22 Jan

“Hoovering” is a term that describes the way a Narc (or similar) abuser tries to bring the victim back into the fold, make them feel sorry for the Narc, or heap obligations onto them until they are vacuumed right back into the abusive situation. I’ve been familiar with this term for the last few months and I have let myself be drawn back into the abuse in the hope that if I had the knowledge to call him on his bullshit I could fight back and he would see what was happening and understand that he needed to change if we were to stay together.

Obviously, he is not interested in my feelings or what I need to live a fulfilled life – it’s all about HIS needs and wants and I am nothing more than a means to that end.

Today went pretty well, considering how it started. Since I was already up, I put on some thermal bibs and (after Awana and I took the dog to the dog park for a much needed romp) headed outside (it wasn’t much warmer inside anyway) and put insulation on the water hose and attempted to hook up the drain hose. Yep. I need more drain hose. It wasn’t even close. The box may say the hose is ten feet long, but it won’t stretch that far and it has to be loose to drain properly.

I gave up and went to work where it was (obviously) slow enough to allow me to blog. I did a final e-mail check because I planned to make a quick trip to Fred Meyer in the hope that they carry more drain hose and then I wanted to come home and veg in front of the TV with a silly movie and just not move or think until early tomorrow. I am tired. So very tired after so many short nights in a row. Fatigue has caught up with me and I need some serious Z’s for the next two very busy days.

This toxic missive was waiting in my inbox. The subject line is “furniture” so I knew I should open it. (Bold are my comments):

When you come on Thursday, I don’t know what you intend to take, so I thought I’d make a list of what I’d like to keep and one of things we own in common that you might want.
Bed not a chance I want that
Old cedar chest (my clothes box) His
Couch His
Recliner chair from D His
Coffee table (TV table) His
Can I have the old Pfaff sewing machine? It’s the only machine that will sew heavy canvas goods and I could use it to make money. It was given to me by a mutual friend and I really want it. What say you?

You are welcome to the treadle, if you want it. Not a chance – it’s a POS and I have no room for anything that is not useful
The rugs are yours (I assume you don’t want the old rag in the bedroom.) Really? He bought them. I think this is a ploy to see how much space I have
If you have room for the dining room table, please take it. Glass top. I hate it – it always looks dirty and it’s his
You are welcome to the coat rack next to my desk, if you want it. Again, not a chance. It’s his.
Please chose any lamps you want, but please leave me a couple, one for the bedroom and one for the living room (if you like the old lamp you fixed, please take it) There are a grand total of three floor lamps in the whole place. I did buy two of them, but neither is a prize and I have plenty of light thanks to all the built-in lights in Towanda. No thanks
The foam pad you covered was much too big for the boat, so I brought it back and it’s yours Manky old foam, even if it is covered in nice fabric is still manky old foam good for nothing here
The antique dresser and mirror next to the bed is yours Nope. He has a great story of how he acquired it to store for a friend who is now dead. I hate it as the drawers are all messed up and hard to open and close
The big leather chair and ottoman are yours, if you want Not a chance, even if they would fit through Towanda’s door
You are welcome to the old rocker, please take it. Again, nope – it belonged to his grandmother and is so uncomfortable that no one can sit in it for more than three minutes
The armoir -or portable closet, don’t know what it’s calledΒ  πŸ˜‰Β  is yours, I’ll empty it. It’s a wardrobe, dickwad, and we’ve both called it a wardrobe since you bought it. While it is nice, it will not fit through the door here, so nope, not interested.

I miss you so much it hurts deep. You are all I had to live for. All else is just fluff and filler. I told you a couple weeks ago I would do anything (and quit doing others), anything to make you happy and make up for what I’ve done and I meant it. Whatever. So very many promises, so very many lies. I’m done. Furniture will not lure me back, nor will even more promises that you never intend to keep.

My physical reaction was immediate and violent – nausea. I nearly hurled onto the shop floor. My gut squirmed and I had such a strong feeling of revulsion you would think I had just swallowed mayonnaise. I detest mayo. And eggs. This was eggs covered in mayo and forced into my mouth and down my throat. Harshed my mellow, Itellyouwhat.

