Luke 17:3 Ministries Inc
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
For Adult Daughters of Controlling or Abusive Birth-Families
Hoovering 101 And No Contact 101
Hoovering 101 and No Contact 101
By Rev. Renee
AND WHEN PHARAOH DREW NIGH, THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL LIFT UP THEIR EYES, AND BEHOLD, THE EGYPTIANS MARCHED AFTER THEM; AND THEY WERE SORE AFRAID: AND THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL CRIED OUT UNTO THE LORD, AND THEY SAID UNTO MOSES, BECAUSE THERE WERE NO GRAVES IN EGYPT, HAST THOU TAKEN US AWAY TO DIE IN THE WILDERNESS? WHEREFORE HAST THOU DEALT THUS WITH US, TO CARRY US FORTH OUT OF
Hoovering: The various ploys and lame excuses your abuser will use after you’ve gone no contact, to try to suck you back in and get you to respond to her.
Hoovering will occur most frequently during your first year of no contact. If you continue to ignore it, it will lessen and probably stop for awhile as your abuser moves on to other victims. However, expect periodic contact for ten years or longer, especially whenever your abuser loses one of her other victims.
Hoovering is usually calculated to appeal to your sentimentality and timed to catch you at a weak moment, when you may be feeling vulnerable or nostalgic. It is a manipulation meant to toy with your emotions in an effort to get you to respond.
Hoovering often conveys a sense of urgency and pressure- to get you to call your abuser back before you have a chance to think. If your abuser leaves a message that Auntie Ida is in the hospital and it’s very important that you call him back so he can tell you what’s going on, do NOT fall for it. You can get the same information by calling the hospital or Auntie Ida yourself, or by calling her husband or kids directly. Let them know you heard the news, you’re thinking of them and praying for them, and see if there’s anything you can do for them. Show them how nice you are, and make your abuser look crazy for badmouthing you. Do not allow your abuser to think he is your only source of information about, and your only connection to, the rest of your family. You don’t need him to be a go-between. DO NOT respond to any impression of urgency with anything but a long delay. Nothing in your abuser’s life requires your immediate attention. Take the time to think about it and figure out what’s really going on and how you might want to handle it in a way that’s best for YOU, which probably means not getting involved at all.
Hoovering takes on many disguises. You can expect contact at the following times:
Before or during the holidays- expect calls, e-mails, surprise visits, cards and gifts for you and your children, possibly sent along with other people. Especially on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day, if you really want to enjoy a nice, peaceful holiday with your loved ones, make sure you lock the door, take your phone off the hook, plug in the electric fence, pull up the drawbridge, and throw the crocodiles in the moat. A word to the wise.
Big occasions- expect birthday cards for you and your children, invitations to your abuser’s anniversary, wedding, retirement, or birthday party, and calls “informing” you of other relatives’ weddings, births of babies, etc.
Illnesses or deaths- expect a call or e-mail when anyone gets sick or dies, even some distant tenth cousin you haven’t seen since you were a child and don’t have any memory of. You can also expect your abuser to have a few medical "emergencies" of her own which, for some reason, require contacting you. My estranged father-in-law managed to interrupt our Christmas dinner and upset my husband every year by going to the hospital for indigestion and having one of his friends call us, until I finally started taking the phone off the hook on Christmas morning. I know another abuser who disowned her daughter and then stared at the wall and refused to speak until her Silent Partner husband called the disowned daughter, instead of calling 911. Another went to the Emergency Room with a headache and insisted that her estranged child be called and notified, even though she was not admitted and was sent home the same afternoon with a couple of aspirin. Be ready for some high drama, and be determined to stand firm.
Some Nonsense They Just HAVE TO Ask You Or Tell You About- It could be "Do you remember Jill who used to live next door to us?" I ran into her and she wanted to say Hi to you, so I'm just letting you know. I need to know if it's okay to give her your number." It could also be "My boss is buying a house and he needs the name of the lawyer you used when you bought your house, so let me know." How about, "We're having the Smiths over for dinner Saturday night and I need your broccoli casserole recipe. I know you don't want to talk to me, but it will only take you a minute to call me back." Or, "Aunt Trish is coming for a visit and I want to show her the pictures from your 6th grade graduation (or your kid's pictures), so can you send them to me? I'll get them back to you as soon as I can." Another favorite ploy: "Mom wants to know if you still have Grandma's necklace that she gave you twenty years ago. If you're not using it anymore, she'd like it back." If you don't reply, which you shouldn't, then you can expect several more testy calls or e-mails getting progressively more insistent that you call or e-mail back, just for a second.
