Category Archives: Hoovering

Crossing the Emotional Sea (Post Disengagement/Escape Battle – Part Two)

 

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The first battle that takes places post disengagement or escape is the battle of the Emotional Sea. That is a battle that you are always destined to lose. You will always fight at least one Emotional Sea Battle because you do not know any other way. In all likelihood, you will face several of these battles because you will keep being hoovered back into our grasp until such time as you learn to recognise what you are dealing with and understand what you must do. Eventually and this may take several Emotional Sea Battles before you realise this and are capable of achieving the appropriate response, you either evade the Emotional Sea Battle by escaping as opposed to being discarded, or you prepare yourself for the eventual discard in a manner which means you no longer have to ensure the Emotional Battle. Instead, you move on to the next post disengagement or post escape  battle, that of Head versus Heart (“the HvH Battle”).

The HvH Battle (also known as the Logic v Emotion Battle) is a battleground where you stand some chance of victory. This battleground is one where you have gained understanding. It might be through your repeated exposure to our kind so that eventually something has “clicked” into place or more often than not it is as a consequence of an external agent who has explained matters to you. It might by a therapist, a friend, the content of a book, something you saw on YouTube or even something that I have written. Whatever has caused this understanding to increase, it is this which provides you with the fighting chance to win this HvH Battle.

You have been discarded and run the gamut of emotional fall-out thereafter. You may understand what we are. You may understand some of the things that we have done. You may be familiar with the fact that we will try to hoover you back into our grip. You may even be starting to comprehend that what has happened was all predicated on an illusion. The degree of understanding will vary but what is important for you is that you are allowing logical thought to be heard above the raw heat of your emotions. You once again will not just be battling against us but also yourself. We will be looking to hoover you in order to draw you back into our grip or perhaps we will be unleashing a malign hoover since we are unable to draw you back into our false reality and therefore we opt to keep extracting negative fuel by way of punishment for your treachery. You have us as an opponent, but you will also be fighting yourself as your emerging logic grapples with the still churning emotion. You have learned many things and you know you should apply what you have learned but still there is the emotional pull that you experience. You are not removed or detached from your emotions, they have not dimmed either, they are still there, raging away. The hurt, the love, the longing, the passion, the fear and the upset. An ocean of emotion which you once tried to cross but that was the Emotional Battle and you had barely taken four strokes as you began to swim before you were engulfed by the emotion and sank to the bottom of this sea, drowned by your own emotion. Now you have built a vessel. It is made from cool, hard logic. Critical thinking, once a stranger to you during your savage devaluation, has re-appeared. You can analyse and assess. It is unlikely you are able to do so at the level you once enjoyed before we came along but it is there. Whether this vessel is a tiny raft, a dinghy, a boat or a hulking great liner depends very much on the extent of your understanding. The choppy emotional seas will smash against your vessel of logic. A wave of sorrow will buffet you, a tsunami of longing will threaten to swamp you once again. Wave after wave of emotion will try and capsize your vessel as you try to navigate this emotional ocean. Chances are your life raft will be smashed to match wood and you will be tipped into the sea to drown once again as emotion subsumes you and you find yourself back in our hold. Your clipper may be holed beneath the waterline and you start to take on board more and more emotion as steadily you sink beneath the emotional waves once again. It is during this HvH Battle as you try to cross the emotional ocean, because what you must do is reach the dry land beyond and in effect put an ocean but you and us, you will be subjected to the push and pull of your emotions trying to guide you, to control your decision-making, your head will tell you one thing as your heart screams something else at you. This is probably the harder battle for you to fight. In the Emotional Battle, you do not stand a chance and your defeat is swift and total. During the HvH Battle you will make gains, suffer losses, seem to making a breakthrough and then out of nowhere a tidal wave will flip you from your boat and into the churning ocean and you drown once again. All the while we will be whipping up the waves, firing our torpedoes at you as we endeavour to cause you to sink into this emotional ocean yet again and you fail to cross it and win this battle. How might this HvH Battle manifest in the real world?

