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How do you stand your ground without losing your sh*t?(10 Posts)
I posted before about my father and, from what I've read here, he is (and always has been) a classic narc/hooverer.
After his constant phoning/texting/leaving voicemails all day everyday since Xmas - despite my frequent requests for him not to, and my ignoring all of them - my father finally sent me a huge text full of abuse - typical when he doesn't get his own way.
I was NC with him for 4 years until about 2 years ago and v. low contact, on my terms, since then.
My terms were that I controlled the contact and he toed the line.
He's been pushing it with the constant calling, but he's blown it now by being abusive and I'm going NC for good. I have too much to lose to risk having someone like that in my life.
I have changed my mobile number and I have notified my building security so they can remove him if he turns up at work.
However, I would like some advice on what to do if he turns up at my home - it's a 2 hour drive, so unlikely he'll do it more than once, but I need to get rid of him, without 'rewarding' him by engaging/blowing my top, which I find really hard
My plan is to write a letter telling him I've changed my number and why (otherwise he will definitely turn up at my home, and will justify it by saying he couldn't contact me by phone) and that he is not to contact me again.
So, if he shows up/waits outside my house, do I ignore him completely (just go straight from car to house without speaking) or do I tell him I didn't invite him and he needs to go home or I'll call the police?
Any help greatly appreciated - 'showtime' will be any day now...
In the letter warn him that you will call the police if he turns up, then do that if you need to.
Will do - I was torn between whether to say that or not at first, but,
a) nothing I say will make any difference - he will do what he wants regardless and
b) I think I need proof that I've warned him, should I ever need to call the police (unfortunately not unlikely)
He was never going to respect any boundary that you cared to set; narcissists never do.
I would ignore him if he shows up outside your house and report him to the police if he continues to harass you. Do not approach him, any contact from you will be seen as a reward and then he will bother you even more. Do not engage him at all, disengage. BTW it is also a criminal offence to send abusive text messages in law so that in itself is a criminal matter. You may also want to have a chat with a solicitor about the whole area of harassment.
Some general information for you:-
Some toxic people will let you leave a relationship without caring one bit. They never really cared about you, and if you don’t want to be used and abused anymore, they’re simply on to the next person before you can say, “Bye!”
The toxic hooverer doesn’t truly care about you either — they just want to keep you around to feed on emotionally, and when you decide to go no contact, they don’t plan on letting you get away that easily.
Many hooverers have traits of borderline, narcissistic, antisocial or histrionic personality disorders. You can click the green & purple buttons to the lower right to find out if that may describe the person hoovering you. People with Dependent Personality Disorder may also hoover.
Hoovering is manipulation to gain control over your choice to distance yourself, and typically takes the following forms:
•Ignoring your requests to break off the relationship and attempting to continue on as if nothing has changed.
•Asking you when you’re going to “get over it” and return to your past actions.
•Sending you a fake apology to give you hope that things have changed.
•Trying to trick you into contact by saying someone needs you, is sick, or in trouble.
•Triangulating with others, communicating things to you through them.
•Saying they’re worried about you, concerned about whether you’re okay, need to know where you are, etc.
•Sending unwanted cards, messages and gifts, sometimes gifts for your children, as they know you are likely to feel guilty about keeping a gift from your kids. Don’t allow this – exposing your children to manipulation is far worse!
•Returning old items you left behind.
•Baiting you with drama games.
•Contacting you about “important” things they “forgot” and suddenly have to tell you.
Don’t Fall for Hoovering Tactics
Attempts to pull you back into a toxic relationship are not valid expressions of caring and concern — they are attempts to regain control over your behavior. Beware — hoovering attempts are often disguised as caring, loneliness, hurt, desperation, fear, illness, and other things designed to play on your sympathies and pull you back. Abusers know that pulling on heartstrings works very well. (In the case of BPD, it may be simply out-of-control emotions and fear of abandonment more than an attempt to control you per se; however you will likely still feel that you are not being allowed to end a relationship you no longer want).
If your wish to end a relationship is not being honored, whatever a toxic person thinks will work best on you will be what they try, so when one angle doesn’t work, they will try another, and another, ramping up their efforts until it seems they might never stop. Typically, hoovering DOES stop if the person being hoovered does not fall for the hooverer’s tricks.
The sooner the person being hoovered completely ignores everything and does not respond to anything at all in any way, the sooner the toxic person finally understands that they do not have the control. Some toxic people may still make the occasional attempt on holidays, anniversaries of events, etc. Don’t bite the bait. Simply ignore any attempts.
If you have already made it clear that you do not want a relationship (or if it’s obvious) then DON’T ever contact the person doing the hoovering to tell them to stop again, or how angry you are. That is a reward. They will be thrilled to receive your attention and pleased to know that their efforts have paid off by snagging you, so they’ll be contacting you even more!
If you have told someone you do not want contact, and they continue to bother you, the police can assist you. If you ever feel that someone you are trying to break off a relationship with may be capable of more than simply annoying you mildly, contact your local police for assistance. They are well-accustomed to dealing with skillful manipulators and have many smart ways of handling them, so do not hesitate to ask for help. (And remember, you have nothing to be ashamed about; you’re not the one behaving badly, and the police are there to protect you from abuse.)
Do not send him any letter; any letter will be used by him against you and he will twist your words to make it all out to be your fault. Nothing you write or say to him will make any difference whatsoever.
AttilaTheMeerkat - thanks for your reply (I have ordered toxic parents book from Amazon )
It's scary how accurate a description this is... it's my own fault for allowing contact (we were told he had a terminal illness with not long left - this was, unsurprisingly, a lie) so this time I'm doing it properly
The problem is: at the moment, because he sent about 4 'poor old me' texts after the abusive ones (and I didn't reply to any, after and including the abusive ones), he will think in his psycho mind that he has done nothing wrong and we're fine.
So, he will try to call. He will realise my number has changed and, more than likely, get straight in the car and turn up.
At which point he will do the crying/whining/shouting 'but WHY? I just need to know why?!'
I appreciate he will do this regardless of my sending a letter or not, but if I don't send a letter, and he turns up, can I say "I won't accept you being rude to me, which is why I've blocked your numer, now leave me alone" and go straight indoors..?
Some toxic parents do pull the illness card; its a known tactic of such disordered people to pull others back in. Not altogether surprised he did that; my narcissist BIL did the exact same telling his mother that he had a form of cancer and only had x number of weeks to live!. We Meerkats, having become well versed in and to his narc ways, ignored him and counted down the weeks till zero. BIL is still alive of course.
Ignore your Dad and do not engage him at all on any level. Involve the authorities instead and get them to tell him to back off.
re your comment:-
"I appreciate he will do this regardless of my sending a letter or not, but if I don't send a letter, and he turns up, can I say "I won't accept you being rude to me, which is why I've blocked your number, now leave me alone" and go straight indoors..?"
You can but I would not recommend it, any contact from you on any level will be seen by him as a reward. I would not answer the door to him, do not engage him at all.
Attila thanks very much for your responses - really useful to hear from someone who's also experienced this behaviour!
The illness card is a regular one - except when someone is actually ill, then they are irksome for stealing the spotlight.
On hearing that a relation tragically died of breastcancer before they turned 30, F was clearly irritated that the focus wasn't on him and said, in front of deceased's own father, "well, she should have checked herself for lumps..." and then carried on talking about himself.
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