Will The Narcissist Deploy A Follow-Up Hoover?

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The follow-up hoover. A staple method of gaining fuel from you either post discard or post escape, whether of a positive and/or negative nature. How though does the follow-up hoover come about, how do I decide whether to do it or not and what are the circumstances that can cause it? Here is an instance which will assist your understanding of our methodology and mind set so you can identify the factors which put you at risk.

I discarded you. You failed me and you had to go. You had no idea of course that this was the case. You tried to see me, speak to me, plead with me and you were rebuffed and told to stay away. The teeth were bared at you and you saw that look in the eye, the one that still unnerves you and you backed away. You slid into misery and confusion, unable to comprehend why I flung you to one side, why I wouldn’t at least do you the decency of explaining. You do not realise that our kind are never beholden to the obligation to explain. We are above that. You however operate by differing standards and regard it as a common courtesy to explain why something has been done and it certainly applies when the situation is one of romantic entanglement. You believed that you are owed an explanation. We operate from the position that we owe you nothing because once upon a time we gave you everything.

I have the new primary source of fuel of course. She was from a shortlist of individuals who were being cultivated as I embarked on my cruel devaluation of you. When I slipped away to my bolthole, when I made repeated excuses to go to the bar when we went away on holiday, when your back was turned I was extending my electronic tendrils as I engaged with these prospects. The fuel flowed from them as they readily connected with someone as charming as I. How could they not? A couple of these prospects have been kept in reserve, contingencies as they became outer circle friends who will wait in the wings, suitable brainwashed and conditioned so that they will jump at the chance of being promoted to the primary source at some future point. I know as well that they will not hesitate to hand me the dagger which I will plunge in that primary source’s back at some future point. There is no sisterhood here in the battle to win my affections and favour. Thus two find themselves admitted to the chain of fuel providing appliances and like two growing plants, I occasionally tend to them, cultivating and maintaining their interest, keeping alive the hope of promotion. It is reassuring to know that if the one who eventually saw off the others on the shortlist has to be discarded then there are ready and waiting appliances who can be plugged in without much more effort. It is not always possible to find those appliances which will wait around but it is far from impossible. You may be surprised at the number which will readily accept a role as an outer or even inner circle friend, possibly an acquaintance too in the right circumstances. Content to have intermittent contact with me in person. Happy to have more frequent contact through electronic medium. These reservists will smile at the primary source, appear to even be friendly but they are only doing it to maintain my favour. If I give the signal they would rip the throat from the primary source in order to replace her. That is what we bring out in people.

Still, those are the reservists but for now an excellent primary source was chosen and thus you were surplus to requirements. You heard no more from me as a wall of silence greeted your attempts to contact me. Your position as primary source came to an end. You were made redundant and you were cast aside. I drew fuel from imagining your distress at this state of affairs and your repeated attempts to contact me provided similar fuel until I decided that I wanted to concentrate on the new primary source and therefore you needed to stay away. Thus, as I mentioned, the teeth were bared, you were warned and for once you listened and backed off.

Life has been sweet with the wonderful, new and shiny primary source who has lived up to expectations in her admiration, adoration and love. All is well and I cannot say that I have really given you any further thought since I made it clear that you were to “stay the hell away from me, understand?” I have been drinking deep from the new, potent fountain and enjoying all of this fresh, succulent fuel. So much so, I soon moved her in and why not? I may as well ensure that such a precious source of fuel is on tap.

Then one day I was moving some things around in the study and I found a book which belonged to you. I picked it up and you flared in my mind. I know that if it was the other way around, you would have been consumed by emotion as you triggered this ever presence. That does not happen with me. There is no charge of emotion but instead there is the spark of opportunity. The appearance of this book has caused you to enter into my sphere of influence. You did nothing did you? No telephone call, no text message, no driving past my house, all of the usual things which victims do in the aftermath and which will invariably result in a hoover. The appearance of this book has thrust you into my mind again. I have plenty of fuel from the wonderful primary source but a dash of hoover fuel would be welcome also. I feel no need to re-engage you as my primary source, your replacement is functioning well, but I am fuelled, powerful and I want to taste your hoover fuel. You have entered the sixth sphere of influence and caused a Hoover Trigger.

