The last thing I asked him as I carried my belongings to my car from his house was,
” So you would rather choose a life of paying for prostitutes, going to gangbangs, having NSA sex with people from craigslist, and swinging, than being with me?”
To which he answered,
” well I’m not sure I’d phrase it that way but yes .”
I’m not sure how many weeks it was after I pulled out of his driveway that I just couldn’t get him off my mind. Good, bad, or worse you don’t spend five years with someone and then have it end just in a blink without being in a crap ton of pain. It’s a loss. Even if it was fake on his end, all the feelings had been real on mine.
He hadn’t called me, hadn’t emailed me, hadn’t texted me. It was like I had never even existed. It was like all the ‘I love you’s he had told me was a lie. My mind could understand but my heart wouldn’t accept the truth.
I wanted answers as to why….closure, I desperately needed closure so I sent him an email. I asked him if he missed me and if he ever thought about me.
He did respond and said he would always love me but that I just didn’t fit into his life at this time.
I wrote back again asking if we could just be friends. If I would be able to just clean his house? Mow his lawn? I couldn’t imagine not having some small piece of him . The gaping hole in my heart that he occupied was just too deep. I didn’t feel strong enough to survive the loss.
He answered without hesitation, no.
When I wrote back insisting that I must mean something to him? He wrote back that I was becoming a nuisance and that if I ever contacted him again that he would call the police.
I was horrified. Felt betrayed. Five years of caring for him. What happened to him hanging on my every word so early on? What happened to him teaching me every sexual move I knew?
At first I went numb. Then after weeks of just lying round in my pajamas like a uniform, I did a google search for support groups for women who had been victims of abuse. I put in keywords silence, crazy, mood swings, abuse, sex addiction and found Narcissism.
Then I dig further and found online support groups through Facebook and joined. They don’t show up in your public groups list so your friends and family don’t know your in them. There forums you can read others stories or situations anonymously or also comment and give feedback. You can also write your own story and/ or situation and receive feedback. I felt so much less isolated.
I also joined phone line support groups. This proved invaluable. I phoned into meetings a few times a week. Talking with other women who experienced the same thing. Different keypads on the phone muted and un-muted the phone and the meetings were highly structured so that one person spoke at a time. At the end everyone got a chance to speak.
Every woman that I grew to know on those phone lines told me that he would come back for me one day. They said, “they all do.” They all used their term “Hoover.”
Hoovering is a technique that is named after the Hoover vacuum cleaner, and is used by Narcissists (and other manipulative people) in order to “suck” their victims back into a relationship with them. Hoovering is often done after the silent treatment is given or the victim has left them.
I protested,” not this one he threatened the police on me and apparently made good on it, my local police notified me that although I wasn’t in any trouble, I was asked not to contact him again. That it wasn’t a restraining order but that it would be considered harassment if I did.”
The women all insisted, “he’ll be back.”
And they were right.
A year and a half later, it was Valentines Day evening. I wasn’t doing much. Watching TV, when I heard a knock at the door. I pulled the door open and there he stood.
My heart dropped.
I never ever expected to see him again. He had a box of chocolates and a card in hand. I had done a ton of recovery work but nothing had prepared me for this.
“Well aren’t you going to invite me in?”
As if reflexively, by some unseen force I opened the door. It felt that way, because I felt afraid and yet I also felt hypnotized by him, unable to stop myself from opening the door. There’s something powerful that is created in these trauma bonds they work so hard that form with you in the beginning.
Trauma bond was a term first created by Patrick Carnes used to describe “the misuse of fear, excitement, sexual feelings, and sexual physiology to entangle another person.”
A simpler and more encompassing definition is that traumatic bonding is:
“a strong emotional attachment between an abused person and his or her abuser, formed as a result of the cycle of violence.”
I’m pretty sure that Dracula was a supernatural Narcissist who used trauma bonds on his bitches too.
After I let him in, he initially hugged me but quickly his hands fell and tried to put the moves on me and I realized what he had come for. All the recovery work was not lost. I quickly led him to the door, thanked him for the chocolate, and shut and locked it after he left. He looked quite surprised. I even surprised myself. I threw the chocolate out later. My body did respond to him that night but I never said a thing and I never have.
When people survive repeated sexual assault or abuse, their body often betrays them by responding to their abuser by getting aroused and/or with an orgasm. Researchers David Finkelhor and Kersti Yllo found that some women in their study reported that they had experienced pleasure during the rapes, particularly in cases of repeated rape. They write that this appears to be an “adaptive response” that makes repeated rape more survivable (1985 photo pg 125).
Asking him to leave, rather than falling for the trap of thinking that because my body was responding that it meant somehow we were “meant to be.” This was a huge moment of success for me. I had ushered out the monster and ushered in, the infancy of self-care.