The hoover. An instrument of cleaning and the instrument by which we endeavour to suck you back into our false reality so we can exert our hold over you once again. Hoovers come at various stages of your dance with us and also come in a variety of forms and guises so that you may not even realise that a hoover is taking place. Hoovers come in two categories which are linked to when they take place and the method adopted to hoover. Some methods can apply to different times in the interaction with our kind, others apply to just one time, often post discard or post escape. There are scores of different methods used in hoovers but here are six which may or may not be familiar to you along with how you can endeavour to pull the plug on them and avoid being sucked in. It is worth pointing out of course that if your narcissist cannot find you and contact you, the hoover can never get started, but that state of affairs is not always possible.
The Proxy Hoover
This does not come from the narcissist but from one of his supporters in his coterie or his Lieutenants. It usually comes from a Lieutenant who can be relied on to execute the hoover in precisely the way that we have directed. The Proxy Hoover will often include a different type of hoover e.g. The Medical Emergency Hoover where the narcissist will use a genuine or more likely feign a medical emergency to force interaction between you and the narcissist and engender sympathy. With the proxy, the call alerting you to the emergency concerning the narcissist will come from the Lieutenant. Like any proxy hoover, there are several reasons for adopting this approach: –
You may not realise the person is a lieutenant and therefore you are more likely to respond to what they say than if it came from our kind, especially if you have instigated no contact;
The conflict between you and us is ameliorated as a consequence of the involvement of this third party, meaning you are more likely to believe what you are being told;
The proxy may stand more chance of persuading you to act;
You may regard what we say and do with suspicion but not this third party
You may not want to look bad in the eyes of the third party by failing to respond.
The key to dealing with this hoover is actually recognise what it is. It is not a third party asking for your help, it is a third party coercing you into contact with us again. You should be especially aware of any of your friends or family asking you to see us or do something for us, or if they comment about how good you and I were together, that we really do miss you and so on. We will infiltrate your supporters to gain added credibility and slip under your radar in this manner. Be aware that any third party who asks you to engage with us is a proxy who is executing the hoover on our behalf. No matter how purportedly significant the event is, the emotional pull involved or the persuasion applied reject it and do so in a firm and business-like manner. Do not show indecision, do not appear upset or concerned or even annoyed or irritated by the approach – even if you do not engage this reaction will be reported to us and will achieve two things for us. One, fuel. Secondly, we know we still have an effect on you and we will keep hoovering. If you are concerned the nature of the proxy hoover may be genuine suggest the Lieutenant finds someone else to help.
The Reverse Hoover
This is quite a cunning method of hoovering. We let it be known through various channels that we do not want anything to do with you, that you should never darken our doorstep again and that we are through with you. This message will be broadcast over all channels – through friends, family, social media and so on. It is not said by us directly to you, that would defeat the purpose. We ensure this message reaches you and the aim is to have you disbelieve that we would say such a thing about you and to appeal to your desire to prove us wrong. Just in the way that a parent causes problems by denying a teenager any opportunity to hang out after 9pm, so they go and do it anyway, by telling you there is something that you cannot do, you then want to do it. Of course we have to gauge the right recipient of this hoover as some people will be content to hear us say those words. It is usually done with those we have discarded without telling that person they have been discarded and they cannot quite believe that it is at an end. This proclamation will cause them concern but they are still not ready to accept that it is the case that the relationship has ended (and they are right because it never ends) and therefore they come looking for an explanation and confirmation that what they have heard is not true. By not telling you direct we can tell you that the rumours you have heard are false and welcome you back with open arms as you are successfully hoovered. Again, recognise this for what it is and avoid acting on what you have been told. It is a ruse to play on your trait of needing to know. If you hear such things being said tell yourself that the comments are true, it is over and we do not want anything to do with you and stay away.
The Letterbox Hoover

This hoover utilises the strong link we know that exists for some time post discard or post escape between seeing a trigger and the golden memories (and/or dark memories) that flow from the trigger. For example, we always slow danced to a particular piece of music with you which made you feel loved and wonderful. If you hear that piece of music the memory is awakened and we flood your memory and your senses. This is ever presence. To avoid this happening you need to take all steps not to play this piece of music again, indulge yourself with new pieces of music and if you hear it inadvertently to switch it off or move away from its source. With this hoover we want to scale your defences and use ever presence to get back in to your head, cause you to think of us and react (and although we do not see it we will get fuel because we know how you will respond) and make you vulnerable to wanting to contact us or a further hoover approach from us. One method of doing this is to send you a birthday or Christmas card with a beautiful, thoughtful handwritten message, often alluding to what we did together on a wonderful birthday or Christmas together during our golden period. This arrives with other cards and therefore is less noticeable. We will most likely print the address or have someone else write it for us so our handwriting does not alert you on the envelope. Once you open it, you read the message and see it is from us and bam! We are in your head and heart once again. It is a pleasant gesture, no malice and you will remember all the good things, think about us, want to contact us and thank us and wonder if this represents a fresh beginning of good relations or the chance to get back together and do things right this time. It is a hoover pure and simple.
To tackle this covert hoovering method, have someone vet all cards and parcels which are sent to you around Christmas, birthday and other appropriate festivals and events. Once checked this person can weed out anything from us and then reseal the envelopes for you so you still have the pleasant act of opening the envelopes and cards for yourself, that have been sent from anybody but us.
The Psychic Connection
This is effective if we know that you are a spiritual person who believes in psychic events, astrology, ghosts, telepathy and the emotional connections between people that are stronger than normal. These beliefs and similar are often applicable to empathic people who of course form our victims of choice. We will use a supposed psychic connection or event to appeal to this nature of yours in order to signify that something special has happened which means we need to be together. We have to have the means of contacting you, often by sending you a message or leaving a voicemail. It is done in a dramatic fashion as we have suddenly uncovered a mystical or portentous occurrence which is of deep-seated significance which tells us that we are meant to be together, we should see each other straight away to discuss its implications or that it has caused us to see the light with it being conveyed in such a manner. Examples will include
Claiming to have dreamt about you in a strange and significant way;
We have seen a clairvoyant who spoke about you and I;
We saw your image when you were not there as if you needed to tell us something;
A picture of you fell off the wall or fell over on our desk without explanation and we knew this meant you wanted to get in touch;
We have had a vision of something terrible happening to you and we have to warn you to save you;
Your face appeared in the froth on our morning latte;
Your name was spelt in jam on the kitchen floor when we dropped our toast.
From the possible to the ridiculous we will exploit your belief in such things in order to establish contact again. Recognise any messages that allude to the above or similar things as what they are; a hoover and do not respond to them in any fashion no matter how curious or compelling it may feel.
The Silent Hoover
This comes in the form of a telephone call but there is no message left or nobody speaks when you answer. It is a blank text message or empty e-mail. It is an invitation to use a particular app on your phone. The purpose of this is to get you to respond to find out why it was sent or done. Once you do so we will either escalate the nature of the hoover by turning on the charm or trying to draw sympathy etc. through the application of a further hoover. We may not respond when you telephone but we know that we have been able to make you respond and we will do a few further Silent Hoovers to increase your curiosity and confirm that you are vulnerable now to our overture by way of a further hoover.  If you fail to respond or do so and dismiss us we save face by saying it was sent by mistake a “butt call” or we hit the wrong key etc. If you respond favourably then we have a green light to apply further pressure to seduce you again. Once again recognise this for what it is and no matter how curious as to why it has been sent do not respond. It is a hoover which will rope you in and have you subjected to further additional hoovers of a different nature.
The Prove Yourself Hoover
Similar to The Reverse Hoover, this hoover relies on your need to say your piece, stand up for yourself and have the last word. It relies on ensuring that a smear campaign has been effected against you and something particularly ridiculous or savage has been said about you. We will ensure that word reaches you through messages from third parties, third parties telling you to your face or postings on social media so you are gripped by the need to respond, set the record straight and tell us what has really happened in order to get us to accept this and issue an apology and correction. We know the type of victim that this really strikes home with, those who always need the truth to be told, who need to be held in correct regard by other people and those who must set us straight. We know you will be sat bristling, incredulous at what is being said about you and you cannot help yourself but want to get the true version out there and ram our words back down our throat. This hoover relies on this and the fuel that flows as you come charging at us ready to make us eat our words. This is precisely that we want to happen.
Again, recognise it is happening and do not respond. If you need to ensure people know the truth, then tell them in an even-handed and level manner and refer to evidence wherever possible rather than oral testimony and hearsay. Do not try and approach us, do not try and persuade us. We are not interested in that. We are interested in your fuel and getting to interact with you again.
To learn more about the narcissistic hoover read Black Hole – Available on Amazon
US  https://www.amazon.com/Black-Hole-Narcissistic-Hoover-Tudor-ebook/dp/B01D7OPOFQ
UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Black-Hole-Narcissistic-Hoover-Tudor-ebook/dp/B01D7OPOFQ
CAN  https://www.amazon.ca/Black-Hole-Narcissistic-Hoover-Tudor-ebook/dp/B01D7OPOFQ
AUS  https://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B01D7OPOFQ6 SPECIALITY HOOVERS.jpg


  1. Narc noob says:

    “Butt call”. Lol, I’ve only heard it before as a pocket call.

    Do Hoover’s matter where there is no ET or connection?

  2. Vi says:

    If the narcissist has never been the first one to reach out to me after every discard the past 3 years. I always contact him first. now that he discarded me again, if I don’t give in and contact him first means that things are done for good because he would not contact me, therefore he does not Hoover?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      No. There is always a risk of a hoover. There is no concept of being ‘done for good’ unless you die or the narcissist does. I recommend that you organise a consultation so I can receive specific information about your situation to help you.

    2. SMH says:


      Thanks for asking that really good question. I’m glad I saw it (and HG’s response). Like you, I was also almost always the first to reach out, though it was mostly me who escaped. What I did not know for awhile, however, was that he was always hoovering, just not directly. For instance, for six whole months of NC he regularly visited my LinkedIn profile in incognito mode (I think he has recently done it twice again). He has fake FB profiles and sends fake friend requesrs (also recently), etc.

      I can only think of three times he directly contacted me post discard/escape – once to ask me where I was after a month long disengagement even though he knew exactly where I was; 3 weeks after that again; and then after my final escape.

      I guess I am prepared for either direct or indirect as that’s what HG would advise (my NC regime is pretty good, though not watertight and then there are my own urges to contend with). I doubt that the former will happen but it still makes me somewhat anxious to not know whether and when one is coming.

  3. Jess says:

    @Kim e – just goes to show that Ns are clueless about what emotions really are. @Supernova, don’t let this little set back set you back. You will be stronger with each NC you implement. I am 7 months NC now and feel much better than say 2-4 months in; by better I mean I dwell less on the N and his awful treatment of me and hoping he gets his karma, etc. I am still vigilant though, as I have received hoovers via email and checking my Linkedin profile as well as a proxy hoover from mutual friends who I also severed ties with.

  4. Supernova DE says:

    HG –
    I received a malign hoover yesterday. After four months NC, does this indicate he is still wounded by my escape?
    Thank you

    1. HG Tudor says:

      It means you are painted black and thus received a malign hoover.

    2. SMH says:

      Supernova DE, if you don’t mind elaborating, what did he do?

      1. Supernova DE says:

        It’s not his fault, I did it to myself.

        When I escaped more than four months ago, MMRN and I were mutually blocked on FB. About two weeks ago, something terrible happened to a mutual friend of ours, a REALLY close friend of the MMRN. I was already on shaky ground with the NC (as noted in previous posts here), and this small additional surge of ET being concerned about MMRN’s reaction to this news made me unblock him on FB. I fully anticipated that I would still be blocked from his end. I was not, he had unblocked me, probably after my escape to try and contact me through that channel, I don’t know.
        I did not contact him, though I did not re-block him. Basically I was doing the WRONG no contact. I’m sure he noticed I had unblocked, because there was much activity between mutual friends due to the tragedy of our friend.
        Two weeks, nothing. Neither of us contacted, provoked, nothing. I should have re-blocked, I thought to many times. But I was also curious how it would play out.
        I changed my profile picture a couple days ago, the comment I put on it would have notified MMRN of a small vulnerability on my end that was occurring. Did I do this on purpose so he would see it? Yes, I’m not going to lie. Again, curiosity, I knew I was risking something, it was dumb. But I didn’t hear from him, not a surprise, I figured he wasn’t even looking at my profile, I mean why would he? I should be deleted from his brain at this time.
        I was wrong. I went to check his profile two days ago…why? Cause I’m an empath and addicted and was snooping. He had re-blocked me, he got in first. There was no need to block me, I was not contacting him, I wasn’t smearing him. He saw I was vulnerable, he saw the opportunity, and he took it.
        When I saw that he had blocked, it was so typical. I panicked. I didn’t even really want to talk to him, it was just about him taking away the possibility, my control over it, the provocation of it (and I fully recognized this was a provocation), and the rejection. The MMRN knows how to hit me where it hurts.
        My response was immediate, emotional, and even though my logic was talking to me the entire time screaming at me to STOP!, I couldn’t stop. I downloaded the messaging app I had shut down when I escaped, and I texted him. I wasn’t exactly pleasant, questioned what he was doing, why, yada yada.
        What ensued was a day long text exchange where he accused me of a bunch of stuff (You were always accusing me of lying, about everything! You were always trying to figure out what angle I had or some invisible plan I had, there was none!, etc)
        I responded with relaying, once again, everything I thought he had done wrong, my anger over it, my hurt over it. Tons of challenge fuel. It devolved. Even though I don’t think getting the FR back is a good thing, I found myself typing messages asking for it – WTF!! I couldn’t stop. Logic was screaming STOP, YOU’RE GIVING HIM EXACTLY WHAT HE WANTS! And I couldn’t stop. After I typed out everything I had in me, I felt tons better, though of course he had ignored every bit of my ranting. Which is expected given he is mid range.
        At this point, I just needed him to acknowledge my existence, acknowledge my emotions, respond! So I switched gears, politely asked him how he has been and gave quick update on myself. Like magic, he wrote back! I wasn’t challenging any more, obviously he had the control, so it was safe to talk now.
        Late that night he sent me a long text saying he doesn’t think we should be conversing, he is not the same person as before, he has asked God to forgive him, and that his wife has his heart and soul….. yea, you read that right, my eyes can’t roll hard enough for that one.
        So that’s it, that’s what happened. I am not blocked on the messaging app, so I don’t know if I’m shelved or dis-engaged from.

        I know he achieved several objectives:
        1. Proved to himself that after four months and I escaped, he can get me to spill fuel with very minimal effort
        2. Twisted it so he can tell himself he left me, rather than me escaping him
        3. Maintained his façade to me by being self-righteous, the one to prioritize their spouse, etc.
        4. Regained control and supremacy

        What struck me in addition are a few things:
        1. I knew what he would do at every step. It didn’t stop me from being out of control emotionally, but I knew . HG has taught me well – though I clearly have a bit to learn about NC (me making fun of myself there)
        2. He used the same language and messages from the last time I hoovered myself. Literally, some of the same phrases were used by him, and frankly, by me in response. BORING and PREDICTABLE. If I followed the same pattern as before, continuing to try and engage him, my guess is that he would lap up my begging, and then act like I convinced him to get back into the FR, then give me a bronze period to get some positive fuel, before a hard shelving…..the pattern is always the same.
        3. I was very emotional during the exchange, but am not really affected now, two days later. I feel foolish for allowing it to happen, but I’m not beating myself up, dwelling on it, or trying to change the outcome. In the past, I would be nauseated and anxious, not sleeping, and continuing to chase him. Not so, this time.
        4. Four months NC helped me, but I need a much longer period to be free. This is just confirmation of that fact
        5. He has a blackness in his heart that I have underestimated.

        Sorry so long, if anyone made it to the end of this, I welcome your comments and insights. I feel fine, but the support of you all is always quite welcome.

        1. Sweetest Perfection says:

          Supernova, thank you soo much for explaining your situation in full detail. It has helped me a lot so that I avoid this extremely possible scenario that could happen to all of us. We are emotional and compassionate and are always open to forgiving and resetting. But your example shows that 1) they only want control 2) they would take any opportunity to show they have the upper hand. I wrote some time ago asking HG about an incident I noticed, the narc is blocked on messenger and my Facebook is deactivated but I still use messenger with other friends. I noticed he was not available anymore, which doesn’t make a difference because I was not thinking of contacting him, but it shows after seeing I deactivated my account he probably tried to message me there and realized he was blocked too so he unfriended me. HG explained it was done to 1) cause a reaction in me and 2) show he had the upper hand in getting rid of me, even if it’s not true. I wouldn’t feel bad about what you did, sometimes you get there on the first try of NC, sometimes it takes a few times, but the relevant things is that you get there. This helped you see the real thing. And omg I’m not gonna comment anything on the sanctimonious farse with the wife… just, what an asshole.

          1. Supernova DE says:

            Sweet P,
            Yea, he sort of overdid it on the sanctimonious part didn’t he? What man uses the phrase, “heart and soul”? Um….none. Haha, that’s even a stretch for most women, it’s reserved for romantic novels.
            Not sure if he is in respite period with wife or just protecting facade with this BS.

        2. Kim e says:

          OMG this has helped me so much. I have class with my teacher HG coming up and am hoping to learn to control my emotions and do the NC thing the right way. I have tried before and failed miserably.
          BUT you are right…the pattern, the bronze period.
          I just hope I can control myself enough to not go off on him before I block….I know it will make me feel better but dont want to give him a clue.
          One question please. How long were you on the shelf before you went NC?
          Thank you again. Your reply is like a ray of light to me. Thanks so much for sharing it.

          1. Supernova DE says:

            Kim E,
            Last fall I hoovered myself (had been NC prior to it) and had similar stormy exchanges to what I describe here. That lasted about a week, then we settled back into old patterns, with golden period. That lasted about two weeks, then sort back to bronze-ish baseline.
            I went NC again about three weeks after I was shelved in late fall.

          2. Supernova DE says:

            Kim E,
            I re-read your comment, may I ask you why my story is a ray of light? It’s kind of a failure, so I’m curious, and maybe you’d give me a positive out of it by explaining?
            If you go NC without tipping him off, that’s great. If you tell him off, whatever. Everyone is different, and I TOTALLY get why HG doesn’t want us tipping off the narc. If you have an outlet that works for you (ie writing letters you’ll never send, telling a friend what an asshole he is, etc.) that you shouldn’t tip him off. Utilize those outlets. I have no such outlets that work for me. So the only relief I have felt is either venting here, which THANK YOU HG FOR MAKING POSSIBLE, or telling narc off. Just don’t bottle it up, I did that shit for so many years of my life that I’m still recovering.

          3. Kim e says:

            Supernova DE,
            Your reply let me know that there is light at the end of the long tunnel called NC. It showed me that your ET was still there but that logic was also there and taking hold.
            I am going to venture (again) to NC and this just let me know that it is really OK to falter. Took me years to end my smoking addition. Hoping not so ling with my MMRN. But after many attempts to stop smoking, when it finally stuck it was like something went off in my head and said “thats it. No more smokes for you”. The physical craving was gone. When I would finish a meal or be out having a cocktail, the “habit” of smoking after or during would pop into my brain and I would then think “You dont smoke anymore”. That took about 3 or 4 months to get over and then I did not get those thoughts anymore. I am thinking (hoping) it will go the same with NC…my MMRN being the smokes and playing with my brain.

            If he had only been an arse to me, it would be so much easier.

          4. Supernova DE says:

            Kim E,
            It was quite apparent that logic was there, which made the whole thing like an out of body experience haha!
            My body was moving, fingers typing, etc….but my brain was in logic mode: “Stop, why are you doing this? It won’t help anything. Put the phone down. He blocked you so you’d text him, you know that. Do NOT download that app…goddamn it, you just did it. DO NOT text him….argh you are killing me right now SDE you just texted him. NO, not one more. Just stop now. You know he is staying silent because he knows you will keep typing, he knows ignoring you triggers all your shit. He will act holier than thou and come out on top, that’s what he wants. He will shut down this communication as soon as he feels he has you safely back on the shelf. He is protecting the façade.”

            If I tried to tell you exactly what I typed to him, I wouldn’t be able to tell you, it is very foggy…showing again that my conscious brain was not totally in control of what was happening. This is different from conflicts I’ve had with him in the past, where I could tell you every last word said between the two of us, of course my brain remembered, if it didn’t I wouldn’t have anything to obsess over later!! (sarcasm implicit)

            It is so fascinating that your cognizant brain can think those things (and I’m not exaggerating in any way there), but the deep rooted subconscious part of your brain, the addicted part and the part that might have attachment issues….overrides it. It is instinct (not a productive one) and very difficult to stop without hard work and NC.

            It’s kind of the same way a narc might know he’s being an asshole and he shouldn’t, but he has to do it anyway…..

            Honestly the more that happens, I can’t be mad at MMRN. I understand he’s just doing what he needs to do to get through every day. But I don’t have to let him do it to me.

            You will do great, and you are right, it is OK to falter. Logic will come, with practice and patience and self-forgiveness if you do slip.


          5. NarcAngel says:

            If that ever comes over you again (and I hope it doesn’t) try hearing the No! And Put that phone down! in HG’s booming voice. That should scare you back to reality lol.

          6. Supernova DE says:

            NA – just THIS: Try hearing the “No!” And “Put that phone down!” in HG’s booming voice. !!!!!!!!!

            This is just the best idea ever!
            HG will you make me an audio file and email it to me?! haha (only half kidding)

          7. HG Tudor says:

            Of course – email me and I can make arrangements.

          8. Kim e says:

            Super and NA…..
            Next time come type it here!!! Kinda like that old advise, type it but don’t send it.

        3. SMH says:

          Supernova DE,

          Thanks for that. It was really interesting to read and I am sorry about your friend. I hope they are alright.

          I see a lot of myself in you and a lot of my narc in yours. For instance, I have been tempted to unblock mine (we are not FB friends) but I know he would then block me. I have also been tempted to change my profile picture, leave little messages only he would be able to decipher in my bio box etc. I have also been tempted on and off (including, briefly, tonight) to contact him

          But I ALSO know that if I initiate anything, he will do the opposite. If I contact him just to say hello, he will entice me back and then disengage. He’s done it many times. If I wanted the FR back, he’d tell me how happy he is with the wife, only because I told him that he would never be happy with her (nor with me – just that nothing could make him happy). In fact, he is probably sending me subliminal messages now that he is a content family man with a renewed sense of commitment, which is why his hoovers aren’t more direct. Ha.

          I think in MRN’s mind he also has twisted things so that he can tell himself he left me rather than me leaving him. I know this because he kept me on WhatsApp for half of last summer, months after my escape, and then suddenly deleted me from his contacts. That was him discarding me even though I had already discarded him (though had not quite gone full NC).

          If you feel calm two days later then NC is working. It almost always takes a number of tries before it really kicks in, but one can feel the lowered ET, even if there is an occasional burst. That is how I escaped – six months NC lowered my ET and hence my reactions were very measured when MRN tried to reinstate the FR. We even saw each other, had a lovely time, and I still said no. The trick really is to keep that ET in control but I don’t think you can do it by willing yourself to do it (as you saw). You have to get the distance that NC gives you. It’s the medicine you have to take (and the full course) to cure the disease.

          Four months is pretty good! The next six months will be easier :-).

        4. Supernova DE says:

          I’m still processing what happened, and I think I’ll write more as I do. Honestly, I think that this type of thing happens to a lot of us here far more than we admit, and far more than anyone writes about.

          We like to pretend that once we know this blog and HG helps us to know the truth that we are impervious. Bullshit. I had just had an email consult with HG TWO FUCKING DAYS prior to this happening. He reminded me why to stay NC, I agreed and thanked him for adding a slightly personal touch to his insights. And it STILL HAPPENED.

          For me it is absolutely nothing to do with the narc. It is 100% reliving childhood triggers, and ingrained destructive coping mechanisms.

