A Narcissist Always Returns (The Hoovering)

why-narcissists-returnA narcissist will always return to an ex-lover to ensure that his narcissistic supply still pines for him and that she never moves on from the pain he has caused her. Referred to as a hoover (or, as I call it, The Hoovering, because it smacks of a scary movie), this return is deliberate and typically won’t occur until the narcissist has been gone just slightly longer than the time before. By timing these reappearances perfectly, the narcissist conditions his victim to not only expect him to come back but also to expect him to come back at a much later date, thus giving him more play time in the interim. All of this is part of the narcissist’s control/validate tactic which, in turn, is all a part of the process of managing down our expectations of the relationship so that we expect less and less and he gets away with more. It’s such a subtle conditioning that victims often don’t even know it’s happening…like a horror show coming soon whether you like it or not.

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As you know, a hoover usually follows a silent treatment (which is really a break-up in disguise, by the way) and comes long after the victim has been completely devastated by the silence. The narcissist may hoover in several different ways and for various reasons, with each hoovering event staged according to that pathological relationship agenda that all narcissists live by.

Click to Book!For example, a narcissist may 1) come back full-on by simply showing up and expecting to pick up right where he left off without a single repercussion, OR 2) not quite ready to return but still wanting to prepare for the possibility, he’ll begin hoovering with a sporadic text or an email or he’ll ring your phone (hanging up before you answer) from either his number or one he knows you’ll recognize and associate with him. With the second type of hoover, any attempts on your part to return the text, call, or email will likely go unanswered because the intention here is not to actually communicate with you but rather to warm you up to the situation…to get you feeling anxious, confused, and maybe even quietly excited about his possible return.

Whatever tactic he uses, the narcissist’s intention is to keep your mind spinning with “what-if’s” so that you never even get a chance to move on. Again, as part of his agenda, this manipulative behavior lays the groundwork for the next discard which, of course, will come faster and with far more crippling intensity than all the ones before. This agenda – which all victims of narcissist abuse are familiar with – is described in great detail in my book When Love Is a Lie. Nothing a narcissist ever does is random and that’s a fact.

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For my narcissist ex, changing cell numbers before a return (and arming himself with a ridiculous excuse as to why he did it) became his preferred tactic for erasing his tracks. I even created a name for this tactic – The Cell Phone Game – and it caused me a good deal of anxiety. It took many years but I finally concluded that the timing of each number change/hoover was directly related to the condition of his relationships and the direction that he felt he had to run.  Of course he never admitted to this,  but I am confident to this day that my theory was spot-on. For 13-years, if he wanted to return, new numbers were not only a hoover but a way to disappear from someone else. Like any good narcissist, he knew exactly how to do it and I’m sure you will find it familiar.

READ  Surviving the Narcissist: A Reflective Q & A

Anywhere from 2-weeks to 3-months after a deafening silence, the hoovering would begin. If my ex intended to return full-on, he’d simply text out-of-the-blue from his new cell number, asking to meet me for a drink (and, sadly, those were the only times he’d ever take me out). If he was just testing the waters and not quite ready for me to have his new number, he’d hoover by giving my phone just a single ring from odd numbers around town belonging to businesses and payphones – numbers that no one in the world except me would ever recognize on a Caller ID. In essence, he’d be counting on me to recall those numbers as the random numbers he used to call me from when we were together and he had no phone at all! And he was right… I always recognized them and would get an instant knot in my stomach. Again, nothing a narcissist does is ever random. Everything is a strategy. With my ex, even the locations from where he’d call me when he had no phone (while we were together) became a way to set the the stage for future hoovering when he didn’t want me to know his new number. And I’m sure that his nonchalant disinterest in taking me out during the good times had much to do with his planning for future hoovers where just a single text (out-of-the-blue) requesting a “date” was all that was needed to grab my attention. Sound far-fetched...or does it sound familiar?

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If you remember nothing else from this article, remember this: a narcissist only hoovers and/or returns to ensure that you never move on from the pain he has caused you. No matter what he tells you, this is the only reason. A narcissist’s intention, after all, is to always keep you in the queue, ready and waiting alongside all the others (and there are always others). Hoovers are stuffed with lies and future-fakery and downright bullshit. It’s a sick game of cat and mouse that will steal years from your life if you allow it. At some point we have to simply say “That’s enough” and refuse to be there when the narcissist returns.