Moments such as these are delicious indeed. I have taken a bite of the succulent cherry that is the new primary source but here I am with a delightful opportunity to take a bite of another cherry and apply a hoover to you. What I especially like about it is the fact that because I do not want to or need to rekindle our intimate relationship again, the effort required will be minimal in order to get a taste of your hoover fuel. I pull out my ‘phone and look up your number. I kept it of course. I felt no need to block it. You rang and you rang but I never answered and eventually you gave up. I wonder for a moment whether you have blocked me and feel a twinge of irritation if that proves to be the case. Nevertheless, I have the energy and inclination to want to hoover you,, I perceive that there is a good prospect of gaining fuel from you, I have no reason to think that your fuel will be diminished, I have considered whether there may be obstacles but do not regard there as being any which would mean the attempt is likely to fail and I have not perception that you will reject me and thus criticise me and cause wounding. The Hoover Execution Criteria has been met and I have surpassed the bar, it is thus time to hoover you.

I jab your name and smile as I hear the ringing noise and within just two rings (two rings! Someone remains keen!) you answer. Your voice is tentative.

“Hello? HG?”

“Hi Tabitha, how are you?”

There is a pause. You are trying to work out what is going on but I know you will want to talk to me. You answered didn’t you? You spoke. You want some answers. You need to know. I have seen it so many times before and therefore I know that no matter how much you may think that you need to end the call before it gets going you will not do so. I know that the emotion is surging through you, hope, expectation and no doubt the glowing embers of the love that has not yet been extinguished for me.

“What do you want?” you ask but it is not said in a hostile tone.

“I was just thinking about you and I thought I would give you a call and see how you were doing.”

“I don’t understand. Why call me now when you made it clear you didn’t want anything to do with me?” Ah, a bit of a fightback from logic here. Fair enough.

“I know, I know, that was some time ago, I was in a bad place, a lot going on and something had to give. I know I didn’t handle it well, I am sorry.”

Like hell I am but I know those three words will have a magical effect. I stop speaking. I can picture you trying to hold back the tears, fighting with the competing emotions that are washing over you. I can feel the power rising inside of me at this image as I gather the fuel.

“You hurt me, you really hurt me,” you say voice cracking slightly.

“I know, I know and I am truly sorry, I know you must hate me, listen if it is any consolation to you, I hate myself for what I did to you, you didn’t deserve to be treated like that.” That should hit the spot. A bit of self-flagellation always goes down well.

“Well you won’t hate yourself as much as I hate you,” you answer with a little steel in your voice. It’s good. It is all fuel.

“Trust me Tabs,” oh yes the shortened name for added familiarity needs to be used here, “I know just what I did and I am not proud of myself. I just felt it was only right that I call you in order to explain…”

I hit the end call button after saying this.

Five seconds. She will call back in five seconds.

Sure enough her name appears on the ‘phone as she returns the call.

“Hi,” I say enthusiastically.

“You went off.”

“Yes poor signal I guess.”

There is another pause. I say nothing allowing the silence to be used to compel you to speak. I know that you want to talk. It was always likely and your behaviour so far is laden with indicators that you want to continue to talk.

“You said you wanted to explain,” you say and I hear the hope in your voice and the fuel drips from you once again.

I know that I can dangle the prospect of answers in front of you for weeks now. I don’t want you back. I do not need you back but I have tasted your delicious hoover fuel and I like it. I have managed to cause you to speak to me and then call me back after everything that I did to you, including my callous discard. That highlights the power I have and that is why when remembering you through seeing the book it was too good an opportunity to miss and I applied a benign hoover. Not to win you back, but to get you to respond and to provide me with fuel. And it has worked.

I lick my lips before I speak.

This cherry is mighty sweet as is the fuel from this successful follow-up hoover.

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21 thoughts on “Will The Narcissist Deploy A Follow-Up Hoover?”

  1. HG: when an upper mid-ranger sent me an email on his birthday (not related to the b’day but the return of property) is that a benign hoover? What is its purpose?

  2. HG: within what timeframe (how soon) after disengagement from an IPPS would an upper mid-ranger generally attempt to hoover if criteria/trigger occur? Is there any estimate you have observed based on your experience, insight and feedback here?

    1. It depends on whether there is a Hoover Trigger and whether the Hoover Execution Criteria are met and therefore this could be one day later, it could be a year later. It is not about there being a set time, but rather it is based on the HT and the HEC.
      Remember, hoovers can be malign and benign.