  1. You will know you ought not to contact us but you need to send a message to see if we respond.
  2. You will keep checking our social media profiles to ascertain if you are mentioned, if we are with somebody else and/or to find out what we are doing.
  3. You will ask about us to our coterie and lieutenants, often unwittingly doing so, so this is fed back to us.
  4. You will go on dates but find you are always comparing this new person to us and they are always found to be wanting.
  5. You know what the outcome will be but you just want one more night with us.
  6. You realise that we are unlikely to change but if you do not try you will never know, so it is worth one more attempt to talk isn’t it?
  7. You understand much of what we did and said was a lie, but surely it could not all have been an illusion? There must have been times where we really did love you and you need to ask us about this.
  8. You know we are bad for you, but you cannot help what you feel. Surely it would be better to stop this pain from being there all the time and just have it occasionally?
  9. You know you should not reply to our messages but it feels so good to have a conversation with us again. It has been too long.
  10. You know we are using you, but it feels so damn good.
  11. One kiss cannot hurt can it?
  12. You know better now, so going back will be different because you know what to expect. Armed with this new knowledge you can enter the lion’s den again but be better prepared.
  13. You know we are bad for you but you cannot bear the thought of someone else being with us and perhaps being the one to work.
  14. What if this time the apology is sincere and the desire to change is real? If you walked away from that, you would only be denying yourself happiness wouldn’t you?
  15. You understand engaging with us is dangerous but there are things you really need to tell us.

These and others besides are all examples of the inherent tension that arises in this tug-of-war between your cool intellect and your burning emotions.

Can you win this battle that rages post disengagement or post escape? Unlike the first battle, the Emotional SeaBattle which you can never win, you can be victorious. You may have to fight this HvH Battle many times before securing the win. In the beginning you may be clinging to little more than a log as you desperately try to sail the emotional ocean and you are swept from it. However, by reading and understanding, by disciplining yourself to apply logic, to prevent your emotions from engulfing you, by reading more and increasing your knowledge you will begin to increase your logic vessel. From log to raft to dinghy. Still you may be swamped and drowned again. But then it becomes a small boat, a yacht, a clipper, a steamer, a passenger liner, a frigate, a destroyer and a super tanker. Each time you rebuild, better, bigger and stronger as you learn more, making the vessel more seaworthy. You begin to chart routes so you avoid the most tumultuous emotional areas, finally beginning to steer through calmer waters until there it is, on the horizon, the sight of land and the final battle that occurs with our kind post discard.

The HvH Battle is not an easy battle. You will fight it several times, but each time you should be better prepared to cross the emotional ocean and improve your prospects of success. Sometimes you are taken unawares by some of our provocative tactics and dumped unceremoniously into the water once again, but it is a battle you can win through the dedicated application of knowledge and understanding.

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A Preventative Hoover

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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. You 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.

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Will the Narcissist Deploy a Follow-Up Hoover?

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The follow-up hoover. A staple method of gaining fuel from you either post discard or post escape, whether of a positive and/or negative nature. How though does the follow-up hoover come about, how do I decide whether to do it or not and what are the circumstances that can cause it? Here is an instance which will assist your understanding of our methodology and mind set so you can identify the factors which put you at risk.

I discarded you. You failed me and you had to go. You had no idea of course that this was the case. You tried to see me, speak to me, plead with me and you were rebuffed and told to stay away. The teeth were bared at you and you saw that look in the eye, the one that still unnerves you and you backed away. You slid into misery and confusion, unable to comprehend why I flung you to one side, why I wouldn’t at least do you the decency of explaining. You do not realise that our kind are never beholden to the obligation to explain. We are above that. You however operate by differing standards and regard it as a common courtesy to explain why something has been done and it certainly applies when the situation is one of romantic entanglement. You believed that you are owed an explanation. We operate from the position that we owe you nothing because once upon a time we gave you everything.

I have the new primary source of fuel of course. She was from a shortlist of individuals who were being cultivated as I embarked on my cruel devaluation of you. When I slipped away to my bolthole, when I made repeated excuses to go to the bar when we went away on holiday, when your back was turned I was extending my electronic tendrils as I engaged with these prospects. The fuel flowed from them as they readily connected with someone as charming as I. How could they not? A couple of these prospects have been kept in reserve, contingencies as they became outer circle friends who will wait in the wings, suitable brainwashed and conditioned so that they will jump at the chance of being promoted to the primary source at some future point. I know as well that they will not hesitate to hand me the dagger which I will plunge in that primary source’s back at some future point. There is no sisterhood here in the battle to win my affections and favour. Thus two find themselves admitted to the chain of fuel providing appliances and like two growing plants, I occasionally tend to them, cultivating and maintaining their interest, keeping alive the hope of promotion. It is reassuring to know that if the one who eventually saw off the others on the shortlist has to be discarded then there are ready and waiting appliances who can be plugged in without much more effort. It is not always possible to find those appliances which will wait around but it is far from impossible. You may be surprised at the number which will readily accept a role as an outer or even inner circle friend, possibly an acquaintance too in the right circumstances. Content to have intermittent contact with me in person. Happy to have more frequent contact through electronic medium. These reservists will smile at the primary source, appear to even be friendly but they are only doing it to maintain my favour. If I give the signal they would rip the throat from the primary source in order to replace her. That is what we bring out in people.