No Contact is the key to escaping The Hoovering and the narcissist’s life-long plan for you. It’s also the only opportunity you’ll ever have for breaking the codependency to hope that the narcissist counts on you to cling to while he’s gone. Remember, the narcissist is never worried about what you’re doing while he’s gone or that you’ve found a better love because he’s conditioned you to wait for him…to wait for the hoover.

It’s time to ignore the subtle signs of hoovering  and get on with your life. No one has a right to manipulate our emotions and it should never be acceptable to any of us. By enabling the narcissist’s behaviors, we set ourselves up to fail each and every time and we deserve better. Say “no more” and mean it! Remain committed to No Contact and to creating your happiness.  I, for one, know you can do it!

Stay strong and I’m here to support you….

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  1. Very insightful, thank you for that introspection. I know that I am not the same person after just over 3 years with an N.

    My last straw, hopefully, is that the last time I saw him, he physically tried to keep me from leaving his apartment. First he sat on my feet and put his chest in my knees to keep me from standing up off his couch, then he chest blocked me backwards after I was able to stand, then he grabbed me by the arms to hold me in place, of course able to overpower me, all the while screaming vicious, terrible things in my face that were untrue. Such as that I was really the asshole all along and I am just like all of his other “fake” friends and that he would be moving out of the state because I am just so mean to him. All the while I was trying to calmly get away from him, I didn’t know if I could get out of the apartment successfully, and taking out my cell to call for help is out of the question as he would have just grabbed it out of my hand as he has a few times prior. My hands were obviously shaking and my voice was cracking. This was the first time that I was actually scared, very scared, of him, for my own physical safety and if he was going to hurt me and if I would be able to escape.

    I did escape, with him yelling at top volume at 3 am, no doubt waking all of his neighbors at the same time, but he did not care because he is right and I am wrong, everyone who would hear this would undoubtedly agree with him, that has been the truth of it for 3 years. Any type of issue that he may admit to causing has always been blamed on me because I “made” him do that or “forced” his hand or left him no other choice.

    Because of this newfound fear, he has never been physically violent prior, I am really hoping to stay No Contact this time. For the last 48 hours the barrage of emails has not stopped, not him admitting fault, but his blaming me for how “mean” I have been to him, how it’s my fault he has stopped eating and not gotten out of bed, how I am forcing him to suffer. Nevermind that he put his hands on me, bruised my arms, pushed me back to keep me from leaving, blocked my path to the door. That I clearly MADE him do as he has no control over his own actions.

    This time I was truly scared and I really hope I can keep up the NC, he IS dangerous, but I have never let it escalate that far in the past, then again he has never physically assaulted me before and that can only get worse if I were to let him back in, unfortunately.

    Some quotes from his newest emails, this probably sounds very familiar to other victims out there! “thanks for traumatizing me yet again”, “Nothing justifies how you treat me”, “It’s all my fault that you were mean to me???”, “You’re just using me anyway… like all of my other no good friends do… I deserve better than this…”, ” sadly I have to change without you in my life… I don’t want to… yet I don’t want to keep being hurt by you… and you just don’t understand…”, “I don’t know what else to do… but you really need to accept responsibility for pushing me away pushing me away”, “I cannot take the pain anymore… you will just keep abusing me if I stay I will keep letting you come back… because I love you…”, “It is VERY traumatizing because I love you so much and you just keep hurting me”, and the cherry on the cake, “I need love and healing… please no more meanness and cruelty from you… I did nothing to hurt you… please STOP hurting me… I love you xxxooo.”

    Any of that sound familiar? I’ve got 3 years worth of this type of N created dramatic fiction. Thanks for reading.

