coercive control, abuser, abuse, partner, narcissist, person, control, absolutely, people, hoovering, child, target, therapist, friends, relationship, accuse, narcissistic, contact, boundaries, healthy
What is coercive control? How do abusers make their targets do what they want them to do? Did you know that trauma bonding using intermittent positive reward is coercive control? Gaslighting and hoovering, isolating the target, and controlling what the target wears or eats are all examples of coercive control.
Coercive control starts early, as in you can see it in abusive relationships in middle school and high school. Abusers push the envelope slowly, they don’t come out of the gate being abusive. If you recognize any of these in your relationship or in a relationship that someone you love is in, get to a good therapist to help you either get out of the relationship or help you deal with the pain of seeing a loved one in an abusive relationship.
Hello and welcome to We Need To Talk with Kris Godinez podcast. I’m your host Kris Godinez, licensed professional counselor. I help people get out of, and stay out of, toxic relationships. This podcast is for informational and educational purposes only. The views and opinions stated herein are mine and mine alone. They do not represent the ACA, the APA or any other therapist for that matter.
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All right, announcements, holy cow, tons of stuff happening. So, my buddy Marsha Diane is writing another book, and she’s asked me to do the foreword for it. So as soon as she’s done writing it, and I can read it that I can do the foreword, so that’ll be cool. I’ll let you know when that comes out. I’m Susanna Quintana is working on another book. I love that so many of my friends are working on books, it’s so exciting. Um, I am going to be in Vancouver, BC, on the 20th of May. So that’s on Krisgodinez.com. If you want to go, get tickets there. Andy, please leave all the announcements in. So um, so I will be there. And then in July, I think it’s July 2, I will be in Portland, Oregon. So that will be on a Sunday from two to four. So um, go to Krisgodinez.com. And you can get the tickets. I don’t know if John’s put the Portland one up yet. But we’re going to do that today. So, if you are interested in going then yes, yes, sarcasm is hostility. Absolutely. It is passive-aggressive. Sorry, somebody. I just happened to see that question. Um, where was I? Oh, dear God, train just went off the tracks down the ravine. Um, places I’m going to be okay. So, Vancouver, BC, May 20, and Portland, Oregon. July. I think it’s the second which is that Sunday. So um, so that’ll be that. So those are the two dates I have right now. I was finally able to get my niece to give me an absolute answer. Yeah. So, there’s that. I haven’t figured out Salt Lake City or Boise yet. So, we’ll, we’ll see. All right. Um, any other announcements? Thinking brain gone? No. I think that was it. Okay. Okay.
Current Events. Holy cow. Another shooting. Huh? Hmm. Don’t get me started too late. So basically, the elephant in the room that literally everybody in their dog and every politician is willfully ignoring is the mental health issue. They’re fighting over, you know, the guns and the transgender designation. And I’m like, Guys, gun control. Yeah, sure. We need it. Obviously, Houston we have a problem. Transgender is not the reason why this person went off the rails. If you look at every single shooting, that has been in to a school, it’s always been somebody who has either had voices telling them to do it, or some other mental health issue, the elephant in the room that the politicians are now willfully ignoring, and instead focusing in on gun control, because they know that’s going to create division, right? So, they’re unwilling to address the lack. Hello, of mental health in this country. Healthy. No, I’m going to say it again. I’m going to just keep saying this to the people in the back here. healthy, normal people do not pick up a weapon of any kind and go kill other people, especially kids, especially kids. I mean, that takes a particularly delusional and deranged mind to go attack children you don’t even know. And even if you knew what that huh, don’t get me started.
So again, if you really want to make a difference, contact your politicians and contact your representatives. Contact your senators, state and federal, and let them know it’s like, where’s the mental health in this country? And I’ll tell you why we don’t have mental health in this country follow the money. Mentally ill people generally don’t have money. They don’t because they can’t hold down jobs. Children don’t have money. So, the politicians are sitting there going, Oh, we care about the kids. We care, but no child is left behind or the kids are so important. Well, if they’re so damn important why are you allowing this to continue to happen? This is, this is getting stupid now. I mean, this is just stupid. So, there’s no money. And we used to have, which was no good either. We used to have institutions. The reason we had institutions is because insurances would get money for it, and the government would pay for the institutions. Well, then the government came along and said, No, we’re not going to do that anymore. And, of course, the institutions were corrupt. And they were abusive like Pennhurst and Oregon State Hospital, where One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was filmed and based on and everything else. So, I mean, the point being, it’s like, the institutions were corrupt and not good, but the government was paying for them. So, we had places where people could go, but then they were being abused. So that’s not good. So, then they got rid of that. And then the idea was naive beyond belief you oh the community will take care of them. Well, if this was a perfect world, and we had no effing narcissists, yes, the community would take care of them. This is not a perfect world; everything is money driven. We’ve got people who are interested in power and control, and if there’s no money to be made from it, they don’t care. So, the people that are falling through the cracks are the mentally ill and the kids. There it is.
So, this next time you see a politician making it about the weapon or the fact that this person was supposedly, and we don’t know for sure transgendered, it’s not that the mental illness they said an emotional disorder, well, that could be anything from get so you know, schizophrenic, schizotypal schizoaffective, to depression, to bipolar, to anxiety to other personality disorders. You know, there’s a problem, Houston, there is a huge problem, and it is our responsibility to speak up for those that have no voice. Why do you think I do this? Why do you why do you think I do the show? I speak up for those that have no voice. targets of abuse, have no voice, children generally have no voice mentally ill generally have no voice. So, write your congressman, write your representative, federal state, whatever, and let them know stop dicking around and get to the real issue, which is the lack of mental health in this country. Hmm, all right.
