Breaking the Chains of the Trauma Bond
I listened to a very informative YouTube video recently about getting over someone you have been trauma bonded to. (I have attached the link below for you to listen to.) One of the things I said early on during this process was that you have to educate yourself so you understand just what you are dealing with in the aftermath o f a relationship with a narcissist.
According to Wikipedia trauma bonding is defined as:
Understanding this is going to be key in breaking these bonds. You have been put through a cycle of abuse that was intended to manipulate you into a position of submissiveness to your abuser. Its soul aim was to break your spirit, devalue you, and keep you addicted and stuck.
The breaking up of any relationship is hard enough. When you are trauma bonded to a person, it’s like being addicted to drugs. You crave the “high;” which are the times they treat you nice. You put up with and take the abuse during the bad times, just waiting for that next high; that next time they will be nice to you. All the while they are tearing you down to keep you devalued and stuck.
She goes on to say that this is why we don’t leave these types of relationships, and why if and when the relationship does end, it is so incredibly hard to get past them or over them. We are not just in love with them, we are bonded to them. If you have ever tried to break something apart that was super-glued together, you will understand just how hard these bonds are to break.
This has helped me to understand why after all of this time, just over two years, I still have thoughts of him, and still love him on some level. My head understands how horribly he treated me, how much he used me, and how he abused me, but for some unknown reason I was still “in love” with him. I get now that it’s not love, it’s that addiction that I am feeling.
He loved bombed me when we met. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to have met this great guy. I even had an old boyfriend tell me I had batted out of my league with Michael. (Yep, my taste in men was always horrible.) After the initial phase to get me to fall in love with him, he would withhold love and affection and attention. Then out of the blue, there would come a week where he “showed up” for us. I would tell him that I appreciated the time and attention and affection. He would say to me how hard it was for him to do this, but that I was worth the effort. (A real charmer! NOT) After five to seven days of this, poof, it was back to the cycle of neglect, insults, and the silent treatment again, and I would hold my breath, metaphorically speaking, and wait for the sunny days to come back around.
Sadly the longer I was in this relationship, the longer and longer it would be between cycles, and all I could do was just wait for the sun to come out again. It was not living, it was not love; it was existing in the darkness. It’s so easy to say, why didn’t you just leave? I would have said that to someone before this happened to me. We don’t leave because of the trauma bond; a bond that is forged in cruelty and broken only by love. Self love which is the point of this entire blog.
I had to let that all sink into my brain these past few days. I can feel the power shifting within me. I studied trauma bonding in the past, but I guess it was just the right time in my healing journey for me to hear this information and for it to take root. I have learned over these past two years that I have value, and now I see how strong I had to be to break these bonds; but they are breaking, they are finally breaking, and I am learning to make the sun shine for myself.