Still, those are the reservists but for now an excellent primary source was chosen and thus you were surplus to requirements. You heard no more from me as a wall of silence greeted your attempts to contact me. Your position as primary source came to an end. You were made redundant and you were cast aside. I drew fuel from imagining your distress at this state of affairs and your repeated attempts to contact me provided similar fuel until I decided that I wanted to concentrate on the new primary source and therefore you needed to stay away. Thus, as I mentioned, the teeth were bared, you were warned and for once you listened and backed off.

Life has been sweet with the wonderful, new and shiny primary source who has lived up to expectations in her admiration, adoration and love. All is well and I cannot say that I have really given you any further thought since I made it clear that you were to “stay the hell away from me, understand?” I have been drinking deep from the new, potent fountain and enjoying all of this fresh, succulent fuel. So much so, I soon moved her in and why not? I may as well ensure that such a precious source of fuel is on tap.

Then one day I was moving some things around in the study and I found a book which belonged to you. I picked it up and you flared in my mind. I know that if it was the other way around, you would have been consumed by emotion as you triggered this ever presence. That does not happen with me. There is no charge of emotion but instead there is the spark of opportunity. The appearance of this book has caused you to enter into my sphere of influence. You did nothing did you? No telephone call, no text message, no driving past my house, all of the usual things which victims do in the aftermath and which will invariably result in a hoover. The appearance of this book has thrust you into my mind again. I have plenty of fuel from the wonderful primary source but a dash of hoover fuel would be welcome also. I feel no need to re-engage you as my primary source, your replacement is functioning well, but I am fuelled, powerful and I want to taste your hoover fuel. You have entered the sixth sphere of influence and caused a Hoover Trigger.

Moments such as these are delicious indeed. I have taken a bite of the succulent cherry that is the new primary source but here I am with a delightful opportunity to take a bite of another cherry and apply a hoover to you. What I especially like about it is the fact that because I do not want to or need to rekindle our intimate relationship again, the effort required will be minimal in order to get a taste of your hoover fuel. I pull out my ‘phone and look up your number. I kept it of course. I felt no need to block it. You rang and you rang but I never answered and eventually you gave up. I wonder for a moment whether you have blocked me and feel a twinge of irritation if that proves to be the case. Nevertheless, I have the energy and inclination to want to hoover you,, I perceive that there is a good prospect of gaining fuel from you, I have no reason to think that your fuel will be diminished, I have considered whether there may be obstacles but do not regard there as being any which would mean the attempt is likely to fail and I have not perception that you will reject me and thus criticise me and cause wounding. The Hoover Execution Criteria has been met and I have surpassed the bar, it is thus time to hoover you.

I jab your name and smile as I hear the ringing noise and within just two rings (two rings! Someone remains keen!) you answer. Your voice is tentative.

“Hello? HG?”

“Hi Tabitha, how are you?”

There is a pause. You are trying to work out what is going on but I know you will want to talk to me. You answered didn’t you? You spoke. You want some answers. You need to know. I have seen it so many times before and therefore I know that no matter how much you may think that you need to end the call before it gets going you will not do so. I know that the emotion is surging through you, hope, expectation and no doubt the glowing embers of the love that has not yet been extinguished for me.

“What do you want?” you ask but it is not said in a hostile tone.

“I was just thinking about you and I thought I would give you a call and see how you were doing.”

“I don’t understand. Why call me now when you made it clear you didn’t want anything to do with me?” Ah, a bit of a fightback from logic here. Fair enough.

“I know, I know, that was some time ago, I was in a bad place, a lot going on and something had to give. I know I didn’t handle it well, I am sorry.”

Like hell I am but I know those three words will have a magical effect. I stop speaking. I can picture you trying to hold back the tears, fighting with the competing emotions that are washing over you. I can feel the power rising inside of me at this image as I gather the fuel.

“You hurt me, you really hurt me,” you say voice cracking slightly.

“I know, I know and I am truly sorry, I know you must hate me, listen if it is any consolation to you, I hate myself for what I did to you, you didn’t deserve to be treated like that.” That should hit the spot. A bit of self-flagellation always goes down well.

“Well you won’t hate yourself as much as I hate you,” you answer with a little steel in your voice. It’s good. It is all fuel.

“Trust me Tabs,” oh yes the shortened name for added familiarity needs to be used here, “I know just what I did and I am not proud of myself. I just felt it was only right that I call you in order to explain…”

I hit the end call button after saying this.

Five seconds. She will call back in five seconds.

Sure enough her name appears on the ‘phone as she returns the call.

“Hi,” I say enthusiastically.

“You went off.”

