefits but attention 24/7. I can’t remain just an IPSS so have gone No Contact to try to make him reconsider my status

    Thanks H.G you are the best 🙂

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    1. Erin — believe me, I understand the powerful pull of wanting to get back the golden period as his IPPS. But keep telling yourself IT WASN’T REAL. It never will be. Even if he reinstalled you as IPPS, you’d still be just an appliance. Now that you know what he is, why would you want to degrade yourself like that? Moving back into the fantasy won’t make it any more real or satisfying than it was before. Stay No Contact. Embrace the power. It’s hard, but it’s worth it.

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      1. Thank you so much for your advice. I know you are right. He has some damaging information on me. Will he use that against me if I do not return?

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      1. Erin — whether he would use the information against you is really a question for HG. But my guess is that he won’t because, once he does, then he won’t have that particular power over you anymore. About his whine that he “misses talking,” that’s just a hoover. He doesn’t miss YOU. He doesn’t miss talking to YOU. He just misses your fuel!

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  13. Does intellectual discourse serve a purpose for you?
    To see no worth in friendship just in having people at one’s disposal …
    I admit that I often been wrong in the past about connections, but it is still most important to me.
    Though I am rethinking the way I regard work relationships, etc.

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  14. Hello HG Tudor, my ex Narc sent a message to me after 4 months. He wanted his pen which was given to me by himself. His message was so formal, he wanted me to deliver for him. Then he called me he spoke so friendly, so sympathetic on the phone.

    Can it be a Hoover? And if the answer is yes, will it continue?

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  15. Only one hoover, and a brief one at that…before I realized what I was dealing with. I see any of the above as applicable to me…if I allow it. Posts like these remind me of what I must guard against, and strngthen my resolve should another hoover come along. Thanks for that!

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  16. HG, I have admitted to the narc about BEING a lot of these things (to my own demise; he obviously just used these admissions as ammunition).

    What advice would you give to someone about ceasing contact? I seem to be at an impasse at 10. The Burning Oil Well.

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  17. They would always just send messages telling me off for not getting pregnant during our times together or how it is my role to get pregnant by them, something that would involve endless suffering and servitude! Even though they had moved away and weren’t pursuing a relationship. It went on for a looong time.

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  18. Bow do I know when he is finished with me? And how do I get him interested in me again? I was with him for 5 years.

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    1. Tonya – As you’ll learn by reading more of HG’s writing, he’ll never be “finished” with you as long as there’s the potential for you to provide fuel. “How do I get him interested in me again?” He was never interested in you — only in the fuel he could get from you. In the journey toward recovery, one of the questions you have to answer is “Why do I want to go back to an abusive relationship?” I was with mine for 10 years. And if he walked in today, got down on his knees and begged me to take him back, I’d kick him in the teeth (or somewhere more appropriate).

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      1. Hi RN .

        Don”t waste time on teeth, go straight for the bollox ! It’ll be fuel for him but at least he’ll be in AGONY …!!!

        P.s When you’ve finished give em another kick from me lol .:)

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  19. Hi HG,
    Another great one!
    I was all the above until I found you-books, Pvt, this Blog; Thank you for that!
    Now I am primarily # 10 without “venting the anger” I would not give him a drop of fuel for anything in this world.

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  20. I was the tourniquet, always asking questions, then the healer, but no more. Now he’s the wish you well ie. he texts to make sure i’m doing well.

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  21. I would be hard pressed to pick just any one of those, except #10, although it would be nice.
    You must have excellent time management skills, to put everyone into their own little compartments where they belong..or is this just something that you do as naturally as breathing?
    I find this very fascinating.

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  22. Today is an odd day to say the least.
    I managed to go 6 days without speaking to my Beast, (it’s now my personal best record) until yesterday and then today..I know, I know, but please hear me out. This all revolves around my personal belongings that I’ve been worried abut for the last 9 1/2 weeks.
    I emailed him on Sunday while returning from a trip (later story) asking if we could come to some conclusion and get this done once and for all. Nothing personal or whiney. Just business. Hit send and forgot about it.
    3 days later he texts me all this bullshit about how cruel he wanted to be to me but decided it would be better if he just let me go and that he wasn’t going to send everything and blah,blah,blah. So I gave it back to him too. Of course an argument ensued and then he started switching tactics on me. Being real nice, “you know I love you” (which he rarely pulls from his bag of tricks) he starts sending me all the songs I tell you guys about (we know when the songs are sent the drinking has commenced) suddenly things go silent. The end.
    Yep. I texted him today. Said that I would agree to his first initial terms (belongings and money offered for all my furniture) He texted back that he was confused, he thought we were “working our way back to one another” (none of this being mentioned at all before) How He’s scared because we can be so cruel to one another..How deeply we love one another.
    Not sure what crazy Hoover technique this is (probably benign because I seriously don’t think he wants me back as his Primary Source) This is crazy shit, and completely out of character for him..it sounds even worse to me then some of the things that I say to him when my cheese has slipped off my cracker..I wish he would just quit stalling already and send my things. This is stalling. It’s the only thing I can figure.

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