Victim or Volunteer? Part Three




The Hoover. The ever reliable method of causing you to come to us or to come back to us. As I have written in Black Holethere are several hoovers that we utilise during the engagement with you. I am focusing on the hoovers which take place post-escape (where you manage to get away from us) or post-discard (where we have left you).

What about the hoover which comes when you have been discarded? At this point you have been thrown to one side, often with no warning and left to fathom out what on earth has happened to you. One minute you were the cock of the walk and then suddenly you became a feather duster. You were high on the pedestal and without warning (or at least without any warning which you might detect) you were hurled from that pedestal and down you went. Now you are sprawled in the dirt, hurting and confused. But wait. Here we come again. We are riding back into town, behaving as if nothing has actually happened. Indeed, this hoover is just like the first one you experienced, the delicious pull of the initial seduction. We are charming, considerate and magnetic and it feels so good doesn’t it? But it gets better. We have apologised for the things we did wrong and we are pledging to make changes, to do things differently, to even go and get some help. This is music to your ears, just what you hoped would happen as you lay alone in bed, crushed, night after night sobbing in anguished bewilderment. The old us has returned and with it we bring promises of improvement and signs of recognition. This is better than you had hoped for.

Pause for a moment. You know what has happened. You know because you experienced it. Everything was wonderful and then it changed. Not only did it change by virtue of the exciting and marvellous way we treated you vanishing but then we abused you. Of course you will make excuses for this treatment because look, the golden carrot is being dangled again. Of course you will accept some or even all of the blame because look the golden carrot is there and you do not want lose it do you. Who knows, if you step through the archway into the golden period again you might actually get some answers about what has happened. Surely lightning will not strike twice? We seem different. We seem to be sorry and ready to acknowledge our failings so surely it would only be right to give us another chance, after all, you are a forgiving and empathic individual. You just want this pain to go away and it will by getting back together with us again. You still do not understand what happened but you may get some explanations and even if you do not, will it really matter now that we are together again. Yes, that lure of the golden period is mightily strong, especially when you are feeling so weak, so tried, so wretched. It is entirely understandable, predictable even that you would come back to us with open arms. Do you remain a victim or have you just volunteered?

What then where you have escaped us? You may not know everything about why we did as we did but you understood enough to know that enough was enough and you escaped. You have implemented no contact and sought to keep away from us. You being to wonder whether that seduction was real or not. It certainly seemed real, it felt real. The abuse was definitely real, you know that much and you are damned if you are going to go through that again. You have begun to read and you are starting to understand what has happened. Some pieces of the jigsaw are falling into place. Yet, here we come with that inviting hoover again but you are going to repel us, you know it is a device to haul you back in to our grip again. You must stay strong, but it is difficult. You do feel lonely and that golden period with us, well it was unlike anything that you have ever known. What if those promises contained in that beautifully written letter are genuine? Surely it could not hurt to try again? Mind you, what if we haven’t changed and it starts again, but perhaps this time that will not happen because you feel that you know what to look out for and you can stop it before it starts. Yes, you have knowledge and you can apply that to protect yourself and also to repair our damage so that we remain happy. It makes perfect sense. You can engage with us but do so with your eyes wide open this time. You can assert yourself and lay down markers and boundaries, establish that things will be on your terms so you have control within the relationship. That is the plan. You want that golden period (and you do not want anybody else having it) and using what you know you can return but this time operating from a position of strength. Are you a victim now or a volunteer?

What about the fourth time we commence the hoovering. Three times it has ended and three times you have gone back. Everything was wonderful for a period of time, a few months and then it started all over again. The same behaviours, the same manipulations and the same abusive actions. You cursed yourself for falling for the overtures but you really thought that this time, yes, this time more than the last time or the time before that, you will not fall for the same lines, the same empty promises and the charm. It is hard and you understand this. You have discussed it so many times with your friends and family. You have seen a therapist too and you read about the subject as well, but the attraction it is so strong and there is always that little voice that says to you,

“One more time, this time might be the time that it works.”

That little voice is so powerful.

Perhaps you should succumb to yet another hoover, you would not want the golden period to go to anyone else would you?

Are you now a victim or a volunteer?

53 thoughts on “Victim or Volunteer? Part Three

  1. candacemarie says:

    Victim or volunteer? I think I was both. Victim first since I was so unsuspecting of anyone. My boundary lines were blurred. Volunteer next since I knew I was unhappy but stayed. I felt responsible for my ex lesser. He moved here from England just to be with me. Something he reminded me of regularly. So I stayed thinking MAYBE things would change.

  2. A recovering empath says:


    Thank you very much. I had never heard of limerence until you mentioned it. I looked it up. Its a variant of anxiety which includes a form of OCD. I had no idea.