  2. Zari,
    You’re even more spot on as time goes by–incredible.
    Yes, everything you say is true of me and him.
    However, I DID block him on my phone. Yet his texts are there to come thru, because blocking only stops the notification. However, when I check other peoples’ texts, I see his, too.
    But let’s be brutally honest: YES, somehow I do still want to see what he has to say.
    As for Facebook, email, ets., we never had each others’ social media or mail (HOWEVER, last year his Facebook was a huge fight for us, because I’d yelled at him for not inviting me and posting me as his girlfriend (HUH, wonder WHY??!! SARCASM…. ). He claimed that he’d just delete his FB (but he still gets notifications. I mentioned it again, and he claimed it’s because He “did delete the damned Facebook, but it still notifies” him. Yeah, okay. And that is a prime example of his Managing Down My Expectations and My Not Wanting another Confrontation, even when I knew the truth.
    As for his “silent treatment”:
    Last Wednesday when he turned the tables on me like never before and murdered me for good, by taunting me, withholding sex and destryoing me, I WAS THE ONE WHO RAN OFF< LEFT< AND BROKE UP WITH HIM.
    This is exactly how it happens every time.
    He provokes chaos, then I LEAVE.
    On Wednesday thru Friday he cussed and abused me in the worst ways (as always).
    By Friday night he apologized profusely and by Saturday he begged me to return to him.
    He even used my upcoming custody court of this Wednesday and me needing him to go with me (we had previuosly plAnned for him to support me at court–WHICH IS PROBABLY AMONG THE REASONS HE PULLED THE HUGE CHAOS MOVE LAST WEDNESDAY, SO THAT HE WOULDN'T HAVE TO GO WITH ME).
    Since Saturday, Sunday, Monday (today), he's been texting AND calling and leaving voicemails, begging me to come back. GET THIS: HE EVEN TOTALLY PRETENDS WE NEVER BROKE UP. HE TEXTS ME THESE MESSAGES, SAYING HE CANNOT MARRY SOMEONE WHO KEEPS RUNNING AWAY EVERY TIME SHE DOESNT GET HER WAY AND THAT IF I WANT HIM TO MARRY ME, AS WE TALKED ABOUT, I MUST IMMEDIATLY CALL HIM TO DISCUSS THIS (sickooooo).
    Then when I continue to ignore him, he texts about how he's on his way to the healthstore (MY favorite–he could care less about health food) and that if I want to join him, I MUST call him NOW, or else he'll have to go without me.
    When I still ignore, he texts that (and GET THIS): He simply cannot put up with this bullshit and that he'll have to break up with me if I don't change my ways (if I wasn't so deeply depressed, this would be comical).
    Then he'll switch gears and text that he never meant to hurt my feelings last Wednesday (that's "all" he did? "Just hurt" my feelings???!! He actually destroyed me) and that he's sorry and that next time he'll be careful because I'm sensitive.
    Wow.

    And before you berate me for not fully or properly blocking him (you do have that right), please remember your own position when you first went NC.

    BTW:
    Reading an glued to your WONDERFUL BOOKS. LOVE LOVE THEM.

    • Wounded & Ill wroteAnd before you berate me for not fully or properly blocking him (you do have that right), please remember your own position when you first went NC.

      I’m sure you didn’t mean that statement to sound as it sounds but I still have to respond to it for the sake of others who see it. The truth is that I don’t “berate” anybody about anything here and I certainly don’t need to be reminded of my own position at any time during my relationship. Moreover, I don’t presume to have a “right” to “berate” anyone even if I wanted to (which I don’t). I simply call it as I see it and the fact is that you wrote to me several posts back in what appeared to be dire straights, asking for the books (which I sent), and asking for my help. You described an absolute MONSTER, far worse than many of the narcs and sociopaths described on this website…a man who you believe hates you so much that he might have killed you. In fact, in your first two posts you use words such as “murder”, “destroy”, “kill”, “die”, “rape”, “sexually traumatize” and so forth to describe his action and intention and by the third post, I’m thinking Why is this douchebag still able to contact her??. This guy seems to be ALL ABOUT the texting as a means of control and if you want to at least TRY to distance yourself, that part has to end. You can do whatever you want but I’m always going to tell you like it is.

      My mission here is to try to help others from making the same mistakes that I did, dragging out the nonsense for 13-years. What a complete waste of time it all is and life is so horribly short to begin with. And the experience I speak from is no more important than anyone else’s…I just happened to be one of those who created a website and wrote a few books about it that’s all. When it was happening to me, I would have done anything to have someone tell me straight up what would happen if I did this or didn’t do that. So that’s what I do. I make predictions all day long and, from what I’m told, I’ve never been wrong. It’s not because I’m psychic or smarter than others or have the inside scoop…it’s because the narc/spath is PREDICTABLE. When we’re in it up to our chins, it’s hard to see the predictability AND THIS IS BECAUSE THE NARC LIKES TO KEEP US DISTRACTED BY CONSTANT TEXTS AND LIES AND FUTURE-FAKING AND SILENT TREATMENTS. THE NARC DOES THIS ON PURPOSE..TO KEEP US CONFUSED AND ADDICTED TO THE VERY DRAMA THAT WE HATE. Therefore, by exposing his bullshit, I GET TO BE THE NARCISSIST OR SOCIOPATH’S WORST FUCKING NIGHTMARE.

      While we have no control over other people’s behaviors, we really do have total control over our reactions to it.

      Stay strong!