I closed the shop, heart heavy, a cloud of gloom hanging over me. I knew it was just a knee-jerk reaction that he has trained me to have, so I began to talk myself into a better place. I am just so tired today.

Dragged myself to the store for hose and Awana (A from here on out) called. Just what I needed. That girl can heap abuse on a man πŸ™‚ I feel loads better now, but very tired.

I will answer his note tomorrow and cancel Thursday. I will reschedule for next week and send a list of the things that I want, which are all mine, no question. I don’t want his shit, material or psychic.

My reaction to his e-mail tells me that I am not ready to face him even if it means his next contact might be to tell me he’s burning my stuff in the yard. I can let it go with no pain. I’m out, I’m whole and I’m not going to be hoovered back by that asshole. Ain’t gonna happen.

And three people said they loved my hair, so, yeah, I still rock! πŸ™‚


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20 responses to “Hoovering

  1. JackieP

    January 22, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    Well, my advice (yeah I know I’m opinionated. but I have been where you are now) don’t go back for anything till you feel ready! No matter what he whines about. He is going to throw more and more at you if you let him. If you have to, delete his emails without reading them. Or just email him back and say don’t contact you anymore. YOU will contact him. Period.
    I have a favorite saying that I coined when I left my ex. It goes like this…..
    YOU control the situation, The situation does NOT control you!
    It helped me when mine got whiny and needy.

    • Sofia Leo

      January 23, 2013 at 7:48 am

      That’s how I feel – he knows I’m vulnerable and will do anything to bring me close enough to “move in for the kill” so to speak to make me feel obligated to come back. I know this and will resist with everything I have. The thing I most fear is that he will make me angry and emotional until I confess how and where I’m living and then he will show up and life will go on just as it always had with him berating me for my decisions and me being an emotional wreck. Having a safe place to get away from him is so important right now.

      You can be as opinionated as you want to be on this here blog – never worry about offending me. I know how valuable each comment is because you all have been there already and are only here to help me.

      • JackieP

        January 23, 2013 at 9:04 am

        Thank you for understanding why I give my opinion. I have been there and I know it’s scary, and your temper wants to flare.

        That’s why I counseled before to stay calm no matter what. If he gets you that upset then shut him down. Erase his emails, hang the phone up. Do whatever you need to do to shut him down! He knows exactly what he is doing. He wants to make you so upset that you will give yourself away. Don’t let him win! Once he sees you will not let him upset you he will back off a bit. May not last long, but will give you a breathing space.

  2. Awana

    January 23, 2013 at 2:37 am

    This sounds a whole lot like my mother trying to control me by making me burden myself with CRAP she thought I would “need”. (Since I am too poor, stupid and slow to get stuff–the correct stuff– myself.) It is a kind of weird, psycho thing like you MUST wear these old-timey dress clothes or you will be the horrifying butt of town gossip; so tacky and tasteless. Quite the contrary. I have a LOT of stuff I still drag around because she dumps it on me like it is a gift, and I feel bad about letting it go. It is a sad thing. You can have the miserable crap I can’t let go of, and I’ll get new nice stuff. It’s a depression-era thing, but control is control no matter how you slice it. I am tired of being the garbage can for other people’s guilt=misguided materialism. Children are so easily used this way. So–don’t take any old junk you don’t want–it is a trick. It is not a gift. You are not here on this earth to save it from salvage. And, I am sure many people could explain this better in psychological terms.

    • Sofia Leo

      January 23, 2013 at 7:57 am

      Ah, but if she hadn’t “dumped” all of those turtleneck shirts on you I wouldn’t be able to toss my old ones out now πŸ™‚ I hear ya! It feels like a trap to see what kind of “hole” I’ve crawled into – if I refuse rugs, furniture, lamps, etc. he can ask if I’ve bought new (and who paid for it,) or if my new Sugar Daddy has a houseful of furniture, or am I just living in my car? Ain’t gonna work!