    Is this a form of ET to narcissists?

    1. lisk says:

      My pleasure, A-r-e.

      I never heard of it before, either, until a few weeks ago.

      As I mentioned to NarcAngel, any answer in relation to limerence and the narcissist would be best handled by HG.

      My bet is that narcissists either instinctively or knowingly take advantage of this “variant” or tendency or state for ultimate fuel purposes.

      I’ve been using much of HG’s advice to fend off possible future “attacks.” I don’t want to feel that emotional whirlwind or be in that state ever again.

      1. A recovering empath says:

        I hear you. Each day i am accepting a little more that i dont believe i will find a healthy balanced relationship. Obviously due to the fact i am neither healthy nor balanced lol!
        There is so much to ponder and find out. One day i hope to come up out of the rabbit hole 🙂

        1. lisk says:


          I cannot yet resign from attempting to possibly have a healthy relationship in the future.

          Right now I’m enjoying my efforts at trying to have a healthy relationship with myself.

          It can be a struggle, but when I work at overcoming something (whether I totally succeed or not), it is so much more satisfying than giving up on myself and getting nowhere.

          My guess is you are giving “healthy” a shot!

  3. Dorion says:

    These kinds of relationships are literally two-way addictions – why it is so hard to end them for good. It defeats all reason and common sense, like any serious addiction. I think the victim/volunteer is actually in the luckier position because they can get out, stay out and resolve their dependency, with a lot of hard work and as long as they don’t keep ending up in the same with others.

    Do self-aware narcissists never get to a point when they really want to get out of these cycles themselves? Or is it more that they do try but keep relapsing forever?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Why get out of it when we always succeed?

      1. A recovering empath says:

        HG: it is a foreign language that narcissists have…your definition of success (garnering/maintaining fuel?) – the ability to string along multiple appliances simultaneously?
        Certainly considered different by many i imagine.

        Question: how do you continue to acquire appliances when you are so well known now as the self aware narcissist and the go-to for information regarding narcissism?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Because those who I deal with in my private life do not know I am HG Tudor.

      2. Dorion says:

        Haha, true.

        I don’t know, to have more lasting, deeper and equal relationships, not to feel always dissatisfied with partners after a while, to fill the emptiness in different ways, to try a different lifestyle, maybe for the challenge or curiosity about the unknown? But I guess narcissists have very different values and concepts of success from non-narcissists. It is interesting though that it never changes for a narc because most people’s values and motivations evolve as we accumulate life experience, go through existential angst, sometimes just get bored with the same old.

        I definitely don’t believe that all narcissists remain successful throughout their life. I knew a narcissist in the past who was similarly successful to how you describe your life here, until the end when he grew old, sick and lost most of the interest and attention because there was no longer much appealing about him. I know you don’t like to be reminded of vulnerability, HG, but it is hard not to wonder if someone is curious about narcissists.

        1. Violetta says:

          Madonna’s hit that point. Apparently, she can’t just walk into a club and hook up anymore. She’s been seen with one of her (much younger) dancers, most of whom are gay anyhow, so either the guy was somehow able to perform in spite all that, or it’s just a showmance, because that’s her “brand.”

          It’s ironic: Helen Mirren is older, but I know several decades-younger guys who would gladly do her without a career boost to sweeten the deal.

          1. HG Tudor says:

            I’d engage in Ugandan Affairs with La Mirren.

          2. NarcAngel says:

            Love Mirren. She is a force.

          3. FoolMe1Time says:

            She is amazing NA. She is one of my favorite actors! 👑

          4. Violetta says:

            Some people just have it–as opposed to borrowing or faking it. Colin Farrell was hitting on Eileen Atkins (who was pushing 70) for over two hours when they were making a movie. No success, but he has expressed the desire to make another movie with her.

  4. Dr. Harleen Quinzel, PsyD. says:

    He was a naughty little shit and he had to be punished…


  5. Soon to be sparkling! says:

    I think the first time I got that feeling that something was off (and ignoring it), partnered with seeing red flags (and ignoring them (too)), absolutely made me a volunteer.

    But oh god, it felt so damn good. I don’t know what heroin is like, but I know for damn certain, that it couldn’t be nearly as good as that beautiful stage with my old puppet master.

    The most intoxicating poison on earth! I miss it! But I sure don’t miss the insanity and sleepless nights!

    Speaking of which, I’m off to bed, knowing that I go with no unhealthy thoughts or longings and no tossing and turning.