Ignore, ignore, ignore, and if they show up at your door, call the police.
Be prepared for The Sneak Attack- contact when you least expect it and through a source you least expect. Some examples of the Sneak Attack include:
Expect to be contacted through third parties. Your abuser will often enlist a friend or relative to approach you for her, and deliver news that she is ailing, depressed, getting old, sorry for all that’s happened, or whatever else she can think of to make you feel guilty and relent.
Expect your abuser to circumvent you and go behind your back to contact your husband and children, in an attempt to maintain a relationship with them that doesn’t include you. Your abuser might also try contacting your friends and neighbors to express her “concern” for you, pump them for information, and to try to influence YOUR friends to take HER side.
My personal favorite: Somewhere along the line, expect to get a package of decades-old junk, like cards you gave your mother (why on earth would she be giving them back to you?), drawings you made when you were in grammar school, old photographs, and maybe even a home movie or two. This is a mind game meant to mess with your head. Throw them out, keep them, enjoy them, whatever, but DO NOT respond.
No Contact 101
No Contact Means:
NO Talking To Them No Matter What Happens And No Matter What You Hear
NO Letting Them Talk To You, NO Listening To Anything They Say, NO “Hearing Them Out.”
NO Letting Them In Your House And NO Going To Their House. If It Is Possible To Move, Then Move, Get A P.O. Box, And Don't Let Them Know When Or Where You're Going. DO NOT leave a forwarding address at the post office- after the forwarding period is up, any card or letter your abuser sends you will get returned to him with your forwarding address on it; instead contact each of your creditors, friends, and anyone you want to keep in touch with individually and advise them of your new address. Never use your street address. Use your P.O. box as your address on everything- including your driver’s license, car registration, credit cards, deliveries, bills, etc. This will buy you a couple of years, until they find you online. The best move is more than a day’s drive away. In fact, the further, the better.
NO Phone Calls and NO Returning Voicemail Messages. Change Your Number To Unlisted and Unpublished, And Do Not Give It To Anyone You Can't Trust Not To Give It To Your Abuser. NEVER pick up the phone. Screen Your Calls. Use Caller ID Or Let Your Machine Pick Up. If you get any strange messages from people you barely know or whom you haven’t heard from in years, do not return their calls unless they told you why they wanted to talk to you when they left their message. Be very wary of anyone who just leaves his name and number and says something along the lines of, “I need to talk to you.” There’s a very high probability he’s a Silent Partner, sicced on you by your estranged abuser.
NO Sending Or Responding To E-Mails. Block Their E-Mails, IMs, And Ability To See When You Are Online Block them from viewing your page on any social networking sites you are on. Make sure you use a different, unidentifiable name and e-mail address on any forums or chat groups you belong to.
NO Meetings to "Talk Things Over" Or "Work Things Out".
NO Communication At All Except Through Attorneys. NOT THERAPISTS- Attorneys. If you go to counseling with a psychopath, I guarantee you'll regret it.
NO Cards or Letters and NO Responding to Cards or Letters. NO Birthday Cards. NO Christmas Cards. NO Mother's Day or Father's Day Cards.
NO Gifts and NO Accepting Gifts. If A Gift Is Sent To You, NO Acknowledging It And NO Responding. NO Returning Gifts, Cards, or Letters. To An Abuser, That Is A Response- It Means You Are Still Emotionally Connected To Them, You Still Care, And If They Keep Trying They Can Wear You Down. Ignore, Ignore, Ignore.
NO Exceptions For Holidays, Birthdays, or Anniversaries
NO Visits, Including Hospital Visits
NO Letting Them Near Your Kids. If They're Too Toxic For You To Be Around, Then They're Too Toxic For Your Children To Be Around. Warn Your Children To Stay Away From Them. Notify Your Children's School To Call The Police If They Show Up.
NO Public Pleasantries. If You Run Into Them In a Public Place, Ignore Them, Turn Your Back, And Walk Away. If They Approach You, Say In A Loud Voice, "Leave Me Alone!" And "Do Not Talk To Me". If They Persist Or You Believe You Are Being Stalked, Call The Police. Get a paper trail started. Make a police report and get a case number so that in the future you can file charges for stalking, aggravated harassment, and any other crimes that the police or your lawyer can think of.
NO Discussing Them With Anybody Who Has Contact With Them.