“Yes poor signal I guess.”

There is another pause. I say nothing allowing the silence to be used to compel you to speak. I know that you want to talk. It was always likely and your behaviour so far is laden with indicators that you want to continue to talk.

“You said you wanted to explain,” you say and I hear the hope in your voice and the fuel drips from you once again.

I know that I can dangle the prospect of answers in front of you for weeks now. I don’t want you back. I do not need you back but I have tasted your delicious hoover fuel and I like it. I have managed to cause you to speak to me and then call me back after everything that I did to you, including my callous discard. That highlights the power I have and that is why when remembering you through seeing the book it was too good an opportunity to miss and I applied a benign hoover. Not to win you back, but to get you to respond and to provide me with fuel. And it has worked.

I lick my lips before I speak.

This cherry is mighty sweet as is the fuel from this successful follow-up hoover.

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But I Can Change

BUT I CAN CHANGE

“But I can change.”

A phrase so often said by some of our kind. You will, more likely than not, have heard this sentence at some point during your entanglement with us. Usually it is uttered as part of a Preventative Hoover when the narcissist sees that there is a considerable risk that you are going to depart the Formal Relationship and in so doing threaten the provision of fuel from the chief source. It also makes an appearance as part of the Initial Grand Hoover to draw you back in, should you have managed to take those first steps towards escape. You will hear it in Benign Follow-Up Hoovers although following the effluxion of time you are more likely to hear the cousin, namely, “But I have changed.” Occasionally it appears within the devaluation phase, following an unpleasant episode as part of the further manipulation to keep you bound to the narcissist and providing fuel. Accordingly, its use will occur at different parts of the narcissistic dynamic.

To some, the sentence contains the magical words that the empath is waiting to hear. The empath’s inherent desire to fix, to heal and to repair longs for that acknowledgement by the narcissist that they can alter their behaviour, make new and fresh choices, learn from the mistakes and choose a better path. The declaration of a willingness to change is welcomed by certain empaths and they selflessly accept this statement, believing that all people have some good within, that it is a case of recognising this and applying a different approach.

To others, the words are welcomed but with caution. Perhaps the devaluing behaviour has been so deep and savage that the recipient is wary, fearful of their hopes being raised too soon. Their inherent desire to see change, for the good of both people in the relationship wants to agree, to grab this offer with both hands and see to its implementation, but dare they hope that it can be done? Indeed they can, for in that moment, as the cool, hard logic of caution makes its presence felt, it becomes overrun by the soaring emotional thinking that cries out – “He has realised. He knows he has done wrong. He wants to make amends. He wants to change.” The emotional thinking brings forth those twin sisters of pressure – Hope and Guilt. The empath, chained to the concept of hope, sincerely wishes that  the person that they love will change and become a better person. Guilt also weighs in, whispering, “What if it is genuine, what if he can change and you do not give him a chance, what a bad person you will be for doing that?” The emotional thinking will win out.

Rarely will this protestation of being able to change go unheeded. Rarely will the opportunity not be given to the narcissist who states that this can be done. It is only the informed, those who can apply their cool, hard logic and resist the rising tide of emotional thinking who can repel the allure of those enticing words. For everyone else, they are drawn into allowing the narcissist a further opportunity to keep they, the victim, in place.

Yet, who is it of our brethren who issues this plea? What is meant by it and can it really happen?

You will rarely hear it from the Lesser Narcissist. He sees no reason to change. He or she does as they want. If he smashed up the house or physically attacked you, well it was your fault that it happened and once the ignited fury has abated, the best you will get is that the reset button is pressed and nothing is said about the previous behaviour. The statement of change might be issued if the Lesser faces a fuel crisis and in absolute desperation it is blurted out in order to prevent the cessation of his primary supply but come the morning after, the intention will have evaporated and any suggestion of change will be rejected. The crisis has been averted, the wound healed and fury abated and the entitled Lesser is not going to make those changes, not when of course it was your fault ll along.

If reminded of his intention, he will brush it to one side, telling you he will look into it, that he is busy with something else at the moment but you can talk later, that he has to go to work, that he has someone to see and you will be left dangling. He will not return to the discussion about making a change or seeking help and fearing a further explosive episode you do not press further and there the matter is left.

You will rarely hear it from the Greater Narcissist. He sees no reason to change either. Oh, we know what we do but that is borne out of necessity and it is what must be done. Our needs, superior to yours, require this behaviour and if you cannot accept it, well we can easily find someone else who will, because, after all, we are the prize, the champion and the ultimate, so it is your loss. The Greater will not issue this plea as a Preventative Hoover or such like to stop you leaving. True, he will not want his primary source to escape. This is a matter of fuel provision but often more of pride and superiority. After all, the extensive fuel matrices of the Greater school ( see The Fuel Matrix – Part Three ) means that even if the primary source had the audacity to escape he has plenty of other sources to turn to in the meanwhile. He will however not want to suffer the wounding of this primary source escaping and will want to stop it, but he will use charm and threat to achieve this, not the plea that he will change. It is beneath him.

