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 Hole there 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?