Surely That’s The End, Yes?
“I have not heard from him in a month, he has moved on hasn’t he?”
“I exposed what she is like to all of her family, she won’t be contacting me again that’s for sure.”
“I told him I know what he is and he disappeared so I doubt I will hear from him again.”
“He is with somebody else already so I guess he won’t want me again will he?”
“I told him what I thought of him and he just backed off. He won’t hoover me will he?”
“He came crying back to me and I gave him short shrift. I doubt he will bother again.”
There are many different scenarios and outcomes involving our kind where the victim considers that our kind will not bother with them again post discard or post escape. The victim thinks that a period of total silence, the involvement of the narcissist with a new victim, the manner in which the relationship ended will all mean that the narcissist will not come sniffing around the victim ever again.
Why is this the case?
Firstly, you must understand our perspective. You belong to us. You are our appliance. You are our property. The Formal Relationship between us may have ended but the Narcissistic Relationship is forever. It only ends when either you or I cease to draw breath. It does not matter that we enter into a new Formal Relationship with somebody else. It does not matter if you do. It does not matter that world war three erupted when we parted company. It does not matter if there has been complete silence for two years. None of these factors alter the fact that in our minds the connection between you and I because of the Narcissistic Relationship lasts until one of us dies.
Secondly, the attraction of gathering fuel from you is substantial and this is the prime driver for never letting go. Fuel is so important to us that it drives everything about behaviour and the link between you and I is no exception to the all-pervasive power of fuel.
Thirdly, factors such as new partners, the effluxion of time and the manner in which the Formal Relationship has ended are immaterial.
I am repeatedly asked by people whether a hoover will happen. I always answer the same; the risk always remains, but you can manage that risk. People set out the circumstances of the end of the Formal Relationship to me and what has happened since (if anything) and ask whether a hoover will happen, or express their view that they do not think it will happen because of a, b or c. My answer again is the same; the risk of us returning always remains, but you can manage that risk.
It is never the end. There is always a risk, a chance, a probability (or a possibility) that we will return to you and apply a hoover. You cannot assume that it is over. No matter how much it may seem that it is over, no matter how much it may appear to you that we will not come back, that we apparently have no reason to do so, such assumptions are dangerous. There are only two factors which are material to the issue of whether you will be hoovered again.
The first factor is the Hoover Trigger. For a hoover to happen potentially, it must first be triggered. This means that you must come into our sights, that we sniff the prospective fuel that leaks from you, that something happens to cause you to come up on our radar. Whether this happens depends on whether you enter one of the six spheres of influence. I have written separately about them in The Spheres of Influence (And What You Can Do About Them) in another article. I will not repeat its content other than to state that
- You have control over whether you enter any of the first five spheres of influence; and
- You have no control over whether you enter the sixth sphere of influence.
By staying away from us through no contact you will not enter the first five spheres. The sixth sphere is when we happen to think of you. Thus, if you have successfully implemented no contact the only risk of a trigger being activated is if we happen to think of you. You cannot influence that. Our preoccupation with your replacement means we are far less likely to think of you and hoovers are triggered by you doing something to enter the first five spheres, such as messaging us or passing where we live.
If you maintain no contact the first five spheres will not be entered. It then just depends on whether we happen to think of you. This may not happen for weeks or months. You can therefore see that by staying out of the first five spheres you will vastly reduce the risk of a Hoover Trigger being activated but you cannot state that it will never happen as it is reliant on if we happen to think of you. That may just be a random occurrence or it might be because we see something that reminds us of you.
The second factor is only applicable if the Hoover Trigger has been activated. The second factor is concerns the Hoover Criteria. These criteria include such matters as: –
– Whether you are a potent source of fuel;
– Whether you can easily be located;
– Whether you can easily be contacted;
– Whether you have your defences maintained concerning us;
– Whether you remain mired in the emotional sea;
– What support networks you have in place;
– How well fuelled we are;
– The nature of the narcissist who you entangled with (Lesser, Mid-Range or Greater); and
– Potential obstacles
All of these matters combine to determine whether it is worthwhile us expending our energy to act on the Hoover Trigger. If we are presented with a sitting target, flowing with fuel, caught in the emotional sea, isolated and exposed then the criteria point heavily to the fact that a hoover will now take place. If on the other hand it is very hard to contact you, we know you have stopped flowing with fuel when dealing with us, you have people who will stop us trying to reach you and so forth, you become a Flawed Reason to Extract Emotion (F.R.E.E.).
For a worked example of how this can happen if someone enters the first sphere of influence I recommend that you read the article Hoover Time! Sphere One.
Accordingly, if you can do everything possible to become a F.R.E.E. then even if Hoover Trigger is activated then the chances of us executing that hoover will be considerably reduced. By contrast, if you fail to attain becoming a F.R.E.E. then you run the risk of a hoover being executed.