      Zari:)

      • No, I didn’t mean that way and I did specify that, so you wouldn’t take it the wron way.
        I was very extremely thankful and appreciative (and still am) at your generosity with the books.
        However, after reading your latest response, i was just as extremely taken aback–so much so, in fact, that I waited SEVERAL days before responding, as I am now.
        Sites such as these are for very wounded, sad people like all of us here, because we are like children who are just finding our way(some are more or less advanced, but we are still hurt and hoping to find a way out and to become better-learned people).
        HENCE, WE DO NOT NEED OR DESERVE JUDGEMENT, IN ANY FORM.
        Yet JUDGEMENT is what I got from your latest response–that, and a need for you to SAVE FACE with your readers. You even stated it, yourself.
        Your first and foremost priority was to save face, not give valuable advice and kindness and lack of judgement.
        I do not appreciate that.
        Listen, I do not claim and never will claim to be “wisest of them all.”
        That’s the reason I came here–hoping for a place of patience, sound advice, and some little bit of sympathy.
        Before I wrote a single word, I read a few comments that sounded pretty lame/ But I saw that you never judged those people. Hence, I thought I was safe.
        So in my own comments I revealed that perhaps I didn’t completely block him or go NC as I should have. And that’s wrong of me.
        BUT FOR ALL INTENTS AND PURPOSES HERE, AT THIS SITE, WHO GIVES A FLIP??!!
        Aren’t we here to help each other and not sit in the seat of jugement or even sound as if we are?
        WOW, Zari.
        We talk about our experiences with Narcissism.
        Isn’t that what you may slightly be guilty of, when your first and foremost objective was to save face with your readers and to make it known that you whatever, whatever, whatever (AND PUT ME IN MY PLACE)?

        Nevermind.

        Thank you for the books.
        I will continue to read them, as I find them valuable.
        But I’ll excuse myself from this particular site.
        Perhaps one size does not fit all.
        No hard feelings.

        And again, thank you for your initial help and kindness–I will always appreciate it.

        • Dear Wounded & Ill,

          Well then I guess things have been misunderstood on both ends and I am sorry for that. I responded because I wanted you to understand something not because I wanted to “save face” about anything. If I wanted to “save face”, I could have just as easily not posted our conversation. It was the use of the word “berate” that I took offense to, that’s all, and I made a point of saying that you probably didn’t mean that. However, I’m just a regular person and it did put me on the defensive. I wanted you to understand that if I reiterate the importance of blocking it’s not to berate you but to remind you. No body has a right to berate – or judge – anybody in this life. I guess the best response from me should have been no response but given the precarious nature of your situation, it’s hard for me to say nothing. When it comes to narcissism in relationships, I feel we need to be straight-up with each other. I don’t see how sugar-coating anything does any good when we’re trying to understand what’s happening. But judging and berating…that’s not my purpose here.

          I’m sorry that we misunderstood each other. I wish for you nothing but the best. Please stay strong and let this animal go. His “bad” is as good as it gets. Life is so short and years fly by so fast. He’ll waste your precious time until the END of time if you allow it. You deserve to shine and be happy and only you can make that happen:)

          Zari xo

          • It sounds as though you’re in an emotional state where you aren’t ready for and/or very sensitive to criticism, since you are still hurting and probably got enough put downs from the narc. It will get better. I’m at the stage (as you can tell by my comments) that I’m glad she’s out of my life. You will get there too.

          • Hi Greg,

            Emotional about what? 3 1/2 years out, life is very good. This blog is here so that we can all learn from each other and hopefully not make the same mistakes. It also serves as validation and confirmation for those who had no idea what they were dealing with. Like so many others here, my story is proof that there is life after the narc and it can be better than ever. Perhaps you’re not quite there yet but you will be too….

            Zari:)

  3. Zari,
    I need your help.
    I am very ill this morning.
    I don’t know how I drove back, yesterday, after all of that.
    Yes, he came back, but only to finish me off, this time.
    I and I fell for it all.
    And when he did finish me off, it was abrupt and without warning (except for all of the many, many red flags that I again seen but again chose to ignore).

    Any way you can do phone consultations and send me your books?
    I do not have the money, but I am in sever pain–very tremendous pain.