Second current event Irene Gakwa, she was the lady that went missing in Gillette, Wyoming. Her boyfriend finally pleaded guilty to felony misuse of her bank account or credit cards. Her intellectual property, he pretended to be her letting, leading the family on thinking that she was still alive, etc., etc., etc. They have never found her body. Never and I doubt he’s ever going to cop to it because he doesn’t want to get a murder charge. So, if you know anyone in Gillette, Wyoming, that knows anything about her disappearance, for the love of God and all that’s holy, speak up. Please go to the police. The family needs closure. The family is very happy to have him behind bars because at least he’s going to be off the streets for a while. I don’t know how long so, but still, it’s this needs to be ended. So, Gillette, Wyoming, Irene Gakwa still missing. Boyfriend pleaded guilty to using her bank account and pretending to be her and all this other stuff. So, it’s just I have no words. I just think it just, Yeah. healthy normal people do not go kill people. period, period, full stop. Take out all of the contentious discussion. Healthy, normal people do not kill people, period. And we need mental health in this country. Period. They’re under threat. Okay. All right. There we go. There’s that. All right.
So today, I wanted to talk about examples of control. So coercive control is what abusers use on targets of abuse, to make them stay with them, to make them do what they want to isolate them to whatever so, and we’re going to be talking about both coercive control and hoovering because somebody had asked me can you please talk about what hoovering is. I kind of need to know.
Kris Godinez 09:34
So coercive control and hoovering. So, let’s start with coercive control. Okay, patterns of common patterns of coercive control in relationships, and this is from Psychology Today. And this is by Annie Tanasugarn, Ph.D. This, this was from June 8, 2022. Coercive control is a strategic. They know what they’re doing, form of ongoing psychological and emotional abuse that is based on control, manipulation, and oppression. Coercive control is often associated with narcissistic-fueled abuse. Both coercive control, excuse me, and traumatic bonds are based on intermittent reinforcement. So, what the abuser does is they get us hooked. Okay, so this is in the beginning of the relationship. Hold on. In the beginning of the relationship, they do the love bombing, love bomb, love bomb, love bomb. You’re the greatest thing ever. You’re the best. You’re this. You’re that. Then they start doing what is known as intermittent positive rewards. I love you. I love you. I love you. Ah, love, hate, love, hate, love, hate, love, love, love, hate, hate. And so, we start living for those moments when they love us. And I put that in quotes because they don’t. They don’t. They wouldn’t know love and walked up and did the Watusi with them, which I’m pretty sure it has several times.
Anyway. Um, okay, patterns of course, of control. All right, so people often think of abuse as being physical. But here’s the scary thing, gaslighting, over devaluation, all of those coercive controls, isolating, those are all coercive controls often escalate. So, this is what people don’t get. It’s like, oh, they’re just lying. Oh, they’re just doing this. Oh, they’re just doing that. Well, you start putting it all together, it starts adding up, and eventually, they go to physical violence. Give them long enough, and they will. So, it’s kind of like when I was working in the in the homeless shelter. You know, people would be like, Oh, but I started off as such a happy drunk and then I turned angry. And I’m like, Well, that’s what happens to all alcoholics. Okay. It’s the same thing with abusers. They start off with little stuff, little stuff, you know, little digs, little insults, little controls, you know, are you really going to wear that? That’s coercive of control? Are you going to eat that? How much do you weigh? How many calories are in that? That’s coercive control. And it starts adding up and starts adding up, and then they start pushing the envelope because, remember, healthy normal people don’t hurt other people. So dark triads enjoy if they’re sadistic, and they often are, if there’s you know, psychopath, narcissistic and Machiavellian, they enjoy the sadism part of it, they enjoy inflicting emotional abuse, and then they eventually start enjoying physical abuse. This is why I keep telling everybody these guys are dangerous. These guys and gals, women do it to the abusers to do that. So, they’re dangerous. It starts leading to this path, not always, you know, sometimes the person gets out, and it never gets physical. But oftentimes, if they stay long enough, there’s going to be a slap, there’s going to be a push, there’s going to be a shove, there’s going to be something, you know, unwanted sex, there’s going to be something I guarantee it.
So, hold on, let me get back to this this article. Okay, coercive control is a strategic form of ongoing psychological and emotional abuse that is based on control, manipulation, and depression. Other risk factors include having low education or income, having traits associated with borderline personality disorder. Now, why? Narcissists love to get together with somebody that has traits of borderline because the borderline is terrified of being abandoned. And so, the narcissist feeds off of that, like a frickin parasite. And so, they use the threat of abandonment. It literally torturing the borderline the person with borderline personality disorder and using that to just keep their supply going. Okay, that’s why they say that if you have traits of borderline, you’re more likely to be abused by one of these jerks. Okay, or a history of being physically abused trauma. coercive control consists of the ongoing and increasing use, increasing use of manipulative strategies that deny a victim their autonomy and sense of self an imbalance of power. And psychological and emotional exploitation are used to systematically they’re thinking about it. They know what they’re doing harm a person. So, every time somebody says, Oh, but they didn’t mean to him, like Yeah, they did. Yeah, they absolutely did. They absolutely meant to do it. They know what they’re doing. They absolutely know what they are doing. This is systematic. They think about this seriously. They literally think about how to hurt the other person. Now, you know why I don’t like them.