          I feel disgusted that HG had to read my account of what went down, knowing he gave me good advice just prior. But he knows about ET and he knows it is difficult for us (though he might wonder what I was thinking breaking NC for this lame pathetic mid ranger who is so obviously triggering childhood traumas in me).

          I feel I let you all down, and let HG down, in particular. HG will you forgive me?

          1. HG Tudor says:

            You only let me down if you give up. YOu have not given up. Dust yourself off and get back on the no contact horse. Your honesty with regards to what happened is evidence of progress and beating down your emotional thinking. You have also received a salutary lesson in how powerful ET is and you have learned from it.

          2. Supernova DE says:

            Thanks Boss, I really appreciate your kind words.
            NC is back in place. Luckily there have been so many group texts going around with mutual friends that I have procured MMRN’s cell number and have been able to block it.
            Also working to distance myself from mutual friends on social media – I don’t know which ones are spies and I don’t need those people anyway.
            With gratitude, SDE

          3. SMH says:

            Kind response, HG.

            Supernova DE, Please don’t feel badly about it. Truly, there but for the grace of God go I.

            I now think the only reason my NC has been successful (knock on wood) is because MRN moved to a different country. If we still only lived a few miles from each other I am sure I would be entangled even with HG’s help. A pattern emerges in the course of any relationship, and it is very hard to break it. MRN moving did that for me.

            When he told me he’d be moving, while trying to get me back into the FR, I responded that returning to him would be like diving into an empty swimming pool. He didn’t understand the emotional risk (duh) but kept trying to persuade me by reminding me that he travels a lot and we’d see each other just as much. ‘We might as well be in different countries now,’ he said. And I said ‘exactly’ – he himself articulated the biggest problem (from my perspective) with the relationship – me feeling like there was always an ocean of sorts between us. It was an aha moment. The burden lifted from my shoulders, I declined to return to the FR but did not go NC at that point – my main mistake – because there was an IGH and then many hoovers after that, and started counting down the months to his move.

            As HG says, get back up on that NC horse. Two steps forward, one step back.

          4. Supernova DE says:

            Thanks for the support. What you wrote here got me thinking: “returning to him would be like diving into an empty swimming pool. He didn’t understand the emotional risk”

            I think that the idea of emotional risk goes both ways. Of course, for the narc it is not “emotional” per se, for them it is more about the risk of losing control.

            I have proven, repeatedly, to MMRN that I do not accept his control easily. I’m not saying that he doesn’t control the relationship, he does absolutely. But I, over time, challenged more and more frequently, to the point that it was almost constant. I think this is what he meant when he was always telling me how I stressed him out. He enjoyed the fuel that came with my challenges, but it took much effort on his part to regain his supremacy. One small manipulation never did the trick with me, he had to work harder, longer, and with more malice than I think he was used to. He was no longer able to trust me. Every moment was one where I might wound him, he couldn’t relax (not like they ever do, but you know what I mean).

            The fact he had to be meaner, nastier etc with me was difficult for him. He is smart enough to realize he is acting badly (though justified to him of course). I think this unbalanced him, I think it upset his façade to himself that he is a good person. I think that’s part of why he provoked me. Fuel was a benefit, of course, but I think he needed to put it to bed in a way that made him feel good about himself.

            In the same way, I cannot trust him. I began to act in a defensive manner, protecting myself, keeping him at a distance, etc. This happened well before I knew about NPD. He brings out all the worst parts of my attachment issues (the clingy and anxious part). And I bring out the worst in him (needing corrective devals).

            And isn’t that just the definition of a bad relationship – one where we bring out the worst in our partners, and they bring out the worst in us?

            A golden period cannot occur with trust, at least on the empath’s part, and lack of challenge on the empath’s part. Our cycle has occurred so many times now that he will never relax enough to give me a golden period, he knows full well it is just a matter of time before I’m hurling criticisms at him. And I know full well it is just a matter of time before the ocean between us recurs.

            It’s just really well and done at this point. I can see it now, more clearly than ever.

          5. SMH says:

            Yes I get it, Supernova DE. Mine once told me that my anxiety the previous year had scared him (of course he had caused it). And the only time he was really super mean to me I went cold, fought back, and he sort of apologized (what he actually said is ‘it was not your fault’). I think he was surprised by my fierceness because I was mostly pretty well behaved. But just as we start seeing things about the narc that have been kept under wraps, we also keep things under wraps. When we all let fly, it becomes a death spiral and there’s no going back. MRN and I tried so many times and it always followed the same pattern. What’s the point of having a lover who doesn’t soothe you or make you happy?

            I thought of something. I have been on this blog now for about a year and a lot of times I have read all of my own posts and comments from beginning to end. It keeps me from breaking NC when I am tempted (rarely now), and it shows me how much progress I have made (and when I have slipped back too). Maybe that will help you too.

          6. Supernova DE says:

            I think you and I are a lot alike. I know you said before you are avoidant in attachment style and I am also. My husband and narc are the only two people I have ever allowed myself to be vulnerable to…not just recently but in my entire life. But damn once I’m attached and let them in, I can get really anxious. Fearful avoidant/anxious style, the rarest type.

            What you say here: “When we all let fly, it becomes a death spiral and there’s no going back. MRN and I tried so many times and it always followed the same pattern. What’s the point of having a lover who doesn’t soothe you or make you happy?” This is very relatable for me. I expressed this concept to MMRN at the end of the past few cycles, when I was simultaneously anxious but trying to detach myself. He couldn’t express his feelings, but he felt the same concept in his own way, I know it.

            There is no way I could go back and read all my comments here. I am a shame-based person, and I would be engulfed by self-loathing if I did so. I don’t like the person I was when I first came here. I played the victim, had a false sense of self-esteem, and felt I was special and somehow superior to MMRN.

            I have come a long way, and the way I have dealt with this last set back proves it to me. If I read my comments on this thread the past few days, I can see that I now take responsibility for my emotional state, I acknowledge I don’t need to allow MMRN to mess me up, I’m not wallowing in self hatred over it (and thus making the ET more likely to flare up/make me believe I deserve no better than MMRN can give).

            The journey continues….

          7. Sweetest Perfection says:

            SDE, SMH, “What’s the point of having a lover who doesn’t soothe you or make you happy?” That’s the point. A very good friend told me once: you get into an affair to be pampered, romanced, loved passionately, to feel what you long ago miss in your marriage. But if your lover is gonna give you more shit, for that purpose you already have a husband, a job, and a lot of bills to pay. She was right!

          8. SMH says:

            Yes, SP, and even though I was not married (I had just separated when I met MRN), those things would still hold true.

            I once sent him an article with ‘scientific’ proof (all else being equal – that the chemistry and commitment were there) that the happiest relationships were ones where the couple had met online (yes for all of you online naysayers), shared no children, have sex once a week (we only saw each other once a week or less as we both traveled a lot), had previous long-term relationships, and a few other things that could apply to us with a bit more effort and allowing for the circumstances. Why can’t you just be happy? I asked. But of course I did not know then that happiness was not the point for him.

            For the record, I’ve been married twice and never want to be again. I told MRN to shoot me if I ever told him I was getting married again.

          9. Kim e says:

            I never wanted to get married again after being married 2 times either UNTIL I was with the narc. After we split, i realized I missed the things he did give me….even if it was an illusion. I had been single for 10 years and was really not interested in even dating before I was “Chosen”.
            So that I am truly thankful to him for. Opening my heart again.
            Is that really weird?

          10. Supernova DE says:

            Kim E,
            It’s not weird! I think anytime you go through something, you can learn from it or gain something from it. If you feel more open, that’s great. Just be careful you don’t find another narc haha!!!

            I personally have learned so much about myself, my own behavior patterns, my own childhood, my emotional reactions etc. All of these things will help me as I move forward, so that I can be healthier and happier.

          11. Kim e says:

            Supernova. Not looking to find another as I am still in a formal relationship with mine. When I said after we split, I meant the first time. I was hoovered back in and am on the 2nd time around. Hooked…………..

          12. SMH says:

            I’m glad you feel that way, Supernova DE. I do too. In some ways narcs are a gift because they force us to look really deeply into ourselves, as you note.

          13. SMH says:

            Kim E,

            I don’t think it’s weird at all. It is fine to be grateful for things that they do for us. MRN made me grow and stretch in ways that I had never thought possible and I think anyone who challenges us is a gift. I told MRN early on that whatever happened I would always be grateful to him – that I would always have a place in my heart for him, and that is true. I never wanted to be IPPS because I was not ready for a relationship when I met him, only two months after I separated from ExH. In some ways, I used MRN to get my bearings, and I am mature enough to realize that he served a purpose for me too. I miss him but the friendship and the feeling of having someone there more than the FR per se.

          14. Supernova DE says:

            Sweet P,
            You are so right! I think this is true from my narc’s side as well. He wanted positive fuel from me, but I had a hard time accepting his BS, so he ended up getting lots of negative fuel cause he was always correcting me!
            He would say, “I get enough negativity from my wife, I don’t need more. I need lightness and fun.” I agreed, but of course then he would lie, or triangulate, or ignore me….and off we would go again.

          15. Sweetest Perfection says:

            Supernova, I did the same. I actually tried at first to pretend I was the happiest and most cheerful person he could ever meet to prove that I am better than his wife, who was constantly forcing him to change his personality and to go to counseling (at first, I thought she was boring and horrendous. Now I know she is a doormat with a loooooot of resilience) but I started reacting very quickly, my trigger was triangulation. I didn’t respond to gaslighting because I don’t get convinced easily, and whenever he tried to give me a silent treatment I actually made it longer by disappearing for a while, so he knew those didn’t work on me. But insert another IPSS in the story… I WAS HYSTERICAL.

          16. SMH says:

            Supernova DE,

            I think you are right about what happens when avoidants get attached (anxiety) and maybe that is what happens with narcs too, because they are also avoidants and they don’t have a lot of trust. They resort to narcissism and we resort to emotional turmoil. Could getting involved with your narc in the first place perhaps be an escape from the anxiety you feel with your husband?

            I have seen you change but I think we all arrive here in a state of shock that this could happen to us, and then further shock as we learn what we are really dealing with. Since I arrived post-escape, I was already fairly humbled by the whole experience – like I had been in a war zone and survived (though I wasn’t sure I would at the point that I found this blog). But my ET was much higher than it is now.

            I do have trouble reading messages between me and MRN – that is where I feel shame. I only did it once just to reassure myself that I could and that I was not as crazy as I thought (or as mean at the end). One reason I wanted him to delete all of it is because of my shame. It meant that he deleted very thoughtful emails, but he also deleted the more unbalanced ones.

            I just figure these posts are public anyway and we are all anonymous. That anonymity helps because it’s almost like you are looking at a different person. You don’t really have to own what you wrote. You can even change your name on here if you want to, but maybe your ET is still too high for you to be ready for it.

          17. Supernova DE says:

            Wow, you sort of blew my mind there. Could I have subconsciously gotten involved with narc to distance my husband? This will take some serious contemplation on my part, but at first blush I’d say that yes, it is possible.
            At the point narc and I got involved I had been in therapy for just over a year, and was making good progress on all my issues. However, when coping mechanisms designed to keep you away from people and intimacy start to fall away, what happens? You share more and get closer of course! So I was being more honest with my husband about my emotions and allowing myself to be more vulnerable to him. I was doing it on purpose, consciously, in order to get better and more comfortable with those aspects of our relationship.
            Perhaps something deep seated kicked in…Pretty much at every step I can say I initiated things with narc. I sent him the FB friend request, I sent him the first text, I sent him the first flirtatious message, the first sexual innuendo, etc. Obviously, for him, he was thinking, “Great!, an open door to push on!” But still, I cannot blame him, it was me from the start.

          18. SMH says:

            That is very interesting, Supernova DE! You were opening up, it was scaring you, and so you sought refuge with someone else. I think we are onto something.

            I have a similar scenario. When I met MRN, I had just separated from my ExH, which was super difficult. I think when we are emotionally vulnerable, especially if we are avoidants, we open the door to all kinds of people. With ExH I felt extraordinarily guilty (and was also in therapy) and so when MRN came along I was not only emotionally raw, I was determined to ‘fix’ the mistakes about myself that I felt at the time had contributed to the end of my marriage. MRN was attracted to whatever energy and behaviors I was exhibiting and I was attracted to things about him (his calmness, his alpha maleness, the things we had in common) that were so different from ExH. It was all very subconscious but certainly I was also trying to heal the emotional rawness and be a different person.

            Decades ago, I was once going through similar turmoil with someone I was breaking up with (or didn’t get back together with or something like that) and I was emoting all over the place, but especially to a very close girlfriend, who then told me she’d fallen in love with me. Neither of us was gay. In fact, she was married. Unfortunately, she freaked out that she’d fallen in love with me (not me – I understood how it happened) and our friendship fizzled out.

            The point I’m trying to make is that emotional openness is vulnerability for people like us, and it attracts all sorts – they could be empaths or they could be narcs or they could be normals. They could be friends or lovers. Plenty of people have reasons to be attracted to emotions. I think people like us are just not used to opening up and being vulnerable, and so do not have the tools we need to manage our emotional lives.

            Our coping mechanism is much like the narcs but our needs and self-awareness are different.

          19. NarcAngel says:

            No one is disappointed in you but rather for you that you had to experience that. You were so honest in your account of what happened, why (from your view) and how you felt about it. It was incredibly brave of you to do so, and not that we would have that happen to you to demonstrate it, but it offers a view to others the likely outcome, and the power of emotional thinking even in the face of having information to help control it. You now have the answers for the what ifs you wondered about and it appears you have been able to review them with renewed clarity. I’m glad that you felt you had a place to come and to share what you did to help others as well as purge it yourself. I hope you feel better.

        5. Joanne says:

          Supernova DE
          I think we’ve all been there. I have never even attempted to go “real NC” and I often will dangle bait with pictures and posts on social media that are provocative in ways which I know will cause him to message me. And I too have chastised myself when I know I’ve “given control” back to him.

          The real takeaway in my opinion is that you know what you were doing. Yes, it may have been driven by ET but in hindsight, now, you are not spinning out of control in confusion, asking yourself, “where did I go wrong, why didn’t this turn out in a positive way?” You know. It’s clear. He behaves this way because he is a narcissist, period.

          Lastly, I think those of us who are getting stronger in our logical thinking can easily fall prey to thinking that now that we know, we can engage with the narc, control outcomes and manage our emotions. But we can’t. Hang in there!

  5. Jess says:

    SMH: playbook is right. It’s like all the midrangers operate in accordance with the Midrange Narc Manual. I’m hoping that 2019 will show exN that his hoovers need to go elsewhere.

    1. SMH says:

      It’s bizarre, Jess, but I think it points to the flatness of their emotional capacities. There is nothing really complicated about a narc, so the script is always the same.

      1. Jess says:

        SMH: flatness is right! They have a very limited emotional spectrum, which I see so clearly now. I remember asking exN to tell me what emotions he feels and I might as well have asked him a quantum physics question. He had trouble wrapping his head around what emotions really were; gave some lame answer after prompting what kind of answers I was after. He was good with words, but it was only words. The actions didn’t match.

        1. Kim e says:

          Jess and SMH,
          My MMRN tells me all the time “I dont do emotions”. “If I had emotions this conversation would have been different”. I would ask him “what would have been different about the conversation?” and he would reply “emotions”!
          OH well that cleared it right up!!!!!

          I agree with good with words but clumsy in person when it came to any in depth conversation.

          1. SMH says:

            Kim E, mine would say things like that too – ‘I have a very limited emotional range,’ ‘I don’t understand other people’s emotions.’ And I would try to explain to him what emotions were and how interpersonal relationships worked, etc. It was truly like banging my head against a wall but I did not realize this at the time. I thought he had Aspergers (which he might – co-morbid conditions) and would modify his behavior if I could get him to understand what troubled me.

  6. lisa says:

    Reading all the comments about hoovers, takes me back to that place of the anxiety of hoping and waiting for hoovers from a complete and utter asshole. It does eventually go away and you no longer are as effectived one way or another. Once I really was done and he felt the shift in me , because I was actually sickened and started to ignore all direct hoovers, which i’d always responded to, he realised he’d lost control and then went into full panic grand hoover overdrive. I never got back into a relationship with him. However i did eventually respond after 4 months of ignoring everything he tried, including turning up at my house at midnight one night, I never opened the door.
    We got back on friendlyish terms and would see each other occasionally and talk on the phone and text, but despite all his attempts I never got back with him, as in a relationship of any kind. I didn’t want to because i’d had 3 years of it and he will never ever change. So we have actually been split up since May 2017 as a relationship. Were on friends terms from September 2017 until June 2018. Then I moved 4 hours drive away and just cut it off. I didn’t move because of him. He couldn’t believe that I went ahead with the move as I don’t think he thought i’d go through with it, more of his deluded mindset. There’s been no contact since I moved. BUT the hoovers started again 2 weeks before Christmas and have carried on weekly ever since. I’ve ignored everything. So if anyone’s interested in reading this, it’s just an example of how they don’t go away.
    But if you really do feel that you want some kind of control back, you have to show indifference and ignore the narcissist it’s the only way of having control.
    If you don’t feel ready then you just don’t and have to do it whatever way works for you.

    1. Kim e says:

      Were you an IPPS or IPSS?

      Glad all is going well for you. I need to hear stories where there is a happy outcome for the “victim”. (just a term I used…not sure I believe it)

      1. lisa says:

        Hi Kim e
        I’ve just responded to Jess with similar questions, yes I was IPPS.
        Yes I am out of it now but it took a long time and I used to wait for hoovers and always be relieved when I got them and always respond . It wasn’t until I ignored all hoovers for 4 months that he went into full melt down and desperation to get me back. Even going to his doctor and then getting his sister to contact me to say that he now knows there is something wrong with him and he’s going to get therapy if I give him another chance.
        That was all manipulation , he’s a text book narcissist and there’s no hope. It consumed 4 years of my life , I’m still picking up the pieces emotionally not because I care about him but it just takes a while to get back to some kind of normal.

        1. Kim e says:

          Lisa. Thank you for the reply. Wish you live and light for the rest of your life

      2. SMH says:

        Kim e, I think I am a happy outcome victim story. I beat him back and have been NC for almost 10 months. I do not know how I would react if he hoovered me directly or if I saw him in a person, so I cannot say that he means nothing to me, but I did get my life back and I am very content right now.

    2. Jess says:

      Lisa: were you and IPPS? Also, how is he hoovering you if I may ask? Calls, texts? I suppose if you haven’t gone no contact then he feels he can contact you.

      1. lisa says:

        Hi Jess
        Yes I was IPPS I was never aware of any other women, doesn’t mean there wasn’t but I never caught him if there was. I wasn’t triangulated with other women or exes, his exes were all psychos , alchololics , whores , need I say more, they were used continuously to show himself as the injured victim that led him to being afraid to commit to relationships.
        If anything I was triangulated with his mates, drinking and football, sounds strange but it’s away of you never being a priority in their life plus he was a binge drinker, he also used his mummy and sister as IPSS, always crying on their shoulder when yet another relationship failed and he was the victim of yet another evil woman. I do suspect he was porn addicted though, which means he could be using Apps, Sites, etc for that , rather than actual affairs , who knows!!!
        He’s currently contacting me by email, he’s blocked on other things. He does not even know whether I’m receiving the emails. He is I presume getting thought fuel that I might be and I presume trying to provoke me to contact him by responding but I haven’t , it started 3 weeks before Christmas, one email per week. Receiving the emails doesn’t have any emotional effect on me now, I just ignore them. Yes I could block the email but I prefer to ignore them and he doesn’t know one way or another that i’m receiving them or not. If I still lived near him he would have turned up on my doorstep but i’m miles away now.

        1. SMH says:


          As IPSS I was triangulated with everything under the sun too (only once with another woman – possible CIPPS, but I left and she faded from the picture – once I found out about IPPS, I did not care and told him I did not want to be IPPS, so he could not triangulate me with her). He would triangulate me with work, his daughters, traveling, even with myself by asking me if I was sure I wanted to see him when I’d told him that I did!

          I also thought he was a porn addict at various points, but as you say, who knows!

          1. K says:

            This statement below is a good example of gaslighting.

            by asking me if I was sure I wanted to see him when I’d told him that I did!

            This is part of an HG quote:
            If the behaviour causes you to feel that you are questioning yourself, you are hurt, puzzled, bewildering, questioning ‘your reality’ then it is gaslighting.

          2. SMH says:

            K, I guess it was. He was feigning concern, gaslighting (as you say), and pushing away and it was precisely at that moment – during that exchange – that I decided to escape. Unfortunately, it didn’t end there but from then on, my reality took center stage, not his.

    3. Jess says:

      Lisa: thank you for responding. Your story has many similarities. And I believe you were triangulated by him saying that all his exes were crazy, etc. That’s how I see it anyway. Well done for ignoring all the hoover emails. I honestly don’t get why Ns would bother shooting off emails time and time again when they get no response. Seems so futile. Hope the hoovers dissipate.

      1. lisa says:

        Hi Jess
        Yes your right I suppose talking about all the crazy exes is triangulation, what I meant was they were never painted white again to make me jealous. I see it more as a manipulation so that I will keep proving i’m not like them and for him to play the injured victim , when in fact he knows he is the abuser and has been in all his relationships .
        I was usually triangulated with things !!
        Mostly him leaving to go and live abroad, that was 4 years ago and he still hasn’t gone any where.
        He’s somewhere between a Upper Lesser and Lower Mid and a Victim. There’s definitely some cross over with these types as they have some traits of Lessers and some of Mids and there is an awareness with this type, but in knowing there is something not quite right with them, they then use this to their advantage as they can again say
        But it’s not my fault I can’t help how I am bla bla.
        Actually they can’t , it’s like trying to fix an autistic person, it’s not possible and we wouldn’t try. And just to point out i’m not comparing Autism with NPD, i’m just saying you can’t fix or change these types of disorders.

      2. lisa says:

        I think they send the passive hoovers, in my case the emails with pictures of things that would be linked to things we did together or shared memories (create nostalgia ). Others are receiving silent calls and FB requests , I believe it’s just to get a reaction, to see if they still can get a reaction from us. A reaction is fuel, its attention of some kind, they are then satisfied that your still bothered about them in some way or another. It’s also a way of trying to get you to contact them if they want you back or just want an update about what’s going on in your life , without them having to risk to much rejection.
        If the narc responds he either wants the formal relationship back or wants to “Just be friends” all as and when it suits him.
        If they don’t respond I think they get a kick out of ignoring you. They then feel like they are still manipulating you in some small way , when they are feeling a bit bored.

        1. NarcAngel says:

          Yes. Like someone invisible standing beside you poking you in the ribs repeatedly and snickering to themselves: “made you look” every time.

          1. lisa says:

            Great example 😀
            It is the mindset of an adolescent or even younger that is the Narcissists mentality.
            It can’t be rationalised in a way that will make sense because their behaviour is not ever rational.
            Bit like trying to tell someone with a particular type of extreme OCD
            ” They don’t need to wash their hands 100 times”
            It’s not going to make sense because it’s a disorder !!!

    4. Jess says:

      Lisa: yeah the tried and tested manipulation about leaving/moving elsewhere. I experienced that too. Once I caught on that it was just words posing as a threat and stopped responding to it, he had to change tactics and triangulate me with other stuff and people of course. Agreed on the hoovers with both you and NA – always poking to see if we’ll respond. I so wish I had found this blog earlier – might have saved me some time to see the manipulation etc. of exN. I continue to be amazed at how similar the shared experiences on this site are.

      1. SMH says:

        It’s like there’s a narc playbook out there, Jess, and they are all reading the same game plan (or script or whatever a playbook refers to).