  3. Dear HG Tudor,
    Gotta love your terminology!! The ‘spheres of influence’ are spot on, and ‘follow-up hoovering’ is so funny I fell off my chair. I have favourited your website and also wrote to Melanie Tonia Evans about you, I left a comment on her website. So glad I found you, can’t wait to read more. You should write a book and turn that into something mega on netflix!
    I got follow-up hoovered this morning. The narc email-forwarded me an ad from a cafe, advertising salmon soup, pathetic mucho?? It came from one of his email addresses which I hadn’t blocked yet, and it got spam reported and blocked straight away. I have been no-contact for 10 years, ever since I left town and I am now living a completely different life and met a wonderful man 6 years ago. Last summer I wandered into a cafe where I sometimes go, and the narc was there with some acquaintances, lucky for me because he could not leave them, so he couldn’t really talk to me for very long. He was telling them some bullshittish stories as per usual, trying to sell some utter crap (thinks he is the ultimate salesman). I couldn’t but overhear and almost laughed out loud because he hasn’t changed one bit. Never listens to anybody else, totally in love with his own voice, non stop bla bla bla I am amazed the listeners do not get shit water flowing from their ears. I should have walked out from the cafe as soon as I saw him, but was baffled I guess. Felt gutted that he was there, like a nasty mushroom. These people really do think they own us, as you so succinctly explain in one of your splendid blog posts. So I finished my coffee as soon as I could while pretending everything was normal, after he had walked over and pulled some NLP sh..te which literally sounded 100% like regurgitations from 10 years ago….. goes without saying that I replied: ‘yes sure, of course, great’, to everything he was saying and I was blandly polite, emphasis on bland look on my face. Then I got up and left, and he couldn’t follow me because that would have made him look really pathetic in front of his acquaintances. During his monologue, he had given me his card, which of course got filed in the nearest bin. The “soup ad email” of this morning was from that same cafe, where I unfortunately met him last summer! (Lol speak of ‘spheres of influence’). A couple of years ago he was having someone from linkedin contact me, asking to get in touch with him. They like to use these “flying monkeys”. Ignore ignore ignore. When I left that whole situation 10 years ago, that really was it, I had had enough. Till this day, each christmas I receive an inane e-card from him, which I always mark as spam. Of course goes without saying, during our relationship 10 years ago, I never heard from him during christmas. So, this morning I googled “hoovering” and stumbled across your marvellous website and the term ‘follow-up hoovering’. It is so funny, congratulations. What a great service you are providing to mankind, thank you thank you thank you thank you.
    Ella

  4. Actual hoover I rec’d last night after 2.5 years……”Hello back MH. Just saw this in my spam cause it showed as unknown email address. I tried to reply but it would not go through so I used the one I know. Pray all is well.”
    I did not take the “bait”. 🙂 #itisfinished

  5. Sorry HG. I didn’t think my first post went through. I didn’t mean to post twice. You can delete the 2 nd one if you wish. Or the first… whatever.

  6. HG, I received the proverbial follow up Hoover today. Apparently I entered the spheres of influence. His email slipped through as he has been blocked on my phone since June 2nd of last year. The day I found your blog and found enlightenment. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw it in utter disbelief and I suddenly flooded with fear.

    He wrote to tell me he received an automated call from my school announcing the snow day. He was listed as an emergency contact that I forgot about. I took care of that immediately. Then he went on to tell me of a wine purchase he made from a winery we visited in Napa and met the wine maker a few years ago. I suppose this was giving him a dip of thought fuel. He resent the same email 20 min later. Maybe wondering if I received the 1st one? Dismayed at my silence? I did not respond.
    He is not to contact me anymore! He signed off on a certified letter I sent him in October after my surveillance cameras caught him snooping on my porch.

    Is he going to continue on this path? Start up the drive bys again? Is this because the new IPPS is in devaluation?

    I have a date Saturday with a new guy. How much of this insanity do I reveal? I feel soundly educated at this point, and certainly not vulnerable to be victim again. And so far, this guy appears to respect boundaries. Does not show signs of narcissism or Psychopathy. Oh, my eyes are wide open. And I’m taking this very slowly.

    Every post you’ve made, every word you’ve written is so true. To the letter. At least you make it predictable at this point. Thank you for the education.
    Peaceful

  7. HG, I received the all too familiar Hoover today. His email slipped through. As he has remained blocked in my phone since June 2nd last year when I stumbled upon your blog and you enlightened me. Apparently I entered one of 6 spheres of influence.

    His email explained that he received an automated call to inform him that my school had a snow day yesterday. He was listed as an emergency contact and I guess that number got absorbed into the system. I completely forgot🙄 I have taken care of that already.

    He went on to tell me of a wine delivery from a winery we visited in Napa and met the wine maker. He signed off on a certified letter in October to never contact me again that I sent after my surveillance cameras caught him snooping on my porch.

