Stage 5 — Control Is Established
If you give in and start to believe what your Narcissistic mate says and give them even more control over you, BINGO!! You are now in a mini Stockholm Syndrome situation. The person who is mistreating you is now in charge of doling out everything. You have allowed yourself to become dependent and infantilized.
Stage 6 — Resignation and Loss of Self
You are now their helpless prisoner hoping that if you do exactly what they say and show them enough love, they will love you back and be kind to you again.
Stage 7 — Addiction, Leaving, and “Hoovering”
Addiction: At this point, you are addicted to their approval. You are no longer thinking rationally. Instead of hating them for abusing you and wanting to be rid of them, you are afraid of losing them to someone else. You are totally trauma bonded to them. This means that you refuse to see the obvious: This person never loved you, cannot love anyone, and they are too Narcissistic to care how you feel or how much damage they do to your life.
Leaving: If you happen to summon up the inner strength to leave, your Narcissistic mate will suddenly change their tactics. They now start trying to suck you back into the relationship. This is informally called “Hoovering,” after the vacuum cleaner by that name.
Hoovering: They may start by doing something minor, like suddenly starting to “like” your social media posts. Then they may send you a casual text asking how work is going. If that does not get you to respond, they up the ante. They go back to the “Love Bombing” tactics that got you interested in them in the first place. If you continue to resist, they try even harder.
They make promises that they have no intention of keeping. They say anything that they think you want to hear.
– I love you so much.
– Life is not worth living without you.
– I made the biggest mistake of my life when I treated you that way.
– I see now that it was all my fault.
– I learned my lesson. From now on I will treat you like the Queen/King that you are.
– I will prove my love for you every day.
– Everything will be different this time.
– I have changed.
Wishful Thinking: Many people get sucked back into the relationship again at this point. After all, you reason, what if they really have changed? Won’t I regret it forever if I do not give them a chance now? At this point, you are choosing to ignore everything that you know about this person on the slim chance that they have somehow magically transformed themselves into a decent and reliable human being who actually cares about you.
What is really going on is that it feels really good to be wanted again. Everything that they are telling you, no matter how unlikely, is like a soothing salve for your wounds. You were so so humiliated and hurt by the careless way that they discarded you, and you have already invested so much in the relationship, that you hate to believe that all of this has been a total waste. In addition, it feels so good to be courted again that you simply do not want to walk away while you are getting more of what you have always wanted from them.