The only time you might hear these words uttered by the Greater Narcissist is purely because he sees the opportunity for more Machiavellian behaviours through manipulating his victim by engendering false hope. He will see the opportunity to increase his trade craft through agreeing to engage in therapy. He will see it not as a chance to change, but rather an opportunity to learn more about himself (and why not, since he is such a fascinating creature), understand more about his ways and indeed take on the challenge of therapists and the like. If he agrees to changing his behaviour and enlisting external advice and assistance he will also lay down terms and conditions for this occurring in order to further his own agenda. You will however never hear the Greater Narcissist use the phrase “But I can change” as part of some desperate plea.

Accordingly, this leaves us with the school which uses this manipulation often, far more often than the other schools and that is of course the Mid Range Narcissist.  The Mid Ranger uses this manipulation for the following reasons:-

  1. He sees him or herself as a good person. Their perspective means they genuinely regard themselves as decent people and therefore since they are decent, they will, well, do the decent thing and look at making a change;
  2. They regard themselves as giving and they are prepared to make that sacrifice if it means saving the relationship;
  3. They consider themselves to be something of a tortured soul, they have “their demons”, there is something eating away at them and they wish to address it;
  4. They need to be saved and you are the person who can save them. They lack the pig-headed arrogance of the Lesser or the sneering superiority of the Greater.

What is behind those driving factors?

  1. The narcissistic perspective. They consider themselves the one who does good and it is other people who cause the problems, but because they are SO good they will prove that by addressing the issues which have been raised. This is not because they actually believe there is something wrong with them in terms of culpability but rather it is actually an opportunity for them to show the world that they are good and it is other people who are the problem.
  2. This is the victim perspective coming to the fore. The world is a horrible place and no matter how much they try to help others, the world keeps trying to bring them down but that doesn’t matter because guess what? They will rise above it and they will be the one who takes one for the team, who makes the sacrifice and does so for the greater good.
  3. This is the victim perspective once again. They do not see that they are disordered. They do not recognise that they manipulate. They are incapable of doing so because they have no insight or awareness. They do however regard this whole concept of being a ‘tortured soul’ as a magnificent device for drawing fuel. Sympathy, concern and compassion all come flowing. This is not an acknowledgement that there is anything wrong with the Mid Ranger but rather he blames ‘the demon’ (whatever that might be) because blame-shifting is a key defence mechanism and blaming you, the neighbours, the weather or an intangible concept will all work for him.
  4. This is the victim perspective once more but also all part of the sympathy grab for attention. The Mid Ranger wishes to draw pity and compassion but then also be revered, for he is the fallen hero who has been saved and is then able to rise once more, in the magical thinking that plays out in his mind.

The Middle Mid Ranger and Upper Mid Ranger have sufficient cognitive function to realise that their behaviour causes a problem. This is where many victims (understandably) are fooled into thinking that the narcissist is actually showing insight (indeed this often causes them to either think that the narcissist is not a narcissist, or that he is but he can actually change) . The MMR or UMR may acknowledge that his actions cause hurt and problems, however, he or she will never accept ownership of the hurt and problems. For instance, they might say,

“I know that when I disappear for a few days you are worried sick, BUT I need space because you are always pestering me.”

“I understand that you are hurt when I say certain things BUT I am under pressure at work at the moment and you aren’t helping when you question me about why I am home late.”

They can see the consequence but they will not own the consequence. They are configured not to do so.

As is always the case, the uninformed victim accepts the third party explanation as the cause of the errant behaviour or self-flagellates and the victim blames him or herself. So the cause of the problem is regarded as pressure at work or the pestering of the victim.

The Mid Ranger will state he can change and moreover he will also act on the declaration which again sows the seeds of false hope and ensures the victim remains in situ and providing fuel. This is just a further part of the manipulation.

The Mid-Ranger may become more attentive, does not dole out silent treatments, removes the manipulations and stops sulking for a few weeks. This is a Respite Period and he has implemented this because when you said you would not leave, you became painted white again because you did what he wanted. You succumbed to his control and your gracious behaviour provided fuel. The golden period returns and this is what powers his altered ways. It is not because there is any recognition that he must change because it hurts you. The alteration is because you have done what he wanted, thus his split thinking makes you ‘white’ once more and this is what keeps the devaluation at bay, but only for a while.