    When I saw the email I almost had a heart attack! I was filled instantly with fear. It’s almost 8 months since my escape. Every thing you write is so true. It’s uncanny really. And no, I did not respond. I guess he had a nice dip of thought fuel. He sent the same email 20 minuets later…

    I have a date with a new guy Saturday night. It’s scary to meet new people. Trust is a new issue for me. We met for coffee last Sunday. I didn’t see any signs of narcissism or psychopathy. But I’m taking this one SLOW. I have already put up some boundaries and he complied nicely. I feel well educated and I check in on your blog a few times a week. I’m on alert to the signs, and certainly not as vulnerable as I once was.

    We’ll see what happens. If nothing else, it’s good practice! Thank you for the incredible education HG!
    Peaceful.

  8. I have had this EXACT conversation with my ex-narc so many times. It’s like you (HG) were listening in on one of our conversations. “I was in a bad place.” “I hate myself for what I’ve done to you.” “You don’t deserve to be treated like that.” This site has been such a help to me in escaping and understanding. Right after I read an article about narcissists loving only the fuel we provide them and not us as actual people, he came back and cried (false) tears of regret. I was able to stand strong because I knew what he was truly after. Fuel. Not me.

    1. I have a question and I am sure it will sound stupid AF but I am going to ask it anyway….why does the narc always say the same “canned” lines? Especially “you don’t deserve to be treated like that”. I had to hear that so many times! And it seems from what others have shared that they heard some variation of it too. I also heard “I hate that I have done this to you”. And “you don’t deserve this” so many times.

      However a few that really stick out now of course are, “I have nothing to offer you other than my empathy”. Really? Offering it? How sweet. (eye roll)

      And “I cannot imagine feeling the way you do, I really cannot. It is frightening to contemplate. I can only imagine it is too much to bare”

      Hmmm. “Cannot imagine”. Makes sense.

      Awww shit there I go again reading too much into what he says.

      This this how you guys “Fake” your empathy? Are these the usual canned lines? They seem almost….robotic.

      1. 1. These are learned responses rather than “felt” responses. Thus it is the manifestation of cognitive empathy.
        2. These learned responses are usually effective therefore “if it ain’t broke, why fix it?” – thus they will be used repeatedly.
        3. The particular phrases you mention are typical Mid Range comments designed to maintain the facade and draw fuel by way of sympathy, appreciation and gratitude.

  9. Replace “Tabs” with “Gabbs” (and yes he does that for familiarity) and I have definitely been there many times. The relief I feel when I see his name show up on my phone. The restlessness and anxiety I feel when it’s silent. I fucking hate it. I wish I felt nothing. Like he does.

    1. It gets better. Focus on yourself. Focus on YOU and what a piece of shit he is. Focus on loving you and not him.

  10. HG, while I admire your ability I guess to open up, your blogs make me ill and I wonder what fate God has for you. You are a portrait of my ex husband and it nauseating that you know you are this but do not change. God have mercy on your soul

  11. ” “I know, I know and I am truly sorry, I know you must hate me, listen if it is any consolation to you, I hate myself for what I did to you, you didn’t deserve to be treated like that.” That should hit the spot. A bit of self-flagellation always goes down well.”

    The narcissist I got entangled with as a NISS “close friend” would never* apologize or acknowledge he did anything wrong, ever; particularly in similar circumstances, not even as a manipulation tactic.

    My guess is that if he hoovers in the future, he simply will not even bring up what he said, and if I do so, like in past situations where I raised his hurtful and cruel comments, he’ll say he hardly remembers, implying that it’s not important anymore, hence making the issue according to him bothersome to discuss and not worth doing so.

  12. “These reservists will smile at the primary source, appear to even be friendly but they are only doing it to maintain my favour. If I give the signal they would rip the throat from the primary source in order to replace her. That is what we bring out in people.”

    You’re not kidding.

  13. I guess I’ve been subjected to this kind of hoover today out of the blue. It’s been almost six months now; and he’s stayed away from me, I’ve been the one to contact him a few times. But he’s been cold and distant. The one narc thing he never did to me though was to triangulate me with other women. Of course he told me awful stories about his exes when we first met, but since then there was never any mention of them or other women in any suspicious way. I never caught him flirting; I never caught him cheating. Probably there were other women, or because he was an ULN he only had energy to control one at a time, I don’t know. But that means I have no clue of what he’s doing now; who he’s with.

    Something though made him suddenly remember me and today when I got home he’d sent me an envelope with my keys to the apartment back. I was stunned and for awhile I got very emotional again about the finality of it all. Finally my keys back after six months! I’ve changed one of the locks, but now I got all my keys again. I guess it’s a hoover and he’s expecting me to unblock him and send my thanks? I’ve done nothing but go for two hours of yoga today to calm my mind;)

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