    5. SMH says:

      Lisa, I have to laugh because I kept moving on mine too. I’d leave the country we lived in together (he is gone now for good) every year for five months. The first year, I didn’t even tell him until I dumped him for the first time (a month after I met him – anyway, I said, I’m leaving for five months). I’d get constant hoovers when I was away, but I did not know what they were. The first year I responded all the time because I thought we were in some kind of weird ld relationship and I’d be back. The second year they were indirect because we had ‘broken up’ and I wasn’t sure it was him until I mentioned it to him and they stopped. The third year, I escaped but then fell for direct hoovers, still not knowing what they were.

      Now I show indifference in the sense that I do not respond and we are not in contact so I don’t mention them either. I just ignore them (after I have dissected them here). I am fascinated, though, I must admit, because I had no idea that people acted this way. I wonder what is next up his sleeve!

  7. Jess says:

    To some extent I have to agree with the comments here about secretly wanting the hoover – at least an indirect one, as I never want to see him again. Maybe not pining for a hoover but deep down wishing that exN will somehow try and launch a hoover post-disengagement. I have to admit, I’ve been there too. Early on in NC it was probably about validation of being worthy somehow, but then it changed. Now when I have those secret wishes for a hoover it is purely due to the satisfaction it gives me when I ignore exN’s hoover which gives me my power back. I see him as pityful for trying to bait me into responding and telling him where he can shove it by ignoring him is empowering.

  8. Supernova DE says:

    So here is how I am feeling today:

    I want to break NC, the ET is hitting me hard with the, “I really just want to be friends again” aspect. Which is true, but also terribly illogical because its not like he will be a supportive friend. And also, the salami slicing will have him back into my panties in no time…I’m weak on that aspect and he damn well knows it.

    The odd thing is, I have contemplated texting him directly, but I have absolutely no desire to unblock him on social media. The thought of unblocking him is downright appalling. I’m guessing that’s because if I unblock, I give up those small aspects of my control on the situation.

    I also fear that if I text him directly, he will not respond, or be malign. Perhaps not enough time has passed and he is still smarting from me attempting to end it and telling him I have nothing left for him emotionally.

    What strikes me about the above commentary going on in my head is how much it SOUNDS LIKE A NARC’S PERSPECTIVE! Narcs want the control too, they are wary of the rejection, they need time after the disengagement/escape to see us positively again and be able to get back on board with a golden period. I am absolutely no different.

    I am at 15 weeks NC at this time, the longest I have gone in the past is six weeks. I’m light years ahead with the logic thing, I just don’t know how long its going to last.

    1. Lori says:

      SuperNova De

      I don’t know and I’m not a mental health professional but it seems to me that much like myself you have some control issues. I think again much like myself you don’t give a rats ass about this guy it’s just that youre bored and you don’t like that he’s controlling this situation. You are not on the shelf because you attempted to end it. You are on the shelf because there are one or more more other appliances that are more appealing.

      If you contact him, you do. You will do this as many times as it takes. Believe me the best outcome is he ignores you otherwise the crazy begins again. There is never going to be a good outcome with them and if we are honest with ourselves we don’t want to be “friends” we want our power back and not only do we want our power back but we want the excitement they provided us back. On many levels to people like you and I they are an appliance as well. That’s is why you feel like you sound like a narc. This guy was giving you some sort of fuel and you want it back

      I’m going to suggest you not do it but I certainly won’t judge you if you do. Sometimes we have to see the dysfunction over and over till we get it right

      1. Supernova DE says:

        Yea…you’re right, on all accounts.

        I’m reminded of another post you made on a different thread a while back (back when we had some BPD folks causing mayhem) where you describe the Co-D’s lightbulb going off at a certain point, and then the Co-D doesn’t care anymore, just moves on. But after a time, the desire to return can be very intense. That’s basically what I have experienced with him over and over.

        In the past I have actively tried to replace him (I never said I was a good person), but I always ended up going back. And each time, I attempted to assert my power, and he acquiesced for a few weeks (golden period), but then flipped the tables on me, like they always do.

        So yes, I understand the outcome won’t be different, which is why I have not contacted. And yes, if I am brutally honest, I don’t care about him, his well being, or what he’s up to, I’m not even sure I care if he has other IPSS, so long as I could get what I want
        What I want is:
        1) his sexual attention
        2) his validation that I am a superbly awesome woman, and I really am
        3) to regain some form of control over this situation and my emotional reaction to the situation

        I feel like this thread has been very helpful to me to see some of the underlying issues for myself so I thank everyone for that, especially Lori and SMH. I have a direction to go in for some self-exploration, which should stave off breaking NC for a few weeks.

        1. SMH says:

          I hope you have staved it off, Supernova DE. I just commented on another post of yours but I am not sure if it was early or later than this one – you seemed close to breaking NC.

          I feel very lucky that I was the one in control in the end because I think it really helped me to know that he still wanted me as the superbly awesome woman that I am 🙂 and I could just walk away from that. Why? Because he did not really ever see ME and so any awesomeness he bestowed on me was fake.

          The only real part was the sex but we always had a conflict between his objectifying me ALL THE TIME and my insistence that he treat me like a real person. I even told him to role play his control freakishness objectification in bed – to keep it where it belonged. But in the end, I realized that the objectification was just how he is with everyone, whether he is sleeping with them or not. Other people as full people do not exist for him.

          Maybe – and don’t be insulted by this – your identity is too wrapped up in your sexual self? By that I mean that you find validation by way of sex? I mean we all do a certain extent but it’s not healthy to see your awesomeness only in relation to your sexual attractiveness (and again forgive me if I am on the wrong track).

          1. Supernova DE says:

            I have not broken NC and the strong desire to do so has passed. I have used my free time the past few days to do some reading about codependency and can see some issues and patterns I have that are described. I have something to work on and this helps me to turn my focus back to myself.

            Re: me putting too much emphasis on my sexual appeal…I’m not sure. It rings true to some degree.
            I think that most aspects of my personality (ie intelligence, capability, integrity, kindness, humor) are easily validated in my normal interactions with family and through my career.

            But the need for adventure and sexuality (The aspects of me I had mostly denied til I looked inward in my 30s) are not so easily validated. I am a mother of three with significant responsibilities. Who looks at a mother of three small children in a sexual way? No one. What opportunity is there for adventure? None. When you combine these two aspects you have a need for sexual attention/confirmation of appeal and the need for sexual experimentation.

            I am the one who took it sexual with MMRN, not the other way around. I manipulated him from the first. I think we gave each other a golden period, I mirrored him too. I knew, on some deep level, I could get that type of validation from him in a “safe” way (ie no risk of disease and no risk of real intimacy or rejection)

            Re: still trying to fix it. Yes, I can see that I am. Perhaps I feel that with increased knowledge of myself and what I was trying to extract from the relationship, that we can be mutually beneficial to each other (fuel swap) without the bullshit. Low probability, I admit, and not possible in the near future.

            Taking it a day at a time is helping a lot. Saying never is too final and overwhelming and panic inducing for me.

      2. Lori says:

        You got this. You know what’s driving the want for contact boredom, lack of control and the cessation of excitement. Identifying what your feelings are and what’s driving them is half the battle. This has little to do with him a more with some control issues you have. Like I said I’m no mental health professional but I see this as control issues. You seem to be a lot like me abc if I’m guessing you like to win too

        Do you have other manifestations of control issues in your life ?

        1. Supernova DE says:

          Yes, I definitely see the codependency issues in myself, its becoming more apparent to me the more I learn here and the more I assess myself from an honest place.
          Honestly, it’s a relief to see things more clearly, even when it is concerning my flaws.

          I have not actively sought out someone “like him”- but I have tried to replace him in terms of seeking out a different affair partner. I knew something was wrong with the dynamic and sought to find what I needed elsewhere…..

          Re: control issues, I’m not sure. I guess it is difficult for me to see my behaviors as controlling, though perhaps that is just me having blinders on. I will think on this and speak to my therapist.

          And yes, you are damn right I like to win. The fact that I feel like I “won” in a way with MMRN by being the one to cut it off this time, is probably the most likely reason I have stuck to NC this long.

          What I am struggling with is how do I fill the hole he left? In some ways it feels hopeless.

      3. Lori says:

        SuperNova DE

        Think of it this way, you may not have the excitement you crave, but you don’t have pain and the crazy that you detest but I also realize that the status quo equates to absolute boredom and almost depressive state. I find that most Codependent whole creatures of habit must have some “project “ whether it’s being into some activity or hobby which often includes fixing some one of working too much otherwise you see them begin to exhibit signs of depression. I will say though filling that hole with an activity or project Is much more healthy then trying to fill it with Narc

        Just remember the highs get less high and the lows get lower that is what happens with addiction whether it’s gambling, food, alcohol, drugs or a Narcissist the lows will keep getting lower

        Just my take.

        1. Supernova DE says:

          You make some good points. I guess like everything else in life it is a balancing act – how much pain are you willing to take to get the excitement etc. I am afraid of never feeling that way again, because in a way I felt so complete. But, like you, I acknowledge the fact that it is destructive for me.

          Of all people my mother mentioned and asked about MMRN today. She does not know of the affair just asked if I had talked to him (or others from my childhood) she mentioned his name specifically though and it got me all twisted up.

          I feel better and adrift at the same time right now. Relieved to see that much of what troubles me in relationships and adulthood seems to have a label, and I can self educate about it and try to improve.
          But saddened that I will likely always want/need that narc drama.

      4. Lori says:

        Oh gosh the Mom thing… years ago when I reconnected with Narc 1 my Mom immediately ask me about it. They have a 6th sense.

        You are going to be just fine. I would suggest you not contact him because there really isn’t any possible positive outcome but if you do you do. You will do it as many times as it takes until honestly you become bored with the cycle and yes you will likely eventually bore of it likely when a new Narc enters the picture and one will

        Side note: of course 2 days after Valentines Day a get a message request but it was deleted by Facebook or the user it simply said Facebook user. Could have been spam but I haven’t gotten one of this in 6 or 8 months now one right after Valentines Day? Highly suspect

        1. Supernova DE says:

          Lori, that is highly suspect. I’ve had profiles I blocked change to “Facebook user” in my list of blocked profiles. I guess that means the profile was deleted. But I’m not sure.

          I personally decided to change my settings so he is unable to send a friend request. It’s a level of BS that is so lame I just don’t want to deal with it anymore.

      5. Lori says:

        And let me say this if you do decide to contact him, do not shame yourself about it. Codependency is a shame based condition. If you beat yourself up about it, you will only feed that. Don’t do it. It’s ok to screw up as long as you are actively trying to recover. The idea is to start indentifying how you feel and why you feel that way.

    2. NarcAngel says:

      I applaud your honesty and it helps me to understand a bit more, so thank you (and others in this discussion) for that.

    3. Lori says:

      Personally I feel with a Narc and a Magnet Codependent on the surface it’s hard to tell who is the Narc. I find there are many similarities along with the need for fuel.

      I think you only want the control back

      1. Supernova DE says:

        I don’t know. In many ways I don’t mind him controlling it. Just not when he withdraws or shelves without warning. Then, the fact that I cannot control him leaving fills me with a dreadful feeling.
        And frankly, I never had the control. Any illusion I had of that was given to me as a gift (temporarily) by him.

        Can you expand what you mean about Magnet Co-D being like a narc?

        I am not a narcissist, nor am I a magnet empath.

      2. Lori says:

        I am a Magnet Codep and I sometimes feel like him but with empathy. I feel like I get fuel from the outside world but the Narc offers me a special kind of fuel. All I know is that I consciously or unconsciously seek these people out. I can be with a normal for quite some time and have things be fine but then the boredom eventually comes and I feel low energy and almost depleted but when I’m with the Narc I feel full of energy and excitement until the devaluation comes. Funny thing is I can tell from photos which stage of the cycjw I was in with each Narc from photos because I looked completely radiant at the beginning of those relationships and by the end of them you can see a hollowness in me.

        This is my personal opinion but if you are seeking another person like him out, it’s likely you have Codependency issues. It simply means that you are looking outside of yourself for validation and self worth.

    4. SMH says:

      Supernova DE, Forgive me for saying this – been through it many times myself – but I think you still have the midndset that things can be fixed, and that is why you are tempted to break NC. I did it a million times. I think you have to just cut him out of your life completely, as if he no longer exists. It is the only way to end what is otherwise an endless cycle. Your 15 weeks NC is a good start but if you switch the way you think about it a bit, it might ease the pain. Also, as someone here says (I think Lori), there is always tomorrow. Just tell yourself that each time you are tempted to break NC.

  9. Jess says:

    Thank you for clarifying HG. I need to drum into my head that Hoover Trigger and HEC are the key factors that determine whether a hoover is executed. Appreciate your wise words. Hoping for a hoover-free rest of Feb.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome.

  10. lisa says:

    It’s interesting reading all the comments and for some people that feel it is an addiction to be with their narcissist or in some way exciting and boring without them, on some level. I only refer to a few comments and appreciate not everyone feels this way . I personally cannot relate to this , I didn’t find it addictive or exciting to be dealing with these personality types.
    The one thing I would like to mention is and i’ve mentioned it before , I do believe a lot of it is to do with rejection and the feeling of relief that you have not been rejected when you receive a hoover, or maybe confirmation that it is a narcissist that your dealing with and that is why you’ve been rejected. People with healthier self esteems don’t feel this level of pain being rejected by someone that is completely unsuitable and makes them miserable most of the time.

    1. SMH says:

      Lisa, To a certain extent I would agree. In general, I think I have very healthy self-esteem. But a lot of self-esteem is situational – when/where/how you meet the narc, what is going on with you – maybe a low point, maybe boredom (a lot of people on here seem to suffer from boredom). Also the narc targets your self-esteem – narcs are attracted to it because they have so little themselves – and breaks it down/sucks it up (fuel), so by the end you might feel like you don’t have any left, even though you know you DO have it. So a lot of the fighting back is the recovery of self-esteem. Maybe normals don’t get caught up, but empaths do.

      1. lisa says:

        Yes I agree with everything you say, I met the narcissist I had a relationship with when I was at a very vulnerable state , but I then realised that I had been around this kind of behaviour before with my family , so I was without realising it kind of conditioned to accept crumbs. I also agree that you can have good self esteem and still unknowingly find yourself caught up with a narcissist , but I think that’s where HG’s post about victim or volenteer comes into play. Once you realise the person is no good for you but you stay. I have confidence in all areas of my life and am very capable and independent but my weakness has always been romantic relationships , because I think for me they tap into stuff from my childhood that I now realise leads to me feeling worse over rejection than I should , but it’s not really rejection if you keep being attracted to avoidant men or narcissists because it’s not personal.

        1. SMH says:

          Lisa, That is an interesting point about rejection and being attracted to avoidant men. I usually look at it the other way around – that my own avoidant tendencies are a protection from rejection (‘I don’t care’). I seem to walk away from relationships completely unscathed no matter who ends it (usually it is me) but narc made me very anxious and I did not know how to deal with that at all. It took a long period of NC for me to detach enough to end it for good. I am going on 10 months NC now but I still feel anxious when I think of him.

          1. lisa says:

            Hi SMH
            Why do you think you’ve walked away from relationships so easily without feeling any upset or unscathed as you describe it ?

          2. SMH says:

            Hi Lisa, I really do not know, maybe because I was torn away from my first love by a move and then he died before I could see him again some 40 years later? There is only one other person that I wish was still in my life but he won’t talk to me. It’s been 35 years since we broke up and we were friends for 25 years after that. I have no idea why he cut me off. Otherwise, I don’t miss anyone except my friends and some of my family. I don’t even miss narc anymore (well, occasionally).

      2. lisk says:


        Thank you for writing a very clarifying post.

        This, in particular, is very clarifying and helpful to remember: it’s not really rejection if you keep being attracted to avoidant men or narcissists because it’s not personal.

        1. lisa says:

          Thanks Lisk

  11. Kellie Mccoey says:

    No hoovers yet for me Mr Tudor. I’ve been practicing the rubber band method you suggested. It helps some, what helped the most was he lead the basketball team he coachs threw the worst season ever. Not just at his school but any school in the district ever!

  12. Supernova DE says:

    Ok, I feel like I’m losing my sense of reality here. I had been so sure all these weird happenings (fake friend requests, spam phone calls, mutual friends texting me) were related to MMRN.
    But now I’m second guessing myself. There are no clues in the friend requests…no locations, no interests, actually they have all been weird foreign sounding or nonsense names…perhaps that’s the pattern?
    I’m second guessing the proxy hoovers as I just had one mutual friend message me, but it seemed like a legit professional question, maybe those other friends were just trying to catch up?
    I looked into the spam calls more (most recent ones were to my husband’s cell phone), and I called the one number and it was clearly not narc, it was answered by someone speaking a foreign language!

    I feel stupid, maybe all of it is coincidence. But on the other hand, he is always so insistent things between us meant nothing, I could totally see him being super stealth about passive hoovers for deniability.
    K- remember when I agreed about gaslighting on these thing….totally feeling it now!

    1. K says:

      Supernova DE
      EXACTLY! You get it. Ha ha ha…I hear you loud and clear. You are not stupid or crazy. He has been encoded on your mind!

    2. Lori says:

      It’s not ALL Coincidence. Some could be. Not every fake request is them, but if you are getting a flurry of them and there is a pattern say timing. When I looked back at the screenshots all the clues were there I just never looked at them all side by side. They were all the same “profession” from my city or his city. When I saw them side by side there is no doubt it was him. No question at all and honestly, I think he wanted me to know it. I suspected it but I just never thought to compare them then it was all clear. I have gotten other requests that I know are very likely not him, but these were there is no question. They also come around the same time of the month. I’m sure some of the requests are him. One of them was 2 days before my birthday and one was one day after. In one there was a message in the cover photo it was for me. No man would put that in his cover photo. He did it because he knew I’d be the only one seeing it. It’s since been removed. It’s just what they do

      All that effort and he still ignores me. It’s a mind fuck but honestly I feel pretty good there is some comfort in re confirming what they. No normal person would ignore me like that maybe If I was ranting or something but I wasn’t. He’s a Narcissist it just is what it is. SuperNova do not bother contacting him it is pointless believe me. The longer you stay away the less hold he has. This normally would have sent into a flurry of texts for days. This time nope. I know what I need to know. He’s a Narc and he’s not getting any better with me or anyone else

  13. Supernova DE says:

    If a narc seems to stop using social media (ie accounts still exist but no activity, doesn’t seem to be checking them), could that be in order to provoke panic in an appliance? IE. she becomes scared she is losing access to narc and contacts him?
    Thank you.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Unlikely to occur in itself. It is more likely that the individual will be receiving a silent treatment and would also be triangulated by seeing the narcissist interacting with people on social media BUT ignoring the relevant individual on social media also.

      1. Supernova DE says:

        To further clarify, would narc back off on social media interactions and use while being satisfied in golden/respite period with IPPS?
        Thank you.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          It depends on the nature of the interactions – what type are you referring to?

          1. Supernova DE says:

            Sorry, I mean using messaging apps, doling out “likes”, and overall just spending the time it takes to be involved in social media (it’s a total time suck)

          2. HG Tudor says:

            The narcissist may well use social media for the purposes of triangulation by flaunting the new relationship to garner positive fuel from other appliances (praise, delight, admiration, well-wishes etc) and negative fuel from the former IPPS (and/or shelved IPSSs) by way of hatred, anger and/or envy.

          3. MB says:

            HG, are you one to make portentous remarks during your Golden Periods? If so, have you issued any?

          4. HG Tudor says:

            Sometimes I do. No I have not done so in this case.

        2. MB says:

          Supernova DE, I can’t help but remember the FB Ghostship post. He may be VERY active on social media. Just not the account you are friended on? Just a thought.

          1. Supernova DE says:

            MB and Lori,
            Yes, I know. I am ruminating too much on meaningless clues, which I should not have looked for in the first place!
            I shall remind myself that I will NEVER KNOW the following:
            -the extent of his fuel matrix
            -the place I hold in the matrix
            -how potent my fuel was to him
            -how many of me there were
            -how many shady accounts he has going on
            (eyeroll at myself)

            I really need to think of a project for the weekend, I am dying over here with this ET!!!!!

          2. SMH says:

            Supernova DE, Trying to figure it out is all a huge time suck!

      2. Lori says:


        You are absolutely correct. Mine has many other accounts one in particular that he is super active on.

        THEY ARE NEVER FAR FROM SOCIAL MEDIA. They live for it especially the married ones

      3. Lori says:

        While I agree to a certain extent, it’s not entirely true. He knows I know he hasn’t done it and he knows that is weakness. I know this guy and if the tables were turned he would in fact describe that as weakness. At the end of the day, I don’t need him or anyone else to survive. I might like to have them in my life, I may mourn the loss but I do not physically or even emotionally NEED them. I don’t. I suffer now of my own choosing. If no one spoke to me for weeks I do not cease to exist.

        The reality is we have all of the power and control. We always did. We simply fail to seize it but it’s always been there and he knows which is why he works over time at trying to be the powerful one. His needs will always be greater than mine

    2. Lori says:

      Ok HG why would a Narc Hoover you repeatedly thru these fake friend requests (and yes I know now with certainty it was him no question at all ) and then ignore you.

      That makes zero sense to me

      1. HG Tudor says:

        Your response provides fuel, thus it does make sense. It also signals that you are under control to some extent.

      2. K says:

        To gauge fuel and control and assert superiority.

      3. K says:

        Oops, I didn’t realize you had answered Lori but I find repetition very helpful and I hope Lori does too.

      4. Lori says:

        But HG I had to grin a little bit. While he may feel powerful from the fuel, he has got know that I know he hasn’t blocked me which from my perspective demonstrates some level weakness on his part. and that he would know that I am aware of that. If he was almighty powerful, he would not want me to see that and block me right ?

      5. K says:

        Narcissists have an Open Door Policy. He is clearly running the show and you are playing right into his hands. Not only has he maintained superiority and control but he is getting some nice hoover fuel which reinforces his sense of self-worth. That isn’t weakness, that is manipulation and it is working.

      6. Lori says:


        I only agree with that to a certain extent because the evidence suggests otherwise. I’m not doing all that stuff is he is if you just examine facts, his need is greater than mine though io. the surface it appears opposite. I do not need the level of attention that he needs to exist.

        At the end of the day, I did it once he’s been sending these requests for months. In his mind he has all the power and control but in reality it really isn’t true. How powerful and control can you be when you need to send fake friend requests? The fact is myself and everyone else have always had all the power and control because we don’t face need for fuel which immediately gives one morw control. They know this that’s why then desperately try to hide it.

        1. K says:

          From his perspective, he IS superior and in control and that is all that matters in his reality. Your perspective/reality is irrelevant. Remember, you are an appliance and you have been invalidated.

          His control lies in the action/manipulation (sending fake friend requests) and he has you in situ and thinking about those fake friend requests (fuel) and that is all that matters from his POV.

          We do not need fuel and we can exert control by taking a social media break or taking steps to limit fake friend requests on FB.

          They don’t know they need fuel so I don’t think they try to hide it. The need to maintain total control is instinct and the facade/construct must be protected at all costs because any threat to the supply of fuel is perceived as life threatening to the narcissist. They do not know what they are or how they are perceived and they are not wired to care about it either. They just want your fuel.

          1. Sweetest Perfection says:

            K, I totally agree with your words: “he has you in situ and thinking about those fake friend requests (fuel) and that is all that matters from his POV.” I just came from a visit to my holistic doctor, he is usually very serious and doesn’t talk much, but he made me laugh today. After telling him what I was going through -superficially, no details about cheating of course- he simply said: “we need to find the way to make you go from being Velcro to becoming Teflon.” And he recommended me to read “The Subtle Art of not Giving a F*ck.” Sometimes his metaphysical approaches take me by total surprise. But I think it’s true that here we are, ruminating this and that and why the narc did send me a fake request or called me from a strange number etc when the question is not why, but what the fuck do we care? He said I have a very good heart though 😊

          2. NarcAngel says:

            You raised a good point. I have always been mystified at the studying and analyzing of the fake requests and possible hoovers once you know what you’re dealing with. Unless one actually wants contact from them, why would it matter what they’re doing? It just keeps one invested in the narc and thinking about them and it is falling into their plan of taking more of your time until they wear you down eventually. They still have a grip. This is the case of where I see addiction and/or looking for external confirmation that you still matter, because otherwise looking in on it makes no sense. If I don’t want to step in shit, I don’t look for shit not to step into. I just go about my business with a plan in case I do.