      Between the two of us we’ll get you cleaned out – if Mama sends you something you don’t want or need, just give it to me (that’s what re-gifting is for) and I’ll donate it for you. You can tell Mama that you have a friend (or two or four or however many it takes) who needed just.that.thing. and you passed it on. Christian Charity and all that if she asks why πŸ™‚ She’s hundreds of miles away and shouldn’t be able to push your buttons so easily. Just sayin’ πŸ™‚

    • Janine

      January 23, 2013 at 9:08 am

      Awana, I do what they can’t. I say OK, thanks! And then dump it in the dumpster. Sometimes you just have to “help” out that way πŸ˜‰ My MIL is notorious for dumping her shit. It gets deposited in the trash pretty quickly and you know what? She never even asks about it. If she ever does decide to ask some day, I will either fess up or tell her I left it with her pathetic miserable son when I left his sorry ass. Maybe she will think twice about handing off her shit to me. I saw her giving her old crap to her grandchildren one day…poor things! If she does it to my son, he will learn to say “No thank you” or “Thanks!” and off to the trash it goes. Don’t feel bad about trashing it or donating it, it is very liberating. She “gifts” it to you because she can’t bear to do what needs to be done…throw the crap out!

  3. Melanie

    January 23, 2013 at 3:24 am

    I wouldn’t cancel Thursday. Get it over with. It will be a cloud hanging over you and give him more time to email and manipulate you. You don’t want to see him, and you’re not ready, but will you be next week or will it be harder because he has had more time to go all narc and pathetic on you? The longer you wait the more likely he is to destroy what you want, and the longer you have to think, ponder, worry about going back. Get your stuff, and get out for good, for once and for all. Once you have your stuff there is nothing to contact you about and you can tell him to stop, and if he doesn’t, you can take legal action. He still has a string to pull your heart and he will keep pulling and pulling and pulling and using your stuff to do it. I know it will be hard, panic-inducing hard, but you don’t have to do it alone. Plus, he’s really going to shit his pants when he sees your hair, so there’s something positive.

    • Sofia Leo

      January 23, 2013 at 8:02 am

      I don’t feel organized enough this morning to contemplate where to put all the stuff that’s still with him. I need to talk to one of the ladies at knitting tonight and see if her offer of the use of her guys still stands. Don’t know yet how it will all shake out, but I do know that I’ve pretty much let the stuff go in my mind. It can all be replaced with not too much effort, so really, what am I worried about. It doesn’t feel like a cloud, just a slightly annoying fly buzzing in the window over there. I don’t feel him pulling me, so he’s not doing a very good job of it πŸ™‚

      He will shit his pants over my hair, and I expect him to have plenty to say about it, but I’ve stopped listening πŸ™‚

  4. Lee

    January 23, 2013 at 5:22 am

    Take the sewing machine. It’s yours. If he wants one, he can jolly well find his own friend to give him one! πŸ™‚

    And for heaven’s sake, don’t send him a list ahead of time of what you’re going to take! For him, that would be pure gold–sterling narc currency to jerk you around with. Just go in with backup as soon as you possibly can, take what you want, don’t talk or listen to him while you’re there, and get out. If you leave him a lot of crap to deal with, think of it as come-uppance for all the crap he’s heaped on you! (It was his crap anyway, not yours.) When my verbally abusive ex left, she took several items that had been mine, and were meaningful to me. I managed to get one or two of them back from her, but she still has some, and it rankles on me (but I just have to let it go). Meanwhile she left a lot of crap that I had to clean out and get rid of.

    Don’t leave anything with him that you are going to wish you had taken. (But of course, don’t take anything that has strong connections to him–that’s obvious!) Once you make your pick-up, let everything else there be dead to you. If you do forget something you really wish you’d taken, and don’t intend to go back and get it, don’t let him know you wanted it. He’ll use it against you.

    And of course, feel free totally ignore any of the above advice that doesn’t work for ya! πŸ˜‰

    This is a fantastic opportunity to leave behind all the old baggage, physical and psychological, and take only what is meaningful to you into the next phase of your life.