Naturally, the unwitting victim, having seen changes effected (but not knowing the real reason behind them) is conned into thinking that these changes can happen again and therefore when the plea “But I can change” is made at a later time, the victim is swamped by hope because it happened before (thus it can surely happen again) and thus the cycle continues.

If you return to the Formal Relationship through an Initial Grand Hoover or a Benign Follow-Up Hoover you are painted white once more and the golden period returns, creating the illusion of changed behaviours. Until it tarnishes in due course.

The insidious manipulative manner of the Mid Ranger means that these changes come in many forms. He will alter his actions at home. He will cease the affair shelving the IPSS as your Respite Period Golden Period draws him back to you. He will help out, he will show that inkling of charm once again. He will of course herald his new-found redemption to third parties because this will garner fuel and maintain the facade and of course accords with his complete conviction that he is a good person. This will also provide him with ammunition to hurl at you at the appropriate time, in that he made the changes and if things have faltered it has to be your fault then.

The Mid Ranger will readily attend therapy sessions. This allows him to do several things:-

  1. Show you he is willing and a good person;
  2. He can maintain the facade, “Dawn wanted me to go to therapy and because I love her so much it was the least I could do.” (now tell me how wonderful a husband I am).
  3. He will use the therapy sessions to advance his own agenda. Often the victim will not know what is discussed owing to confidentiality. Therefore the Mid-Ranger, convinced of his own goodness and lack of culpability, will manipulate the therapist  (and will do so convincingly most of the time). Thereafter, the Mid Ranger will tell the victim that actually the therapist said that the victim is the abuser and that the narcissist is the victim. This might be true, an exaggeration of the observations of the unwitting therapist or a lie. Either way, this will leave the victim undermined such is the conviction of the narcissist. Ally that with the fact the victim has seen some changes, their own eroded self-worth and reduced critical thinking and it comes as no surprise that the victim is confused or even believes what the narcissist is saying.
  4. The narcissist can hold it over the victim. “I did as you asked and got some help. They told me there is no issue.” (Now you owe me and I am going to ensure I extract that debt from you repeatedly).

The desire to change is motivated by entirely different reasons than you realise and this desire is not genuine. The change is short-lived, never permanent and any and all behaviours associated with it, no matter how genuine they appear, no matter how earnest the pleading, no matter how many tears are spilled (and the Mid Ranger will turn on the waterworks) it is all part of the manipulation.

They cannot and will not change.

Grasp that understanding so that when you hear “But I can change”, cool,hard logic prevails and you resist the allure of hope. People are inherently optimistic. Empathic people even more so, but the dark side of this hope is vulnerability and our kind and in particular the Mid-Ranger count on that and exploit it.

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Back For More

BACK FORMORE.jpg

I make repeated mention of how we always come back for more. This of course is the brilliance of the hoover. Some people struggle to comprehend that we will always keep returning for more fuel, if the opportunity arises. Why would we not? We love fuel. We love your fuel (after all that was why you were chosen as the primary source) and even better we love the hoover fuel which you provide. The hoover serves many functions. First and foremost, it provides us with fuel. It is also a means of exerting control, seeing how the land lies for potential further machinations, a means of preventing you moving forward, a means of hindering your understanding, a method of reinforcing our superiority, dominance and omnipotence. It serves these functions and many more. Hoovers take place throughout the dance with our kind, but most possible associate them with the aftermath, the period following escape or more likely discard. When we look at the hoover in such a scenario, when we come back for more, we do so for one of the following three reasons: –

  1. To draw you back into the relationship again so that the whole narcissistic cycle can begin once more;
  2. To hurt you. We don’t want the formal relationship again but we want to remind you of how worthless you are and thus we aim to hurt you through this form of hoover;
  3. To draw some positive fuel (it may be a drop or it may be lashings of it) but we do not want the formal relationship to start again or indeed ever, but we know you provide delicious hoover fuel so we will keep coming back for more. We do not do enough to recommence the formal relationship but we certainly extract some fuel from you. It might be a text, it may be a telephone call or personal visit, but it is passing. It may only take a moment or an afternoon, but it is temporary and then having extracted the fuel we will withdraw again (only to appear at some later stage). The formal relationship does not begin again.

It is this third manoeuvre (which is a benign follow-up hoover) which often confuses people. You can understand hoovering to start the relationship again. You can understand lashing out at us and being nasty because hey, after all we are Grade A Bastards aren’t we? However, why make the effort to gain some fuel and then withdraw again? It may be because we have a reliable primary source in place but cannot resist a slurp of the hoover fuel. It may happen because circumstance makes it too good to resist. There are several factors but one of the chief factors is the role which you are allocated post escape/discard. The application of the benign follow-up hoover which does not seek the restoration of the formal relationship relies on you conforming to a particular role and the fuel which flows from it. There are many different roles which can be assigned to you at this point, but here are ten of them.