  4. Zari,
    Please help me.
    I am extremely wounded and sick.
    He did all of things you say–to the T.
    After a year and a half, when I’d finally detached, he called me and (due to my sexual addiction and hurt and obsession with a new guy) I went back to him (in desperation).
    And then he made all these new “promises” of a new home, he used the sexual moves that I loved and craved—but then, yesterday, completely left me high and dry sexually and told me he hates doing those sexual moves for me.
    He wanted to just fvck me dry.
    I became desperate and took marijuana, had a horrible reaction, started sobbing and begging for sexx (the first time I’d ever done that!!!) and he said okay, but that he did not want to “give it to me sexually” but hes do it as a favor.
    It was the most degrading, sickening, painful thing ever (and I been thru a LOT before in my life, but this was the WORST!!).
    Afterwards, despite feeling so attached and codependent, i then left him mid ejaculation (so he knows how it feels) and, under the influence, I shakily drove home.
    I was ill at home and still, today, I am ill, so ill.
    He has been texting me repeatedly, saying he changed the locks, he will calll police, cussing me, and more(All the same things he has a done a million times before).
    I don’t think I can recover from this one.
    My pain is too much.
    Yeah, I see a shrink, but she is of no help.

    I really need your book.
    Please.
    But I am broke, broker than broke.

    But please, can you send me your book for free?
    I need to learn.
    And I am desperate.

    • Hi Wounded,

      I sent my books in PDF format to the email that you used to post here. I hope you find them helpful and validating. Let me know how your doing, girl, and stay strong….

      Zari:)

      • Zari,
        Thank you immensely for your reply.
        Your knowledge is uncanny.
        Even while I initially read your articles here, the sociopath was and is Hovering.
        I mean, he always did do that during his previous discards, but in this final Nd most traumatic discard, he was and is now doing it again.
        With you, yours would use the random phone numbers as “Your Song.”
        In my case, the sociopath uses my old angry voicemails as “our Song.”
        What he does is text me 4 days days worth of horrible insults, cussing, and other abuse.
        On the fifth day hell apologize and apologize some more.
        On the fifth night hell text me my old angry voicemails, as his way of saying that I made mistakes too, so I should forgive him.
        Bullshit!!
        This last discard was the murder.
        He had planned this all along. And this time he meant to destroy and finish me off.
        Yesterday I was so ill, that I checked myself into treatment.
        The woman there said that he’s not just a narcissist, but a full blown sociopath and that eventually he would have lost it and literally killed me.
        I agreed. Either he’d have killed me or I would have died.
        And this time, there is no option of going going back to him at any point for any reason.
        What he did this time, showed me how much he secretly hated me and how immensely dangerous and sinister he is.
        He used my my sexual addiction against me, withheld sex after he took me to the edge, then told me how much he couldn’t stand me–all this, literally six minutes after he had sweetly texted me to come home so that he could “rock my world and do all the things” I loved him to do to me.
        Hot and freezing cold in only a matter of six minutes.
        After I left, high on edible weed (because of the horrible devastation) and drove back to my own home totally high and sobbing, I broke up with Jim.
        The abusive texts started only seconds after that and continued for five days.
        Now he’s in the hovering stage.
        Zari,
        I’m literally wounded and sick, still.
        This time there is no return, even if I wanted (which I don’t). “Return” is an option that does not exist.
        AND, he did all this after I gave him all of my trust, after I fell back into love with him,matter I constantly bought him groceries and got him all the other things that he liked. After I did so much for him.
        How does any man, ANYONE ever destroy and kill a good, decent, wonderful woman?..
        If I were a man, I would do anything on Earth to at least keep the one and only one woman who did so much for me, was more than willing to have sex with me, and was loyal and always there!!
        So I don’t get it…????
        Anyways, I am deeply tore up and hurt.
        Betrayal so swift and unreedeemable.
        I blocked him, yes.
        But his texts come through regardless.
        He won’t call. But he will text.
        His texts have slowed down and petered out, almost.
        But now he is in the hover stage.
        I truly wish he would go away and disappear.
        During previous discards, I always wished for him to return.
        But now I really wish for him to leave me the hell alone.
        I’m in so much pin Nd I’m so bitter and sick Nd ill.
        And I cano thank you enough for your books and your kindness.
        Thank you so much, Zaria.

        P.S.
        Do these DEMONS roll of an assembly line?.,,
        They are EXACTLY as you and everyone else, online, describe.
        To the very letter!

        • Hi Wounded,

          Even my thinking has evolved since writing the book and corresponding and talking with literally 100’s if not 1000’s of people just like you and me. This is what I’ve concluded (in a nutshell) about these monsters:

          1. Every day, all day, it’s all about what they can get away with. That’s it. This is why they lie even when the truth is a better story. To a narcissist/sociopath, it’s easier to lie 24/7 than to have to come up with a story every once in awhile…so they just lie all the time. If they can actually get away with it (which they usually do) they step it up.