So okay, hold on. Um, all right. Um, what makes coercive control more damaging is that the person In may not even recognize that they are being controlled or manipulated until their esteem, their sense of safety, and autonomy have come completely undone. coercive control is seen as a traumatic bond, which often occurs in abusive relationships fueled by high levels of narcissism by the abuser. Both are based on cycles of intermittent positive and negative reinforcement. So that I love you, I hate you. I love you; I hate you. Okay, they limit autonomy.
When a romantic relationship is new, it is often common to believe that a person wanting to spend every moment with their partner is a sign that they’re invested in getting to know them. While this is true in healthy relationships, it is not the case with coercive control with narcissists. Someone’s autonomy can be limited in several ways. Some common tactics include refusing to let someone work refusing, or getting them fired, restricting access to transportation, telling the person’s friends that they’re not that they’re not home if they call, so isolating them, devaluing the other choice of friends, finding faults in their hobbies, or insisting that they provide a receipt to validate where they were. That’s all-coercive control. What makes these so dangerous is that coercive control can come off as trying to save someone. This kind of behavior has often been referred to colloquially as white knight syndrome. For example, instead of allowing a partner to get to work, they may come in as the hero and tell the partner that they don’t need a job, that they’ll pay all the bills. Oh my God, how often have I heard that? When coercive control is in play, the goal is to keep the victim reliant on the abuser financially, emotionally, and psychologically, where autonomy is limited. So, this is a common, oh, my God, I cannot tell you the number of female targets of abuse that the male abuser has done the whole, Oh, you don’t need to work, you stay home and take care of the kids. I’ll take care of everything. Well, then the abuse keeps ramping, and ramping and ramping and ramping. And then by the time the target of abuse is like, Oh my God, I need to get out of here. There’s no money, and the abuser is making them account for every cent. Where did you go? What did you spend this on? Well, I gave you $60 To go to the store, and you only spent such and such where’s the change? They do that they absolutely… Houston if anybody is doing that, do you run, get to a home to a women’s shelter, get to a shelter, get to a domestic violence shelter. Call for help, you need help? Get out.
Okay, that’s, that’s scary. And that’s the way they control because they think that if they control the finances, you’ll never leave them. In a way, they’re right. You know, it’s like if you can’t get you and the kids out of there safely. Where are you going to go? You know, and that’s what they’re banking on because they’re ass hats. Okay, hold on. All right. Use of technology to track another form of course of control. A person may insist on placing cameras in your house as a security system, or they may use two-way surveillance to speak to their partners. While the rationale given may be to keep their partner safe or to chat with them while they’re at work, it is not based on altruism but rather on self-interest and control, power, and control. Similarly, restrictions may be placed on someone’s computers or phones, or they may hack into the other’s computer system using a remote viewer in order to fix it. Other times, they may ask for passwords to ensure that they’re secure enough or they may place a GPS tracker on their partner’s car.
Kris Godinez 18:45
I’ve seen all of that. And what makes these actions so insidious is that guise may come across as trying to protect the partner or to secure their home, but in reality, is when coercive control is in play. It’s based on monitoring and surveillance. So, they often put keystroke loggers on computers and phones. They will put malware on the phone so that they can turn on the microphone and the camera. So, when I used to have my office, I would basically tell my targets of abuse. Okay, hand me your phone. And they’d be like, why? And I’m like because I’m putting it in a drawer out and out in the reception area. Thank you. And nine out of 10 times, the abuser would then scream at them. Where were you? I couldn’t hear anything because they’re so angry. They give themselves away. And that’s when they knew it was like… What do you mean you couldn’t hear me? Uh, you know, so yeah, they’re sneaky little bastards. Yes, absolutely. So okay, that’s coercive control. Examples of intimacy and sex used as sex used as power and control overt signs of course of control, maybe based on making suggestions on what to wear, what to try, or what to do in the bedroom, I’ve seen them, oh my God, what? Before revenge porn became a federal offense, they would try to get their partner to do things that they would not otherwise do, film it, and then use it as blackmail. They do that a lot, or at least they tried to. Other types of coercive control may be more covert, in which certain personal boundaries are violated. Relational intimacy is overstepped, or lines are crossed with what has already been discussed or agreed upon. When sex or intimacy are used as a power and control, it can come across as wanting to spice things up or try something new in the bedroom, which there’s nothing wrong with that. But if both partners are not on the same page, it’s off. Manipulation may include pleads, compliments, promises, or praise. What may start out as a one-time experience may come become more commonplace, or new demands may be brought into the bedroom, which can further violate a person’s sense of autonomy or boundaries. So, you know, if a person doesn’t want to do a certain sex act, they’ll insist on it. And I’ve seen them do things like if they know their partner was sexually abused, and it was oral sex was the issue. They’ll demand oral sex because they’re sadists because they enjoy watching the pain and suffering. So, or if it was some other sex act, they’ll demand that sex act. So yeah, absolutely. Yes, that is what they do. Hold on.