You will note that in the hoover criteria above there is no mention of the gap between when we last contacted you and the current time. There is no mention of the circumstances in which we parted company as the Formal Relationship. There is no mention of you knowing what we are, whether you told us, whether you exposed our abuses to others. Those are not factors which concern us. The existence of a new partner is not relevant either in isolation, but is only a partial consideration in terms of whether that person might stop us. Of course even if they might do so and all the other factors point to the execution of a hoover, this one criterion has diminished relevance.
Accordingly, when you are asking yourself whether a hoover may happen. Remember this.
- You can never say never.
- There needs to be a Hoover Trigger. You can significantly influence whether there is one and reduce the risk but you cannot remove it.
- The Hoover Criteria need to be met. Again, you can significantly influence whether the criteria are met by becoming a F.R.E.E. and reduce the risk, but you cannot remove it.
The issue of whether you will experience a hoover is not completely in your hands, but is far more within your control than you might at first have thought.
It is never the end but you are not helpless.
22 thoughts on “Surely That’s The End, Yes?”
SMH: my exN also seems to have internal triggers as I cannot identify any other ‘common’ triggers from our past or related to specific memories from our past that would trigger hoovers as HG advised. Then again, am no expert on what/when exN is triggered. Just hope it will lessen with time.
Jess, I know what you mean. I think I know my exN’s internal pattern as ‘regular,’ but I don’t think it has anything to do with me. In fact the first set of regular indirect hoovers (that I noticed) resulted in exactly zero response from me yet they continued. I have now blocked the second portal (really third but I don’t dare even go on the other one) and am feeling able to breathe but I am under no illusions. Too many times I’ve been convinced he has completely forgotten about me. I rather think he is the one who is obsessed – I did provide lots of good fuel! 🙂
Speaking of fuel, I also think he had some sort of eating disorder. He would never eat with or in front of me, or take any food I offered. I once joked that he thought I was going to poison him. Every food I mentioned resulted in some comment from him like a yuck or a claim that he was allergic. It would fit with OCD and control issues.
The thing that weirds me out about the cyber stuff is not knowing if he is hoovering or not. It is like having a peeping Tom. We really have no way of knowing if it is lessening or not.
Thanks NA. Good advice as always. I need to take your advice every day cuz I think about him every day. I try to keep busy but as soon as I stop, my thoughts go to him–the good and the bad. And it’s been 4 months. Take care.
Over 18 months no contact and I logged into a new messenger account (deleted all social media 18 months ago) to contact a supplier. 2 days later a message popped through from the crank! Telling me how hurt he was. And then loads of abuse and name calling, sent his address and telephone number and said he wanted to see me face to face. I never accepted the request, he was having a good chat with himself anyway, I finished up with the supplier and deleted the account! Hope he’s fuming!
This is a timely article for me, thank you HG.
I made a decision last week to take myself out of the game entirely for a while, shut down all my social media accounts fully. He had blocked me on two platforms and I was just becoming paranoid waiting for him to unblock and message me.
I’ve been having some mild withdrawals and feeling like I miss him…apparently just checking for messages from him is a form of contact in my head.
I just keep telling myself that it’s not worth it, even if I get that golden period back, he will eventually shelve me or disengage or stranger zone and I won’t be able to control when and how, and I will feel like sh*t once again.
I’ve made a list of potential new ventures, books I want to read, movies I want to watch, projects around my house to do etc. Time to stay busy for the rest of the summer and think less about the narc!
I now class myself as a F.R.E.E – 9 months – hoovered in the 6th sphere on and off Since May. Lately random people trying to add me on Facebook and Instagram. Ignored all.
What do you personally gain from this when the chances of a F.R.E.E in the 6th sphere responding is not high – surely this causes you damage at being ignored?
Also do you start with a benign hoover and if your fuel source is not responding do you then malign hoover?
And, if there is no response what so ever – what’s your next steps.
This would be very interesting to know from an UMRN and of course your own greater perspective also.
Thank you HG
Dear HG: is it common for Ns to follow a pattern with their hoovers, like time-wise for example? I’m noticing that the ex UMRN finds a pretext every couple of weeks to get in touch via email. Seems innocuous, but is it?
The pattern arises purely from Hoover Triggers and the Hoover Execution Criteria being met. It will be the case that something is causing a trigger every two weeks. It could be that the particular trigger is the same each time, e.g. he is reminded of you every Saturday when he goes to a football match because that was something you did together or it may be that each fortnight a different reason is arising for each trigger, e.g. on Saturday he hears a song which reminds him of you, two weeks later on the Sunday someone mentions you which causes a trigger.
Thank you, understood. Though I also feel like there is an element of ‘checking in’ to ensure that the ‘link’ between exN and I is still open so to speak. For for eN’s benefit more than mine, so that I am reminded about his presence and thus the lines of communication are under his control.
Hmmm, HG. I am curious about this because my MR seems to have internal triggers and very strict patterns. For instance, once in NC each month he would indirectly cyber hoover – doing the exact same thing – whilst I was in another country. Then, post-escape, it was direct hoovers once a week. I didn’t meet any execution criteria and he did other rigid and routinized things, so I think it is his own internal clock.