    Now THAT I missed 🥰 Night all xoxo

  6. Dolores Haze says:

    I have an acquaintance who has been suffering for years. Her Narc is a successful lawyer and investor and the father of her children. A few years ago he had a child with another woman, drained my friend’s family funds to cater for the second family, literally stole her father’s three successful businesses – she made her father sign the documents in the Narc’s name for a reason unknown. The Narc bought his lover and her child the most expensive apartment in the town they live in – with my friend’s money and with her blessing. He made my friend babysit the lover’s child. He enjoys it when the lover comes under my friend’s window to scream insults and threats. He lives between two families, making everyone suffer tremendously. My friend has been depressed for years, yet she cannot cut him loose. Each time she prays he takes pity and leaves himself, but there he is again in her kitchen making pancakes for his older kids. She is exhausted financially and mentally, lost all respect of her children, fucked up her relationship with her parents and brother who is disabled and now left without inheritance because of the Narc’s manipulations. I’d like to help her in a noninvasive way, perhaps slip one of your books as a Xmas gift. Which one do you recommend for this horrible situation?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Black Flag.

  7. AnneB says:

    Dr HQ, it was cathartic just reading that!

  8. A recovering empath says:

    If i may be so forward: there could be viewed a third option…
    Victim volunteer or addict?

    Is an addict perceived as a victim perhaps?

    Personally speaking im good in my own life until i consider a relationship. All of a sudden the rush of knowing i will have someone to explore with, have sex with, and be intimate with supercedes everything. Its as if the epitome of my existence is to create happiness for another. It becomes a strong goal to see to it the person i care about is happy. My happiness is truly theirs.
    If i think there’s a chance i can be the reason of some one else’s happiness…well, i get addicted to that feeling. I glow. I feel warm and connected to everything. I’m not alone anymore.
    First sincere lack of boundaries. Another person’s happiness is not my responsibility.
    The narcissist gave me such reason to want to be certain he was happy for all eternity.
    My downfall is thinking each time that the person i’m with is of the same mindset. They want for me as i want for them. If i enthusiastically strive to be there for my partner my expectation has been that they would be there for me. Not exactly the same but they would be there.
    Expectations (i’m told) are premeditated resentments. My experience proves this true.
    Recently, i have recognized if i am prepared to give myself up for another, i am setting myself up for failure. Authentic analysis of what i perceive is pertinent.
    It is a long road to self care and finding boundaries that support who i am while allowing others to be responsible & accountable for themselves….including finding other prey.
    Sincerely watching to see how effective my efforts are in detouring all narsissists with the tools given and continually shared by HG.

    1. lisk says:

      Look up “limerence.”

      1. HG Tudor says:

        That is a form of emotional thinking.

        1. lisk says:

          Oh, absolutely, HG. That is exactly what I thought when I first learned of the word a few weeks ago.

          Perhaps limerence is the most potent kind of ET, setting the stage—or setting the Empath up—or creating the opportunity for the dreams of a Golden Period to begin.

          Limerence is the stuff I started feeling and reacting to after Narcx targeted me and started in on me.

          1. HG Tudor says:

            Indeed, Lisk.

      2. NarcAngel says:

        Do you see limerence as applying to empaths, narcissists, or both?

        1. lisk says:

          I believe this is a question for HG.

          My suspicion is that, yes, it applies to narcissists once they see/know/experience the availability of fuel . . . and then they milk it for all it’s worth all throughout the narc-cycle.

          1. NarcAngel says:

            It was your opinion as an empath that I wanted, so thank you for your reply.

            I see now your response to Lisk that limerence is a form of emotional thinking.

            You have stated previously that narcissists experience a form of emotional thinking, and you have referred to having experienced infatuation.

            Do you see limerence and infatuation as the same and experienced by both empath and narcissist during seduction/golden period?
            Or do you make a distinction between the two and see limerence as only applying to the empath and something the narcissist recognizes and takes advantage of?

          2. HG Tudor says:

            Infatuation is a form of emotional thinking. Limerence is a form of emotional thinking. Limerence (I dislike the word myself) is infatuation. Narcissists are infatuated. Empaths are not. You experience love, we do not. The narcissist is able to exploit an empath´s emotional thinking because it causes them to miss the red flags which logic would otherwise show.

            Where an empath falls in love with a non-narcissist, the feelings experienced by the empath are real,there is no emotional thinking involved because the basis for the feelings is genuine because the non-narcissist is not manipulating.
            Where an empath falls in love with a narcissist, the feelings experienced by the empath are real also BUT there is emotional thinking involved and the basis for the feelings is NOT genuine because the empath is being manipulated. The addiction to the narcissist is driving the feelings, aided and abetted by emotional thinking.

          3. MB says:

            Platinum information, HG. I’m saving this response. An entire article could be written expanding on this. I sense a logic bulletin on the horizon! Genuine love vs manipulated love.