  1. The Wish You Well

Whenever we hoover you, you ask with your well-known decency how we are faring, you ask about our progress workwise, our health and about all other matters. You do so with that goodness of heart and nature for which you as an empathic person is famed and whilst there is no torrent of raging emotion, your kindness and compassion still fuel us. You may well have largely moved on from us, but you are unable to sever all ties. You know not to go back but you cannot help but always want to hear that we are doing good and that you can accordingly wish us well.

  1. The Optimist

This contact gives you hope that there might be a return to the golden period. You do not push it, since you know how this can cause us to react, but you are receptive to our advance, pleased, no delighted to hear from us and you engage with enthusiasm, trying to keep your pulsating heart under control. You see each time we “drop by” as the possibility that this time we sweep you in our arms and take you back once more. Each time you are disappointed but this does not dim your hope and optimism, perhaps next time will be the time?

  1. The Guilty

You feel bad that the relationship did not work out and you blame yourself as much (if not more) than us for its demise. Your status as a love devotee means that you still believe that love will conquer all and you spend your time apologising for what you did that was wrong and that which you did not do right. Of course we do nothing to cause you to think any different, enjoying your self-flagellation which always rises to the surface whenever we get in touch.

  1. The Navel Gazer

You are obsessed with understand who you are and regard your interaction as an integral part of that. You want our views and opinions on your introspection and use any contact from us as an opportunity to invite us to comment about you, no matter how brutal it might be. You believe that you are unable to establish who you truly are without understanding the nature of your relationship with us and each occasion that we reach out to your again provides you with an opportunity to engage for the purpose of finding these answers. Your reliance on us is both edifying and fuelling.

  1. The Healer

You will not let go of the notion that we can be fixed and any interaction between us results in you resuming the mantle of being that healer, putting our interests ahead of your own with the inevitable fuel which arises from your compassionate and kind-hearted behaviour.

  1. The Nymph

You hate us for what we did but the sex was oh so good and you cannot resist the lure of a late night text for some sexual interaction in the hope that it might lead to a tussle between the sheets again. You maintain that all you want is sexual gratification and adopting this stance is a form of payback for us, but your engaging with us through sexting and flirtation provides us with the hoover fuel that we want.

  1. The Tourniquet

You are not a tourniquet but you need one. You cannot work out what has happened and every engagement is a fuel-filled questioning session as to why did we do what we did, why did we hurt you, why did we say those things, why did we mess around and such like. The pain remains raw and the fuel that flows from it is too good to resist.

  1. The Old Reliable

You know you should ignore us but you cannot. Those messages we send are like a nagging itch and you need to scratch so badly. Of course we know this and we regard you as a reliable source of hoover fuel. All we need to do is send a message and you will respond in some form or another, you cannot help yourself.

  1. The Contender

You want back in and you are going to prove to us how damn fine you are and what an a-hole we are for letting you go in the first place. You will tell us just how good you will be for us, what you will do and how we will never get anybody better than you as you do your utmost to convince us that you should come back into our arms. Even if we rebuff you, you will not give up because your desire to be our intimate partner is huge and so with it is the fuel that you provide.

  1. The Burning Oil Well

Your flow of fuel just cannot be shut off. Red Adair would never be able to snuff out the flames and cap the oil well. You are angry, seething, furious at the way you have been treated and you hate us. You absolutely hate us. Each time we reach out to you, you seize the opportunity to vent your anger at us, insulting us, labelling us and going on like some crazed harpy. You think it will upset us but you don’t understand the nature of fuel and whilst we may argue back it is all done to keep this blazing fuel flowing.

Do you recognise yourself in there at all?

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The Seduction Shuffle Hoover

THE SEDUCTIONSHUFFLEHOOVER

 

The hoover. A tried and trusted method of gaining fuel and exerting control over a victim once again. Whether they are benign or malign the hoover is an integral part of our repertoire. They are often part of a concerted action which is designed to break down your defences and suck you back in so we are able to exert control over you once again. Sometimes it is to con you into resuming the relationship again, sometimes it is purely to hurt you further and draw negative fuel. We may devise a particular scenario, use other people to effect the hoover by proxy and plan an effective way of establishing contact and then unleashing the hoover. For the hoover to be effective it must have two constituent parts: –

  1. A method of contact;
  2. A method of causing a reaction (positive or negative)

We may have devised a delightful scenario which will cause you to come running back to us oozing sympathy-based fuel but if we cannot establish contact with you it is pointless. This is why I often mention how it may seem that we have left you alone but all it is, is that we are waiting for a moment to establish contact so we can then cause the reaction. We are of course mindful that if you escaped us you have no doubt instigated no contact and that your defences remain high, you are on a state of alert and wary about what we are doing. Sometimes sheer force of the hoover and our magnetic personalities prove enough to surmount these defences but this can take time and in particular energy and as you know we prefer to conserve our energy. There is a particular hoover which I call the Seduction Shuffle. It is invariably a benign hoover and relies on you thinking we will do something and you are wrong-footed when we do not, only for us to then make our move.