          3. Sweetest Perfection says:

            NA, the answer is simple: because you secretly secretly deep inside want that hoover. Because it is unfathomable to us that the narc does not miss us one bit. Because we want to believe we are not that insignificant piece of shit that we actually are for the narc. I have been there, and it’s not a pretty thing to come to terms with, but I admit that I enjoyed his hoovers, they gave me some sort of satisfaction and made me laugh inside, although I felt sorry that I needed that to feel better about myself.

          4. Supernova DE says:

            SP –
            You nailed it! That’s exactly how I feel.

            I simultaneously want to push him as far away from me as I possibly can…and want to pull him back into me until I am suffocating in his fake BS (ie golden period)…a very odd place to be haha. I guess that’s the head vs heart battle (shrug)

          5. Sweetest Perfection says:

            Supernova, I feel divided into I want him to disappear versus I want to do vodoo on him. But not getting him back, just make him suffer and long for me. Am I a bad person? Oh well, we all have a little dark side…

          6. Supernova DE says:

            Sweet P – Ha! You are not a bad person, we all certainly do have our dark sides.

            The hoovers remain a form of validation, without the emotional risk of entanglement, that’s the bottom line – and that’s why some of us continue to want them.

          7. Kim e says:

            Supernova DE
            We can be in that limbo HELL together as that is exactly where I am now. It is HELL

          8. Supernova DE says:

            Kim e,
            I’m proud of you for asserting a boundary (I read that other post you wrote). If you are like me, you asserted the boundary coming from an honest place…..but you also sort of hoped he would fight for you. Mine rarely did. But I tried it many many times, always with the same disappointing outcome. This final time, I stuck to it.
            When you are ready, it will stick.
            Hugs xo

          9. Kim e says:

            Supernova DE,
            I guess at the surface yes you are correct about me wanting him to fight for me. Not sure fight is the correct word as he knows it would probably not be much of a battle at this pint in time.
            BUT as he knows I did not block him he also knows he can hoover me in his time frame….kinda like being on the shelf. So I figured WTH might as well throw some of my own truth into the mix.
            Thanks for your input. it is appreciated and helpful to see others perspectives

          10. NarcAngel says:

            Ok, so contact is still hoped for even when that is often protested by the target (I suspected as much), and need for validation. Thank you.

          11. Sweetest Perfection says:

            NA yes, but at least in my experience I protest the childish forms of contact not the contact per se. I would be fine if he wanted to speak as an adult, instead of leaving empty voice messages or pretending to walk the dogs outside my workplace or posting a picture of a souvenir that he bought during a trip to my hometown, you know, “the new normal” when you have been with a narc.

          12. SMH says:

            I don’t think there is anything wrong with being fascinated with the hoovers. It does tell us something more about narc behavior – another piece of the puzzle, especially the indirect ones.

          13. windstorm says:

            Well, you have obviously never had to run across many cow pastures, because if you don’t want to step in shit, you sure better be watching for the piles of shit you don’t want to step into!

          14. Lou says:

            10 likes for this comment!

          15. K says:

            Sweetest Perfection
            Ha ha ha…. your doctor is a vey wise man. Everyone should read “The Subtle Art of not Giving a F*ck.” I am in the No Fucks Given stage of my recovery and it is great!

            Exactly! Why the fuck do we care?!? People spend extraordinary amounts of time going over the minutiae of things that they have absolutely no control over and, sometimes, it is best to accept that we have no control, let go and move forward. Life is meant to be lived, not analyzed.

            Of course your heart is good; you are an empath!

      7. Lori says:


        They don’t know they need “fuel” but they do know they need something. As they age they become aware that something is not right both of mind told me so. Narc # 2 told me I know there is something off with me. I can see that I’m not like other guys are with their wives and girlfriends. He also said no one normal will stay with me. Some of them know. They may not know the name or the concept of fuel but they know something is not right about them.

        At this point, it is what it is I did it but I’m not really wallowing in it too much. You pick up and you move on what other choice is there ? People have to do this as many times as it takes but eventually you do move beyond it at least I did with Narc #1 and this last thing with Narc 2 did not devastate me like it would have 6 or 8 months ago. The important thing is are you actively trying to get out of it? If the answer is yes than a stumble or two will happen and yon just move on

        1. K says:

          I agree with you; my MMRN knew he was different. He didn’t know he needed fuel or why but he knew something was up. The key is recognizing and understanding what you are dealing with and working through it at your own pace. There is no rush, healing is incremental and there were plenty of times when I blew NC. Focus on the logic and it will move you forward.

      8. Mercy says:

        NA, HG commented once on someone’s post “it shouldn’t matter”. Those 3 words made me realize that in every other situation in my life it didn’t matter. EXCEPT this one. It added confirmation that this time it’s different. This time something mentally in my head is out of wack and I need to be here to figure it out. That fact that “it matters” is my road block.

        SweetP said it right when she said deep down we want the hoover. Not because we want them back but we want to feel that we matter. It’s our bread crumbs that we are so use to receiving. But here’s the really twisted part, for those of us that are aware of what we are dealing with, knowing they do not care about us, we want them to care enough to abuse us. It’s morbid but it’s the only evidence we ever had that they had an emotion towards us.

        I’m not good enough to be loved, I’m not even good enough to be abused. Its a sick and twisted way to think and I’m glad I’ve been able to work this out about myself. My hope is that I will be strong enough to say to myself “it doesn’t matter” when the hoover comes. With everyone’s help here, I’m getting there. I just hope I have more time.

        1. SMH says:

          Mercy, I disagree. I know I didn’t matter to him the way I wanted to matter to him when we were together so why would I matter differently now? It’s not a matter of mattering, because even if it is about mattering in my head or in his, our ideas of mattering are completely different. But it is another little piece of the puzzle as to what a narc is, which is, after all, what we are learning here. When a hoover does come, and you know it will, look at it as you would a specimen under a microscope or as a problem to be solved using HG’s logic.

          Of course you are good enough to be loved but BS doesn’t know how to love. One thing has nothing to do with the other. xo

          1. Mercy says:

            SMH, at this point it’s not about him. When I said deep down we want the hoover it’s not because I want it all to start over. It’s because I don’t want to be invisible to someone I invested so much of myself to. When discard or silent treatments happen, we know from what we have learned, we don’t exist to the narcissist. We know this because he is getting fuel somewhere else. They don’t take a break from fuel while giving us the silent treatment or disengaging. For us there is still something that connects us whether it be sorrow, pain, love, hate, anger or regret. For them there is no connection. We are nothing unless we are providing fuel. BUT, that doesn’t mean that the empath doesn’t know this. The logical part is easy to accept. Having no emotion towards the logic is what has me tripped up.

            That’s why so many go back over and over. To extract an emotion whether it be good or bad. An emotion is proof that we exist to them.

          2. SMH says:

            Mercy, I definitely went through what you are describing over and over – I mean I left five times and went back four times (or left six times and went back five times) because I wanted reassurance that I wasn’t invisible. So I totally understand.

            I guess at this point I know where MRN is getting fuel – either from IPPS or from a new IPSS. But since I did not want to be IPPS and I told him to find another IPSS when I escaped, that doesn’t bother me. Not because I don’t care if I matter but because the control I got back is more important to me than whether he is getting fuel elsewhere.

            In some ways, it is like any other breakup. One person is usually unhappy about it – it’s rarely a joint decision. So that all is normal – wanting to matter to the person you cared about and invested so much in. But most everyone has to deal with that at some point in their life. I think what makes this different is the not knowing and lack of closure. HG tells us the hoovers will come, we expeience them, but we never know when or how, and they are all part of the endless game the narc plays. So we have to look for closure ourselves, somehow. I did it by telling myself that it was my decision, even though I know deep down that he forced me to make it.

            Hang in there!

          3. Mercy says:

            SMH, I understand what you said about the control you got back being more important than what he thought of you. I felt the same way with my kids dad. I didn’t care if I mattered to him. His lies and manipulation were beneath me. I never looked back when I left.

            I disagree that this is like a normal relationship when one side doesn’t want it to end. It’s much darker than that. I remember many times being crippled on the floor begging a higher entity to give me strength to end it. The manipulation was more thorough this time. I was tied to the abuse in some way.

            In my original response to NA that’s what I was trying to explain. In a normal relationship it wouldn’t matter. In a relationship with a narcissist it does. You say closure is the difference. What is withholding closure? Another form of manipulation (abuse). It’s my opinion that we are somehow tied to the abuse not the person himself.

  14. Jess says:

    SMH: thanks for sharing. If you have concerns for the IPPS I suppose you can try anonymously relaying info to her, but she might not actually ‘hear’ what you have to say. I know that when people told me to leave exN several times, I didn’t listen. I mean, I knew I shouldn’t stay with him, but I was just too attached to leave.
    Going NC was hard, but this time it was easier as I think I reached a point where I just had to do it. Got the grand hoover, etc. with several rounds of disengagement. Have now been NC almost 6 months and the last 3 the hoover attempts have been regular, including a proxy hoover through a friend texting me how I am, all of which I have ignored. Good luck with keeping NC!

    1. SMH says:

      Jess, good luck to you too and keep up the good work!

      I have concerns for IPPS and I already warned her anonymously. I guess if I tell her more I should do it as myself, but that will be hard because I will be reinserting myself into their lives when I am done with all of that. So again a dilemma.

      I told her to protect herself. I just hope she understood that I meant physically – to get a sexual health check and to insist that he wear a condom. I didn’t tell her to leave him – just not to believe his lies. I am sure I am not the first person to say something, and if he is to be believed, she caught him in an earlier affair and kicked him out. But I am afraid the facade and the fact that she is a love devotee keep her from facing the facts.

      1. Jess says:

        SMH: all you can do is try to warn her, the rest is up to her, unfortunately.
        As fo FB accounts, exN and I were never connected but I know that he had at least 2 accounts. I also got fake profile friend requests, but I don’t accept requests from people I haven’t actually met.

        1. SMH says:

          Sounds like mine, Jess. We were never connected on FB either – he doesn’t have a real account. IPPS does, as do all of his kids and family members. He has IG but I do not. We both have LinkedIn but we are not connected there. I did notice another anonymous LI visit recently – right after the two fake friend requests with clues. He must lazily ramping things up.

      2. Amanda Snapchat 5 says:

        smh run for your life. get out

        1. SMH says:

          I am out, Amanda! Going on 10 months now. He hoovers, but I can’t control that sixth sphere. He’s weirdly routinized so once he is back in the groove I guess I can expect the indirect hoovers on a regular basis. Not sure it is a ramping up – I think I asked HG.

  15. lisa says:

    Did anyone watch Getting Back with your Ex on Netflix ?
    Just curious if anyone did ?
    Did you spot the Narcissist ?

    1. K says:

      I have not seen Getting Back With Your Ex yet; I am currently watching You on Netflix.

      1. MB says:

        K, will you wait until you finish ‘You’ before sharing your thoughts?

        1. K says:

          Ha ha ha….I will. But he has that guy in the temperature controlled book room so I think he is a psychopath.

          1. MB says:

            K, yeah, psychopath for sure. To be honest, his behavior was so clear cut, (as was Peach’s) there was not much to really evaluate. Not stimulating. I lost interest in the series early on but watched it all so I could see what ever happened with Beck.

          2. MB says:

            K, I do commend them on casting a “girl next door” from North Carolina. It shows that you don’t have to be thin and rich and gorgeous to be targeted.

      2. WhoCares says:


        I started watching ‘You’ as well…given all the attention it was receiving here – plus it’s a nice distraction.
        I have my opinions on its ‘accuracy’ given what we’ve learned here…I’m interested in your assessment – if you have one.

        1. K says:

          I only watched the first episode and I think he is a high functioning
          narcissistic psychopath. He is very dangerous. So far, I think it is accurate, after a few more episodes, I will give you an updated opinion.

          1. WhoCares says:


            Keep watching. Dangerous yes, but you may change your mind about high-functioning…but I haven’t watched all the episodes either.

          2. K says:

            Ok, I will watch some more episodes and get back to you. He seemed smart, definitely not a lesser., could be a Midranger.

          3. K says:

            This show is full of disorder!

            1. Peaches, Ron (the parole officer), her professor, her dad and Benji are all narcissists,
            2. Joe is a vanilla psychopath (for now). He is young and a bit sloppy but his psychopathy might improve. We have to wait and see.
            3. And Becks is a Gullible Tart.

          4. WhoCares says:

            Ooh K, – now I’m going to have to play catch up!…I’ve only just paid attention to Becks, Joe and Peaches. Too much going on in real life atm…

          5. SMH says:

            WhoCares and K, I binged the whole thing – will not give any of it away but the thought that kept going through my head was how dumb she was for living on the ground floor of a brownstone with nothing covering the windows. What a dummy but maybe it is metaphorical and who am I to be criticizing her? Ah well. Watching Ted Bundy now.

          6. K says:

            She is dumb. Anyone can watch her having nookie with those men. Joe did.

          7. SMH says:

            K, I also live on a ground floor and when I first became aware of MRN stalking me online, I started raising the wooden shutters as well as drawing the curtains. I guess it takes some awareness like that but I would never have nookie in a ground floor flat with the windows uncovered. I am not an exhibitionist!

      3. WhoCares says:

        SMH and K,

        Yes, I see both your points, realistically you’d have to be a narcissist yourself (or an exhibitionist) to want that kind of attention or exposure. Or disturbingly naive.

        I think that the show is asking viewers to suspend their disbelief a bit too much in some areas, and goes for sensationalization over substance. But, still, it is intriguing.

        1. MB says:

          WC, “sensationalization over substance”. I agree. It’s better than the typical Hollywood horror film, but not by much. Good for entertainment but not education in my opinion.

        2. K says:

          Definitely sensationalization over substance. Benji was in the temperature controlled book room without a bathroom break for way too long and after he killed him (peanut allergy; anaphylactic shock) the body went into decomp and that smell just doesn’t go away.

          1. WhoCares says:

            “…and that smell just doesn’t go away.”

            Said by the librarian.

          2. K says:

            Ha ha ha…he wraps the purifying body up in a rug, incinerates it in the woods and goes back to work. Then poof! Like magic, the smell is gone. Compartmentalization works great!

          3. Sweetest Perfection says:

            Hahaha, WhoCares, I also thought K knew a little bit too much about corpses and smells!

          4. K says:

            Sweetest Perfection
            Ha ha ha…Benji was oozing fluid and all could think was: Febreze ain’t gonna cover that smell! Good luck with that!

          5. WhoCares says:



            “Compartmentalization works great!”

            Thank-you K. Just earlier I allowed myself two glasses of wine, a mini pity party for one and about a 30 minute nap – cause I CAN’T compartmentalize anymore…and I woke up to your comment.

            Hilarious. Thank-you! ♡

          6. K says:

            My pleasure WhoCares
            Ha ha ha…do you smell something funny? Huh? Nah, I don’t smell a thing.
            Have some wine K, it dulls the senses and makes shit go away.

          7. WhoCares says:

            Hahaha K!

            Well, the effects of the wine have long wore off for me…so where’s that clothespin!? I have some shit to slog through…

          8. K says:

            Ha ha ha…I got some good time Brownies, those will get you through the shit AND eliminate the smell faster than you can say Timbuktu and Constantinople.

          9. Sweetest Perfection says:

            K, remind me to tell you my experience with those brownies and my synesthesia some time…

          10. WhoCares says:


            I’d ask you to stash along some of those good time Brownies for the trip down the Kentucky Bourbon Trail – but alas, between bourbon, beer and brownies, I’m sure I won’t even be able to verbally formulate the words Timbuktu and Constantinople.

        3. SMH says:

          Yes, it definitely held my attention, WhoCares, even though it walked a fine line between ridiculous and believable.

          1. WhoCares says:

            Yes, SMH, you put it well. The show ‘You’ definitely walks a fine line between being ridiculous and believable. But at least it contributes to shining light on the topic of narcissism.

          2. Lou says:

            WC, IMO, it is a show designed to entertain not to educate. As you say, it does shine some light on psychopaths but I don’t think people will really see it the way we see it because we are more aware of the subject. You is really pure entertainment.I watched it quickly because I was interested in the subject but didn’t take it too seriously.

          3. WhoCares says:


            I agree.

      4. WhoCares says:

        Of course, many of us know that HG is sensational – but backs that up with substance.

  16. Jess says:

    Dear HG: I got a ‘how are you doing?’ message from a friend of exUMRN who was also a mutal friend and with whom I cut contact when I went NC nearly 6 months ago. Ex N and him are good friends. Hoover? Should I ignore?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hoover by Proxy, yes you should.

      1. Jess says:

        Thank you HG. Ignoring the proxy hoover. Fourth hoover since November.

  17. Jess says:

    SMH: I am a former IPPS who finally saw the light after many many years. This is the first time in over 15 yrs that I have instituted NC and blocked exN everywhere. Going on 6 months now of NC with only email hoovers thta go to spam and the Linkedin profile view in the last 3 months. I don’t think he would risk a direct hoover as the possibility of being ignored would be too great, but I do not rule it out altogether. Thanks to HG’s consult and this place, I know what to expect and how to behave. Hoping the hoovers will dissipate over time. Well done on your NC!

    1. SMH says:

      Well done on yours, Jess! That is quite a feat. 15 years as IPPS. Oh my. It gives me hope that my MRN’s IPPS might finally see the light. I tried to warn her about what he does and I am still grappling with it. There have been some after effects that she should know about and I might have to tell her that too.

      1. Jess says:

        SMH: thank you! Went through all the stages during those years, including disengagement so it was broken down into parts and not a solid, non-stop 15. Still, despite knowing earlier that I should get out, I only now really seized the power. Last 2 yrs was exN trying to entangle me again, without sucess thankfully. Three hoovers in the last 3 months.
        Not sure she’ll listen even if you tell her. It might even backfire against you.

        1. SMH says:


          I disengaged a lot too – five times over two years, the first time only a month after I met him because I could already tell that he was a control freak.

          I got direct hoovers after my final escape, fell for them without knowing what they were, and tried to be friends. The worst stuff happened then – post escape, which is when I found this site. So far, so good, though I’ve come pretty close to breaking NC the past few days – thank god for this site!

          As for IPPS, I told her 8 months ago (anonymously) about his m.o. and our affair but there is more I need to tell her because I just found out. Whatever MRN does in response is irrelevant. I just want what needs to see the light of day to see the light of day. Her long term health is at risk. If he and I were in contact I would tell him, but I would not trust him to tell her.

          Whether she listens to me or not, at least I would have done the right thing. It is one of those moral issues that HG would doubtless argue is all about perspective! Ha

      2. Cindy says:

        SMH, Oh god, the ‘Let’s be friends” boomeranged on me too.

        1. SMH says:

          lol Cindy, it is hopeless but it helped me to see him for what he truly was because we were no longer romantically involved and so my ET was not as heightened. It took six months NC to get to the point where I could say no to him, however. And then he tried to flip the script and regain control. That is when all hell broke loose.

          1. Supernova DE says:

            If you don’t mind sharing, what happened at 6 months NC to make hell break loose?

          2. SMH says:

            Supernova DE, It was actually three months after six months of NC. Six months NC (August-Jan) and then I emailed him. We saw each other and he tried to get me back into the FR. I said no (because I saw what he did as I watched him carefully over the next two weeks).

            He kept hoovering and I kept responding (the ‘friend’ period – Jan-March) – he was trying to regain control but I kept him in the friend zone. Then one day I inadvertently wounded him by teasing him and he gave me my first ever silent treatment (mid-March). That is when I got furious (and found this site).

            I emailed him rants a few times about what was wrong with him, and then I got sweet because I needed him to do something for me. It all ended with the email purge when I forced him to come my house and delete all of our correspondence in front of me (early May). This was after I told him he was a psychopath :). I am still proud of myself haha even if it was hard as hell and I do still miss him sometimes…

    2. Amanda Snapchat 5 says:

      great point. It’s powerful to know what to do.

  18. Lori says:

    Ok I need to know if this qualifies as Hoover’s.

    We have have many mutual friends but there is one in particular that I’m active with and who lives close to me. They both mean the narc and yes friend participate in social media groups together and he has started saying negative things about the place we live. The friend mentioned it to me and and said I don’t get why Narc is so worried about things where we live? She said I don’t get it? And immediately I thought he’s interested because of me and he’s saying things knowing it will get back to me and hopefully I will react.? Are those proxy Hoover’s aimed at getting negative fuel? I mean he could contact me anytime but he doesn’t. He could unblock me but doesn’t. So it would have to be for getting negative fuel right or am I reading to much into this ?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Most likely.

      1. Lori says:

        For negative fuel ? Or do just get me to reach out ?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Fuel full stop.

      2. Lori says:

        Good grief I haven’t spoken to him in 9 months and I haven’t contacted him in 3.5 months. You would think being a Narc he’s moved on.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Not when the HT occurs and the HEC are attained. As I have stated over and over again, there is always a risk of a hoover.

      3. Lori says:

        There’s always going to be a HT because we share friends and because of my location which gets mentioned a lot. It will be constant but honestly I haven’t received a direct Hoover. I have often wondered why he just didn’t unblock me that’s seems the easiest and most obvious but I’ve wondered if he sees that as risky that I may just block him.

        His negative comments about where I live seem to indicate he’s mad at me cause I haven’t contacted him. Is fury ignited when you fail to respond to these passive indirect or proxy hoovers ?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          A failure to respond as expected to a hoover will cause wounding and may trigger an ignition of fury dependent on fuel level and surrounding circumstances, plus, of course the level of control the narcissist has over that fury.

      4. Lori says:

        So hypothetically speaking and I say hypothetically because I’m not going to do it at least not today which is all I ever say (one day at a time) but say I texted him. In the past, he has just ignored me which is why I finally just stopped. So say I did text him now, would he likely respond in order to turn the o. spigot? because it’s been completely dry for 4 months or would he just ignore and just be happy with the fuel he gets from me contacting him? Or just ignore me cause he pissed off that I ignored all the previous Hoover’s?

        There will be no contact today

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Your text is a Hoover Trigger. His response will be determined, as always, by the Hoover Execution Criteria.

    2. Lori says:

      Thank you I need to read that piece on HEC and HT what is the name of it as I don’t thibj I fully understand that and sometimes it is helpful to re read these pieces as sometimes something clicks that I didn’t see or understand before

      There was no contact today and there will be no contact tomorrow either.

      1. K says:

        this article explains the HT and HEC.


        1. SMH says:

          K, you’re an angel.

          1. K says:

            Thank you SMH
            Ha ha ha…I am an angel, whiter than white!

          2. K says:

            Lori is correct, screen shots are a great idea. Anything that has you doubting your reality is gas lighting. Reading has improved my understanding of gas lighting exponentially. The facade is a great example of GL because everybody thinks that the narcissist is a great person but not the IPPS, or, in some cases, the IPSS and his/her children.

          3. SMH says:

            K, Yes! That is why when I would look at IG I would see all this fakeness in the facade. He actually is not very good at it. For instance, he would lie but then slip up or act weird. I think he gaslit more with IPPS because first, he was betraying her trust more than mine and second, it was more important to him to keep her in place. I didn’t matter that much (except insofar as I could damage the facade). Also, it was more important to her to believe because she had a lot more at stake.

