abuse red flags, abusive relationships, aftermath of abuse, aftermath of narcissistic abuse, hoovering tactic, narcissistic abuse

The Hoovering Tactic of the Narcissist

Beware of the “hoovering” techniques of the narcissist.

They will take you through the stages of idealization, devaluation and the discard. Then they often come back to you a few months later or even years later and try to hoover you back in.

This hoovering process is like a vacuum cleaner sucking up dirt. That is why it is called hoovering…like the Hoover vacuum cleaner.

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Hoovering techniques can be calling or texting you with kind words and seemingly sentimental feelings. You want to believe that they cared about you once upon a time. So when they tell you that they miss you there is a natural tendency to want to believe that they have left over feelings for you from the relationship.

One of the hardest parts of recovering from narcissistic abuse is the acceptance that the narcissist did not love you ever. Love does not go along with abuse and manipulation. The idealization phase was an act in order to get you hooked.

Once the narcissist had you conditioned to behave in the way they wanted you to, that is when they dropped the idealization phase.

Their mask slipped and they began to be cruel, sarcastic, uninterested , and otherwise abusive to you.

The devaluation phase of the narcissist is the ultimate example of taking someone for granite.

The narcissist feels entitled to use you and they do not care what you have to give up for them. They have no concern for your future or your mental and emotional health.

When they try to hoover you back into a relationship with them, they will say whatever you want to hear, in order to gain your interest and curiosity. One of the reasons that people get lured back in is the fact that the narcissist did not allow them any closure to the relationship.

This lack of closure is something that the narcissist uses to their benefit.

They never allow any closure to their relationships because they want you to feel their presence in your mind without being able to fully let them go. It is a way that they can torment you ling after they have left your life.

It is like they are still lurking in the darkest edges of your mind, even when you have not seen them in months or years.

So when they text you or email you out of the blue, it is not the same as someone else who you broke up with. With a normal person who you broke up with a long time ago, it is a different feeling when they contact you out of the blue.

save yourself meme

But the narcissist never really left your mind,  so when they contact you it is like the longest “silent treatment” in history.

This is as opposed to running into an ex.  partner that you had closure and reasons for the break up that you both understood.

In some cases this is exactly the intention of the narcissist. They are punishing you with this extended silent treatment so that if they decide to hoover you back in later on, you will be more careful not to upset them.

Once you have experienced being discarded cruelly, with no closure, seemingly out of nowhere, your brain has trouble letting go of it.

Your brain is designed to integrate memories into the part of the brain that holds past experiences.

If there is no proper closure then the memories of that relationship cannot be properly integrated.  This is one of things that causes PTSD.

The memories are not properly integrated into the part of the brain they are supposed to be stored in. So the memories come up when you are triggered and they feel like they are happening right now in the present. rather than the in the past.

The narcissist counts on you having PTSD and not being able to put the relationship in the past. If you never put it in the past then it is easier for them to hoover you back in. The other thing they count on is the fact that you probably have toxic loneliness.

When you have toxic loneliness, it is more likely you will fall for the lies of the narcissist when they try to hoover you back in. The pain of the loneliness is something the narcissist promises to relieve for you.

The problem with that is that the narcissist will use you and then abuse you again. Your pathological loneliness will be relieved for a while as they take you through the idealization phase again. But if this is the second round of a relationship with them, then they will hit you even harder with the devaluation phase.

Why does the narcissist hoover you back in?

Usually they left you for a new victim. The were preparing the victim while they were still in the relationship with you. Once the victim was mesmerized and under their spell, then you were discarded with no regard for your feelings or even your financial stability that they may have broken.

They move on to the new victim to elicit narcissistic supply. They sometimes will text . email or call you because they only want to use you in order to make the new victim feel triangulated. They use you to make their new victim feel jealous and threatened, so that they will “behave” better.

This triangulating is how the narcissist gets you to do what he wants  because you feel like he will go with the other person instead. He will lie about how the “other” person is so much better than you. more cooperative than you. less manipulative than you, more reliable than you…whatever.

So you may be being used as the third person of the triangle to torment their current victim.

It may also be that they need you for some other reason, such as their is something they want you to do for them. They will use you until they get what they want and then they will put you through the breakup again, with no closure.

The second discard can be even worse than the first one. Please keep this in mind before you decide to give the narcissist a second chance.

Your reality will be manipulated to the point where you will question your ability to tell reality from non-reality. You will be shamed this time even worse than the first time.

The fact that they were able to lure you back in after abusing you will make them have a stronger contempt for you. They will load you with contempt and disgust until you feel like you are garbage.

Please keep in mind the red flags of abusers and make sure you keep your boundaries.

If someone lures you back in and you keep your boundaries then you will quickly notice when they begin to cross them. You will see how angry they become when you do not abide by their rule of the “double standard”…meaning they can do whatever they want but you have to do what they tell you to do.

Do not allow others to tell you how you should feel, what you should believe or anything about who you are.

Do not allow a partner to tell you that you are too sensitive, or mentally ill, just because you resist letting them control you.

Blessings.

Annie

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