          2. A narc/sociopath sees EVERYONE on the same emotional level…meaning he cares no more about you than he does about his friends, his coworkers, his family, or even the girl at the grocery store who bagged his groceries. This is why he can leave us w/o blinking an eye. He just walks in and out of compartments telling lies (or what we need to hear so that he gets what he wants), having sex, blowing us off…whatever he feels like! But we really do mean NOTHING. What crippled me was thinking that he loved me but still could hurt me. When I realized that I was no more important to him than the teller who cashes his check, I felt free. I’ve concluded that while we’re not anymore important than anyone else in his life, we are, however, the most convenient and THAT is what he hates to give up.

          As for the assembly line, I see it that way. These people are the defective product that got chucked off the evolution assembly line yet still found a way out of the factory and into the general population. They know how to read people and to mimic emotions and this is the con.

          Now, while all sociopaths are narcissists, not every narc is a sociopath. Narcissism is the foundation and the thing that separates a narc from a sociopath from a psychopath is THE LEVEL OF MOTIVATION TO BE EVIL. For me, this is where I see the scales tip from one label to the next.

          If you’re in treatment, stay there. CHANGE YOUR PHONE NUMBER OR LOSE YOUR PHONE. HIS TEXTS SHOULDN’T BE COMING THROUGH IF YOU REALLY BLOCKED HIM. Cut this motherfucker off and get better. It’s time to change – and save – the rest of your life.

          Zari xo

          • Zari,
            I WAS very tempted to call you an alien from a whole different planet–one unheard of
            (BECAUSE EVERYTHING YOU STATE IS SO SPOT ON).
            However, I thought about it: Of course you know best, because YOU’VE BEEN THROUGH IT.
            EXPERIENCE IS THE BEST EVER KNOWLEDGE.

            Now, it does hurt to know that I never meant shit to him.
            But this is REALITY AND I MUST FACE IT.
            Truth is I knew this long ago about him (and all the other sociopaths–parents, relatives, “friends” in my life), but I chose to ignore it all. THAT was what did me in this time.
            I take full responsibility.
            Had I faced the truth, I would have never gone back to him, regardless of the reason.
            Zari, this one is one Hell of a monster.
            Yeah, many other women say the same thing about their N’s.
            But JESUS! This is one EVIL s.o.b.!
            As we speak, he is texting apologies and rationalizing.
            He even called just now, to “cjeck” on me.
            I am no longer flattered–the OLD, many discards ago, would have been.
            But once I faced the truth (I had NO choice, aas this time he nearly raped me and then sexually traumatized me–for all intents and purposes, he murdered me out of his life. YES, he knew what he was doing).

            Aside from all of that , I want to know something:
            Do you know anything about this:
            If someone is still hanging on to you, in his mind, and refuses to let go–eventhough the two of you have NO contact at all–can that somehow manifest into YOU not being able to find another man or somehow keep other men away from you?

            Again, you have my deepest gratitude, just for being a decent human being and answering my dire call for help.
            You deserve a great life, Zari.

          • Hi Wounded and Ill,

            To answer your question (bolded in your post), sure it can manifest in that way but only if you allow it. First of all, why is this monster of a man still able to text you or contact you in any way? THIS is the very reason blocking him from all avenues of communication – texting, calling, emailing, social media, via mutual friends – is the biggest and most important step of all. As long as he can still contact you – even with ridiculous benign 3-word texts like “U okay?” or “Just checking on you” – he is still the winner. To a narcissist, it’s even MORE fun to control you via a text message than it is to control you in person! Doing it via text or some similar form, he can still go about his business while you wait for the next one to come in. Sure, we can say we don’t care anymore about his hoovering but the truth is that as long as we know a text or call may pop up at any moment, we’ll wait for it and never move along. And they will play this too….texting all the time during a break-up and then suddenly not texting at all. We feel good while he’s hoovering US but then when he stops, the rush of our control goes down the tubes and we may even go back in for another round. HE KNOWS HOW WE WORK.

            Block him at all costs. If he can come to your door, don’t answer it. He’ll go away. Ultimately, narcs aren’t that motivated to keep chasing us and they will eventually stop if we do all we can do to block. IF YOU DON’T BLOCK HIM (REMOVE HIS ABILITY TO CONTACT YOU) THEN YOU ARE HANGING ONTO HIM ACTUALLY MORE THAN HE IS TO YOU…AND HE KNOWS IT. He doesn’t even care if you respond as long as he knows it will go through and you will look at it. Keeping connected in this way WILL keep you from moving on and eventually finding a decent person a while down the road.