          4. K says:

            You got it SMH!
            Exactly, the facade is brilliant, even if your ex wasn’t that good at it, he still fools people. He looks good: married with a family, goes to church, Scout leader, does charity work, etc., it is all a front.

            Keeping his IPPS in situ is part of his facade (residual benefit of marriage). If he was slipping up with the lies then he was definitely a midranger because the greater is a smooth-operator and the lesser doesn’t bother covering them up.

            I think your position as an IPSS became tenuous because you were feisty and became a challenge or potential threat to him and his facade.

            Gas lighting it isn’t always easy to see but, the more you read, the better you get at recognizing it.

          5. SMH says:

            K, definitely a mid-ranger and I was definitely fiesty, though not at first. But honestly he wasn’t threatened by anything and only disengaged once because I got angry at him (I disengaged at that point too).

            I mean at one point I told him I had written IPPS a letter (hadn’t mailed it). He was on my sofa two days later – not worried at all. Of course when all was said and done, I did tell IPPS, but I think he is so good at gaslighting her that even that did not worry him, if he even knows. I don’t really know because I did not follow the aftermath and have had no contact since then.

            It is a bit disconcerting but when I remember back about how nothing that happened mattered – that it was always as if no time had passed, as HG has said, then nothing I do DOES matter.

            The only discernible pattern is silence and then reconnection. Those silences might last months (on both our parts), a few days, a few weeks, but always the reconnection. I think he cannot believe that the pattern has changed. He is weirdly routinized so it is almost like a reflex on his part.

          6. K says:

            At first, you are in seduction and all is glorious for you both and, as a secondary source, you were less likely to criticize him because you were painted white, his fury was capped and he was getting your positive fuel. All is good in Narc World.

            Your letter was challenge fuel and, if I were a narcissist, I would consider that a threat to my control and I would nip your perfidious behaviour in the bud. Also, all is as the fuel wills it to be, so he wouldn’t be worried by your letter because his need for fuel takes precedent over any negative ramifications and he probably had his wife under control so your letter may not have been an issue for him.

            The only thing that mattered was the Prime Aims, chief amongst them, fuel. We never mattered.

          7. NarcAngel says:

            Point for using perfidious.

          8. K says:

            Ha ha ha…it is such a great word!

          9. SMH says:

            That is true, K. He appeared so fearless that I used to call him ‘superhuman,’ which of course he liked. But as I wrote to someone else here awhile back, it was always as if he were in a tunnel and could only see the light at the end of it. Never thought about the ramifications of anything he did. Bizarre. But he also think he miscalculated. He never thought I would leave him or betray him. But I did both. Or maybe he did think I would – after all, narcs are always let down because we are in the end nothing more than malfunctioning appliances.

          10. K says:

            He was fearless and calling him superhuman (admiration) was excellent fuel, which appealed to his sense of superiority and omnipotence.

            It is their need for fuel which drives them forward and it is similar to tunnel vision. The light or The One is at the end of that tunnel; sanctuary.

            Mid-Rangers have no choice in how they respond to the appliances around them and they operate in the moment irrespective of the consequences down the line even if that means losing an IPSS. Some narcissists can get sloppy and bungle their fuel matrices but they just plow forward. It is all instinct.

            SMH, you treacherous appliance, how dare you assert control and power by escaping and instigating NC! Ha ha ha….that is a massive criticism. Time heals all wounds, including narcissistic ones, and something in his matrix may cause you to be viewed white and receive a hoover in the future. Be careful.

          11. SMH says:

            K, The superhuman stuff was back in my early days of innocence. I really was in awe!! I was so sweet. What a dick. I do receive hoovers – just not direct ones. But as I fell for direct ones post escape and tried to be friends, I know how that turns out too.

            Someone else was posting on here – maybe Lori – about the anxiety of dealing with someone with cognitive dissonance. It is so nice to no longer have cortisol streaming through my body all the time.

          12. K says:

            Seduction was fun! My MMRN hoovered immediately (in person) post disengagement but I didn’t know what I was dealing with then. Now I get direct hoovers by text and I am mostly unaffected by them which is exactly where I want to be.

          13. K says:

            Oops! I meant to write direct hoovers. I wouldn’t be surprised if you get a hoover in one of the five spheres of influence in the future.

          14. SMH says:

            K, I cannot control his mind (the sixth sphere). He controls mine! Haha. Yes I fell for the initial direct hoovers post-escape and I used to respond to the indirect ones because I didn’t know what any of this was. I find it pretty easy now to ignore the indirect ones. I am just worried that a direct one will happen.

            Speaking of all of this, I have an amazing narc story and I might as well post it here for everyone. Yesterday, I met up with a friend whose narc (I think a Lesser but they have known each other for decades) disengaged very brutally over a year ago (2nd time he’s done this). I spent the weeks after with her and she was totally broken.

            A few months ago he started texting her, even changed his phone number at one point. She was busy working (her work is all consuming but periodic) and ignored the texts. He had never travelled to London (where we are right now) in all the years that they were either friends or lovers because he hates the place. Suddenly, a few days ago he showed up and she agreed to see him.

            What does he do? He whips out a very expensive engagement ring that had belonged to his mother (has serious mother issues) and proposed. No conversation, no clue what was going on with her at all over the past 13 months (though he had been following her family matters and career – famous people so easy to follow). He simply proposed as if they were meant to be together (in his mind). To her credit, she turned him down and in a very nice way because she is cultured like that. I would have either laughed in his face or agreed to marry him. lol.

            Now that is an Initial Grand Hoover if you ask me and it came out of the sixth sphere. She did nothing to prompt it. She did agree to see him but he already had his plan. The whole thing was in his head.

          15. K says:

            Run! Run real fucking fast!

          16. SMH says:

            K, I know she won’t, unfortunately. She will hold him at arm’s length for awhile but I suspect she will take him back at some point. Don’t think she will agree to marry him as she has no interest in marriage or children.

          17. K says:

            God willing, she won’t get drawn back into the FR.

          18. K says:

            There is a similarity to shelving and then those hoovers could be considered “comfort crumbs”, however, fake friend or follow requests are a low-energy way to effect a hoover in order to provoke a response and gauge fuel and control.

          19. SMH says:

            K, yes, I get that. No response from me except to leave the fake friend requests as if I did not see them (meaning I did not delete them). I just got another one last night but I don’t think it is him because there are no clues. Just your run of the mill scammer.

          20. K says:

            It is amazing; the impact of the narcissist is so pervasive that even a run of the mill scammer may have us thinking: Is is him? Or, just a scammer? WTF!

          21. SMH says:

            True, K. In the past I would just delete such requests but now I search them for clues. MRN always did like to suck up my time…

          22. K says:

            Exactly SMH! It is epic when you think about it. Their impact is significant. Just a big time suck. That is control.

      2. Lori says:

        Thank you K. I re read this and it was helpful

        1. K says:

          You are welcome Lori
          That’s one of my favorite articles and anytime you want to pull it up Just type: F.R.E.E. into the search function.

    3. Lori says:

      It should be interesting to see what if anything occurs on Valentine’s Day (eye roll). Last year I was on my way to the shelf and received a public back handed compliment.

      Things should get interesting over the next few days as there are so many expectations for Valentine’s Day makes sort of glad he doesn’t speak to me.

      1. Jess says:

        Lori, I’m also curious about V-day and whether any hoovers are launched, though I think that former IPPSs are less likely to get hoovered on V-day, as opposed to IPSSs. But that’s just my assumption based on what I’ve learned here. Guess we’ll find out next week!

        1. HG Tudor says:

          It all depends on the Hoover Trigger and the Hoover Execution Criteria – there is no concrete rule that a former IPPS is less likely to be hoovered compared to an IPSS – it all depends on the relevant factors which make up the HEC.

      2. Lori says:

        Hg I have hit all those things the HT And the HEC but he still doesn’t speak to me. I was not blocked on his phone yet he still didn’t speak to me. The thing I can’t reconcile why the fake friend request and yes it was him if he wasn’t gonna talk to me ?! It’s all so weird. I get that I eventually provided fuel bug one time ? He did all that work did one time ? All he’s done is condition me more not to contact him. I just don’t get it. Is that just a prep to make sure I’m stilk entangled so he can pop up later ?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          I recommend you organise an email consultation so I can garner all of the relevant facts.

  19. Supernova DE says:

    If I get a call from ex-narc and I answer (no caller ID so I can’t know if it is him), is the best thing to do to hang up immediately without saying a word?
    I know you told me last consult that it is unlikely for him to turn malign, but when he calls its 50/50 shot of me answering or my husband…this is terrifying.
    I don’t want to ignite his fury and have him do something crazy. I appreciate your time, thank you – SDE

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hang up.

      1. Supernova DE says:

        Thank you. Most likely he won’t saying anything (silent Hoover). But if he does I’ll hang up, as you know best HG!

    2. Kim e says:

      No caller I’d. Let it go to voice mail. Don’t pick up at all

      1. Supernova DE says:

        Kim e,
        Yes absolutely I agree with you. I mean that I don’t have caller ID function on my home line. So I wouldn’t know if it was him calling using *67 or him calling with his number unblocked or if it was just my neighbor wanting to stop over for a glass of wine 😉

  20. Jess says:

    SMH and Supernova DE, have you ever wondered why they bother to continue hoovering when they get zilch in return? I mean if we ignore the hoovers, all they get is a little thought fuel. I keep thinking that some Ns are actually challenged by the lack of response to a hoover and keep trying new avenues to get our attention. Hence the ramping up you mentioned.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      There are other factors which will drive the repeated hoover attempts which then causes it to appear that it is driven by a need to address the challenge presented by your lack of response.

      1. Sweetest Perfection says:

        HG, I think I explained sometime ago I blocked the narc from everything but I decided to deactivate Facebook instead to avoid having to block everyone related to him and give explanations as to why we don’t interact anymore as we used to be very active on social media. I have received anonymous calls and weird calls from strange numbers, some at 4-5 in the morning. I don’t care because I never answer so call as much as you want. Although I don’t have Facebook I still use messenger to communicate with friends. I got a message yesterday from a friend and accidentally noticed the narc has unfriended me, since when I don’t know because I never checked. It only surprises me because all this time I thought he would try to maintain the façade by not reacting to my deactivation. Am I correct if I interpret this as a way to show he got the upper hand in cutting ties, even if I was the one who left? Or is he trying to make me react, seeing I don’t fall into his hoovering tricks? He made me wonder about it, but if he thinks I’m sad/mad, he failed.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          It is both an attempt to provoke you into contacting him and also if necessary it can be used to maintain (albeit incorrectly) that ‘he got in first’ and thus maintain superiority where he perceives such a position is required.

          1. Sweetest Perfection says:

            Thanks for your answer, HG. I remember walking by my first crush’s house in the hopes of running into him, and also one time I decided not talking to him to make him go after me and ask me what was wrong… good strategies WHEN YOU ARE 10. This guy’s hoovers are like going back to middle school! I wonder if he will invite me to watch Karate Kid next.

      2. Jess says:

        Thank you HG, I must be entering the sixth sphere, which is out of my control. Glad to hear that ‘the challenge’ to break me and get a response is just part of the hoover-driver equation. He’s still getting zilch from me, as I have absolutely no intention of breaking NC.

    2. Supernova DE says:

      I think it is more just that they Hoover when we cross their mind.
      If we respond, they receive validation that the technique worked, and they will continue all the more.
      I can’t keep myself from crossing his mind. I have done my best to stay out of all other spheres.

      1. Jess says:

        SDE, you’re probably right. He’s blocked everywhere so only hoover email that goes to spam anyway. I even cut off mutual friends to protect myself. Am still vigilant though.

      2. SMH says:

        Same here, Supernova DE. It is that sixth sphere that we cannot control, though I suppose if my FB is visible to him (fake profiles that I don’t know about, fake friend requests) then it is not just the sixth sphere. But I’m not going to leave FB because of him.

    3. SMH says:

      Jess, In my case there were many times in the past when he would hoover and I would respond. I did not know what a hoover was so I thought that he had changed or was being sincere or needed me or whatever it is that empaths think! He would usually hoover indirectly and I would always fall for it/break NC – or he would suddenly hoover directly (and it was never really NC – just arguments and then long silences). But the last time we had contact I threatened him, called him a psychopath and made him delete all of our correspondence. He then moved, so there was more finality to it than there had been before. A year ago right around now I escaped and the direct hoovers came fast and furious but everything has changed since then.

      I never told him we could not be in contact but nor have we ever gone this long with no contact. My feeling is that because narcs don’t recognize that anything has happened or that any time has passed he is just doing the same as always and expecting that at some point I will contact him. . Because he is a mid-ranger, however, I do not expect a direct hoover/ramping up.

      1. Jess says:

        SMH, my actions have told him that contact is not a possibility, yet he still sent me email B’day and Xmas wishes, viewed my Linkedin profile and sent me a scan of a promo letter all within the last 3 months. Also a midranger but I wouldn’t rule out a semi-direct hoover attempt.

        1. SMH says:

          Jess, I was IPSS and I contacted IPPS after it was all over. If he knows about that contact, and I am not sure that he does, he would be taking quite a risk with any semi-direct or direct hoovers because I still have screen shots from the time he contacted me on a dating site and I have IPPS’s email. Really everything has changed in the past 9 months or so, including that we live in different countries now. The hoovers are weaker and there are much longer gaps between them.

          The trick is for me not to break NC when he ‘disappears’ because there is still that residual reflex – the regularity and comfort of contact and then boom, the shelving. It just occurred to me that his rescinding the fake friend requests is a proxy way of shelving, but so far I have not reacted to the requests or to their disappearance.

  21. Alina says:

    Hoover? Narcissist restricted access to my cell phone on his account 5 weeks (or so) post-discard. Unbeknownst to him, I have another cell phone in my own name which I have been using— he doesn’t have the number, and for added security, I have his number blocked. I learned “his phone” now has restricted through a friend. He hasn’t attempted to email, contact me at work, stop by my home, or communicat with me through others so, none of the standard Hoover attempts but, I am just wondering if this is a “reverse Hoover”, so to speak. I’m still unsure what type of narcissist he is but, I was his intimate primary source up until about 6 weeks ago. The absence of a Hoover led me to believe he has a new primary source and is distracted, and even questioning whether or not he is really a narcissist but, I’m not certain what this is…

    1. K says:

      It looks like a disengagement and, if there is a new IPPS, then he may be in the Golden Period with her and he wants nothing to do with you right now.

      The restricted access to your cell phone suggests that you are painted black and being punished and that behaviour is indicative of a Narcissist.

  22. NC says:

    I am puzzled. Why would a narcissist include me in a group invitation after I was discarded months ago, only to ignore my reply. Is it intended as a punishment or an attempt to gain a reaction? I responded that I was busy, but I wished him well. Was that an injury that I wasn’t interested? I went NC afterward.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      It is done to gauge whether there is any control over you and to seek a little fuel. Your response was positive fuel because you wished him well and you responded, he would not be wounded by it. Well done on going NC, make sure it is total.

      1. NC says:

        Thank you for the insight!

  23. Supernova DE says:

    A new pattern emerges –
    I receive notification of (obviously fake) friend request on FB. By the time I actually open FB app a few hours later, the request has been rescinded. I then search for the profile out of curiosity, and it doesn’t come up on a search. So either he is blocking me or deleting the profiles almost immediately after sending the friend request.
    This has occurred three times.

    This seems especially lame to me. HG is this him changing his mind after he puts out the request? Or just a different technique he is using?

    It’s sticking in my head that he used to say he knew he should stay away from me but was too tempted to make that happen. (I fully acknowledge that was also meant to flatter me and manipulate me)

    1. HG Tudor says:

      No, it is a hoover and then the removal is done to reinforce denial if you were to challenge about what he is doing. It is somewhat crude but then some of our kind are not that effective.

      1. Supernova DE says:

        Omg HG you just made my night calling his attempts crude haha

        Also, I am sooo thankful I found you and you can confirm my gut instincts about all this pathetic mid ranger passive aggressive bullshit. It just seems to get more pathetic…or is that my defenses getting better?…probably both!! 👍🏻🙌🏻

    2. SMH says:

      Supernova DE, That is what mine has been doing too. The friend requests disappear and the profiles do not come up in a search. He just leaves them long enough so that I can see the little clues. It is a new tactic. Crude mid-ranger behavior indeed.

      1. Supernova DE says:

        To be honest it’s so absurd that I am losing any respect for him I had left (which was very little).
        I mean, you are a grown (and very intelligent) man with a real respectable career and the ability to easily message me…if you want my attention, then BE A MAN and at least contact me directly.

        I can’t see myself ever responding to this BS. But I suppose it must work in some cases or it wouldn’t be such a common narc behavior.

        1. SMH says:

          Supernova DE, I know what you mean. It is very immature. It’s making me paranoid too. The other day I had warning of an email hack attempt. It might have been spam but what drew my attention is where the attempt allegedly came from.

          1. Supernova DE says:

            I hear you loud and clear. I’ve had several times where I was paranoid that he had somehow hacked my phone, though it’s practically impossible.
            I had another fake friend request this weekend. That’s twice in one week. I had a period of relative silence but now, at 13 weeks NC, he seems to be ramping up again.
            I feel like at this point HG or another Greater would just send an email or text, something short and sweet, taking little effort and to take it up a notch. But nah, the MMRN is probably too lazy. And at this point, given all his passive aggressive stuff, I wouldn’t respond to a short and sweet message. And he won’t put in the effort to write out something long and heartfelt (aka lies).
            So perhaps it’s fine, but I’m not letting my guard down, not for one second!

          2. Supernova DE says:

            And now a Hoover by proxy through mutual friend. Ramping up indeed.

          3. SMH says:

            I’ve had silence for a few weeks now but for the suspicious hacking attempt but I almost broke today just to make sure he is still alive because everyone around me is dying. But I restrained myself because really, should I care if he IS dead?

          4. HG Tudor says:

            Did you mass debate them to death SMH?

          5. SMH says:

            lol HG. No. Though I am like a dog with a bone – just ask MRN who couldn’t stay away from me even though I warned him multiple times. I hadn’t even been around most of them for awhile but still they were/are people close to me or close to people I am close to.

            I meant to ask you actually because one is a friend’s partner (gay couple in case my pronouns seem confusing) who killed himself while friend was overseas. Friend is in terrible shape so I am spending a lot of time with him.

            He (suicide) was an older eccentric British political animal (Tory but decent) and debator par excellence. Very entertaining, often bombastic and extremely opinionated. He appeared to have planned the suicide but did not leave my friend any clues or even a note. I have often suspected that he was a narc. I know you have said that narcs don’t often kill themselves but could the suicide have been a final discard? A kind of ‘fuck you’ to my friend?

          6. HG Tudor says:

            Potentially if part of a fuel crisis.

      2. Lori says:

        Can you share what the proxy Hoover has been? I think I’ve been getting them

      3. Supernova DE says:

        I suppose I may be using the term wrong. Proxy Hoover suggests the third party mentions the narc in some fashion. That has not occurred for me.
        The mutual friends that approach me say nothing about the narc. They probe me for information (“how are you”, “how is your husband”, “what have you been up to”, “where do you live now”, “I might be in your area on xyz date will you be around”).
        But the pattern is that there is no real reason for these people to contact me and the timing is always when I am purposefully not talking to narc or he had me shelved. I guess it’s like fact finding for him, or maybe a test to see if I will mention him to the mutual friend.

        In the past week I have had 2 friend requests, “proxy hoover”, and drastic increase in spam calls to my house….separately these things mean nothing. Together…it seems a bit much to be a coincidence.

        Again, it’s lame because he could call my cell phone, text my cell phone, or email me if he wanted to. The intensity picking up has me pissed off, but I also know that’s just an additional form of ET that he could take advantage of. So I’m trying to calm down, have a solid game plan, and put it out of my mind.

      4. Lori says:

        SuperNova DE

        Same here. He knows he can reach me. He knows! Yet he does not. I sometimes get the urge to contact him just to see if he would answer. What he doesn’t get is all the ignoring somewhat conditioned me to stop contacting him. having a close mutual friend is probably causing the Hoover trigger and seeing and hearing things about where I live are Hoover Triggers . The things he’s posted about where I live and and the people here are negative, but I feel it’s because he’s angry that I stopped contacting him. WTF was I supposed to do? He refused to talk to me! So finally, I just stopped. Now the thought of contacting him and facing that rejection again is what keeps me away. I feel like see what you’ve done dumbass ? You took it too far and now you’ve traumatized me into not contacting you.

        Not contacting him today. That’s all I’ve got.

        1. NarcAngel says:

          You have mentioned that you will not contact him day by day and you’ve done great in keeping to that. What you haven’t said (at least that I’ve seen) is what you plan to do if he contacts you. He knows that he could contact you. If he is behind these covert hoovers he gets some thought fuel and kicks from knowing it will get you thinking about him. He is likely thinking this will wear you down eventually and if/when he does contact you (when he needs additional or alternate fuel to what he is getting presently) that you will pour forth with that delicious hoover fuel. He’s not stupid in not contacting you – he’s conditioning you.

          1. HG Tudor says:


        2. Supernova DE says:

          I get what you are saying. The bottom line (and you know this) is that they do it to keep themselves in our heads, to increase the possibility of us being mired in ET, to increase the possibility of us responding to a direct hoover in the future.
          They are doing the passive things because, guess what, they don’t give a shit about us (our fuel) right now. Of course that could change in the future, and instinctively they know that. And I could obsess over this or that and decide if its him or if its a random occurrence, but it just gives him power and occupies my brain with him when I have much better things to think about.
          So what I am working on is to be able to say to myself, “Oh, I see he is up to his old tricks trying to get me to respond with passive aggressive means…perhaps he realized I counter-blocked him on FB? Oh well, it’s not going to work. If I get an email from him I’ll deal with it at that time, no sense worrying about it in advance. Now, what shall we have for dinner…..”
          It is getting easier. Because I know exactly what behaviors to expect (thanks HG) so I’m never fully surprised or taken off guard. I know when something happens and I get the panicked feeling in my chest that it is ET, it is to be expected, and that if I occupy myself otherwise for an hour it will fade and I will be back in my logic, where I can roll my eyes at him and move on with my day.

          I wish you would counter-block him everywhere you can, and shut down all your other social media. He could still direct hoover you through email or whatever, but the likelihood is much lower since it would take some effort on his part….you wouldn’t have to wonder so much about what he will do next, and I think that would help you.

      5. Lori says:

        I am going to be truthful here. I do not know what I would do if he contacted but the first reaction I have when I think of that is that I would ignore him because I would feel a sense of power which is probably precisely why he doesn’t. It interests me that my first thought about that is feeling a sense of power. Seems kind of “narcy” to me but it is honestly what I would feel. I think most would feel a sense of relief of hope or something else but not me I’d feel power and I have to wonder what that says about me

        I really haven’t thought about the other things everyone has mentioned here. I have mainly focused on waking up each day and saying I’m not going to contact him today. I don’t tell myself I can never do it I just say I’m not going to do it today. I have noticed that the further I get in not contacting him his grip had lessened a big underscore a bit.

        I am not going to lie to anyone here because that helps no in’s and people see thru it anyway. If I’m painfully honest be been feeling a little weak the last few days but I have been able to maintain but it could happen. I’m praying it doesn’t but it could. I just try to busy myself or come here.

        So this was a lot of blah blah on my part about what I would do if he contacted me which I feel he will not “directly “ do because he is a lesser and it would be to risky for him, but the short answer to that question is I don’t know. I wish I could offer a better stronger sounding answer, but Dont have one. The only answer I have is I don’t know.

        I thank you all for your comments. I realize they are designed at helping me untangle myself from this mess and I feel they are all accurate and fair comments.

        There will be no contact today.

        1. Supernova DE says:

          I appreciate you writing this because you made me think of something that is helpful to me.

