A Preventative Hoover
How many times have you declared that you have had enough? How many times have you vowed that you are no longer putting up with this behaviour and making a fresh start? How often have you put in place steps to depart and leave this confusing and twisted reality behind?
We hear these assertive comments from time to time. We have subjected you to a sustained devaluation, provoked so many heightened emotional responses from you which has given us fuel. At times you did not know whether you were coming or going, your head swam and that dull ache in the centre of your forehead never seemed to diminish.
You wondered who you could trust as you fought to establish what you believed was right against a backdrop of contradictions. From somewhere you mustered some strength, a bolt of fortitude sprang from the maelstrom and in that moment of clarity you knew it was time to go. This situation is not right surely? Nobody should be treated in this manner. Yes, it was the moment to depart.
Of course you could not do so without your parting speech. It was not borne out of spite or venom. Those are not watchwords that apply to you. Notwithstanding the horrendous treatment meted out against you, the repeated abuse and the incessant put downs, you still behaved with dignity and grace.
There was little doubt that you wanted to lash out. You wanted to flail us with stinging words and some home truths, just in the same way we had used our acidic tongues and savage words to berate you, yet despite how much you wanted to speak to us in this manner you did not do so.
Instead, demonstrating the empathy which attracted us to you all that time ago you explained how you still loved us. You fought back the tears as you explained that you loved us more than you did when we first became a couple and despite everything that has happened you still love us. You ought to have torn strips of us, levelling a lengthy charge sheet against us but you did not behave in this way.
That is not who you are. You talked about all the wonderful traits we have and how you miss them, you continued to praise us even after everything that we had done to you. You stood there bearing the emotional and physical bruises and rather than lambast us for putting you in such a state you preferred to talk about the magical times we had together. Y
ou clearly had committed each of those occasions to your memory as you brought up each event and occurrence as the tears trickled down your cheeks. You explained how wonderful we made you feel, how you had never experienced anything like that before and you consequently truly believed you had found the one.
You work through the golden period, talking about the trips we took, the days we spent together and the glittering and scintillating moments we created. We can see this is hurting you all the more yet still your selflessness continues. You are exhausted after the tortuous time you have been put through and yet still you only try to remember the good and thank us for those wonderful times.
You tell us that although they lasted a few months, the memories of that time are seared into your mind and you will always treasure them. You explain that you will reflect on those memories and not what came to pass afterwards as you still prefer to think the best of us, despite everything we have subjected you to.
Your nobility in behaving in this manner is most impressive and your admirable words continue to fuel us. You explain between sobs that you do not want to go but you have to. You do not want to leave everything that we have built up behind but if you do not do so then you will be destroyed.
You apologise, yes you actually apologise that you have not been able to help us, to steer us away from the destructive and malevolent behaviour that has marred the latter months together. You explain how hard you have tried but admit you have been defeated. You express your desire for us to change and to seek help because you truly believe that we are a good person who just needs to seize on that goodness and allow it to shine.
You tell us you have seen what we can do and achieve and you still want what is best for us. You stand there staring at us; some of your possessions already packed in the two suitcases which are waiting in the hallway. You tell us you will make arrangements with us to collect the remainder of your belongings once you have had a chance to think and breathe.
We rise from our seat and walk towards you. You are quietly sobbing and we take your hands in our hands and hold them in that tender manner you recall so well. The vicious squeezing that one day arrived out of nowhere is not in existence. Instead, we hold your hands and look you straight in the eye as we summon up a look we have practised before with others in the situation.
The look begins as sorrow and then morphs into hope as we search your eyes looking for that flicker of flame once again through the tears. You hold our gaze as we keep searching and then we speak, our words soft and gentle, just as they were when we whispered into your ear as we lay next to you holding you late at night.
“I am sorry, I know this time I have to change. Please help me be the good person I know I can be, that I want to be. Something is wrong with me and I do not know what it is, but you can save me, you are the only one. Please do not leave me. I cannot survive without you. I need you. I want to make you happy again because someone as wonderful and as loving as you deserves it. I will get help but I know I can only do it with you at my side. Please, please stay.”
The short speech is delivered with true brilliance as I gather the right inflection in tone coupled with suitable contrite looks and mannerisms. I continue to look into your eyes as you let my words sink in. The moments pass and then the light flickers, that flame of hope sparks into life and I know your next words before you have even spoken them and I begin to give you that enticing and winning smile again.
I know that you will stay. Again.
You end up stuck. Again.