            Zari xo

  5. I keep getting calls at work where I pick up the phone and it sounds like the caller hung up. Could it be her? Is that also a hoovering technique?

    • Hi Greg,

      While I can’t guarantee that it’s her making the calls, this is definitely one of their narcissistic tricks/hoovering techniques to get your attention. It’s unfortunate for you if this indeed is whats happening…

      Zari:)

      • Thanks for replying. Long story short, it’s not her making the calls. I consider that a blessing. I am ready to accept that she’s out of my life. I realize now that she didn’t really like me, much less love or respect me. My feeling now is that she is an amoral pig who allowed life to destroy her. It might not be her fault she’s a narc, but it’s not my fault either. I will no longer allow her to take it out on me!

        • Greg wrote…It might not be her fault she’s a narc, but it’s not my fault either. I will no longer allow her to take it out on me! Amen to that!

          Stay strong, brother…

          Zari xo

  6. I meant this NPD about 6 years ago he started off with all the love bombing, fake future trips and having a family and home together.You name it he did it.Such a good charmer and liar he was. But it was always something about him that just didn’t sit well with me and also the fact that I caught him in an with an married coworker of mine in the hallway gazing in each other’s eyes in away that you knew something was going on with them. So I shut him down after that for about 8 months or so. And then fell sorry for him and starting missing him and again starting talking to him again. What a big mistake!! The same mess all over again and even worse. He staring disappearing more and lying even more because during the time of the break up he had gotten into another relationship with someone and moved in with them I believe he was messing around with during the time he was talking to me which turned out to be a man. Can you believe this? How when I found this out and called him on it he immediately acted like he didn’t know what I was about and of course to this day has not admitted being gay or even apologize. He has started an smear campaign for me because I went no contact on him but still looks for every opportunity to try and talk to me. What kind of mess is this? And is also getting married in a couple months to his gay lover someone told me they have their wedding announcement all over social media. These are very sick people in all the days of my life I have never seen anything like this before in my life. I have been on such an emotional rollercoaster behind this and to this I just continue to ask God to help me through this horrible experience. I trust and believe that God take care of these horrible animals that find Joy in hurting others. Karma!!!

  7. Hi Zari, I am in need of advice. My relationship with XN started 11 years ago. The first year and half was lovey dovey,It all changed when I got pregnant and ultrasound scan showed the baby was a girl. He disappeared two weeks later. Mutual friends told me he was shagging anything that opened her legs.He would occasionally turn up drunk, I wouldn’t let him in so he slept on my doorstep. He’d leave the next morning after I would refuse to talk or let him in. Two weeks before I gave birth he demanded to be at the birth and on her birth certificate. He gave me no peace. We went to counselling, I was told not to take him back. I allowed him to be at the birth, along with my 14 year old daughter (not his) and my mother. When our Baby daughter was 7 months old, he begged forgiveness and asked if he could live with us, he wanted to be a dad.. I forgave and he moved in. Six weeks later I was pregnant again. Scan showed a boy, our son. His behaviour has always been his way or no way, he takes and takes while I always gave and gave Never ending verbal abuse..I felt trapped. A teenager and two babies. As soon as my teenager turned 18, she moved out, sick of his bullshit and drama. My teenager is now a 23 lady, our daughter is 9 and our son is almost 8. XN ruined every one of my eldest daughter’s birthdays,I ended our relationship on the night of her 22nd, because he caused drama In the 7 years we lived together I was only allowed out with my eldest daughter once. he publicly humiliated me on several occasions, he twisted my words, denied any wrong doing, blamed me for his behaviour For 3 years I had an inflamed stomach, on the verge of ulcers My credit card debt totalled $9000. When I kicked him out, he called the children into the room and told them I was kicking him out but he didn’t want to go but Mummy’s making me. He has made my life a total hell.For months the children have blamed me. 3 days after he left he rang begging forgiveness. I stood my ground and said NO. A week later he came to see the children and he told me “our relationship is over, I’m seeing someone else and I’m getting a Lawyer, I’m taking the kids”. I got legal advise, for the next couple of months he was having the children every second weekend. I was getting abusive phonecalls and txt messages. I blocked him and his family from Facebook. One weekend I went to pick up the children and he took our son out of my car and refused to let me take him. I got our son back the following evening. We are currently in the court process, he wants shared care. every weekend he has them he buys them toys. In the last year he has broken up with new girlfriend, been picking up girls on online dating sites and has got back together with girlfriend and is about to move in with her. I have been pressured into letting him have the children 6 nights a fortnight, he’s now pushing for more XN has told me he is always going to be in my life..I have had my dog stolen and returned 3 days later, I have had prowlers around my house. I am currently having group counselling with other ladies which has been a great support for me. What I want to know is how do I make this STOP? I have little to no evidence of his abuse, everyone thinks he’s wonderful, a great dad and charming and funny. Meanwhile he’s mentally torturing me. I have made it so there is no physical contact between us only email and only about the children. But I can’t help feeling he is only using the children to hurt me more. In the past 3 months I have become alot stronger, I am finding myself again, the children are happy in my care and they are telling me things that are happening that they aren’t happy about. Our daughter is showing behaviour like XN’s when she doesn’t get her way, which I calmly tell her, “Your behaviour is rude and mean. That’s not how people treat each other”. I feel drained and foolish.I am usually a “can it do” and “this to shall pass” kind of woman. But lately I feel like my sanity is holding on by a thin thread