          If my MMRN contacted me directly, I don’t know what I’d do either. I’d like to think I’d ignore, but I also know I am not all that strong yet. Yes yes I can evade the passive hoovers, but I can also feel some anxiety rising in me because of them. I even dreamt about him last night which tells me he is my thoughts far more than he should be.
          IF I get that direct contact, I would feel a surge of power knowing that he has come back – AHA he wants my fuel! I have always felt that way in the past when he has come back. It’s sick and says something about me too, which I realize.

          But you reminded me with that post that ignoring is also a form of power that I can wield. And you remind me that the only reason I have done so well for the past 13 weeks is because I escaped on my own terms, at the time of my choosing. Giving up that control to him again would be terrifying and I know exactly where it would lead. It is tempting obviously, because it is an addiction, but I need to remember that I have no guarantee of it ending under my control next time.

          The dream last night really set me off, not my best day today……

        2. NarcAngel says:

          Hi Lori
          The question was one I did not expect an answer to, but for you to ask yourself if you have a plan in place if it were to happen. Sudden contact can throw you and undo progress. I understand though if all you can manage right now is “no contact today” and I respect that and commend you for it. I personally love that you say you anticipate feeling power, and no, that doesn’t make you a narc. It means you are recognizing that power can be a good thing and that your narcissistic traits coming to the fore can strengthen and protect you. Not all power is bad – especially if it’s owning yours and you use it to establish boundaries to protect yourself, but a concrete plan never hurts. No contact today is great. Keep it up.

        3. Kim e says:

          Lori. You are stronger than me. I gave in around 1st of the year.
          Keep up the good work. Your honesty not only inspires other that it can be done if you set your mind to it but I think helps your realize you ARE doing it
          Best of luck in continued NC

        4. SMH says:

          Lori, I used to come here too to keep myself from breaking NC. I still occasionally do. But it gets a lot easier after awhile. It’s like there are gaps that need to be filled in and eventually life fills them in. Now I come here because I find it relaxing and convivial. If MRN were to contact me directly, I don’t know what I would do either. It would probably depend on what else was going on in my life so it is best to make that life as full and busy as possible so that I do not respond out of boredom. I definitely do not feel that I need him anymore but he might have ways of making me think that I do. Hard to say unless it happens. But I would come here immediately if it did happen and if HG has shelved us, I would hope that I could wait.

      6. Lori says:

        Thanks all for your comments. I think that they are all sound advice. I’m getting there but the I’m still only at the I’m not gonna do it today stage and I can tell you even that resolve is quite weak at the moment.

        The one thing that helps me is knowing the further you make it without conracf the less effect the Hoover will have. I’m not suggesting that it wouldn’t effect me because it mostly certainly would but not to the extent it would say 3 or 4 weeks no contact. The further you get out even if you stumble you wallow in self pity quite as long

        I’m gonna bs straight here. I’m am weak at the moment in fact very. Part of me just wants to do it to see how it will play out but I know I should not do that. I would like to sound like a badass who says I’m not contacting that asshole under any circumstance but that would be a lie.

        Not gonna do it today. Not gonna do it today. Not gonna do it today. The struggle is real

        1. Sweetest Perfection says:

          Lori, if it helps, I have a private calendar that I have named “narcissism.” In that calendar, I mark every day that I stay on NC and every day that I go running and exercise. That way I feel doubly empowered. You can alternate with something else that you love to do or makes you feel great. I have received indirect hoovers but one of them was direct, he was waiting for me outside my workplace. I was carrying a box with a couple of cupcakes to take home. As soon as I saw him outside my legs melted like butter and I fell and smashed the box. But I was able to stand up, scream fuck you narc -to myself- and leave through the back door. He didn’t see me. The cupcakes were a little smashed but that was some necessary collateral damage. I ate one of them with a lot of pleasure, feeling good for not talking to him and having exercised equally so there’s that.

          Had I run into him face to face, the story would have been different. I would have probably fainted. I also want to sound very badass, like you said, but I’m not and he is extremely good looking. But it’s been almost 9 months now!!! You can do it, day by day. The longer you go, the less urge you will have to contact him you will have. Stay strong!

          1. SMH says:

            SP, I had to laugh at the cupcake story. Glad you enjoyed them!! A month or so ago I saw someone who looked like mine and I had an anxiety attack – I probably would have fainted too had it been him. It’s now been 9 months for me too and for the past two days I have been missing him like hell. I have some idea why but really it makes no sense – there are triggers, but nothing I have not experienced before…I think it’s because he is not hoovering right now. I am shelved and so I of course I want him.

        2. Supernova DE says:

          I hope you don’t find anything I’ve said here offensive. Mostly what I wrote you yesterday came from my “strong” place, which I’ve been able to maintain for several weeks. I’m faltering today, just as you are. You’ve said things to me in the past which have kicked my ass with a dose of reality, and I’ve also so appreciated all you’ve shared here in terms of your views of codependency. So I thank you and hope to support you. You should be proud of how far you have come.

          What is it about the NC cycle?!? For me I have these periods where I feel impenetrable. Then BAM I’m jelly and I’m talking myself out of unblocking and calling and making fake profiles to spy on him. It’s insane! And I’m not insane.

          Oddly, I am where you are Lori. I’m just moment to moment right now, rather than day to day. And that is starkly different than yesterday. I can’t explain it. It just is.

          When does this end? It’s torture (but not as intense as the torture of shelving). Everyone says time makes it better. Does it? It’s 13.5 weeks and I feel like I’m back at the beginning right now. Actually the beginning of NC was great I was relieved. Now…regret, sadness, feeling dispensable, feeling worthless. Sure I feel strong for a while but if I can fall back in this pit so quickly…. I don’t want to be fatalistic. I understand the ET wants me to feel it’s hopeless and I should contact.

          I’m really scared I’ll still be having these ups and downs a year from now. If it goes away… I can deal with it and get through. But right now I’m just not sure I can believe it gets better.

          ….and I feel so much better for having written that out (while tears stream down my cheeks). The pressure has been released (a little) and I will go about my night and sleep and wake up to a new day and a new challenge. So HG, I thank you for this forum, as tonight it has kept me from doing a bad deed unto myself by breaking NC.

          1. NarcAngel says:

            You’re dealing with addiction so there will be ups and downs. 13.5 weeks is great work but not long in terms of being able to purge completely. It also depends what you do in those weeks. If it’s time put in but the focus is still on him it will be harder and take longer. Keep working on changing your focus.

          2. SMH says:

            Me too, Supernova DE, and I’ve been NC for 9 months. My theory is that the fake friend requests etc that are then withdrawn are similar to shelving. The narcs are present and then they ignore us, which makes us want to contact them. I am dying for another fake friend request! (kidding not kidding).

        3. NarcAngel says:

          There is no gain (for you) to seeing how it will all play out. You know the answer. Don’t do it today.

      7. Kim e says:

        SMH. I thought I was losing my mind. I would get follow requests on Instagram and if I did not do anything within 24 hours the request and person just evaporated.
        Thought I was losing it but I guess not
        Thanks for turning on the light on another Hoover tactic! WIW

        1. SMH says:

          Kim e, I couldn’t believe the friend requests were from narc but there were the little clues – a name, a place – and then HG said that they were so I believe it. I have had things happen before that I found unbelievable but they turned out to indeed be narc. I guess I only scratched the surface of his weirdness (much of which I loved because I am weird too).

      8. Lori says:


        Funny you mention exercise. I am a fitness but even much more since this all started. I find it keeps my mind off of it and builds self esteem. Sometimes I’m running or sometimes lifting heavy weights or doing some other form of exercise. I do find it really helps.

        Thanks for your comments. They ring true for me

      9. K says:

        Kim e and SMH
        Those disappearing requests (hoovers) could be construed as ever presence and gas lighting.

        1. Supernova DE says:


          1. K says:

            Supernova DE
            YES, Exactly! I read through your comments, as well as, SMH’s and Kim e’s and that made sense to me. It is very subtle but it is there.

        2. Kim e says:

          K. Thanks. Not sure how they can really be either if I didn’t figure out it was him. But now I know. Thanks for the further info

          1. K says:

            You are welcome Kim e
            Your comment made me think of how you were doubting your reality.

            SMH. I thought I was losing my mind. I would get follow requests on Instagram and if I did not do anything within 24 hours the request and person just evaporated. Thought I was losing it (gas lighting).

            And that alone can cause an individual to think about those requests (a little bit of ever presence).

          2. Kim e says:

            K. Never thought of it like that. But why would I.
            I think I don’t go NC just because I want to see the nutty shit he can come up with….lol. Gives both our brains a workout

          3. SMH says:

            Ah, K, now I see what you mean by the gaslighting – messing with our reality (you know I have a problem understanding the concept of gaslighting). That’s why it is a good idea as Lori said to take screenshots. To remind ourselves that it is all real.

          4. K says:

            Kim e
            It certainly does give our brains a work out. Those hoovers cause our ET to spike causing us to think about the narcissist, which has the potential to keep us in situ and prevent us from moving forward.

        3. SMH says:

          K, I think they are like shelving – the narc is present and then he disappears leaving us to wonder what we did ‘wrong.’ The pattern is quite similar, right? It helps me to think about it that way – oh I am being shelved again.

      10. Lori says:


        I would kind to know something. The more aware I become the more I notice my own Narcissism. I can be the biggest pleaser or I’ll admit I can be a bitch. I feel I can use either mode to assert control or what I think is control. It all depends on who I am dealing with. That’s why the description of the doormat codependent never really fit. There are people who would tell you I’m the nicest person in the world and then there some that would say do not mess with her she won’t put up with it and I don’t but in other scenarios I might. Based on your perspective of Codependency, Do you think that’s normal for a codependent ?

      11. Lori says:


        Thank you for your comments. It’s taken me awhile to get to the point I am. I think it takes most of us repeated attempts until we get it right some more than others. I think the significant take away is the longer you go in between contacts is evidence that you are gaing strength

      12. Lori says:

        Well well well… after reading these comments about these fake friend requests I went back and looked at them to see if I could see anything similar? Oh boy yep! Many common threads. His city my city. His former profession. Where he was from was on the profiles was the same however that’s not where he is really from. Now what are the odds of that? Yes this had been him all along. I suspected it was but you begin to doubt yourself because they aren’t contacting you but do not doubt yourself. If you suspect if you are likely right. Screenshot everyone of them because they wait some time between sending them you may Not notice any common thread Now that I went back and compared them side by side I see it. I would say screenshot these requests everytime then compare them. It will keep you from doubting yourself and feeling like you are losing your mind

      13. Lori says:


        Oh geez I’m sorry. I hope I have not triggered you. I will say if does eventually go away. I know this because it’s happened to me before. I thought I would never get over it. There was a lot of trauma. I think the amount of time it takes to get over it is a function of the length of the entanglement and the level of trauma. I think if it was 3 Years it may take that long to get over it. It does happen though. I feel no more attachment to number one.

        With all that said, I understand why you might find yourself in tears. It is a simple function missing them. When they leave they leave a hole in you and nothing seems to be able to fill it. I can only tell you that it helps me to just say I’m not gonna do it today. I don’t tell myself I can never do it. I just say not today and I’ll reassess it tomorrow. Telling myself I can never do it overwhelms me too much.

        Don’t do it today SuperNova. One day at time. Nobody do it today.

        I apologize if my comments have triggered you into wanting contact

        1. Supernova DE says:

          No, it wasn’t you or anything else said here. Just a flurry of passive hoovers had him on my mind. Then I dreamt about him, the dream itself and the content of it was the trigger. Apparently everpresence applies to our dreams as well!
          I feel much better today. Back in control of myself, mostly.
          I agree – no contact today xoxo

          1. NarcAngel says:

            Supernova and Lori
            That’s a good thing you have going there. It’s nice to see you supporting each each to success with the simple concept of : no contact today. Proud of you.

      14. Lori says:

        Narc Angel

        Not to worry. There will be no contact today.

        Everyone freeze! No one contact a Narc today. That’s the thing with the Narc, he’s not going anywhere. He will be right there tomorrow if you so choose to make contact. We can all get through one day

        1. SMH says:

          lol, Lori. Everyone freeze! I have been wanting to break NC the past few days too. Why is it that we all want to break NC at the same time? Is it the weather? Is that HG is in a golden period? Is it that all of our narcs have been hoovering in the same way? What a puzzle. I think an earlier comment of mine did not go through but I wanted to say good idea to take screenshots as it makes us feel less crazy.

      15. Lori says:

        HG and/or Narc Angel

        What do you think I’m being conditioned for ? For me to make contact? Or for a direct Hoover from him?

      16. Lori says:

        To all on this thread especially you SuperNova For the record, I’m not going to think any less of anyone who stumbles on this. As long as we are trying and doing our best that’s all that matters and freedom from this will come.

        SuperNova if you told me right now that hey I did it I contacted him, I wouldn’t think any less of you 14 weeks is a good solid amount of time to not contact and believe me that amount of time takes focused effort. Ya know what ? all is not lost if you slip up and do it and often if shows again exactly why we need to stay away from them. Where I get frustrated is with the people who complain about how much pain they are in say they want it to end but clearly make no attempt at trying to get out of this mess. As long as you are trying, freedom eventually comes. I find that with this much time no contact should you stumble that the situation will only strengthen your resolve the next time around. I’m not advocating you give yourself permission to stumble. I’m just saying if you do it’s ok and be gentle with yourself. God knows the Narc has shamed us enough then wants us to wear him shame too.

      17. Lori says:

        I was just thinking that expression

        “Not today Satan not today “

        Is most appropriate lol

      18. Sweetest Perfection says:

        SMH, I was also feeling the urge to see him (where I am it’s definitely the weather) but a good friend of mine decided to let me know that he had started posting pictures of his abs the other night to show how much more fit he is than Adam Levine, and then all the imaginary nostalgia for him magically disappeared. The guy is an idiot, period. If I fall into that again, there will be two of us and one idiot is enough.

        1. Kim e says:

          Sweetest Perfection…….
          Thank you for the Adam Levine reference. I am rolling here at work. Thank goodness I am the only one here.
          Like I previously said, I think I hang around to see what kinds of nonsense they can come up with.

          1. Sweetest Perfection says:

            Kim e, anytime. He is super entertaining. Never a dull moment with him …

        2. SMH says:

          lol Sweetest Perfection. It is maybe easier for me because I don;t know anyone who knows him but I would hope that if I did find out something my first reaction would also be ‘he is such an idiot’ The feeling has passed now even though the weather has not improved!!

      19. Lori says:

        So I am going to fess up here. I did it. I was bored and I did it. What happened? Nothing but silence. I am not blocked but silence. This after I am 100 percent certain he’s been sending fake requests. After analyzing them side by side there was a common theme and similarities that could not be coincidence however he still ignored me.

        How do I feel? Not too bad. Now I know do not contact him because it will always be met with silence. It’s his power. What I did feel was anxious. Anxious for 24 hours. This is what these people do. They create anxiety. Anxiety if they do answer anxiety if they don’t. It’s just all anxiety 24/7 and now that I have been away from it so long I know I don’t want to feel that feeling anymore. Do I feel shame that I did it? Not really. Maybe just a tad but I’ve realized some of us have to go through the process several times until we really and I mean really accept what is. I think I’m there now. I see it. I know what this is. Normal people do not ignore people like this they don’t. He is a Narcissist. He just is and he will never be normal. In many ways, it’s a blessing that he gives me silence or the craziness would start again. Fortunately, after a day of angst, I appear to be fine. I don’t really feel pain. I think the emotion I feel is disappointment. Disappointment that he really is a Narcissist: I also feel a slight sense of relief mixed in with some residual anxiety that seems to be lessening

        Conclusion: you do this as many times as it takes but eventually it does set in especially if you are able to get at least 3 or months NC in. I came clean about this because it helps me to talk about it and see my behavior, but also because I know some of you are right where I am. Take note of what happened and learn from it Hopefully, my experience will help some of you.

        My question for HG why on earth was he going to the trouble to Hoover me (and he was because I know without question those friend requests were him ) if he wasn’t going to speak to me.? Again I’m not blocked just silence. I could see him going to the trouble if he was going to reel me back in but just to ignore me ?

        1. Sweetest Perfection says:

          Lori, he just got fuel from seeing you fall for his trick, and for being on top now by giving him the chance to be the one who ignores you. Every time I feel weak and emotional I remind myself of how powerful I feel when that urge dissipates and I managed to not contact him. Stay there, now you know better. Thanks for telling us and being honest, we know how it feels.

        2. NarcAngel says:

          My guess is now that he knows you have been thinking about him and have contacted him after that length of no contact, that there is less likely to be wounding when he DOES contact you. He knows you have remained faithfully on the shelf for him. He is back in the drivers seat and in control (his thoughts). It’s commendable that you ‘fessed up, because as you mentioned, others can confirm the struggle is real, but was it honestly boredom or looking for confirmation that he’s a narc? Or were you actually hoping for another outcome? Just curious.

        3. Supernova DE says:

          This was brave to write and I appreciate your honesty.
          I have not contacted directly but I HAVE given in and purposely done some passive things. I guess I’m hoping to receive a hoover from him. So we are in the same boat. I’m really no better than him at this point, changing social media settings and pictures to try and get his attention, putting myself in the path of mutual friends I think are loyal to him, snooping etc.

          I felt I was kind of spiraling the past few days, like it was hopeless and I was going to break down and write him some long message….but then this morning the audiobook I’m listening to made specific mention of our ability to come back from setbacks. And that this is a specific skill you need to cultivate. It sounds like you are there and doing it, good for you.

          I’m not sure how it will play out for me, I realize that I could reverse course and double down the NC efforts. But I am also bored, and can see a significant period just ahead in my personal life that will contribute to the boredom. THAT is when I crave his attention, even the drama at times. And part of me wants to just give up NC (unblock and stop actively trying to avoid him), and see what he does. Given he is mid range, he likely won’t do anything, and just like you have experienced, it will be anxiety producing but also telling.

          I will not do anything today, I will hold steady.

        4. K says:

          He hoovered you to assert control and superiority and to provoke a response (fuel).

        5. lisa says:

          Well done for sharing this , just all part of the journey and sometimes your just not done until your done.
          If your still slightly in the place of is he or isn’t he , this is some sort of confirmation.
          Truth is it doesn’t really matter what he is , he’s obviously not a suitable partner and doesn’t make you happy.

        6. Kim e says:

          I have no room to talk as I have gone NC 3 times and failed at them all. I will offer you a hug and tell you it will happen when you are ready. Dont beat yourself up. {{{{{{HUG}}}}}}}

        7. SMH says:

          Lori, I broke NC many times (though back then it wasn’t true NC – just not in touch). Mine never ignored me – in fact, he was always happy to hear from me, though maybe he wouldn’t be this time around if I contacted him after 9 months of true NC.

          Whether we were in touch or not, my anxiety levels were always high – I was always in fight or flight mode with him and could feel the cortisol coursing through me. One time I went back to him and then said I couldn’t do it because my anxiety levels were through the roof. So I left. Then I returned 3 weeks later, he talked me back into it and basically held my hand for a month. Then he reverted, my anxiety levels rose, and so the cycle repeated constantly. Don’t feel shame. Just start NC again. It does get easier.

      20. Lori says:

        Narc Angel,

        I would say both but primarily it was boredom. I’m in a lull work wise so I have lots of time on my hands. If I’m honest there always that little part of me that wants that confirmation that he is a Narc. I know he is but essence of a codependent is “what if” and “but” that is at the very core of my issues including anxiety related issues. I used to live my life in a perpetual what if scenario. I am much better but it does still rear its head from time to time.

        How do feel? Remarkably fine. All I know is that for 24 hours I had complete anxiety and I don’t want that feeling again. Do I feel bad that he ignored me ? Oddly, not really. In a sense it’s a relief. Had he responded who knows what may have occurred so I will take it as a sign and a blessing. In truth I don’t want that roller coaster again. Life might be a little boring but 24 hours of that anxiety and I’ve realized I just can’t handle it. That is sheer misery.

        So to all of you contemplating this, Don’t do it. Best case scenario he ignores you worst case the roller coaster begins again and you start with non stop anxiety again. It’s just not worth it but I understand if you need to see for yourself. We all do this as many times as it takes but each time you learn something from it and the effects don’t last as long. I’m pretty much back to normal. What I notice this time is that it’s not hitting my self esteem. He’s a Narcissist this what they do whether it’s me or someone else. It just is what it is.

        I could have kept this to myself out of feeling shameful but oddly I don’t feel that shameful about it which is progress in and of itself and if you are hiding shit you aren’t healing. If I didn’t say anything and pretended to be the strong no contact princess would that help anyone ? No it would not. Would it help me ? No it would not. It would simply be signs of denial or shame.

        So if you can avoid people avoid it ! If you feel you need to do it then you do. No shame just start again. That’s the thing everyday is a new day that you can say it’s over. If you have the urge just don’t do it today. Believe me the Narc will be there tomorrow and the next day and the next day. Unfortunately, he’s not going anywhere

        1. NarcAngel says:


          You mentioned boredom. Do you think it possible that you (and many others as well) are not so much addicted to them as a person but more how you feel when you are with them? Many times when absent from the narc, people are able to see the downside and will make derogatory remarks about them, and yet as time passes their emotional thinking returns and they want contact. My loose theory on this is that when the target does not fill their time with something else or change their focus, that they are starved for a hit of confirmation and validation themselves. They want to feel ALIVE and narcs bring that in spades. There is good in the compliments and sex and there is bad in the devaluation. Either way the victim is able to FEEL something other than being numb. It is not really the narc themselves that the target is drawn to but rather the chaos that comes with them. The chaos that the target has been conditioned to feel perhaps from as far back as their childhood, or more recently when being awakened by the narc. That it is not a case of love as the target feels it is. It is the more basic need of being acknowledged and feeling alive with the focus upon them when they have long felt invisible or unappreciated. That they really are in love with themselves but they needed a mirror held up to see it. Ironically its similar to the narcissist in love me, hate me, but never ignore me, and also in that if that’s all there is to it, then they are an appliance (I prefer tool) of sorts to us as well.

          Anything in that for anyone?

          1. MB says:

            NA, “ It is the more basic need of being acknowledged and feeling alive with the focus upon them when they have long felt invisible or unappreciated. …….,, then they are an appliance (I prefer tool) of sorts to us as well.”

            Yes! This!!! You hit the nail on the head. (Except for the part about hate me and devaluation.) You can fuck that shit sky high! I don’t love him, but THIS is what makes NC so difficult for me:

            “ most of all I’m scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life the way I feel when I’m with you.”—Baby (Dirty Dancing)

          2. SMH says:

            lol, MB. Dirty Dancing is your film, isn’t it?

            Boredom, well, I guess I had some during our down periods – but he conditioned me to it, especially because if I brought up anything but him, he would shut me down. That is part of what they do to isolate us, right? Everything else enjoyable in your life has to go – full attention on narc. That’s why it is boring when they are not around. Took me a long time to realize that’s what it was and to fill the holes with other things. I still occasionally miss the chaos, but now I wonder how I would ever have room for someone like him in my life again.

            I like chaos and excitement too and so did narc and so do a lot of people, but life is always a balance between stability and excitement – most people struggle with it – narc did because he was the one with the IPPS; I did because I wanted a bit of stability (consistency) from him. But when he gave it to me, which he once did for a month when I was super anxious, I began to lose interest. He reverted and my interest rekindled. In retrospect, that period is very telling.

            Speaking of narc, another anonymous LinkedIn visit sometime in the past few weeks. That follows the fake friend requests. He is out there.

          3. MB says:

            SMH, ha ha Yes, I do like Dirty Dancing, although it’s not my favorite movie. That quote just sums up my Narc addiction. I’m afraid if I let it go, I’ll never feel that way again. Forever doomed to beige. I don’t like chaos. I like my life of stability with narc sparkles mixed in for effect. #beigebgone

          4. windstorm says:

            This post strikes chords with me. I have always enjoyed chaos much more than normal people do. For me, chaos is exciting. I sit back and watch it unfolding, like watching a movie. It’s exciting and unpredictable. I have always been this way, as far back as I can remember. If I was conditioned to chaos, it had to be when I was a small child, but that’s certainly possible.