NO Speaking At All To Anyone Who Might Be Pumping You For Information Or Spying On You, And Reporting Back To Them. Cut Off Anyone Who Is Not Loyal To You.
NO Listening to Any News About Them. If you’re absolutely DYING of curiosity, listen but do not show undue interest, do not respond, and do not give any information in return.
NO Giving Other People Information About You Or Your Family That They Could Carry Back To Your Abuser
NO Invitations to Your Big Events and NO Responding to Invitations They Send You
NO Responding To News That They Are Getting Married, Having A Baby, Getting A New Job, Retiring, Moving, Taking A Trip, Sick, Dying, Or Dead
NO Big Announcements or Telling Them Anything About Your Life- NO Letting Them Know You're Getting Married, Moving, Or Having A Baby. NO Letting Them Know When Your Children Get Married, Where They Live, Work, or Go To School, Or When Your Grandkids Are Born.
Print Out E-Mails and Keep All Cards, Letters and Other Communication In A File For Future Harassment Or Stalking Charges, But Do Not Respond.
No Contact means NO CONTACT. Nothing, Nada, Zilch, Zip, Zero. As if they were total strangers who also happen to be dangerous, deranged, psychopathic stalkers. Which they pretty much are. So why would you not protect yourself and your family from them?
Narcissists do not understand limits, maintaining a comfortable distance, taking it slow, or being cordial while still keeping someone at arm’s length. They only deal in extremes, and must be totally enmeshed with you, with no boundaries or restrictions. It’s all or nothing with them. Because of this, it’s important to accept that it is NOT possible to have “limited” or “occasional” contact- for instance, only when there is a big event like a wedding or funeral. This only sends a mixed message to your abuser, who will interpret ANY willingness at all on your part to communicate with him as a sign that all is forgiven, you’ve gotten over your little snit, and everything can now go back to normal, without him ever having to apologize or stop abusing you.
No Contact is THE END. You have already wasted your entire life trying everything possible to have a nice peaceful relationship, and nothing worked. That's why you reached this crossroads. There is nothing left to try. It’s OVER. It's time to put a period on it, walk away, and never look back. Time to finally live your life. Time to do what you must to protect yourself and your loved ones from evil people who would do you harm. If you break No Contact, you will only be sucked back in. If you keep No Contact, you will live your life in peace, freedom, and safety. And after it's all over, I leave it up to you whether you go to the funeral or not. If you have moved on with your life and left the past in the past, you won't feel the need to. Another disciple said to him, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." But Jesus told him, "Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead."....Matthew 8:21-22 NIV
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The Lord specifically called Sister Renee to minister to Adult Children, not their parents, estranged siblings or friends, abusive or abused spouses, or victims of other types of abuse, although what we write here can often be meaningful for those folks as well. Because of this, our ministry and website have a narrow focus which we will not be changing. We simply can't cover everything. In addition, it is not our purpose to help you re-establish contact with someone who felt it was necessary to cut you off for the sake of their own well-being. We do not keep a list of resources for estranged parents or any other type of abuse and suggest if you are sincerely interested in making amends with an estranged relative, you do an internet search for a website or group that will be more relevant to you. If you cannot find a group or site that you can relate to, we suggest you start your own, and bless other people in your position as well as find support for your personal issues.
For Adult Children and others as well, please understand that we cannot give you personal advice concerning your particular family relationships. We are not therapists or lawyers, we usually do not have enough information to form an opinion, and time does not permit us to give enough thought to each person's individual situation to do it justice. If you need personal advice, we urge you to contact the appropriate professional, depending on the problem you have- your minister, therapist, attorney, police department, local domestic violence hotline, etc. In reading this site, you acknowledge that nothing you might read here qualifies as or substitutes for professional advice. Please note we cannot recommend or refer you to a counselor and we do not have a list of therapists or recovery groups in your area. The only Counselor we recommend is the Holy Ghost, and we encourage you to read the Bible and learn for yourself what the Lord says about the issues we write about.
Our articles are strictly our personal opinions and testimonies and are not intended to give or offer any advice. All who access this site do so with the understanding that we are NOT professional counselors and we strongly recommend that you discuss your individual situation with your pastor or therapist and pray for the Lord's guidance before acting on anything we write on this site. Unfortunately, the abuse we discuss is all too common, inflicted on countless victims by countless perpetrators. All names and identifying details in our articles have been changed to protect the innocent as well as the guilty. Any resemblance to a real person or persons whom you might know is strictly coincidental.