Alright, monitoring the partners health and body. Most tactics of coercive control don’t require immediate medical intervention, which makes them more difficult to track, which is why therapists and doctors and police, judges need to be educated on domestic violence. However, some coercive tactics can veer into a need for medical intervention when someone’s physical health is controlled or compromised. For example, someone may have what they eat, how they sleep or wear, dictated by their partners. They may not be able or allowed to wear certain clothes or may be required to stick to a daily schedule of when to get up. When to go to sleep, compliments and intermittent positive referrals, and reinforcements may be offered to sticking to their schedule, or the controller may praise the partner for looking good or losing weight, which can make the partner second guess themselves and feel ashamed for questioning whether they are being mistreated. On the far end of the spectrum, coercive control may include monitoring how much the partner eats, when they eat, counting calories, require them, requiring them to stick to a rigid or dangerous exercise schedule or routine, and denying them health care when the medical necessity is needed. Oh my god. So, there’s that.
The other one is coercive tactics and hidden injuries. All right. So, isolation, they isolate the partner, they isolate the target of abuse from family and friends. They increase the dependency on the controller. They weaken the ability of the partner to resist what the controller wants; you know, if the controller eventually if the controller says I want you to get rid of your family, they will! The target of abuse, well, if they’re brainwashed enough, being isolated can subject a person to harassment, humiliation, criticism, and punishments for maintaining connections with others. So, if they stay friends with somebody who doesn’t like the abuser, they’re going to punish them. Additionally, the family and friends are made to feel uncomfortable when they are around. They come less or not at all activities outside the home can be undermined to make the partner feel. For example, they can’t trust their partner with the kids, so they stay home. So, they the abuser is the one that is untrustworthy. The abuser is the one that is, you know, not conducive to the target of abuse. But they’ll flip the script and say, Oh, your mom doesn’t like me, and you need to stay the hell away from her. Or your dad doesn’t like me, you need to stay the hell away from him, or your friend doesn’t like me, you I don’t want you to be around them. Well, I’m sorry. But if people who truly love you are seeing that this person is abusive, and there, you know, they’re like, hello, danger cliff ahead, you’re heading straight for it, you know, and the abuser knows that these people see them for what they are, they are going to cut them out of the target of abuse’s life and if the target of abuse has never gotten help for whatever is going on codependency, you know, trauma bond, whatever has happened in the past. Again, that inner child is going to come roaring to the forefront, and they’re going to do the Freudian ego defense of siding with the aggressor. They’re going to go with the person who could possibly punish them, not the family and the friends that love them. Frustrating as all get out.
So All right, back to coercive control that we’re going to hit hoovering. monopolization of perception, also known as gaslighting, is when the controller defines reality that is often distorted and self-serving for their partner relationship and family. gaslighting becomes all about what the controller believes and wants, so again, oh, they’re doing this, or Oh, I never said that. I never hurt you, I never you know that didn’t happen. You’re remembering it wrong. Oh my God. They absolutely do that! Any thoughts or feelings by the other partner that are not compliant invite being criticized, blamed, humiliated, etc., punished. The recipient of this behavior, in time, develops confusion, cognitive dissonance, self-doubt, and a loss of trust in their own perception. So, the abuser does not want us trusting our guts. That’s why I keep saying the first person you need to get back in relationship with is yourself. Yourself, your gut, listen to your gut. Don’t listen to anything or anybody else. Listen to your gut. The head and the heart tell stories. The gut is a simple yes or no answer to a yes or no question, and abusers when they realize that we can see the pink elephant taking a crap in the corner of the living room. Yeah, they just want to shut us down. No, you don’t. There’s no pink elephant. What are you talking about? There’s your… You’re imagining things. That’s not what happened. Oh my god, how many of us got that?
Okay. Degradation is to humiliate and demean the partner to feel that the resistance is more damaging to their self-esteem than compliance. The humiliating attacks in this realm can be criticizing one’s character, body, behaviors, parenting, sexual ability, etc. Also, degradation can be attacked in the realm of the partner’s strengths to undermine the target person. Since the controllers experiences their strengths as threats to their own control. Once the self-esteem is lowered, the partner is more vulnerable to internalizing false accusations into self-blame. So, what I’ve seen abusers do is they will attack their partner’s ability in the bedroom. They will go have affairs and blame the target of abuse. They will do heinous things to the kids and say that the kids made them or that somehow it was the target of abuse is fault for not being enough of a disciplinarian. I mean, crazy. I mean, we’re talking we’re talking like looney tune. What the hell crazy!
So, hang on. Ah, the nice thing of it is, is now legal protection for coercively controlled targets of abuse is now being taken seriously. Because it can predict HC doesn’t just can protect it does predict physical violence, it’s recognized that abusers who have killed their partners have dominated them first, sometimes without any physical violence. In fact, 28 to 33% of victims the homicide or attempted homicides has been the first episode of physical violence in the relationship. That’s why I’m saying they’re so dangerous. So anyway, there is that that gives me hope that some of the some of the states are starting to recognize. I know Britain recognizes coercive control. Okay, so that is what they do. They are basically, you know, start eroding who we are, you know, you don’t like mac and cheese, you like this, you know, you just weird it’s like, no, you don’t, I never said that you know, you’re remembering it wrong, you know that thing. So, they make us doubt ourselves. And that’s why almost every target of abuse is, has got cognitive dissonance, okay?