The circumstances are such that we allow you to know that we are in the vicinity. This may be through somebody else. It might be by walking past where you live or work. We do not make any approach to you. We do not look towards where you might be watching us from, we do not reach out. All we do is want you to know that we are nearby and then we do nothing.

You have been expecting us to get in touch. When we first re-appear or you get news of us being nearby you will raise your defences again expecting an approach but then when it does not happen you are taken aback and confused. Why has he not tried to get in touch? He walked past your window the other day but did not even look towards you? He passed the office but acted as if he did not realise? Perhaps he is interested in me anymore? Why would that be the case? You almost feel insulted by the fact that we are back in town and have not looked you up. You wonder what is wrong and in that usual way of yours you start to question yourself. This failure to act when we show up leaves you somewhat bewildered, possibly relieved and your defences come down. Maybe we have moved on, perhaps we are no longer interested in you although you cannot help but want to know why this is. Your curiosity is piqued and you are torn between knowing you should stay away but also wanting to find out why we have not approached you. Is it the case that we are no longer interested? Could this really be true? You need to know. Part of you wants the confirmation that it is over, part of you wants to know why you are not good enough for us to approach again and your desire to know proves difficult to control. Words reaches you from a third party that they were talking to us, but no, we did not mention you or ask about you. This troubles you although you know you should not care, but you do. Admittedly, there may be some of you who will not react to this method but they are in the minority. The desire to achieve some kind of understanding as to what happened, some kind of closure, perhaps the chance to get a few things off your chest still churns inside of you. The fact we looked well has drawn your interest again, rekindling thoughts and feelings from that first seduction, but overall you want to know why the shark is swimming nearby again but has not come hunting for you. We know these thoughts will be going through your head. We know you saw us. We know that you showed disappointment when a member of our coterie said they had spoken to us and not mentioned you. Already you have begun to provide fuel to us and we are content to wait for that delicious hoover fuel. Hoover fuel is always enjoyable, whether relief, joy, loving or upset, it all empowers us but it is especially rewarding when you come into our sphere of influence again. With defences lowered as you think that you are abler to handle our machinations and manipulations now you decide that you want to find out what we are doing back, who we are with and most of all the reason why we have not been in touch with you. The temptation proves too great and after all, one text message or a telephone conversation cannot do any harm can it? Once we see that message from you or your name appears on the mobile ‘phone screen, or we don’t recognise the number but recognise your voice when we answer we can scent even more fuel. You have made the contact and this tells us that you have opened yourself up to provide us with the sought after reaction and this waiting game has once again proven successful. We can now strike and finish the hoover.

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Poll – How Have You Been Hoovered?

POLLHG WANTSTO KNOW

The hoover. Infamous weapon of our kind.

Which type of types of hoover have you experienced? This poll is by reference to either those hoovers which formed part of the Initial Grand Hoover (when you escaped) or the Follow-Up Hoovers, down the line following disengagement or escape.

Did you find yourself in receipt of repeated text messages or was it a hand-written letter?  Did the narcissist speak to you in person, turning up at your home or at your work place for instance? Perhaps you experienced The Spectre where the narcissist would make their physical presence known but would not speak, standing outside your house, driving past your home, hovering nearby as you collected your children from school? Maybe it was done by proxy, through a friend or family of yours or the narcissist? Were gifts sent or did you find that your property was damaged or stolen? Perhaps you could not resist looking at the narcissist’s social media where you saw various posts which were aimed at you in the hope you would see them, through this passive form of hoovering? Was it a Reverse Hoover so that you were invited or caused to contact the narcissist because he would not return property or kept a pet?

It isn’t the detail of the hoover but the methodology, so if the narcissist opted for a Fake Emergency Powerplay Hoover and did so through a text message, then it is the methodology of text message which is relevant for this poll.

As ever, please do expand on your experience in the comments section and you can choose as many answers as are applicable before pressing vote.

Thank you for participating.

How have you been hoovered? (Initial Grand Hoover and/or Follow-Up Hoovers)

View Results

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