            “That it is not a case of love as the target feels it is. It is the more basic need of being acknowledged and feeling alive with the focus upon them when they have long felt invisible or unappreciated.”

            I really agree with this. It reminds me of the saying, “I don’t love him, so much as I love who I am when I am with him.” I definitely feel this way with my long term narc friends. I love who I am when I am with them. I don’t have to hide my weird religious beliefs and practices. I can feel intelligent and intellectual. I can have deep philosophical or political discussions with them that I could never have with other people. I can just be me and not worry about scaring people. And I can get different views of people and situations that stimulate my thinking.

            I agree with you that my narcs are like a type of tool that I use, too. Just like many tools, I have to be careful so I don’t get hurt when using them. But also like many tools, they can make my life more fulfilling and more productive.

          5. MB says:

            WS, ❤️

          6. K says:

            Exactly, you can have fantastic and intelligent conversations with cerebrals, not lessers, however, my lessers loved my sick, twisted, crazy side (fuel). Normals are different; I can’t speak “normal” so, sometimes, I have trouble understanding them.

          7. windstorm says:

            Ha, ha! Apparently I can’t speak “normal” either! Maybe that’s why all my life when I express my thoughts to normals, they never think my thoughts and opinions are normal! 🤪

          8. K says:

            Exactly! They don’t understand us. I understand you and your thoughts and I think you are “normal”. It is an empath thing and because we are empaths we accept narcissistic behaviour more readily and it “seems” comfortable or familiar initially, as long as you are in seduction.

          9. Supernova DE says:

            Yep! You nailed it. It has unfolded exactly as you describe for me. I felt much better in the first two months of NC, calm, relieved not to have the anxiety he brought me.

            But now, I think I have slipped a bit on keeping busy and with other factors in my life the ET is back. His passive hoovers have certainly done their work.

            I even find myself planning the way a mid ranger would (ie. Ok, well more time apart is good for me, and also will reduce the wounding on his end. So if I wait and then contact, he is more likely to respond, especially if I’m polite. And I can fill this blank space of time I have coming in my family life with him a few months from now….” It’s sick.

            I am well aware that he makes me feel ALIVE, and that I actually detest him as a stand alone person.

            I have often thought in the past, and actually verbalized to him, that we use each other. I also verbalized to him (prior to knowing about NPD) that I was addicted to the feeling he gave me, and it wasn’t much to do with him as a person. I was fine with all of it for so long, but the withdrawing and silent treatments is far too much a trigger from childhood for me to be able to tolerate it.

          10. K says:

            It is similar to a drug addiction. You know the drug is bad for you and it has downsides but it feels so fucking good that you can’t stop thinking about it or wanting it. That drug (the narcissist) makes you feel so alive that you dismiss those dangerous side effects. You just want another hit of Fatal Beauty (heroin) even though it could be your last. Pesky narcs!

          11. NarcAngel says:

            Exactly, and in that case we can see that the word LOVE is being substituted in for and confused with what is actually ADDICTION, but people would rather believe they are in love rather than they are an addict and all the stigma that comes with that word. Many times when I read “I love him” I think: “you mean addicted to him” because it is an illusion and there is nothing there to love. We are addicted to the feelings we manufacture in being with them. It is another way in which we deceive ourselves.

          12. MB says:

            NA, there is a HUGE addiction aspect to the dance with a narcissist. However, I also believe that most victims do truly LOVE their narcissist. Just because the narcissist is incapable of love doesn’t mean that the feelings of the victim are not real. You can’t help who you love, even if they don’t love you back.

          13. NarcAngel says:

            The problem I see is with the word love and it’s application. It’s a huge catch-all. I was saying I believe a lot of people use the word love when it is actually addiction. I didn’t understand intoxication and love as the same things. Are people that cannot stop taking drugs because of the feeling they get from taking them in love or addicted?

          14. MB says:

            NA, people who can’t stop taking drugs are addicted. I am a narc addict. I am absolutely, positively NOT in love. That said, I think a relationship with a narcissist can have a similar curve as a normal relationship does from the victim’s perspective. It starts as intoxication/infatuation but then becomes something deeper. I dare say Kim loves HG. For real, loves him. It is quite obvious that Laurie (here on the blog) loves her husband. I’m not saying “love” is a catch all. Love is what remains when the intoxication wears off.

          15. NarcAngel says:

            I didn’t say it was impossible, but I would think the numbers are small that its love and not addiction or filling the empaths own need in some way. It’s like being in love with a mirage because you never really know what’s even real or true. They don’t even know sometimes themselves, so you can only be in love with what you believe or what you project onto them. Take your examples for instance, you have decided that they are examples of love but they are not necessarily mine. It’s tricky to take the word of someone still engaged who says it’s love because of course they think that. If you ask them again when they’re far removed and can look back with honesty it’s often a different story. I’m not trying to take away love. I’m saying that if you can identify it with honesty as addiction there is a place to start with recovery instead of just lamenting lost love and for the rest of your days and not moving on. That believing in love when it is addiction is dangerous.

          16. windstorm says:

            I’m not disagreeing with you. And I’m to the point in all my narc relationships where there’s no way in hell Im “in love” with any of them. But I can honestly say that I do love them all. Love like how you love family or love like how you love friends. So maybe that adds to the confusion. Really I can honestly say that I feel some type of love for everyone that’s in my life long term.

            But it’s never the being “in love”, the romantic type of love. Still, I do love them all and care about their well-being. But then I tend to love everybody i know and care about them, too. Maybe it’s just a thing with certain types of empaths. We love everyone we are involved with, no matter how obnoxious they are, even if we dont “like” them.

          17. NarcAngel says:

            Good point. I should have clarified it’s more the romantic, intimate, I take the abuse for the sex, type interactions I’m speaking of.

          18. windstorm says:

            Ha, ha! In my marriage, the sex was part of the abuse! I did everything I could to avoid it! 😂

          19. K says:

            I know what you mean, I love the people here on narcsite. So that would be Blog Love.

          20. MB says:

            K, I blog love you too! ❤️

          21. K says:

            Ha ha ha…blog love is great! I am almost finished with YOU. I will let you know what I think.

          22. MB says:

            NA, Describing love is more difficult than describing air or God. It’s colorless, odorless, tasteless. You cant feel it in a tactile sense, nor can you hear it. I was so confused as to how to answer the question, I nearly Googled it to cheat on my ED test because I didn’t want to get it wrong. I left it until last. It caused me great anxiety. I don’t think there is a “right” answer. Instead of trying to describe the feeling of love, I decided to describe what loving compels me to do. For me, love compels me to put another’s need ahead of my own. I will care for and attend to the needs and wants of those that I love even to my own discomfort.

            You say you don’t know love. Consider this: the feeling that you had that compelled you to care for and be responsible for your siblings ahead of your own needs, the feeling that compelled you to go out in the cold and snow to look for an animal in distress, the feeling that speaks to you and compels you to reach out to a fellow blog contributor. All of these things take effort on your part. All of these things inconvenience you to an extent, yet you do it anyway. Because you want to. Because you care. And you care because you love. Love is the feeling, the catalyst for caring about something, anything besides yourself.

            Very different than addiction. Love doesn’t cause craving. Love doesn’t cause obsession. Love is comfortable, safe, stable, dependable. It is not chaos, uncertainty, or insanity. I have both. I can compare and contrast. They do get intertwined in the beginnings of any romantic relationship. But once the dust settles, love is what is left once the drugs of the addiction wear off.

          23. K says:

            Abso-fucking-lutely! I was addicted to the platinum package deal: narc heroin, wrapped in ecstasy, sprinkled with fentanyl. I went through withdrawals for four months and it was miserable. Narc love is dangerous because it isn’t love at all; it is an addiction.

          24. Sweetest Perfection says:

            Since K and NA are drug dealing here (figuratively speaking of course): I told the narc at the beginning that I felt I was on drugs and he was very addictive; he, of course, replied the same about me. I think a normal person would have seen the red flag immediately after being told “I love you” from day one; but I adored that exchange of “I love yous.” Even if what he said was the opposite of what he did, I wanted to believe that desperately. Narcs are addictive because they use the unresolved conflicts in your life to create the illusion they will rescue you, and when they don’t or disappear or replace you, they leave you lingering there with your hopes and desires unfulfilled. But I’m learning a lot that I didn’t know and the more I know, the better I like myself. I think we can be good friends. I’m referring to me and myself; the morherfucker can disappear from the face of the earth and I’ll be quite content. He is not and will never be my friend. Or anything, for that matter.

          25. NarcAngel says:

            Sweet P
            Bu bu bu but… you said you LOVED him!!

          26. Sweetest Perfection says:

            NA, I stil do. That is to say, the image of him he made me believe was my soulmate, which in actuality was just a reflection of me. So I loved myself because “he” is just an empty, shallow being with no real self. And a six pack.

      21. Lori says:

        Narc Angel

        You have just described the codependent. The Codependent needs appliances and mirrors as well. Codepa need the outside world to confirm to them how they feel and their self worth on any given day. That is what happens when you are externally focused. You get up each day needing the world to tell you that you are all that. We do not cease to exist without but what you might see is depression.

        The Codependent however does not treat the appliances in such a cold manner as the Narcissist. The Narcissist will kick their appliance to make it work again or throw it in the heap and not think a thing about it. The Codependent will keep trying to make the appliance work through what they perceive as extra care and maintenance. They will not throw the appliance away. What’s does the Codependent do ? I’m going to fix it! If I just take better care of the appliance and it will work again. It all sounds so callous “appliances” but I have to say to a certain extent he was my appliance providing excitement entertainment validation all of those things. I am of the belief that the Codependent needs fuel the same as a Narc. It’s just the need isn’t quite as deep. A Narc needs it to survive. A Codependent needs it to feel alive and validated.

        Had I been occupied and not had time to be so inside my head would I have contacted him? No probably not. I can tell you another Narc could come along and I wouldn’t give this guy another thought. That is just reality. I think he knew it as well. He once said if doesn’t work out, I know you aren’t going to have any problem moving on. You will be just fine. In otherwords, you will replace me and he’s right.

        Was the contact worth it ? No. Has it left me devastated? No. It just leaves you with a feeling of toxic residue.

        Interesting that you and some others think he will return. I once thought that but now I’m thinking he really had no need or interest to. He once told me he never returns to previous relationships. I think that may be true but you never know with a Narc

        1. Supernova DE says:

          OK, I agree with all of this discussion about narc and needing to feel alive/excited, etc.

          I think what this is bringing up for me is….have I always needed that or has the narc brought out that need in me?

          I have repeatedly talked here about the fact that my marriage is great, my husband is my best friend, our sex life is bangin, etc etc. But before narc seduced me as IPSS I never felt the need to even FLIRT with another man! I cannot reconcile this, its very confusing to me.

          Of course, there is the added layer of confusion about the phase of life I am in. When you have kids you automatically become more socially isolated, see friends less, have less time for your own pursuits, see yourself as less sexual, have less time for sex within your relationship etc. So did that change have me low on “fuel” and more susceptible to narc?

          More and more I think that I’m a partially recovered co-dependent, not a standard empath.

        2. Supernova DE says:

          Yea I agree about finding another narc and things being just fine…been there done that. Somehow I came back to the cerebral MMRN though.
          So stupid, I should have went with the somatic and at least got some great sex out of it….kidding (kinda haha)

        3. NarcAngel says:

          Thanks for responding and for being so candid. I think that helps others to relate and feel less alone and is good of you. So if you’ll allow me to probe a little further ……(and obviously if you’d rather not answer I understand).

          1. You say he told you that if it didn’t work out that you wouldn’t have any trouble moving on and you’d be fine. That you would replace him, and you stated that he was right. Have you replaced him? With what or whom? I ask this because of your assertion that Co-deps are like narcs and need external validation, and I wonder if you have not replaced him in all this time if you have experienced the depression you say is likely to occur. Also, if you actively seek out narcs or if you just attach as one comes along because it fills your needs best as a Co-d. I guess in the end I’m asking how you’re getting your validation since you’ve not been involved with him.

          2. I’m glad to hear that you do not feel devastated, but you refer to a feeling of toxic residue. Do you think that feeling is only because he did not respond to you? If he had responded would that feeling remain, or would his validation of you override it and manifest as something else?

          I don’t know if he will contact you, but if he’s gone as far as keeping up the game of having you remain interested (and he has now had that confirmed) it’s a strong possibility (it’s never over in their minds remember), and I wonder how you will be affected if caught off guard.

      22. Lori says:


        1. Have I found a replacement ? No. And for now it’s not likely I will in that I have removed myself from places online where that might occur. Also, sometimes a replacement may not be In the form of a person but an activity ot interest.. I do have something I have kind of immersed myself in that’s warding off the depression for now.

        2. The toxic residue. Would I feel that if had answered? Yes. If he would have answered I’m pretty certain I would have engaged with him but I can pretty much guarantee there would have been loads of anxiety. Why ? Because I cannot unknow what I know. So no matter how great the love bombing I cannot unknow what I know. I cannot turn back and look at him thru the filter of innocence that I once had. It simply would have been both playing a game of manipulation with each other only this time we would both be aware that that is what we are doing. So honestly either if he answered or not there would have been huge amounts of anxiety and just 24 hours of that had me feeling completely toxic. It’s completely draining. That’s the things with these people there is no possible scenario where you have contact and don’t end up with a ton of anxiety because of the cognitive disonanxe. You don’t want to believe what they are but you can unknow what you know.

        The truth is another narc could come along That provided that same level of excitement and I wouldn’t give him another thought much like a new ipss came along and he doesn’t give me another thought. It’s not him I have really longed for but the feeling he gave me. The excitement the rush of it all.

        In a way, instead of feeling like he has all the control, I feel myself smirking that he knows I know he hasn’t blocked and that it indicates weakness on his part. Believe me every Narc is very adept at all of the blocking mechanisms available to him. So Mr. Lesser as much as you try to act like you don’t need me I know you want to hear from me. You need it and I know it. You know I know all those fake requests were you. Am I one sending you fake requests ? No. Have I been the one calling you from an unknown number ? No. I have watched you block me and unblock me on your phone within a couple days, a couple hours and sometimes even minutes . You couldn’t stand the thought of risking permanent loss of my fuel. So who is really the one with the control here ? Evidence might suggest it is me :). Sleep well with that on your mind Mr. Lesser.

        So you see Narc Angel what appears on the surface as a loss of my power is actually not always what it appears. I actually feel in a weird way my power was confirmed and validated

        1. NarcAngel says:

          I appreciate your helping me to understand in answering my questions.

      23. Lori says:

        Well it’s been a week now since I did it. I have not contacted him any further. I simply ask myself why would I he’s not going to respond and I’ve confirmed that so why bother? Have I been thinking about the whole thing ? Yes, but I don’t feel that deep pain I felt when he first left. Time has passed and fortunately he hasn’t contacted me directly or responded in any way so it’s allowed me to heal a little bit. The wound is still there but it is not as deep and it’s healing albeit slowly. In a weird way, I’m grateful he doesn’t respond. This needs to end and the only way it does is with no contact regardless of who iniates it. His reason for no contact and mine would be entirely different, but it doesn’t charge the fact that it’s no contact and that what ends it and allows the wound to start healing no matter how slow the healing.

        I do not know why the fake friend requests only to ignore me. I know it was him there’s no question about that. I only know he wants to make sure I don’t forget him.

        Just have to keep moving forward.

        1. Supernova DE says:

          I’m glad you are not feeling overwhelmed by the break in NC, and are moving forward.

          Do you mind me asking what was the general content of your message to him last week? Was it brief, or did you give him a dissertation on how you are feeling? Did you ask him to contact you?
          sorry if that is too personal.

      24. Lori says:

        SuperNova DE

        It was pleasant. Just an update on myself how I had hit some new goals. That I hopess he was ok and that I have nothing against hiim. I didn’t beg for him to speak to me or say anything like I’m miserable without you etc. No I didn’t ask for a reply to me that’s just common courtesy one that I am not aftorded.

        Oddly one of our mutual friends told me that they witnessed a very “snippy” conversation between him and my replacement a few days ago right around the time of my text. I have to wonder if I caused that because I say the way they treat you is always a function of what’s going on in the fuel matrix. He got some fuel from me and suddenly she became annoying. I do not know just a wild guess.

        My theory on why he doesn’t block me on his phone is that he’s not quite finished with her. The cycle has a little longer to go. He can’t speak to me because it will come up about blocking me in fb and he can’t unblock me until he’s done with her because he can’t risk us colliding which is quite possible. So my theory is that’ she will eventually be blocked and I will be unblocked. I’m not disengaged from, but shelved for now as this moves thru the cycle. The bottom line is he could block me in his phone yet he doesn’t that alone is indicative of something. Just my thoughts

        1. Supernova DE says:

          Well I agree you are shelved and not disengaged. It’s interesting that he wouldn’t give you a crumb, but perhaps you are painted black on the shelf – which is still a concept I have trouble understanding, even though I think I have spent much of my time with narc in that position. I never could just behave lol.
          In fact, that’s probably where I am right now, on the shelf, painted black because I wounded him and blocked him. But to him, I know that ultimately, it is not different than other times we have been out of contact, because I “left” and came back sooooo many times. I’m sure he has high confidence that if he really wanted me back at some point, he could make that happen. Your narc may feel the same way as well.

      25. Lori says:


        They don’t think they can get you back they know. That is why there is no pressure to respond to any threat you make of any blocking of them. They know it’s onlg a matter of told until you give into them

        You remind me a lot of myself in that you ( and I hope you don’t take this wrong) seem to have control issues as do I

    3. Alma Jazzmin says:

      He can check on your friends (even if they are on private mode) if you accept his request…

  24. Jess says:

    Dear HG: exUMRN sent me an email with a scan of a letter addressed to me from booking.com (containing a special promo code for hotels!) that was delivered to my previous postal address (where I lived with him). It’s not important correspondence by any means – hoover??? His emails go to spam and have beenNC just over 5 months.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      It is a hoover.

      1. Jess says:

        Thank you HG. Are there any general reasons for why the frequency of hoovers increases for a former IPPS? Have gotten one in Nov and Dec and now two in Jan. Have ignored all.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          More Hoover triggers and the HEC are being hit.

          1. lisa says:

            What is HEC please ?

          2. HG Tudor says:

            Pay attention at the back! Hoover Execution Criteria, Lisa.

          3. SMH says:

            lol HG. You are in top humour today.

          4. HG Tudor says:

            Much obliged.

          5. lisa says:

            Oh god , I know that one , how could I forget that 🙄
            I’ve just been watching all the old reruns of Sex in the City, amazing how much of a Narc, Big is , he even hoovers !!!
            Plus Carries addiction to him, all the break ups and the getting back together and his vanity , OCD and selfishness the list goes on and on and on. I wonder if the writer knew about N’s or is just writing about a typical so called Player 🤔
            Despite being a complete commitment phobic he even marries someone else very quickly because she serves his purposes !!!!
            Amazing what I see in this program now Mr HG

          6. HG Tudor says:

            He certainly is, an absolute classic example and not one person in the show realises this. So much for the savvy in love Miss Bradshaw. It is precisely shows such as SATC which obscure, dilute, diminish and euphemise what our kind do and how we appear – still makes life easier for us doesn’t it?

          7. NarcAngel says:

            I thought Carrie Bradshaw was an embarassment to women and would have gladly flung her onto the third rail. Closely followed by any bride on Say Yes To The Fucking Dress.

          8. HG Tudor says:

            HG approves.

          9. lisa says:

            Yes NA i found her irritating after a while and even more so watching again after many years. I don’t watch anything to do with weddings or brides , they do my bloody head in . I think Sarah Jessica Parker is a pain in the ass in real life too.
            Looking at the show now it’s complete cringe at times the way these women are portrayed , but watching the Narcissist characters is interesting as it seems to be portraying it very accurately .

          10. NarcAngel says:

            Haha. I got emotionally hijacked by my disgust at the portrayal of the women and forgot to mention that I agree with your point of Mr Big’s behaviours as being more accurate to narcissism (once you know). I suppose it’s not hard to be accurate in that regard because the film industry is full of them.

          11. Sweetest Perfection says:

            Fuck yeah. And buying Manolos with that shitty salary as an unknown columnist? Samantha, on the other hand … 🤘🏽

          12. HG Tudor says:

            Go on, stick it to SATC – it set you ladies back several years in my view re equality.

          13. Sweetest Perfection says:

            Don’t you love a narc talking feminism and equality? Samantha is a caricature, like all of them.

          14. HG Tudor says:


          15. MB says:

            I’ve never seen a single episode of SATC! Is it binge-worthy or nah?

          16. HG Tudor says:

            Watch The Kominscky Method instead, far more rewarding.

          17. MB says:

            The Kominscky Method it is then. I’m sure I will thank you for it later, HG!

          18. HG Tudor says:

            Yes you will MB.

          19. lisa says:

            I wouldn’t bother with SATC now if you never watched at the time, I think it was of its era or some may even disagree it was never of any era. I just thought it was interesting to have another look at the Big character and Samantha armed with my narc knowledge . I think the writer knew a Narc or dated one or several as she depicted it too well even right down to rigid habits and hoovers. Carrie even refers to him as a self absorbed baby at one point. Another interesting observation is that the character Samantha is referred to often as living like a man , non emotional like a man , promicuous like a man , just another example of Narc behaviour going under the radar as it’s seen as typical Male behaviour.

          20. HG Tudor says:


      2. Jess says:

        HG: Just a follow-up on that hoover by email with a booking.com promo code, I now see that he also sent the email to my work email address as well as my private address, which has not done so far. Is this likely to further provoke me into responding?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Yes, it was belt and braces.

  25. Lori says:

    Ok I just got a call from a number local to my area so I answered it. It was just someone breathing. I said hello 3 x anc no response. He lives a couple thousand miles from me si he wouldn’t have a local number like this

    Is this just random or is it him using some fake number ? Seems far fetched that he would do something like this. Is that something commonly done by a narc specifically a lesser ?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      1. It may be him using a fake number.
      2. It may a local Lieutenant.
      3. It may be somebody out jogging who has dialled you in error.

      1. Sighofrelieff says:

        Out jogging 🏃‍♀️ 😂

        1. MB says:

          SOR, love the frog! 😍

      2. Lori says:

        Hahaha I run a lot and haven’t butt dialed yet but just wait now that I said that it will happen today lol.

        The odd thing I’ve noticed is that these odd things whether it be a fake friend request, an unknown call, or just someone breathing have all happened on a certain date every month. So weird. I’m gonna choose to think I’m reading too much into this cause if it’s him that’s scary AF and i feel like him forgetting about me is easier to deal with than the fear that some obsession may develop. Being forgotten is painful but it’s better than the fear that he may be stalking me and getting the new ipss in on it too.

        Seems a bit far fetched. If this guy wanted to reach me bad enough he could get me and he knows it

  26. Jess says:

    SMH: At first I didn’t block on Linkedin for the exact same reason as you! But seeing as I got the notification of him checking my profile, hence I saw his photo, I decided to block – changed my privacy settings to anonymous viewing first so that he wouldn’t get notified that I looked up his profile – and then boom, blocked him! Ironically, each contact attempt makes me even more determined to keep NC. Time will tell if and what he does next. Well done on your 8 months of NC!

    1. SMH says:

      Thanks, Jess! You are doing really well too!

      Mine would look at my LinkedIn anonymously so I couldn’t be sure it was him. But it happened like clockwork over six months (he is very regimented) and once I mentioned it to him, it pretty much stopped. That is how I knew it was him. Even if I went incognito to block him I would still have to look at his profile. Since I have not seen a picture of him in months now, I think I’d be setting myself back.