Kris Godinez 28:41
It’s like when the brain is like, it’s like Alka Seltzer. Have you ever seen Alka Seltzer? You put it in the water goes…fizzzzzz. That’s what our brains do. When the abuser is doing the course of control. It’s doing the brainwashing, basically. So, the intermittent positive rewards is the same tactics. Listen to me now, believe me later, exact same tactics that abusive guards do in POW camps. They’re nice to the prisoners, they get a little extra food, and then they beat the living crap out of them. So, it’s back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And eventually, the prisoners start obeying or doing whatever the guards want in the hope that they won’t be abused. That’s, that’s what happens. Okay. So that’s coercive control, trying to, you know, it’s seemingly innocent, you know, oh, I need you to be healthy. I want you to watch your weight. Okay, well, that’s great. But if they start counting your calories, demanding to know how much you weigh, and all that stuff, that’s none of their damn business you are responsible for you. I’ve seen them use food as a control. I did one a few years ago, which I think I might need to do again about how they use food to manipulate and control people. So, when we come out of one of these relationships, whether it’s with a family of origin or a romantic relationship, they’ve been using Fear, obligation, and guilt, gaslighting, all this stuff intermittent positive rewards to create the cognitive dissonance, the Plop, plop, Fizz, Fizz, so that we are literally in a fog when we come out, and we don’t know which way is up. Who am I? What am I like why? What’s going on? And then, you know, Oh, I miss them all the way Well, yeah, because we were addicted to those times when they were nice to us, not to the abuse. We were addicted to those times when they were nice to us.
So then, okay, switching gears slightly. We get out of the relationship. We go bye, bye. We get, we get away from them, we get help, we start working on ourselves. Lo and behold, they start trying to suck us back in. That’s why it’s called the Hoover because it’s named after the vacuum cleaner could have been called the Shark because that would have been more accurate. But anyway, the point being is they suck us back in, you know, predator shark, you know?
Okay, so here are two articles from Psychology Today. Both are by Stephanie A. Sarkis PhD, don’t get hoovered by toxic people. hoovering is a way that people manipulate others into resuming contact hoovering may often happen when the person is low on narcissistic supply. So basically, you’ve left them they’ve gone on to whatever supply they had; the supply ran out, the other person figured them out and left, right. Or it’s not exciting enough. So, they’ve gotten with another narcissist, but it’s still not exciting enough because they’re all adrenaline junkies. Right? And so, then they start going, oh, let’s start let’s start getting, you know, verbal attacks on the ex, you know, let’s start doing this or let’s, or there is no other person, they’re trying to get you back as the supply. Right? Oh, baby, baby, I miss you. It’ll be different this time, blah, blah, blah, blah, please. All right, so they contact you in vague ways. A toxic person may text you, hey, from an unknown number. They will create a social media post directed toward you that doesn’t specifically name you. They will text you something flirty and follow it with. Sorry, that wasn’t meant for you. Oh, please, they may send a message about not doing well. But don’t give details. The goal of these messages is to get you to respond. The vagueness is what they use to get you hooked. They also want you to do that. He wants you to do the majority of the work and communicating with them; They need you to do the majority of the work. If you reconcile and your relationship, if you reconcile and your relationship gets toxic again, which it will, they will gaslight you and say that you reached out to them. The goal is to make you feel as if you asked for it, and you will be berated for not being good enough. Oh boy, nothing is ever good enough for you. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. They promise you what you’ve always wanted.
So, the Hoover is, again, the Hoover is basically meant to get you back in contact with them. They desperately, you know, hey, I was just thinking about you. 20 years later, seriously, no lie. I have had clients 20 and 30 years later that their abusive first spouse got back in contact with them. Hey, you know, we shouldn’t get together, but and like clients, thank God we’re like, hell no, delete block, you know, the whole thing. So, I’m okay. The promises you’ve always wanted, they will tell you what you’ve always wanted. Pay attention to what the toxic person does, and not so much as what they say. And that’s what I always say actions speak louder than words. When they Hoover you, they will promise you exactly what you have been missing in the relationship. If they tell you that, yes, they are now fine with the two of you having children getting married, know that your relationship will return to the status quo. If you reconcile. The toxic person will again change their mind and blame you. They may tell you I am no longer interested after seeing how you’ve acted since we’ve gotten back together. That’s a common one. If you have reconciled after hoovering. Have they really followed up on what they’ve promised? No, they don’t. They don’t get better. They don’t, and they don’t want children, and they’re toxic. Toxic people never truly apologize. Toxic people may address the previous behavior, but they never accept responsibility, and they never apologize. And if they do, it is with fakeness. It’s like you know facetiousness, not sincere. If you ask them to apologize, they will dance around it and try to gaslight you into feeling like you are being unreasonable for asking them to apologize. So, an abuser will never do a true apology which is I’m sorry. I screwed up. How can I make amends? What do you need? I own this, I take responsibility for this. It’s never you, you, you, you, you, but I swear to God, they whip out you, you, you guns. Well, you did this, and you made me. I’m sorry, you I’m sorry, but I’m sorry. But you I’m sorry. You No, no, that’s wrong. incorrect response. We’re voting you off the island. You know what I’m saying? Is No. So, a real apology is I own it. I did it. I know I did it. I am offering an amend. What do you need so that I can help repair this relationship? That’s a true apology. Anything less than that? Kick them to the curb. Okay. Ah, okay.