This is a form of Preventative Hoover and when you roll out that supposed parting speech, you are leaving yourself exposed to such a hoover.
They often work as they target your empathic traits of guilt, sympathy, not wanting to give up, hoping for the best and wanting us to heal.
Tip us off as to your intentions and you will face such a hoover.
25 thoughts on “A Preventative Hoover”
In my case he always just lets me stop contact, let’s me have what I want, and after a few days or weeks or months I am the one who Hoover’s him back. But it doesn’t sit well with me that he never cares when I walk away. Blocked him again yesterday because I was fed up with his complaints and bs with his gf, and I felt triangulated by it. I don’t like it when he tries drawing emotion from me or exert control, because I am dominant myself. So I just walk every time then. Wonder how long it will last this time before I feel like game ain’t over yet.
I totally understand where you’re coming from, Truthseeker. I get the whole ET thing and also respect the views of HG about going no contact, but I just can’t bring myself to “cut and run” at present. It doesn’t sit well with me. Not yet.
“It does not sit well with me. Not yet.” Emotional thinking.
Its definitely difficult that I agree but hopefully logic kicks in before the ET ruins our life and we are kept ensnared till the day we die and not really know if there is someone out there that is genuine and loving .
Honestly, I don’t see a problem with this approach if done in the right way.
Assume that the empath knows she is dealing with a narcissist. She now understands that things will never change, she will never get what she wants because he is simply unable to deliver long term. Why? He doesn’t love her, never will.
In my mind, the fact of the matter is this. The narcissist is who he is and actually through no fault of his own. He didn’t choose to be a narcissist any more than she chose to be an empath. In most cases he doesn’t even understand why he behaves in the way he does. His actions to him seem justified.
The empath is now aware and understands that she has to go. Why can it not end kindly? I’ll admit that in the example above, the empath hasn’t decided, doesn’t realise and in fact, in desperation is making her last play. I’m talking about if the empath knows though and understands who she is dealing with.
She makes the decision in her own mind. Then she calmly tells this person she still cares about, that things just are no longer working, that she wishes him happiness and every success but that the relationship has reached its conclusion.
The narcissist is who he is but he is still a human being. I disagree that he should be treated any differently from any other partner in this sense. She has to look herself in the mirror afterwards. She needs to be ok with how she behaved and how it ended.
How he reacts is up to him. Hit the roof, fling himself prostrate on the floor, turn nasty, set himself on fire. He is his own responsibility and she can no longer be held responsible for him, his reaction, or future behaviour. But she can be responsible for her own behaviour. Empaths suffer horribly from guilt. The empath is priority number one here. In my opinion, how it ends is crucial in how able she then feels to move forward. I disagree that it is a good idea for an empath to leave during a silent treatment or disengagement unless she feels physically under threat. People usually need a definitive end before they can then move forward. End it, then implement No Contact.
I realise that in cases of narcissistic abuse, the empath might choose an alternative route, she might not want to be anywhere near to kind and with good reason. This is her choice and my view on it is as long as you can look yourself in the mirror and be at peace with your actions then you have done what was right for you. We can only do what is right for us and in context of our own experiences. There is no right or wrong answer here just the one that we are all happy to live with.
The problem is that “ending it kindly” is emotional thinking. If you start telling the narcissist it is over and try to do so in a “kind” manner, you are breaching no contact, you are giving fuel, you may suffer an adverse consequence and your emotional thinking rises. Furthermore, you are giving the narcissist an opportunity to stop you leaving and because your ET is rising (and will already be high) there is the distinct outcome that you will back down, give the narcissist another chance etc.
There is a right answer. It is the immediate implementation and maintenance of no contact, to think otherwise is demonstrative of emotional thinking.
I very rarely labour a point. I have to here.
I agree with the fact that there is risk involved with my proposed approach. I agree yours is the safer approach. Say nothing implement no contact. You’re right, it is indeed safer. I disagree that my approach is based on Emotional Thinking though. Admittedly, yes my ET is still high but I’m also a bright girl.
There is a huge difference between an empath being aware that she is with a narcissist and one who isn’t. The unaware empath thinks she can fix the narcissist. The aware empath (after spending time here) knows she can’t. He has no emotional empathy. You can’t fix that. An inability to love cannot be healed. You might as well ask a person with no eyes to read a map.
Once that sinks in properly, the empath has to realise, there is no point continuing with the narcissist. Her mind is made up. She switches off from him. There is no other decision to make.