I was ‘only’ IPSS but got away. I do not think he has replaced me (because he is hoovering again) even though I urged him to as part of my escape plan. He had ample opportunity over the years and never did. I think I am always on his radar – the ping or the pong.
He had this obsession with ‘spontaneity,’ which I always found amusing (and annoying) because he was so rigid/scheduled that it was as if he was willing himself to be more spontaneous. He would take his rigidity and turn it against me, accusing me of wanting a schedule, when it was really him that needed one.
What do you think? Obsessive, rigid, laser focused, internal clock? Hoovers very regular and scheduled, rather than intermittent or spontaneous?
It strikes me that while we empaths might emotionally obsess, narcs can get into an obsessive rut too. Maybe OCD causing the trigger every month or week? Like having to wash your hands a million times a day?
Oh, he will come back, he always does. The moment he feels the absence of my energy, like a junkie feeling he is going down, he comes back for more. And I will give him the sweet fuel he so much craves. But this time it will be with poison.
I find the fact that he will never let go enormously satisfying. Eventhough he is a monster and tried to kill me and I never want to see him again I find it very comforting that somewhere in his little black heart he still plots to make me suffer. So, I know on some level I had an impact. I meant something to him even if it was just fuel. I’ve been no contact for three years, erased my online presense, changed my name, changed my business, moved, stopped dating, I am narc teflon I have been permanatly cured of needing to be loved by vampires. I deeply appreciate your insights HG and I am very happy that you are getting fed.
I was wondering after discarding IPSS is Narc going to hoover or does he consider IPSS disloyal and is not going to bother. I am sure he would hoover IPPS but what about IPSS?
He will if there is a Hoover Trigger and the Hoover Execution Criteria are met.
thank you for your response
Don’t you think it’s most often the 6 the sphere in that if the narc has discarded us we are the ones most often blocked by them at least I was.
I had a few starting years ago who would chronically ghost and Hoover. Also had a very abusive marriage where a protection order is on file to this day! They would try calling my phone…I change phone numbers…(now I have the capacity to block) they have shown up at my work, contacted me through pro pages like Yelp and LinkedIn, sent gifts to my family’s home because I have moved, asked a friend or even in one case a waiter to contact me because I had blocked him and he was sitting at one of our favorite restaurants up the street….My ex husband called my stepfather even though he had been served with a restraining order…what do all these whacked out jerkfaces have in common? ME! I am the common denominator! Ultimately, if I can learn to stop engaging with this type of individual, I will be better off. These people are making me sick
Hi Bettina, I’m reminded of Marilyn Monroe’s words that it’s not the candle or the light bulb’s fault that ugly things are constantly drawn to it.
It’s not your fault.
My victim-N sister (aka Jabba the Hutt) rang my GP to force her into demanding I break no contact. (My brother and I were both NC with our sister to survive her spiteful toxicity before we even knew that was a thing.). My GP could see it for what it was, and reassured me it didn’t reflect on me in any way.
Outraged sister then came to my house pounding on doors and windows, hissing, threatening, demanding to be let in, making a scene Infront of the neighbours, ringing my number over and over, (like 35 missed calls in a row) etc. (You get the picture). Police called by me.
Few weeks later she has her co-dep husband lieutenant/FM email my GP, like four pages of utter misrepresentation, BS, smearing, & pontifications, as though they had power of attorney over me (complete contempt of my boundaries). It still astonishes me.
Next I hear from my solicitor that they have been emailing her, misrepresenting themselves… The same pages of BS, smearing, lies, pontifications, and insistence that SHE force me to break no contact.
The fact that I’d cut off contact with her four years ago for her abusive behaviour was never mentioned by her or her husband. Ugh!
I feel your pain.
Oh yeah, recently saw the pair at my local supermarket (this has never happened before). He spoke to me but acted sheepish. She said nothing. She put on this weird rictus grin with ice-cold eyes, and turned away from me to cut me dead, still keeping up the facade that she is a nice person. I kept thinking “I’ve seen the real you, Jabba”.
My Dad still holds onto the myth of the perfect family, and blames me for not trying harder to make a relationship with my sister work. Ugh!
I’m really there again, for the 1000th time, surely that’s the end. This time. Been saying that for a year.
It has been a month since he quit spoofing me. Until today. I blocked the previous number he used. Now I will wait a few days to see if I get a call, hear breathing, and then get the hang up. And wait for the 3rd time. Block that number. I wish I knew more about spoofing. Like how it is actually accomplished. Help??
Never mind. I just read up on spoofing. My emotional thinking kicked in when I got spoofed today. And I will admit I would like to talk to him. I really did love him.
But after reading this article and spending a few hours obsessing, I have now come to my senses. I will block the new number he’s using right now.
When will I stop going around in circles? Well, one good thing, the periods of time I spend obsessing have gotten shorter as time goes by . . . so slowly though. Thanks to HG and all other bloggers.
If when you get the urge you wait it out and come here as you did this time, the periods of obsession will continue to get shorter. Remember that the hooks were set slowly and deeply over time and it will also take time to remove them. Take care.