They never truly apologize. They have a double standard. If you bring up their problematic behavior, they will tell you why can’t you just let that go? That was in the past. How many times have we heard that, but they will bring up something you did that they feel was insulting to them. When you use the same line that was in the past, they will accuse you of avoiding about talking about your behavior. You cannot win. You can’t they Hoover when they are on low supply. We talked about that. The best way to respond to hoovering is no response at all and block their hind ends seriously. I’m not even kidding you. So again, a lot of times, targets of abuse have that inner child that just wants to be heard. And that inner child is like, Oh, they’re going to see me, they’re going to hear me, oh, this is going to be great. No, what’s going to end up happening is if you respond to that hey, or, gee, I miss you, or gosh, we should get together, or you know, walk down memory lane, all of that stuff. If you respond to it, what they’re going to do is the love bombing phase is going to get shorter and shorter, and the abuse phase is going to get longer and longer, and it’s going to be more intense. So don’t do it. Block them, block their number do not respond. You don’t owe them anything. Do not say hey, I’m blocking you. That’s a response. No response is a response. So, block their number, block them on social media, block their email, block them any way you can, and do not respond do not, no response is a response, and it’s basically saying go pound sand. Yep. All right.
There was that okay, the second one is, and then I will get to the questions. Seven facts to know about narcissistic hoovering. hoovering is not about their love for you. Oh, dear God, that is exactly the problem I see with a lot of younger targets of abuse that have not read up on all of this stuff that don’t know how they operate is that they go Oh, but they love me. Oh, but they miss me. No, they don’t. Love does not hurt. If it hurts it ain’t love. That’s all I’m going to say. Hoovering is not about their love for you. Hoovering is only about their narcissistic need for attention, power, and control. They are trying to fill the void that they are experiencing. It has nothing to do with feelings for you and wanting to reconcile, an empathic person would consider how contacting you would upset you. The narcissist doesn’t think about that because it’s not about your feelings and needs; it’s about getting their next attention fix. They usually Hoover when they don’t have a narcissistic supply or are bored, like I said, with their current supply. Responding to Hoover doesn’t mean the narcissist will engage you sometimes, not often, but sometimes simply responding is enough of a hit for them so that they go away for another year or two.
Kris Godinez 38:34
And then they’ll out of the blue, contact you again narcissists crave attention they don’t care if it’s good or bad. It’s a rush for them to know that you they’re on your mind. If you respond to Hoover, you reward the narcissist’s behavior if you reestablish contact with a narcissist, you will eventually be discarded, harder and nastier by them. Block them. a narcissist will continue to contact you even decades later. It’s easier for a narcissist to go back to their old supply than to find a new one. They tend to keep their exes on rotation. Please don’t allow them to upend your life again, block phone numbers, email addresses social media accounts. You also need to block narcissist’s friends; they’re flying monkeys if they are passing along messages from the narcissist, so that is abuse by proxy. So, the abuser will go to a flying monkey and go Oh, tell so and so how much I miss them. And I’ve changed in this than the other. And then this person either knowingly or unknowingly goes to the target of abuse and says, oh, hey, I ran into so and so, and they’ve changed, and they miss you and Ba, ba, ba. Nope, we’re done. Thanks for playing. We’re done. You know what this person did to me. We’re done. Bye, bye now. You block them. You just block them! Will they understand? Probably not doesn’t matter. You need to take care of you. So yeah, there that is, and I will get to the questions. Hold on.
Okay, an apology isn’t an apology. And then consider how much more peaceful your life is without them. After the initial shock and trauma of cutting off contact with an abuser, you may have felt a sense of relief. There’s no longer a push-pull dynamic in your life. You have had opportunities to meet healthy people who have no hidden agenda. You may even feel like life has gotten a little boring since you no longer have the extreme ups and downs in a relationship with a narcissist. A narcissist’s excitement and drama are not what you want to invite back into your life. You can get that need for excitement filled in healthier ways set. So that my friends is coercive control and hoovering. And this is what they do. So now let me get to the questions.
Okay, I am pregnant, my narcissistic mother has threatened to take my child for me to the point that I am going through the process of adoption. For him, does that make me a bad person trying to keep him safe, my partner doesn’t understand how insane she is, just how far she will take it to win. If you want to keep the child, I will talk to an attorney. She cannot take the child from you unless she can prove negligence or abuse. So, I mean, they can try. They can call CPS all they want. But unless they have proof of negligence or abuse, there’s not a judge in this country that’s going to take a child away from the mom. So, I would talk to an attorney. If you want to keep the child if you really truly feel like you cannot provide for the child and the child would be safer in an adoptive family, you could do that. But I would talk to an attorney. That would be my advice.
Now let me very briefly talk about narcissistic grandparents. So, a narcissistic grandparent will absolutely try to interfere there with the raising of their grandchildren. And I have seen cases where they’ve tried and failed to use the grandparent’s law to get visitation, etc., etc., etc. And Nine times out of 10, they fail because they have to prove that there’s some sort of abuse going on or neglect going on in order to take the child away from the mom and dad. They are also the mom and dad have to be divorced. And at least in Arizona, you have to be single for them to enforce grandparent visitation. And if you can show through a psych eval that these people are not good for the kids, then it’s not going to go in their favor. So, you know, there’s a lot of good stuff starting to happen finally, in the family court system, but we need to keep pushing it, we need to keep saying, hey, that’s great that we have grandparent rights because I understand there’s those cases where the abuser is keeping the kids from the grandparents but nine times out of 10 It’s the abusive grandparents that are trying to take the kids away from the healthy parents. So anyway, so there is that.