Is she heartbroken? Damn right she is and like never before. Might she want revenge? Possibly, although really, if he doesn’t care, what’s the point? (We’re still going great guns here I think, still in agreement at this point.) Until this part.
Why should the empath change her behaviour now to suit the narcissist? He has conned her, taken from her, fooled her and no doubt laughed at her. But she’s still her.
To change the way she behaves in the last scene spoils the movie. It will not sit right with her and it will play on her mind if she doesn’t treat this person the same as she would any other in this situation. With respect. How he feels about that is irrelevant. It’s how she feels about it that counts. It’s standing by who she is as a person, not changing or amending because of him. If she doesn’t do it the right way. Close it down the right way, the guilt will creep in. Guilt is a killer. Nothing worse, very difficult to get around.
This is not about winning, or, secretly trying to get someone back. It’s about not giving up another piece of yourself to someone who doesn’t deserve it. It’s about recognising that this person never consciously chose to be a narcissist. He became so because he had an outstandingly bad start in life and evolved in such a way as to never have to deal with that level of pain again. He is still a human being for goodness sake and should be treated as such.
Your Narcissistic Perspective facilitates ‘cut and run’ with no afterthought and no guilt. My Empathic Perspective does not afford me that luxury. Doing the right thing by someone. Ending it the right way, no matter who that is, that is being an empath, it isn’t just Emotional Thinking.
I’ll pack my little over night bag for the dungeon shall I ?
Your response remains beset by emotional thinking. It is nothing to do with intelligence, I deal with highly intelligent victims repeatedly and they make repeated mistakes, just as you are doing.
Your emotional thinking is hijacking your empathic traits of decency and honesty to make you think that you should do as you declare. It is also harnessing your narcissistic trait of resentment – “why should I change to suit the narcissist.” Wrong. You are not changing to suit the narcissist at all, you thinking that shows you are applying Flawed Logic which is generated by your emotional thinking. You are being conned into continuing to interact with a narcissist. This breaches no contact. As I have explained, you are giving fuel to the narcissist (he wins/you lose), you may suffer and adverse consequence (you lose/he wins) and you will increase your emotional thinking (you lose/he wins).
Believing that you should treat the narcissist as a human being demonstrates ET once again.
You do the right thing by implementing and maintaining no contact. No contact means no fuel, no adverse consequence and no increase in emotional thinking. That is logic. What you suggest is illogical and you cannot see it owing to the presence of your emotional thinking, if your ET was low, you would see it and agree, that is how the relationship between ET and logic works.
My ET is high. Agree there. The narcissist contacted me last Saturday night via Facebook Messenger linked to my old US Facebook account. I never gave him the old or new Facebook details and we have never once communicated In that way.
I have thought about it all week. I’m tired of thinking about it.
His message represented an opportunity to end it properly at a time where I now know who I am dealing with and understand any form of relationship is pointless. I do see what you are getting at, thank you for responding so fully. I feel like I’m selling myself short but I recognise my ET is high and you have greater experience so I’ll follow your instructions and not respond.
Let’s not debate the human being thing. There I am intransigent.
Thank you again for taking the time to answer so fully, I know you’re busy.
You are welcome. You are here to learn and do so in a constructive manner, therefore I will assist and provide the answers and insight to help you.
Hear Hear ! TS… You will see the truth HG offers here in time. Trust me.
I wanted to add. You suggest that the aware empath should be afforded the luxury of being able to end things in a civilized manner with the narc…
However the aware empath has the knowledge and education to understand there is no civilized when it comes to a narcissist. The aware empath has the advantage, because we understand the narcissists condition And we understand they have left us with no options. We know that they will only try and assert control over us once again if we choose to engage. Therefore, the most kind and civilized thing we can do for both people involved is to walk away…. as this is the only thing that will reduce conflict.
It is fine unaware empath (that we all used to be) who is at the disadvantage…. who continually tried every angle to make it work. Failing every time and wondering why.
We don’t have to wonder why anymore. We know why. And it’s up to us to implement it.
My view is that the aware empath understands that the relationship has no point because emotional empathy is absent. The relationship can’t be fixed, which is what so many of us poured so much energy into trying to do.
The narcissist due to this lack of emotional empathy can cut and run, no conscience, no guilt. In this sense, he can do as he likes with no emotional consequence.
The Empath does have emotional empathy, so my view is that the ending does matter to her or rather me in this case. I do suffer guilt after the fact if I think I have behaved wrongly. For example, I had the girlfriend talk with my son a while ago. I discussed relationships and impressed on him certain things. Including:
Never discuss with anyone else the things your girlfriend tells you in confidence.