      Yesterday I got a very strange email that went to my spam folder. It is nothing like any spam I have ever received and I don’t get much spam in my real email account anyway. It immediately raised my suspicions that he is trying something new.

      I think once we know what they are, these hoover attempts begin to look pathetic. I think to myself, why don’t you just email me or connect with me on LinkedIn or Facebook or call me the way a normal ex would??!! That’s why it’s easier to maintain NC with the hoover attempts – the way mine does it makes him look even more immature and psychopathic!

      1. Jess says:

        SMH: I had the partly anonymous view back in Oct when only his company name was visible, then email wishes in Nov and Dec and now in Jan he viewed my profile so I could see it was him. Clearly a pattern, but I have ignored all – so either this will wound and he’ll retreat or challenge him to try other ways. It. As you say, the attempts are rather pathetic – like a kid playing hide’n’seek. I too feel hypervigilant and suspicious when anything out of the ordinary occurs. Wish I had found HG’s outstanding blog earlier. Would have saved me both time and some sanity.

        1. SMH says:

          Jess, Yours is more targeted/obvious than mine. Mine never left an obvious clue that it was him. It was/is all a guessing game. I was only sure about the LinkedIn stuff when it stopped and only sure about the FB friend requests when they disappeared after I did not respond. There was a point about six months ago when I almost broke NC and emailed him that if he wanted to be in touch, he could be. But I didn’t do it and now I barely think about it. Since yours has sent direct messages that you have ignored, you can be pretty sure that you are strong enough to withstand any onslaught! I cannot be sure because mine has not tried anything direct. If he did, I am not sure I could ignore it, so I hope he does not try!!

    2. Renarde says:

      Well done Jess!

      1. Jess says:

        Thanks Renarde. Staying strong and not responding. Wonder what he’ll come up with next.

        1. Renarde says:

          Try not to Jess and I know that’s hard. It will get easier as time goes on. Believe me.

          But please get your narc detector primed and ready.

  27. Nymphedora says:

    Tell me H.G can a post on Facebook, proclaiming that he is on the verge of and about to commit suicide, be concidered a hoover? We have children together, so total no contact is not an option. However we are not facebook friends, we never have been, nor do we share friends there or in real life. I only know because one of his friends contacted the police, who then pr law contacted child services with regard to an unstable parrent. They then contacted me.
    Only reason I wonder if it could possible be a hoover, is because this episode came very close to me leaving my husband, and having to teel the narc our childs new adress. Like a week later, he did this. He is a mix of victim and matrinarc, as far as I can tell.
    By the way, I’m not even close to being affected by it. I know him to well and have been as close to No contact as possible with shared children for 6 years now. This is pure curiosity reason.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Yes, see the book No Contact. It is a Hoover Powerplay.

      1. Nymphedora says:

        Thank you very much H.G.
        Curiosity killed the cat they say, and I’m not done with my nine lives yet 😊

        I always knew my x narc was something I just didn’t know what. It wasn’t until I came across your work a bell went of and I thaught “oooh there he is.” Here in DK narcissism isn’t all that known and not thaught of as an “individual” diagnosis in it self.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          You are welcome and also welcome to the blog Nymphedora.

    2. Cindy says:

      Hi Nymph,
      My ex used suicide threats to hoover also. I suspect your ex was pissed off because his friend came to his rescue, not you.
      My ex was the ‘suicide threatening’ master. When I didn’t respond, he was miraculously feeling better and on to a new appliance.
      Being the normal, concerned person that I am, I did take him seriously the first few times. I hate him for putting me through that.

      1. Nymphedora says:

        I was at a meating with child care services two days ago. Turned out he did it twice. The day after I informed him about our new adress he apparently put it on facebook. A person contacted the police, but the rapport said he did not want any contact with them. Then he apparantly did it again sig days later, by calling a friend and telling him/her he was about to commit suicide. This friend also contacted the police, who then this time drove out to him. Again, he claimed to be fine and did not wan’t further contact with them. The police then wrote a repport to child services, which is where I got the information almost three weeks later. So much for that plan. I wonder if he does not realise that we really have no common friends, so this information would not reach me by those channels. Or if he counted on the police to contact me?
        I could read by the nature of the contact repport made by child services, that he did not count on them getting involved. It read of him doing his usual song and dance to do damage control. Him offcourse being the most wonderfull father.

        With regards to being caring and taken him seriously, I have luckely never been afflicted by that. I have known him for 20 years, since I was 15, and living together for 14 of them. I know all his little tricks. Narc free’ish for 6 years now and from the day I left it was lite awakening from a bad Dream. He no longer had any emotional affect on me. I shut it completely off. All contact is short, to the point and always only when mandatory in regards to the children

  28. Jess says:

    Dear HG: just received what I believe is another hoover -exUMRN looking up my profile on Linkedin – this is a hoover, correct? He’s blocked everywhere and email goes to spam so I’ve now swithced off my public profile on Linkedin just to be sure. My question: what fuel, if any, does he get from viewing my profile? And from sending emails with B’day and Xmas wishes that go to spam and I do not respond to? There have been 3 contact attempts in as many months. Thoughts?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      1. It is a Hoover.
      2. Weak Thought Fuel at your perceived response to knowing he is looking.
      3. The main aim is to provoke direct contact from you, to him, which will in all likelihood, provide fuel.

      1. Jess says:

        As always, thank you kindly for your answers.

      2. Sweetest Perfection says:

        Ha ha ha! I get those too! What a loser.

      3. SMH says:

        HG (and Jess, Supernova, Lori etc – you might be interested in this too)

        I had those two fake friend requests that you confirmed were him (one with the surname Riddle who worked in the city I work in, and the other from ‘Canada’ Kansas (he is Canadian) along with a few other clues.) Those disappeared after about a week.

        I thought things were all quiet but yesterday I saw that I’ve had two anonymous LinkedIn visits after months and months of no such visits at all (a year ago he was hoovering through anonymous LI visits).

        Is he ramping up/getting more desperate for me to react by going back to what he used to do and to what he knows I recognize (because I called him out on the LI)? Or is he just fucking with my head for fun/out of boredom?

        Is he gearing up for a direct hoover? Do indirect hoovers have a pattern of leading to direct ones if the target does not respond?

        1. K says:

          Ha! I bet he will hoover you directly in one of the five spheres. He wants some of your sexy-sweet-beautiful hoover fuel.

          1. SMH says:

            lol K, I’ll spray him in the eyes and blind him.

        2. K says:

          P.S. the increase of indirect (proxy or passive) hoovers is indicative of the likely hood of the hoovers becoming active. Hoover triggers are occurring (sixth sphere) and the Hoover Execution Criteria are being met.

          1. SMH says:

            K, that is what I was wondering. As far as I know, we are in different countries, which offers quite a bit of protection, but I am afraid he will show up and I will get an email ‘where are you?’ as if no time has passed, just when I am getting used to being here without him.

          2. K says:

            I wouldn’t be surprised. Narcissists will show up out of the blue and ambush you. What past?!? That’s been deleted or rewritten (gas lighted).

        3. K says:

          You were a secondary source, if I were he, I would try to use my sexy narc magic (manipulation) and hoover you back into the formal relationship.

          1. SMH says:

            K, last time it did not work. The five times before that, it did. Wonder which times he will remember.

          2. K says:

            Ha ha ha….he doesn’t care about past behavior or rejections. He just ploughs forward hoping for a fuel hit. Your emotional response are his heroin.

          3. Kim e says:

            K. I find this so bizarre. I get crumbs all the time and I do respond to them. Last were received last Tuesday. In my world, all was as it should have been.
            But in his world, something triggered him big time and I received 6 anonymous phone calls at work on Friday. Not on my cell phone but on my work phone which he has never used before.
            After investigating, anonymous calls are the same as no caller ID calls where the person making the call has to actually dial *67 before making the call. Not like it was a mistake.
            I did not answer them but I am sure if I did there would have been dead air on the other end.

          4. NarcAngel says:

            Kim E
            Dead Air is an interesting name.

          5. K says:

            Kim e
            There is always a reason for their behaviour, usually it is for fuel.

            Comfort crumbs are hoovers and it looks like you are in his sixth sphere of influence. Something could be going on in his fuel matrix and he feels the need to exert control and draw fuel from you. Those anonymous phone calls (fourth sphere of influence), although not overtly offensive, remind me of prank phone calls so I am leaning towards a malign hoover. One of my narcissists would call me and say nothing, dead air, or he would whisper my name and hang up. The police put a tap on my phone. It was a malign hoover campaign, the calls lasted about three months and then abruptly ended.

            These calls can have you thinking about him (a sprinkle of ever presence) add a hint of confusion, which can keep you in situ, and they can make you question your reality (gas lighting). Is it him? Or a fluke? That is all fuel and control. Control = safety in his world.

            It probably isn’t feasible to change your work number so your best course of action is to keep ignoring those calls and hopefully they will diminish. Now, we understand what he is doing and why, so you can exert control by applying your knowledge and keeping up with your no contact. Hopefully, he will find another appliance and leave you alone.

          6. SMH says:

            K, so far no response at all from me. But every time I here the little ping of an email I wonder if it is him. I wish that part would pass. He really ruined email for me.

          7. K says:

            That is a great example of control (he ruined my email for me). It really is amazing how pervasive their effect is on the empath. Keep up the NC, give it time and it will fade.

          8. SMH says:

            Thank you! I sure hope it does. I didn’t use email much except for him and business things.

          9. K says:

            You are welcome SMH
            Ringtones and e-mail notifications (sounds) are great examples of ever presence. When I hear my MMRN’s ringtone, the memories come back and numerical codes that contain part of his phone number do the same thing, too.

          10. windstorm says:

            Change the notification sound your email makes. That really helped me.

          11. NarcAngel says:

            Thats a great suggestion for people to unlink the sound from the memory.

          12. windstorm says:

            I had to do that with my Moron. Thankfully I had his WhatsApp messages have the Aurora sound so I could tell them apart. After I started considering him an experiment I changed them to the crystal. Now I just don’t use those two sounds at all. Even years later when I hear someone else’s phone make that sound, my stomach clinches. Sounds are like smells, they are powerful attachments to memory.

          13. MB says:

            WS, sounds are powerful! But for me, smells are even more so. I have an extreme sensitivity to scents. HG and his kind use this to their advantage. I’ll never understand how that can be instinctual. Wearing a particular scent with a particular victim can only be a calculated act. How could it not be, HG?

          14. SMH says:

            That is so true, Windstorm. I had this suitemate in college decades ago and she never showered. Instead she would wear this perfume with a rose scent. To this day, I cannot stand the smell of rose anything, even roses!

          15. MB says:

            The text tone I had assigned to him still gives me butterflies when I hear it. 🦋. Thankfully, it’s not one many people use. But let me hear it, and all my senses go wild, heart rate quickens, flushing, the whole thing. The power of conditioning and ever presence is REAL folks!

          16. Mercy says:

            Windstorm, the first 4 years I was with BS his tone was a bicycle bell. To this day, three years after I changed it, if I hear a bicycle bell my heart flutters. It’s insanely annoying!!

          17. windstorm says:

            I agree. I fear those sounds are burned in our brains

          18. SMH says:

            Windstorm, I didn’t know that I could do that but good idea! Thank you! I will try!

        4. Supernova DE says:

          I think going to a method that you would readily identify as his doing is a bit more direct.
          However, the fact that you have remained NC all these months is likely to have him wary of you rejecting a direct Hoover from him, or worse wounding in your response.
          So to me, it seems more likely the passive things will continue. If you ignore, I bet he’ll back off.

          I’m starting to realize these mid rangers won’t take too much risk in their Hoover’s, that’s why they’re so pathetic at the passive attempts.

          And I think that maybe now Lori will get something direct since she demonstrated she is willing to interact (from his perspective) by sending a text.

          I can say I don’t expect to get anything direct from my MMRN unless I contact him first for this reason.
          Let’s see what happens to each of us, it’ll be interesting to compare notes!

          1. SMH says:

            I think you are right, Supernova DE, though K thinks a more direct hoover might be coming my way. He knows I associate the LinkedIn stuff with him so he’s adding a ‘personal’ touch but is being just as passive. If I responded, things might intensify but I have no desire/reason to respond. And neither do you! (teasing you but yes, let’s see how long this can possibly go on)

          2. Supernova DE says:

            Haha, yes I know I don’t have any reason to need contact. I honestly am not sure how to fill the gap though. Keeping busy with projects and activities is fine, but that isn’t human interaction.

            I’m becoming curious if my underlying anxiety/restlessness is also lack of “fuel” from an empath perspective, not just my perfectionism.

            I will not contact him today

      4. Lori says:


        The codependent identifies with the need for fuel. In many ways we are quite similar to narcs. Why do you think they like Codependents so much ? Because we can more easily identify and need their needs and are more than wiling to do so because meeting their needs meets our needs. This is not supervising though that some of our behaviors are quite similar to theirs. You are talking about 2 conditions that are rooted in the same thing shame and control so yes there is going to be an overlap in behaviors. This is why a Codependent and a Narc feel so comfortable together yes some of it is false intimacy manufactured by the Narc but some of it isn’t they have a sense of familiarity with you because you both have some of the same enotional issues of course neither of us know this at the time we only know there is a strange level of comfort.

        As far as Mr Lesser contacting me directly I don’t know… he’s blocked but let’s face it he wants to reach me he can. I tend to think he won’t because he once told me when he’s done he’s done he doesn’t return to previous partners BUT we know the more often than not that what they say and what they do are completely opposite. I did find out a piece of info about my replacement that just made me laugh and yes I’ll say it made me feel superior and I lknew immediately why he chose her and bekyeve me when he dumps her and he will this girl is likely to be devastated. I do feel sorry for her. It all makes sense why he said if we didn’t work out I’d be just fine. Translation : you are still fairly healthy and not wounded enough. You will survive me fine and the truth is I am. I’m not nearly in the place I was with Narc 1.

    2. SMH says:

      Jess, Mine has done the same – LinkedIn, Facebook – the only two sites I am on. It is indeed to get me to contact him, which I would do before I found this site. He would always be so happy to hear from me. Ha. Now I come here for support! All is quiet at the moment …

      1. Jess says:

        SMH: he’s blocked on phones and all social media and I didn’t think he’d get anything from viewing my profile on Linkedin, but have now blocked that as well. I haven’t responded to any of the hoovers and am adamant that I will not. As a former IPPS, do you think that the current IPPS (I assume there is one, as I am NC) has entered into devaluation stage?

        1. SMH says:

          Jess, I am former IPSS. I suspect that I was unshelved when IPPS was in devaluation but there was never any question that I was candidate IPPS because I didn’t want that. (By way of backstory – I did not know about IPPS until 8 months into our ‘relationship’). If you are former IPPS and yours has a new one then yes, I would guess that she is being devalued or maybe she escaped if the hoovers have really picked up?

          Good job on the blocking. I blocked two fake FB profiles but mine might have more. I also get a lot of fake friend requests with little clues. He hasn’t visited my LinkedIn for months now. Haven’t blocked him there because I don’t want to look at his profile. Just seeing his name or picture makes me anxious. I too would wonder why he would visit my LinkedIn when nothing much changes there but then I realized it was to get me to think about him and to contact him, which I would do in the past.

          We have been NC for 8 months. Things ended rather badly (I escaped and then went ballistic/super nova) but he still probably can’t imagine that I am done because I left and returned so many times before.

  29. Supernova DE says:

    Common for narc to use spoofing app to send texts from “fake” number?
    Thank you.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Fairly common, yes.

    2. Lori says:

      What kind of text did you get ?

      1. Supernova DE says:

        Hey Lori,
        It was about a month ago but I got a text that presented like spam (clearly aimed at wanting me to click link contained in the text). I got the EXACT same text twice, four minutes apart. Something about the wording of the text and the fact that I got it twice didn’t sit right with me. Who knows, it could have just been spam. No way to tell.

        It just crossed my mind again last night because my phone acted bizarrely again. It’s the same thing I had happening a year ago and I’ve gotten a new phone since that time. When it happened the first time it did cross my mind that MRN had hacked my phone. And now it crosses my mind again. Same exact thing, where I’m not touching the screen but it looks like someone is (different app icons are being selected, flipping amongst the text messages without me touching the screen. It happens very rapidly).

        Regardless, I’ve had some realizations in the last week. MRN has been keeping tabs on me, spying on me, watching me far more than I ever would have guessed. I had myself categorized as long distance virtual DLS-IPSS. But I can’t imagine much effort would be applied in these ways to that type of appliance. It makes me nervous in terms of what to expect moving forward.

        It also confuses me in terms of where I place in his fuel matrix and what it means. Confusion breeds ET, so I will be consulting HG next week when I get some coherent thoughts together and write them out.

      2. Lori says:

        Supernova DE

        Guess what happened today ? I phone call from a local number when I picked up it was just someone breathing. I said hello 3 times and nothing just breathing

        1. Supernova DE says:

          Ah yes, the silent hoover. I’ve gotten those in the past on my cell (where when I look into it, it seems obvious he’s used technology to have the caller ID altered).
          I also have gotten a lot of the same thing on my home phone number since going NC. I can’t prove its him since I don’t have caller ID on that phone, but the timing is weird.
          Don’t call him!!!!! Or text him!!!!

      3. Lori says:

        How did you know he was keeping tabs ?

        I have mostly thought he had a new ipss and doesn’t think about me but something in the back of my mind had always felt like he watches me. Perhaps that’s just wishful thinking I don’t know, but even though it’s been nine or so months since he’s spoken to me, I always feel like he’s not far. Maybe it’s the ever presence? I dont know

        1. Supernova DE says:

          I see now when I look back that I had proxy hoovers through mutual friends during almost all of the significant shelvings. I had passive hoovers during the shelvings as well. I also think he may have approached me with false profiles in order to test me (ie see if I would flirt with someone else, etc). I had silent hoovers (call but say nothing when I answered, he used fake numbers).
          The proxy hoovers came during times when he would not have been able to look at my social media (either he was shut down or I was taking a break, I do that sometimes)
          I understand that all the things I list above are not due to him, that likely some of it is random. But knowing what I know, some of it was him.

          Why would a narc bother with all this for a nothing appliance like me, just a long distance SIPSS with no potential to become IPPS – no idea.

          1. HG Tudor says:

            Fuel, what else?

          2. Supernova DE says:

            Ha, yes HG I know for fuel!! You have taught me something these last 8 months I promise.

            Just makes it more confusing to reconcile meaning “nothing” (he told me so often enough) but being important enough to make those efforts…..obviously its by design and no accident!

          3. HG Tudor says:

            Instinctive design SE, yes.

          4. NarcAngel says:

            Supernova De
            Well so far his pathetic attempts have been successful in keeping him in your thoughts right? That sounds like motive (for him) to me.

          5. Supernova DE says:

            True story!
            I’m working on it, recent consult helped me to know better what to expect, which is exactly what I need.

      4. Lori says:

        Yep NA they mere want to confirm that they still have a residence in your head

        1. lisa says:

          I’ve been getting passive hoovers since before Christmas it’s still continuing , at times I think it’s my imagination working overtime but when it goes on and on you realise it’s too much of a coincidence . I’ve actually moved away from him so no longer live in the area, usually by now he would have just directly done the grand hoover to beg me to get back with him and with having christmas and new year as a perfect excuse to contact me , but i was surprised he didn’t , so i can only presume these ongoing passive hoovers are to try and get me to contact him, firstly so he has no risk of rejection and secondly he is then in control because It would be me doing the contacting and he would merely be responding . I haven’t been in this position with him before so i’m presuming if they no longer contact directly and just try to get your attention, if you don’t react they go away again

  30. Leolita says:

    would a narcissist hoover the former IPPS only when he does not have a new IPPS, or when the new IPPS is in devaluation? Or are they likely to hoover also when well fuelled?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      When the new IPPS is in devaluation.

      1. Leolita says:

        He hoovered me, and I answered a message after months of no contact. But after one single day of contact he was very ‘overt’ (1. is that fuelled?) and not so nice, anymore… like he was back to devaluing me. 2. Is the point of all his hoovering just to extract more negative fuel from me? He said he will never be in a relationship again, because «he gets so restless». So- he tried to get me back into nowhere – land, apparently? 3. Is this said to make me «try harder»? 😄

        1. HG Tudor says:

          The hoover is primarily about fuel, be in positive or negative.

      2. Jess says:

        HG: so if I understand correctly, when exUMRN is hoovering a former IPPS this is likely due to the current IPPS being in devaluation?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          It is governed as always by whether there is a Hoover Trigger and whether the Hoover Execution Criteria are met. When the IPPS is in the golden period, hoovering is less likely (but not impossible) owing to the effect of the golden period on the HEC. When that IPPS is in devaluation, the risk of a hoover increases because the golden period has gone, thus lowering the hoover bar. As always, other relevant factors at the appropriate time will impact on whether the hoover happens or not.

  31. WriteItOut says:

    The Proxy Hoover was executed a few days after my husband ended his affair with the narcissist, by a woman who worked for her. Oh, the drama! “How can you do this to her, it’s so cruel! She can’t stop crying, she can’t work, why can’t you just call and check on her?!?”. And on and on. My husband blocked her (the proxy, crazy bitch was already blocked) for her efforts.

    I had occasion to meet the proxy for the first time about a month ago, she attended an event we were also at. Of course the narcissist was there, too.

    It’s very interesting to see someone react so obviously when they meet someone they hadn’t considered to be a real person. Her eyes widened as she realized who she was meeting. She mumbled that she knew my husband as he introduced us and was awkwardly silent after. I almost said “I know how you know my husband”, but I rarely bother to state the obvious when I know people are aware of it. I just let her squirm.

    She proceeded to watch us all night, as she was probably ordered to do. I think she was probably wondering why my husband would ever be involved with her boss when he clearly has a wife that he’s mad about.

    1. Renarde says:

      …the proxy, crazy bitch was already blocked…

      I’m just leaving this here…

      1. WriteItOut says:

        But why? I’m so curious, LOL. Hope you’re well, Renarde.

  32. SMH says:

    Ha – I think I am much more likely to use the psychic connection excuse than he is. After I escaped – when we should not have been in contact – I sent him a slightly manipulative message that he had appeared to me as a ghost (this was real – I did not make it up). It was the only time I initiated contact during that period, but it was a big mistake because it gave him permission to turn around and hoover me repeatedly.

  33. lisa says:

    HG, would you consider a narcissist changing their Whatsapp profile pic on a regular basis and each picture sending a passive message to be a hoover ? thanks

    1. HG Tudor says:

      It is a passive hoover.

      1. 2SF says:

        N-ex and I were walking in the woods and he showed me a picture of his ex girlfriend (whom he is dating again) and him together, from way back. They looked cute together. When I got home I looked through some photo albums and I send him a (photo of a) photo, telling him “here you were the most handsome looking ever” (during our honeymoon – oh my god, I totally forgot how handsome he was). He immediately changed his Whatsapp profile picture to this one. Haha, I guess he wants to charm his ex. I better not look at this picture anymore, I might fall in love with him all over again.

  34. lisk says:

    Once upon a time, I did No Contact in order to “get him back.” With that intention in mind, I would have LOVED and responded to each and any of these 6 Specialty Hoovers, and even the not-so-special ones.

    Now that I have found narcsite.com and thus do REAL No Contact, I’m thankful of HG’s reminders on how NOT to react to any hoovers. I LOVE that I can see myself responding to NO hoovers, not even to the specialty ones, should they ever come about. (I non-responded to two pre-Christmas.)

    I love being a non-responder and non-reactor. It’s a new facet of my identity and it’s great!

    1. NarcAngel says:

      It is hard to wrap your head around the fact that there is so much power in doing nothing, but in this case it absolutely works, with the bonus of freeing you up for other things you enjoy. Asshats begone!