Broken – The Hoover

I have decided to skip forward a bit because this is a term I will use in my posts going forward when telling the actual story. The Hoover name came from the same name as the Vacuum cleaner company. Basically it’s the tool of the Narcissist or manipulator to suck you back in.


Broken is a story that is best read Chronologically to start from the beginning – Prologue

I have decided to skip forward a bit because this is a term I will use in my posts going forward when telling the actual story. The Hoover name came from the same name as the Vacuum cleaner company. Basically it’s the tool of the Narcissist or manipulator to suck you back in.

What is it designed to do? Produce an emotional response. Good or Bad. There are good hoovers, benign hoovers and malignant hoovers. So sometimes these are looking for an intended response. And if you don’t react to the hoover you can wound the narcissist. It is almost like a form of rejection.

The hoover is most notable and obvious after a period of no-contact. I have probably been hoovered more times than my floor and I vacuum frequently. There is a reason they deploy this manipulation… It mostly works and they know right when to do it.

Typically hoovering is an attempt to bring you back into their life but there are always other reasons as well. So the longer the no contact the harder it is to know exactly what they are trying to accomplish. But make no mistake it is all manipulation.

Our friend HG Tudor even defines what causes this. As if the hoovering is difficult enough to avoid, victims can have an affect on the Hoovering. Great! He calls them spheres of influence. Basically-

  • In Person proximity (think same area close enough to talk)
  • Sighting (Driving in a car, seeing them from a distance)
  • Text or Phone Call, Social Media
  • Friends sighting
  • A Memory (Awesome, so all i have to do is pop in their head)

Hoover fuel is one of the highest levels of fuel there is. It is right up there with the Golden Period/Seduction/Love bombing phase. But there is one that supersedes it all. The initial grand hoover the re-ensaring of a former Intimate Primary Fuel Supply (I.E. Me or James). Even more good news.

I will cover in the not too distant future as many Hoovers as I can identify. What makes the Hoover even more insidious that most of it is passive aggressive and never direct. They have the balls to lay abuse on you. Walk away without notice. Trample on you after they have disengaged. But they are just outright cowards.

Any one can be brave when someone is weak. And they lack fear in those moments as we fall victim. But the true definition of courage is doing something in the face of fear. Anybody can be a bully.

A hoover isn’t necessarily meant for a romantic partner. It can be used on other sources. But the first time I saw this type of manipulation from Hailey was that day in my office when she was talking with her daughter.

How could I see it so clearly when it was happening to someone else and not me? I knew I was witnessing something I have never seen before and didn’t know what it was. Something for a future post maybe?

Author: Matt

Hi, I’m Matt. Just your average uneventful guy. Dedicated Dad, emapth, and nurturer. Going through something I couldn’t possible ever thought possible. My story is called Broken. About an affair at the end of a long marriage and how ultimately I experienced the worst heartbreak of my life. It's honest, raw, and a little bit entertaining. I hope to share my story so people can learn while being therapeutic for myself.

6 thoughts on “Broken – The Hoover”

  1. I think that you pose a great question here, my friend…”How could I see it so clearly when it was happening to someone else and not me?” I think answering this may lead you to self-growth and greater self-awareness. I am guessing that after almost 20 years in a marriage where you felt alone, that you were starved for affection, conversation, and just…human connection. But…I do hope you’ll do a post on this where you focus on your situational context, rather than on the Hoover 🙂

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    1. I don’t think any of those things are weaknesses that should be exploited. I don’t need understand this for self-growth or greater self awareness I embody those things every day. I don’t NEED to grow to watch out for someone else’s manipulations. They need to stop manipulating. I need to be the best version of myself. A strong compassionate person. If someone wants to take advantage of that. It’s not my fault.

      Shall I harden and be an asshole? Rewire myself to care less? When I asked this question I was being rhetorical because the answer to that ultimately is… I shouldn’t see it. That is the whole point when it is happening to you, you can’t see it. I can now but only because of the trauma it is inflicted. Self growth has nothing to do with it but hindsight does. You can’t see it til you experience it. Then it’s too late. I am just wiser not more self aware. It’s lump of knowledge and a scar. Maybe that’s semantics for you but not for me. Part of healing in this is forgiving myself for any culpability. For which I rationally know I have none. I am waiting for the rest of my heart and head to catch up to that. I will repeat this over and over. There is nothing in a victim’s behavior that puts them at fault for abuse…. NOTHING.

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  2. While my situation differs from yours I see where I was on the same receiving end. It’s not just him but so many people in my life that I am at the point of being too guarded. I wish these people would wear a sign that states red flag!!! so we could avoid them. I have never been tested as you, but I’ve been told by a very close friend that I carry a lot of empathic qualities. It’s probably why I don’t see these people coming till it’s too late and I’m overwhelmed. I find as time goes on I tend to find myself more on my own to find peace. I’m glad you are seeing her for who she really is

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Storm! Good to hear from you. I hate that you have had to become guarded being loving and empathic are good things. I don’t like when this is taken advantage of clearly. lol. Don’t beat yourself up for not seeing it coming. That is their plan. If they were more obvious none of it would happen and that’s they call it manipulation. You are very sweet keep being you. My goal is to put up healthy boundaries earlier. It won’t probably save me if someone wants to manipulate me but it might expose before it is too traumatic.

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  3. Even us die hard cynical empaths can take note here, I had forgotten about the effects of hoovering. That explains why my recent run in with a covert narcissistic ex friend ended up unsettling me all week this week. I haven’t been able to settle to anything and the slightest deviation from boring and mundane and my stress levels sky rocket. Hoovering has just prodded my memory of the subject and obviously her reappearance in my life is the root cause of the unsettled feelings. Straw that breaks and all that. Thanks Matt, your blog has proved to be cathartic reading for me tonight. It answered my questions as to what is going on with me! My question was why now after so long? and the answer is simply, because she could. She left a prop. the ring. it was her open door.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is funny they don’t know why they do it but they know it is effective. They condition us to never settle. To up end. It gives them power. They get massive fuel thinking you might be stirring about them. It’s sick. We are trauma conditioned to respond.

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