Those secrets are to be kept even if it ends and you end up disliking her.
Never discuss your physical relationship with your mates. Ever. Do so and face my wrath. (ha ha, I did use exactly those words)
Never ever cheat. It’s a loser’s trick.
If you decide you want the relationship to end, tell her directly, be firm but be kind.
Women are to be cherished. Be the respectful person that I know you are.
This is the general upshot. I expect him to behave himself in this regard. As such, I follow the same code. There are advantages to this code, mainly self respect and respect for others.
In the case of ending the relationship kindly it is for my own peace and knowledge that I behaved in the way I always do. Yes the guy is a narcissist, yes he doesn’t care, yes I will actually wound by declaring an end. That is not my fault. He can stay in his Perspective and view as he likes. I am not looking for resolution or returned respect from the Narcissist. I understand that won’t be given. I would just feel more at peace ending it the way I’ve ended every other relationship. Respectfully.
I understand the concerns. I recognise HG’s points about my ET. I recognise that I am not infallible and take on board your own points about being sucked back in. I am at risk as I fully admit to still caring very deeply for this person. We usually end relationships when that level of affection has gone. It would be a first for me to end a relationship when it hasn’t. To use a smoking analogy. I have given up smoking. I choose not to smoke because I understand it isn’t good for me and a pointless exercise. It doesn’t mean I am not craving the cigarette.
I don’t intend to respond to the narcissist’s hoovers. (He found the second Facebook account last night.) Ironic given I always found it strange that we didn’t have each other’s Facebook.
I used to think just like this, I understand your perspective and where you are coming from. I have often thought about reaching out to my narc over the years to “mend the bridge”. To “make peace” , To act “respectfully” etc. The truth is… we are completely disrespecting OURSELVES by reaching out and interacting with a narcissist. Once we are aware of what narcissism is… we should respect it for what is … and walk away.
“She makes the decision in her own mind. Then she calmly tells this person she still cares about, that things just are no longer working, that she wishes him happiness and every success but that the relationship has reached its conclusion”
I had taken that approach a few times with my narc. He ended up hoovering me back in (not good for me). I also ended things in an angry tirade, he ended up hoovering me back in (not good for me). I outed him on his narcissism only for him to throw back all of my emotional reactions in my face and label ME the abuser (not good for me).
There is NO conversation with a narcissists. None. Every time we re engage with an abuser we only give them another opportunity to humiliate us once again or suck us back in. Because they do not respect us and our decisions.
And we can easily look at ourselves in the mirror after we’ve walked away… knowing that we chose US and not them for once. And they can’t take that away from us.
Logic. Well stated.
I could have never reached this point with out you HG… I still struggle with my ET, as I will probably for the rest of my life, but I won’t spend another second on this planet feeling guilty for choosing me over him.
Atta girl. Guilt is a concept. Hanging onto it is creating a useless construct of self-imprisonment and punishment while the other party (in this case a narcissist) goes on unaffected.
Thanks NA. It took me YEARS to reach this point. To be unaffected by guilt. and every now and then it still creeps in… recovery is a one day at a time thing.
Hey Empath 007,
You did get put through the ringer. I’m so glad you are out of it now x
I think I’m solid in not going back to the narcissist. ‘He has no emotional empathy or he wouldn’t do what he does.’ swung that for me. Cant argue with that. I asked that question in all kinds of ways and HG didn’t deviate on it. So that’s good enough for me.
The way I end it was placed in a different category in my own mind and only because the opportunity had presented itself. I would not have broken no contact and approached him. The hoover offered a definitive and respectful end in my own mind, not solely for his benefit.
There are risks associated as both you and HG highlighted. If my ET was lower I can accept it’s very possible I would not take those risks. My thinking is ‘off’ therefore. If someone bothers to put together a detailed response to prove it, as you both did, then you both are sure, at a time when I can’t claim to be the same. It’s exactly why I’m here, to get better and get better at making these calls for myself going forward. Not testing myself or putting myself in high risk situations, just being fully aware of what I’m doing and why.
I’ll stay No Contact. I’ll stick to it. Thank you for your response Empath 007, it’s good to know I’m not the only one who has thought along these lines. Narcissists and their damn hoovers! I dwelled on that for a full week. I actually feel better now the decision is made.
HG goes away for a few days and look what he comes back to, Truthseeker off the rails again. Never mind, Narc Angel will be along in a minute with her silken whip. She’s just checking the weight on the elevator ha ha. Mad house this place.