    • Hi Barb,

      Wow…he sounds like a complete asshole and, yes, I have no doubt he is using the children as pawns in his mission to make your life a living hell FOREVER. You have done pretty much all you can do except manage the control. Do you have a court order for all of this? I hope so. The father of my son (not the narc of my books – another one) put me through hell and back after our divorce. He’d take my son, refuse to give him back, move all over town so that I never knew where my son was when he had him, and everything was court-ordered even. But at some point, I had to call enough is enough.

      The only protection you have against him is DETACHMENT and INDIFFERENCE. With those two non-emotions and a practice, you can take back control. Show him NO EMOTION no matter what he does. So much of the bullshit is fake intimidation because the truth is that what are they going to do to us that they haven’t already done? They love it if we’re fearful….it makes them want to do more horrible things to scare us! Emails should be short and to the point and if they AREN’T about the kids, they should be ignored. All phone calls or verbal communication should be kept to a MAXIMUM of ten minutes. If he starts going off on a tangent, hang up. He should be made to stick to a schedule so that you’re not guessing when he’s taking the kids and when he’s not. Be confident in court and don’t give in to something that you aren’t comfortable with.

      It’s all a bunch of nonsense and we can’t allow them to waste more time out of our lives than they already have. So much of what you wrote is familiar to me. Stay strong and take your power back! I’m here to support you…

      Zari xo

      As for the other types of abuse, I would put up video surveillance cameras where they can be seen. These cameras aren’t that expensive when ordered online and you only need one or two. They can be connected to any smart phone so that you can always be watching or to any PC. If you can’t says “this house is being monitored”. The fake ones light up and look exactly like the real ones. Also get a sensored outside light for the front that goes on if anyone comes within 20 feet at night. You can get them anywhere for under $30.00. Be pro-active. You must do this. It will give you peace of mind and show him that you know whats up even if you can’t prove it RIGHT NOW. The criminal abuse will come to a halt and fast! You don’t have to make a big deal about putting up cameras or the light….just do it.

      • Thank-you Zari,
        I updated to a smartphone last week. My Electrician is coming this week to move my security lights to a better position and install cameras.
        The only contact is through email. I attend to his complaints silently, without reply.
        We have an interim court order, our case being reviewed again April/May.
        Now I need to work on detachment, indifference and no emotion. I’ve decided the best I can do for myself, is to positively focus on my relationship with my children and start living my life, my way. Find the strong woman I was before he came into my life.
        Thanks again for your wise words and support,
        Barb
        Thanks again for

        • Hi Barb,

          Yes, DETACHMENT and INDIFFERENCE is key and it does take practice. The way that I look at it, if you keep all interaction (especially face to face) to a MAX of TEN MINUTES and no more, there is NOTHING you can’t fake for ten minutes, know what I mean? Even if you remain completely stoic for a short conversation and then shut the door and beat the wall for an hour, all he’ll remember is that you didn’t give in to his button-pushing and it will begin to freak him out. Practice makes perfect! If you mess up, you simply start again the next time. It’s really for YOU anyway so that you can get your sanity back…who gives a shit what he thinks or his girlfriend thinks or the world around him thinks?? It has to be about YOU and the children and being the best mom and NARCISSIST-FREE WOMAN you can be!

          Zari xo