Is it a form of control when a parent forces their child to eat large portions of bad food? Oh, God, narc mom always made big portions of rubbish food and then complain that the child was fat? Yes. 110%. Yes, that is. That is what they do. So, a child will be told that they’re fat when they’re not. Or the parent will start shoving bad food at them and then tell them they’re fat when they do get a little overweight. And it’s its power, its control. It’s coercive. It’s not healthy. It’s not good. Yes, absolutely. They do that. So, a couple of years ago, I did one on how food is used for control as far as an abuser is concerned. So, you may want to go find that video. I should probably do another one on that. Because that is very, very, very common. They do us food. Absolutely. And they will go. They’re jealous. They’re just jealous. It’s the reason they do the things they do is they’re jealous. And if the child is healthy and athletic, they’ll keep them from doing that. They’ll prevent them from playing sports. They’ll, you know, shove nasty food at them, and then they’ll laugh at them because they’re overweight. I mean, yeah, they absolutely do body shaming. 110% Even if the kid isn’t fat, you know, Oh, you’re too skinny. You’re too thin. You’re too this; you’re to that. So, then the child in their head goes, Oh, in order to be loved, I need to put on weight. Well then, the child puts on weight and now the family is going Oh, you’re too fat. You’re too this you’re too. They can’t win. That poor little kid can’t win. So yeah, absolutely. 110% Marsha Diane and I were talking yesterday about modalities that help with the PTSD, CPTSD, mistaken thoughts, mistaken beliefs. So, anything from CBT talk therapy DBT in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy II EFT, which is emotional freedom therapy, that’s the tapping. All of those are very helpful. And EMDR is very helpful.
So, if you find yourself with food issues, like you’ve got a food disorder, or you’ve got bulimia anorexia, you know, problems with your weight, etc., etc., etc. Get with a good trauma therapist. Seriously, nine times out of 10, you’re going to find it has to do with family of origin. So, get with a good trauma therapist and start working through those mistaken thoughts, mistaken beliefs, the BS that they put you through. Absolutely. And they absolutely do use food as a control, you know, they either withhold the food or they overfeed. So, and they use food as a comfort in a substitution for emotions because they don’t understand emotions. They don’t get emotions; they wouldn’t understand emotions. If Yeah, so anyway, there is that, okay. Um, so yes, that. That is absolutely a way of course of control. It’s, and they’re wanting to keep the child dependent upon them, and they want the child to not have good self-esteem. So that’s why they start doing the body shaming, you know, whether too fat or too thin in their minds, they start doing that, because they want the child to doubt who they are because the kids, if you ever leave a kid alone in front of a mirror, they’re smiling, and they’re looking at themselves, and they like what they see it isn’t until some a hole adult gives them bad self-esteem that they start hating themselves. So, there it is.
My ex knew I had abandonment struggles, and at times, I woke up in the night to see her packing to go home. And one time she was gone, because she was upset for some reason. Is that intentional control? Yeah, if they knew you had abandonment issues, absolutely. So, like I said, narcissist’s favorite meal is somebody that’s got abandonment issues, borderline personality disorder, or abandonment issues, you know, insecure attachment, etc. And so, they will use that to instill fear, fear, obligation, guilt. So, they do that, that’s one of their fun things. And when I say fun, I mean the polar opposite, that they do so the fear, so they’re instilling fear to make you on edge to make you hyper vigilant to make you feel like you need to please them so that they don’t go so that they don’t leave. And yeah, it’s, you know, healthy normal people. They don’t do that if they know their partner’s got some sort of abandonment issues, they encourage them to go get therapy, and to work on it. And they learn about it so that they don’t do anything unconsciously to harm the person. So yeah, um,
Do narcs accuse others of control? Yes. While they are doing it themselves. Oh, my God. 100%. I’ll get to the second part of your question. Yes, so the project, they project they are master projectors. So, what they will do is they will accuse the family and the friends of controlling the target of abuse because they’re telling them the truth. They’re saying, Hey, we’re seeing this red flag and this red flag, and gosh, it’s starting to look like a Communist Party parade. What are you doing? And so, the abuser will be like, they’re controlling you. They’re manipulating you.
Kris Godinez 48:23
They’re telling you who to hang out with. Well, no, what we’re doing is saying take a look at this person and who they’re trying to get out of your life. That’s what we’re saying. So, but you know, if the target of abuse has not worked on that Inner Child Workbook, Catherine Taylor or Lucia Cappacchione I don’t care which one you get, just work it, and they can’t see the inner child cannot see that the family and the friends see this monster for what they are. So yeah, absolutely. And they project.
Narc mom always blamed my dad, he was controlling, and she had nothing. Yet she put money from shared accounts into her own. Yeah, they do. So as soon as a narcissist starts going, you, you, you can bet your bippy that there are six fingers, three on each hand, pointed right back at them. They’re talking about themselves. You’re doing this, you’re doing that, dad’s doing this, dad’s doing that, mom’s doing this, Mom’s doing that. You got to look at actions, not words, and they project and it’s almost like they tell on themselves. So, for example, narcissists will say, Oh, yes, I’m a narcissist, because they think somehow that’s a good thing. And it’s like, that’s not a good thing. Let’s be clear here. That’s not a good thing. So um, you know, they tell on themselves, and so they will accuse other people of doing the thing that they’re doing, so that common one is, you’re cheating. I know you’re cheating. You’re cheating. Well, sweetheart, if you’re not cheating, and you know you’re not cheating the odds are really good that your abuser is because they’re the one doing it. So, you got to understand abusers, narcissists, abusers, dark triads. They’re cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, let’s be clear. And because they would do a thing, they think everybody else is going to do it. They’re paranoid because they know how they would act. So, they vomit it. regurgitate it out, and no, you’re doing it. No, you’re doing it. You’re doing it. You saw me. It’s you. It’s you. It’s you. Remember, they cannot accept responsibility for anything. So, they will accuse everybody around them of doing the very things that they’re doing. You’re stealing money. You’re embezzling. You’re this. You’re that when it’s not, it’s now they’re the ones doing it. So yeah, absolutely. They do that.
