My heart is beating just a little faster than normal, as I enter my apartment building. Why is that? I think I have to tell you about the creepiest hoover ever, for you to fully understand these heart palpitations…. (Bit of a longer read today, since next post might have to wait a couple days, cause of my blog transfer..).
Now, a “hoover” is simply an attempt at contact from your ex narcissist. The expression is taken from the British word “hoover”, meaning “to vacuum”. The narcissist wants to suck you back in, after you have thrown them out, or they have discarded you.
I’ve talked about hoovers before, (and the letters). But I want to give you a deeper understanding of how all this anxiety was created. Manufactured, by the narcissist, you could say.
The creepiest hoover ever, from the narcissist, was that time when I’d broken up with him (one of a hundred times), when he actually crossed the line. I had declared my will: that it was over, and that I needed to be alone and think. And I would contact him, if I wanted to, at some point. I needed space more than anything, after all his lies, cheating, gaslighting, mind games, etc.
The sight that met me when I came home one day, was one I wasn’t prepared for. Plastered on my front door was a large cardboard sign. Like one of those signs that people in my country make for students when they graduate, (usually with an enlarged photo of the student as a toddler, for embarrasment/laughters). I don’t know the size, but it was about 6 times as big as “normal document size”, I’d say.
On the sign, the narcissist had attached some fabric roses. With a black marker pen he had written a message. I can’t for the life of me remember that message, but I bet it said something about “soul mates”, and would I please contact him.
My first reaction was to gasp at the sheer size of the thing, and the black letters standing out, against the red roses…. I wasn’t expecting to see that on my front door. My heart skipped a beat. I got a strange knot in my stomach. I removed the sign from my front door.
I was flooded with emotions and thoughts. One thought was: “What if he really loves me, after all”? Another thought, which came creeping and seeping into my head, (you know, like an evil spirit in a movie, which manifests like dark smoke) was: “This is really sick“!
An image that entered my head was a scene, also from a movie. You know, “The bodyguard”, where Whitney Houston (R.I.P.!) plays a superstar. Her character gets “fanmail”. The fanmail from one individual though, looks different, disturbing. The words are formed by letters clipped from newspapers, glued on to the letter itself. And the words are threatening….
I don’t know why I got this image in my head. The message I had received wasn’t threatening at all…. But, it looked all kinds of wrong, this big cardboard sign with the words written with black marker pen… and the roses.. how did he even get this idea into his head?
I didn’t feel happy. I felt nauseous. Anxious, because he had gone against my will, he had come to my home and plastered that thing on my front door. He had trampled my boundaries, like no boyfriend or ex had ever done, before. And that got to me. It didn’t feel like love, suddenly. It felt like claiming ownership. He felt like that madman, from the movie I saw, who didn’t care at all what the recipient felt…. only that he got to show his control.
All through 2015, letters would arrive now and then. Not mailed ones. Letters which were dropped in my mailbox at home. He doesn’t live far, 15 minutes away by car. Still, every time, it felt like a violation of my boundaries. A few times I even ran into him outside my building, after he had dropped off a letter. I could never relax, even at home. He had shown me that he could come and go as he pleased. I had no say.
Granted, sometimes I would reply. Sometimes we would meet up, even. So, I was addicted, that’s true. When I sometimes replied, it must have “encouraged” him to keep going, to seek narcissistic supply from me, cause *sometimes”* he’d get it. Like a person with a gambling problem, he kept pulling the lever on the Vegas slot machine… for that once in a blue moon jackpot.
I “should have” ignored him, every time. I wasn’t strong enough to resist, it was my own will against the four years of mind games and psychological conditioning.. I wasn’t strong enough. Then.
I think I am strong enough now. I hope so. He hasn’t sent letters in a long time. He keeps on with the occasional texts instead. See if I break…
All through this spring, I have eventually caved and replied after x amount of blocked texts. (Likely because I fear the letters so much, that I feel like if I reply back, then I have some control?).
It feels different this time though… Like I’ve got a new strength from somewhere within, that I never even knew existed… I’m determined to stay away this time!! BUT…..
The memories… the letters…. Even though I’ve been behind my “fortress walls” for a long time now, he’s still managed to mortally wound me, every time he has managed to send me one of those letters. It’s just something about the way he seems so honest, in his writing…. so loving.
Those letters pierce my heart, like shiny, sharp, paper spearheads. They rip my heart open, undo all the healing I have accomplished… They make me cry and question everything I’ve learned. (“Is he really a narcissist?”) They burn inside my head for days; flames consuming all common sense and reason. They turn me into the LoveFool…
The letters are a “line” in front of a recovering cocaine addict; they are a jug of water in front of Moses after 40 days in the desert, they promise me all I ever wanted; love, marriage, children, a future..!
One blocked text isn’t one blocked text. It’s a veiled threat; the letters could start coming any day, if I don’t reply….
I fear those letters more than anything right now, almost as much as I fear death.
I can not, must not read them, should they come. (Can I resist?) Those letters have the potential of making me contact the narcissist again; be happy for a second, only to be devalued and discarded all over again; throwing me down into the pit of dispair, once again… A place I already escaped, with my sanity hanging by a thread… !
This is how narcissists etch themselves into your mind. This is what all those articles talk about: how you can have heightened anxiety, even long after a relationship with the narcissist is over. Narc has psychologically conditioned you, perhaps for years, to always expect their return, that they decide when they show up again, and that you need to always look over your shoulder….
This is why I’m anxious when I enter my apartment building. Now you know why my heart beats so fast, every time I come home….