So here I am finding myself in the midst of a hoovering attack by my narcissistic partner of over 20 years. Rather than starting my story at the beginning I decided to begin right here, where I am right now, in the ever so present moment.
I had the break up conversation with you exactly 3 weeks and 1 day ago today. Prior to that conversation, I educated myself in great depth about narcissistic personality disorder and many different solutions and advice available through books, podcasts and websites on how to deal with someone like him. I believe actually realizing that you have a disorder (without official diagnosis, of course) led me to believe that change is not likely and all of my previous attempts at changing things between us were nothing but parts of the vicious narcissistic abuse cycle and never resulted in lasting positive improvement. The sadness and pain that I experienced throughout the relationship has me continuously seeking solutions to better myself in order to better “us”, as I began a long time ago to see myself as “deficient” and somehow “not worthy” of true love and affection and companionship and healthy human communication.
You are now attempting to gain back my love by having long conversations, in which you take some responsibility (amazing!), though usually just deflecting it to other outside influences, like your work commitments, which “made me a monster”, but really therapy sessions where you talk about yourself and your pain which caused you to behave in unacceptable ways toward me. You say your behavior is inexcusable. You apologize and ask me to go to therapy with you. You say you are not sure if life is worth living for you any more. If your battles are worth fighting for without me in your life. You try to generate an emotional response from me by making me feel bad and sorry for you and at times you attempt to get me to take responsibility for “my part” in the relationship, as I surely played a role in this as well. I listen. I realize that this is not real. I have made excuses for your behavior most of our lives together, justifying things for myself and others but I will no longer do that. I have heard the words from you before, beautiful words, expressions of deepest love, but you do not treat a loved one this way. LOVE IS AN ACT, I read somewhere recently. It is not simply words. Words were not true before and they are not about to be true now, as you are not the man of your word. This I know. This is the truth I believe in because I know who you are beneath all the lies.
I know who you become once the doors are closed and there is nobody to impress. When you speak to me, I employ the “grey rock method” which comes naturally. I stare at things in nature while you talk at me and focus on the glistening tree sap frozen in a rainbow covered drop across from where I sit. You do not want to listen, you just need to get things off your chest, as you say, because you are all about you. I think you also want to elicit an emotional response from me, but you won’t. Because I have conspired with the sap, and we are friends, and I will not get emotional in front of you. I am strong and courageous as a rock and you are not used to it. You send me emails that you now get it, that you understand, that we need to talk. I am not responding. You send texts with wishing me a beautiful day and funny emojis. I only respond about kids’ arrangements. You send me boxes from amazon containing yoga gear and meditation supplies. I tell you I do not need things. You have done everything that Hoovering is according to multiple books I have read on the subject, and continue doing it. You are not accepting No Contact/Low Contact as you continuously try to contact me, which means that you once again have no respect for my wishes and are trying to control the situation.
This is a very challenging time in my life, yet I believe better things will come. As I continue to wake up each morning without a narcissist in my bed, I do not have the heavy feeling of walking on eggshells around him and I am already able to create and maintain a beautiful relationship with my family, which you have tried to cut me off and create so much pain and conflict around. You did not succeed in that. And you did not succeed the kind, joyful, and compassionate person that I was created to be. I will grow and I will flourish and I will experience unconditional love and joy because I am worth it. Finding myself, working through the scars and the identity enmeshment that took place during our relationship, will take its time, and I am grateful for the lessons you have taught me. I also wish you so well. As a human being to another human being, a father of our children, I will always care for your physical and emotional health. I hope that this time in our lives, this separation, will also bring you to some soul searching and really push you to find your joy.