That is brutal you’ve had a recent Hoover… oh man. To this day I still don’t think I would be able to handle one from mine. Until I move into my next relationship I am admittedly at high risk ! Congrats for resisting it !!! that is MAJOR.
What type of empath are you ?
My mother and I are co dependants and we generally think along the same lines as you ” Just because someone else is not nice, doesn’t mean I have to go against my character and not be nice “…. it took me years to understand what I have written in my other posts, years. Be nice to yourself…. Be kind to yourself… you’re the one that just went through a traumatic abusive relationship not him… He’s fine. You matter too. What about your feelings ? You won’t ever receive the apology you deserve, he won’t give it to you. It can feel sad… but also completely liberating to understand they are not capable of understanding us in the way we need to be understood.
Congrats on resisting the hoover once again. If I would have just gotten hoovered I’d likely be a shell of a human being yelling “HELP ME!” hahahha.
Hey Empath 007
I think you vastly underestimate yourself you know! You have been No Contact for a long period of time now and I am confident that you would resist a hoover. Very confident in fact.
In terms of the hoover I received, I think there are some learning points.
I didn’t expect to be hoovered. My relationship with the Narc was largely long distance. It started when I was in the US. We met for a couple of weekends but were non intimate on those occasions. We communicated for 4 yrs overall, all times of the day and night. The implication was that there was a serious relationship forming. He was evasive but every message answered instantly always. In my estimation this puts me as a NIPSS at best. I never went through a devaluation, not in the sense that I read about here. I didn’t expect to be hoovered.
In late April, he fell out with me. I had refused to send a pic. He pressed and I didn’t like it. He took his usual default position. Called me a liar etc. I told him that was unfair. He told me I had become angry and argumentative (upset and confused) and screenshot his phone. It was an image of the chat app website, his details filled in with ‘ permanently delete account’ at the top. I opened the image typed a response and the message remained undelivered. His contact details disappeared from the app 24 hrs later indicating permanent account deletion. This had never happened before. He had deleted the app during silent treatments, would then just reappear as if nothing had happened. He had never deleted the account though.
A few days later I arrived on the blog and realised then confirmed, he was a narcissist. I shortly after permanently deleted my own account. My contact details will also have disappeared from the app. I had never done this before. During his silent treatments my account remained active.
Two weeks later, he messaged via the Messenger to my US Facebook, then a week later, the Messenger to my UK Facebook. We had never exchanged Facebook details (Pictures of my children are on my Facebook, I’m protective.) Clearly my deleting my account indicated a change. Triggered a hoover. It also shows he had a second account or he wouldn’t know I deleted. Ha ha. Git.
I did not expect to be hoovered because of my lowly position in the Fuel Matrix, him having seemingly disengaged through permanent deletion of the app we used to communicate, my deletion of my account, and overall, I just didn’t foresee a hoover.
I was doing well, feeling so much better before the hoover. He had deleted me, so no guilt, no possibility of my formally ending it as I normally would. I was resolute in my decision that given no emotional empathy on his part, future communication was pointless.
The hoover threw me into a tailspin. Now there was the opportunity to formally end it. Now I should do the right thing by doing so. I thought about him again. The good bits, the silly bits, the friend bits, I felt sorry for him and his unread message and it felt very wrong not offering an end. I knew he wouldn’t care, but I cared. I am pleased though that I was still resolute in not wanting to continue the relationship. That didn’t waiver at least.
HG was right, my ET post hoover had leaped up. ( I didn’t tell about the hoover to begin with.). I was cloudy, tired again, thoughts disjointed. The desire to end things kindly is correct. It’s correct for every other relationship, apart from one with a narcissist. Too much risk involved. I hadn’t worried about not ending things properly before the hoover, I went full on worried and guilty about it after the hoover. The only change here was the fact I was triggered by the hoover, and my ET shot up, telling me I had to respond. I am fortunate HG spotted it and called it by its name. It irritated me at the time. I was convinced I was right. I wasn’t. HG was. Sorry HG if my irritation showed. I can be very stubborn at times.
I hope this post gets people to think if y’all are still awake that is! I think it illustrates elements from several articles that I have read here, from manipulation, to black and white thinking, through to the hoover itself. Most of all it illustrates how easily ET takes hold, and at the time, you genuinely don’t know.
No need to apologise. The important points are that you realised I was correct and you recognised that your ET had risen, this means you have insight now which is most important.
H.G, have you been reading my diary again? 😉😂
I have. Don’t forget that dental appointment next Tuesday.