Um, okay. How do you establish boundaries with a covert narcissistic neighbor who you cannot avoid? She always whines about her family. Oh, no, sorry. She always whines about her health problems and over-shares her marital life discord details, well, okay. So, you can’t avoid them. It’s just going to take some really strong boundaries. So, say, for example, you’re outside and she corners, you go inside, I’m sorry, I’m really busy. I have a phone call I have to make; we’ll talk later or whatever. Don’t even say that. Just, you know, I’m sorry. I’m really busy. Just always be busy. Always be busy. So, when somebody is oversharing, and somebody is telling you all their problems and trying to use you as a therapist, one other way you could do is hand them a card. You know, this sounds like you need a therapist. Here’s a really good one. You know, that’s another way to kind of put an end to it. Or you can just be point-blank. Hi, neighbor. I know you need to talk to somebody. I’m not a therapist. You need a therapist. I’m not interested. Please stop. Point blank. Now, are they going to come unglued? Yeah, probably. And I have zero. To give to somebody who does that. You know, it’s like if somebody is invading your space, you tell them no. No is a boundary word. And if she’s not respecting, or he is not respecting the word, no. Then you’re dealing with somebody who’s really truly disordered. And you just keep saying no, you’re going to have to be a broken record. No, I don’t have time. No, I don’t have time. No, I’m not a therapist. No, I don’t want to know this. No, you’re oversharing. You know, so covert, covert narcissists play the victim. They want the attention for all the bad things that are going on in their life. So just don’t give them the time of day. Yes, you’re going to run into them. But just be busy. Be busy. I’m sorry. I’m busy. Sorry, can’t talk right now. Sorry. Be busy, be busy, be busy, be busy. And no is a boundary. So, it’s when we’re dealing with somebody who’s disordered; the fear comes up. Well, what if they do this? Or, well, what if they start screaming or crying or kill themselves or whatever? Abusers will use the threat of suicide; they’ll use the threat of harm, self-harm. They’ll use all of this stuff to keep you engaged. And you simply need to say no and be comfortable with it. Practice the word no; no, is a boundary; it’s a wall of No. You know, it’s like, I’m sorry, neighbor. I don’t have time. I’m not a therapist. You need a therapist. I don’t know what to tell you. Here’s the number of a therapist. You know, that’s one way to end it. And you just keep saying no, and we’re afraid of confrontation oftentimes because the people pleasing aspect, so the disease to please by Harriet Braiker, read it, work it, you have a right to say no, you have a right to your own space, you have a right to go about your neighborhood without being, you know, bombarded by somebody who just wants to be listened to, you know, it’s not your job. And you can say that it’s not my job, it’s not my job to fix you. You need a therapist. Here you go. Period. Are they going to like it? Nope, probably not. And they’re going to accuse you of being a bad friend and all of this stuff. And oh, well, let them, let them say and do whatever they’re going to say and do because you can’t control them.
So, get used to saying no, and we view saying no as a confrontation. Why? Because the abusers have always made us wrong for having boundaries. So no, is a simple boundary. No, I’m not interested. No, I don’t have time. No, I don’t want to hear this. No, I’m not your therapist. Here’s a card. Go find somebody else to talk to. Seriously, you know, so we’re afraid of that. Because we’re afraid of what the other person is going to think, feel or do. We cannot control the other person. All we can do is control ourselves. And they’ll try guilt. Oh, they will. Oh, you’re a terrible friend. You’re a terrible neighbor. Okay. Sure, you know, and keep going about your day. Don’t get hooked. Don’t give in. Don’t allow them to hook you. Okay? So no is your best friend. Practice it? Practice it, you know, and just let them know I’m not. I don’t I don’t have time. I’m not interested. You need a therapist. There you go.
Let’s see. Okay. Wow. All right. That is it for this week. Next week, we are going to talk about games that they play. So, all of the manipulative little things that hook us, all of the things that hook us into contacting them. So, we’re going to get a little deeper into the games. So especially when they’re doing the hard hoovering and or, or your guys are in the middle of a high conflict, divorce, and it ends, and then they keep sending you stuff and all the ways they try to hook you into continuing contact with them. So, we’re going to talk about games they play and what to watch out for, and how to deal with it. So all right, my loves, you guys. Go have a great week, and I will talk to you next Sunday. Enjoy the weather. Bye.
Thank you so much for listening to this podcast. You can always listen live on YouTube every week Sunday at noon, Arizona Mountain Standard Time. And if you want to find out more or listen to other episodes, you can go to Krisgodinez.com and if you have a chance, subscribe to this show on whatever podcast app you use and let other people know about. I want to thank my sponsor betterhelp.com. They are an online therapy company. Whether you are in the US or international. They will set you up with a qualified licensed therapist. PhD level or Master’s level. If you are interested in more information, go to betterhelp.com/krisgodinez.
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