Tis the season for the hoover

Yes, the hoover. October is not just for Halloween. This time of year from now until mid February you will get all kinds of hoovers from narcissistic or disordered family, friends and exes. The hoovers will be everything from the “Let’s take a walk down memory lane and relive all the good times” to “I’m in the hospital. I’m dying. I just want to see you!” to “Hey! Just thinking about you and wondering how you’re doing.” They will come in the form of phone calls (from a number you have not yet blocked, but do block it once you realize who it is) to emails and most likely texts. DO NOT fall for it! It’s a trap! (To quote Star Wars) Abusers are counting on the sentimentality of the season, the romance of fall and winter or just plain old gaslighting/guilt tripping to try to get you back into their circle of influence. Our amygdala is very susceptible to the walk down memory lane hoover, because it can’t tell the difference between past, present and future. That is why so many targets of abuse get sucked back into an abusive relationship this particular time of year. So how can you protect yourself? Write down every rotten thing they ever did to you and you keep that list somewhere where you can read it, especially if they reach out to hoover you. Abusers count on us minimizing or “forgetting” (abuse amnesia) how bad it really truly was. You must remind yourself how bad it really truly was so that you do NOT fall for their hoover. In dealing with guilt from a “I’m dying” hoover, get with your trauma therapist and work through the guilt, the fear and the obligation. FOG.

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