          4. NarcAngel says:

            Thank you for the expanded response – most appreciated. Limerence is described by some as obsessive and likened to a mental illness, so I was interested in your view of that in relation to or vs infatuation. Also, often well intentioned commenters will comfort another by saying that even though the love of the narcissist was not real – that the love on the part of the empath was, but I wondered if that could actually be true since the focus (narcissist) was a fantasy. Again, thank you for your time.

          5. HG Tudor says:

            You’re welcome

          6. lisk says:


            That’s an interesting point about comfort. It made me think about how I only experienced relief when I learned that the love of the narcissist was not real—relief that that I expended no real love or emotion on my part in the end.

            Certainly the lengthy, twisted relationship was a waste of my energy and was soul-destroying to a great extent.

            But to know that Narcx did not get the *best* or the *truth* of me is of great comfort.

            He didn’t get the real good stuff (which no one might get at this point and that’s quite alright).

          7. lisk says:

            Geez, it’s right there in your words and I never recognized it so clearly before: The difference between emotions and emotional thinking is the *thinking*, the type of cognition that manufactures a fantastic love out of the baseless promises of the narcissist.

            Seems like Emotional Thinking functions somewhat like a Magician’s Assistant* to the Narcissist.

            * “A magician’s assistant is a performer in a magic act who is not billed as the magician or principal name in the act. The role of an assistant can include holding the props that are used by a magician, shifting props onto and off the stage, and serving as a living prop in illusions that involve manipulation of the human body [and mind and heart!]. Other aspects of the role can include dancing or acting as visual ornamentation, sometimes for simple aesthetic purposes and sometimes to misdirect audience [Empath!]?attention.” From Wikipedia

          8. lisk says:

            My pleasure, NA.

  9. Dr. Harleen Quinzel, PsyD. says:

    I can assure you I’ve been insulted and disrespected for the last time. Rant over. That was therapeutic.

  10. Dr. Harleen Quinzel, PsyD. says:

    The calls keep coming

    This moron actually admitted he totally tried to consciously trauma bond me …

    I can’t make this shit up – unreal

    That’s fine… he can talk to the silence now

  11. Dr. Harleen Quinzel, PsyD. says:

    Yeahhhhh he won’t stop calling me from restricted numbers. I keep letting it ring out or like pushing the fuck you button.

  12. Dr. Harleen Quinzel, PsyD. says:

    And more no caller ID calls keep coming

    He can keep this going all he wants

    He’s dead to me

    1. candacemarie says:

      Mine is dead to me as well. My daughter and I refer to him as the dead one so we don’t have to say his name.

  13. Dr. Harleen Quinzel, PsyD. says:

    My own personal goal is learning how to tolerate boredom cause clearly that’s what constantly gets me into trouble ….

    So done with this shit

    1. lisk says:

      Dear Dr. Q,

      Perhaps you are having trouble tolerating your Self?

      1. Dr. Harleen Quinzel, PsyD. says:

        I can tolerate myself just fine.

        I can’t tolerate lack of stimulation.


        It’s neurological

        1. lisk says:

          Got it. Makes sense!

    2. E. B. says:

      Hello Dr Q.,

      It is nice to see you again. Next time you will be able to recognize red flags at an earlier stage in the relationship.
      There is a huge amount of information about narcissistic behaviours on social media, including victims posting about their experiences in romantic relationships. It is impossible for MRNs not to stumble across those posts and learn to use them to improve their façade. Although MRNs using psychology terminology used to be women in the past, I have seen are more and more men taking advantage of this information too lately.

      I have read Gabor Maté’s Scattered Minds on ADD. Are ADD and ADHD the same?

  14. Dr. Harleen Quinzel, PsyD. says:

    I’m done. I’ve hit my limit. He’s fucking useless and he’s blocked. I’m already getting calls from restricted numbers. He can knock himself out cause I’m fucking done.

  15. Dr. Harleen Quinzel, PsyD. says:

    I’ve hit my limit with the newest loser. No contact starts now. He can go fuck himself. Let the silence begin.

    No longer a fucking volunteer. I’d rather be bored.

    1. lisk says:

      Dear Dr. Q,

      I hope your “newest loser” is your last.

      1. Dr. Harleen Quinzel, PsyD. says:


        I’d like to think he will be but I’m sure he won’t.

  16. Notme! says:

    I’ve been having these sneaky rat bastard thoughts all day. What if I was mistaken? What if HG was wrong (i know, perish the thought!). What if I contact him and he tells me everything I want to hear? Maybe I was too sensitive, maybe that independent streak and your natural stroppiness was the problem. You do wield your honesty like a sword sometimes, you know. Those sneaky bastard thoughts can fuck right off and when they get there, they can fuck off again.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Emotional Thinking at work.

  17. NarcAngel says:

    At stage 3 it’s time to realize it’s addiction. Great series HG.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you NA.

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