    • Sofia Leo

      January 23, 2013 at 8:07 am

      He can always sell what I leave behind to raise funds for living his dream πŸ™‚ Not sure I care about the stuff any more, actually. This is a fantastic opportunity to drop the baggage that I’ve been carrying around. The two things I would miss are my old dresser that I’ve had all my life and my Granny’s kitchen table, but both can be replaced and he doesn’t know that I value them like I do – being sentimental about furniture goes against his philosophy. The thing he will use to get me back are the rabbits – they need haircuts every 90 days – and I expect they will be his trump card.

      I think I just need a few more days to rest and get my head into the right place for the confrontation to come. Maybe he will continue to be reasonable and amicable in the hope that I’ll cool off and start back up with him.

      • Lee

        January 23, 2013 at 8:39 am

        Short version: Do what’s best for you! πŸ™‚

        Are you planning to take the rabbits?

  5. Lee

    January 23, 2013 at 5:27 am

    Sorry if I’m being Captain Obvious, but his “list” is all about continuing to keep his claws in you by getting you to take pieces of him with you, while keeping valuable things of yours that he knows you’ll pine for in his control. Don’t fall for it!

  6. lookingforward2012

    January 23, 2013 at 5:43 am

    I agree with Melanie. Get in, get out, get it over with. Like ripping off bandaid. It’ll be such a relief when its over. Good luck!

  7. Janine

    January 23, 2013 at 9:18 am

    All good advice here for sure. Take someone with you if you can and get everything you can’t possibly live without in one trip, Write the rest of it off. I had to leave my house in a hurry. I left some stuff and slowly got most of it back. I kept leaving my 2 huge boxes of photos and negatives behind because they were so darn heavy and big. Guess what? He burned them 😦 I had momentos in there for my daughter from my first marriage, pictures of deceased family and friends, elementary, middle school and high school memories, my first job,…all gone. I am still missing other things but at this point I just have to let it go, it is nothing that can’t be replaced. It still burns me up that he is in the house and has plenty of things I would like back. He selected the things of mine that he wanted and gave me a lot of crap, but I won’t give him the satisfaction. He is in jail right now and I kick around breaking into the house or getting a locksmith. It is still mine and within my legal rights, but part of me has come so far in trying to let it go, I don’t want a set back in my healing. Get in, get out and never look back.

    Also, you are so tired because all of this is emotionally draining on top of the physical drain of getting set up. The sooner the break is complete, the sooner your brain will rest. Keep going love, you are almost through the worst part.

  8. El Guapo

    January 23, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Grab the sewing machine. If he insists you take other stuff, let him pile it outside then leave it there.

    And the hair does look great.
    Glad you have friends there to help you out through this!

  9. Wendy Powell

    March 13, 2014 at 3:41 am

    Sorry to hear you are going through this. One small piece of advice. Set up your computer so that his emails go into a folder. Only go into that folder when you know that you will be OK reading it, or have recovery time. For instance, after your chill day you may have decided to stay chill and tackle the email the next day. Also, if possible, take a friend when you go to get your stuff. Narcs tend to be less likely to act up when there is a witness. (OK so that’s two…:-) )

    • Sofia Leo

      March 13, 2014 at 10:07 am

      Actually, this happened over a year ago. Life is MUCH better now πŸ™‚ I closed my email account, changed my phone number, moved 70 miles away and went No Contact in June of 2013 – it was the only way to stop his abuse.

      • Wendy Powell

        March 13, 2014 at 11:07 am

        Well done!! No contact is the best way to go. Glad to hear you got out.

  10. rpward51

    August 14, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    Not to disparage your bad experience with hoovering, I call what my Teddy does to his bowl of dogfood “hoovering”.

    I’m glad you’re free of your burden!


    • Sofia Leo

      August 15, 2014 at 9:16 am

      LOL! My Sabu also hoovers up her food, sometimes catching a finger if I’m not quick enough πŸ™‚


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