If you have been in a trauma bond, you would agree that establishing such bonds is usually a slow and steady process.
It is generally marked by a vow from the heart and a generous expression of love. But can a trauma bond turn into a healthy relationship?
Yes, it can. However, it’s an infrequent occurrence. Why? The reason for that is slightly complex.
Technically, it is because trauma bonding causes the abused to deny toxic behavior. In short, the abused partner may believe that the relationship can somehow be repaired.
Unfortunately, it is improbable that a traumatic connection will transform into a healthy attachment. Therefore, it’s better not to waste time trying to fix such a connection. Instead, one should try to recover from it.
This blog is here to help you understand trauma bonding, its signs which must not be overlooked, and a peek into the road to recovery.
Let’s jump right in!
What is a trauma bond, and what are its signs?
The term “wound bond” refers to harmful participation, including abuse. The term “abuser loyalty” refers to the tendency of the abused to remain loyal to the abuser. Finally, a trauma bond refers to a person’s commitment to a relationship that contains abuse.
Now, let’s look at some signs of trauma bonding.
· Making excuses for abuse
Making excuses for abuse is a common practice for some people who get abused in a relationship. The abuser hurts them not because the victim is a terrible person but because they keep accepting the pain and disrespect.
The victims then justify it by telling themselves things like, “this is what I deserve.”, “he/she is very anxious, so I will also be very anxious”, “I was not friendly that day”, etc.
· Fear of ending a relationship that feels difficult
One of the most recurring clues in an abusive relationship is that even if the abused partner understands that they want to leave the relationship, they are afraid to do so.
The abuser makes the abused think that leaving the relationship will hurt. Therefore, the baseless and painful connection is left to continue.
· Hiding feelings
Another sign of trauma bonding is hiding one’s feelings. When an abusive individual forces their emotions such as happiness and grief on their partner, it is safe to say that the relationship becomes traumatic.
The victim is unable to tell anyone how they feel or how much pain they are in. These suppressed feelings keep piling up, making it harder for an already abused person to live a peaceful life.
· Keeping harmful tendencies hidden from others
People in a trauma bond often find themselves convincing others about the positive aspects of their partner. Similarly, they cover themselves in an overall happy cloak over the unhealthy aspects of their partner.
In such a case, the chances are that they are involved in traumatic intimacy.
People who are abused in traumatic relationships usually know that what is happening in their sphere is not perfect. Unfortunately, they remain locked in a cycle of justifying the actions of the abuser and the pain the abuser inflicts on them.
· Having conflicting feelings
Some people who have suffered long-term trauma in a relationship may have conflicting feelings. Sometimes, the abused person may despise the abuser and then make an assertion or take action to make the connection seem healthier than it is.
Is There Any Chance of Recovery?
Yes! Trauma bonding is not love. You should not force yourself into such a relationship. Moreover, you do not need to convince yourself that this is how your life is and should be.
Now, let’s read about some recovery methods!
· Appreciate your emotions and needs
You need to value your needs and feelings. Your partner can be addictive because they satisfy your unmet needs. These needs may be verification, emotional connection, or a sense of control.
By realizing that you can meet all your needs alone, you will feel strong enough to cut the connection.
· Get out of the fake future and live in reality
Stop thinking about what might happen once you get out of the relationship!
Even if you do not decide to leave the traumatic intimacy immediately, you can at least assure yourself that you will stop fantasizing about things that will not happen during this time.
· Make one decision at a time
Although your trauma bonding relationship is dysfunctional, you do not have to make every interaction a matter of life and death.
Once you have decided that you do not want to talk to your partner again, stick to that decision. Strengthen your mind on this decision and convince yourself that this trauma bonding was not good for you.
· Learn to decide for yourself
Get out of the dilemma that your sacrifices can save the relationship. Make the decisions that make you happy, giving importance to your needs.
Moreover, remind yourself that you are still evolving and that life is a journey. Give yourself time to heal and be kind.
· Make sure your support system is in place
Make up your mind about recovering!
Give time to your family and friends and try to understand them. Knowing the scenarios and reasons why your interaction with other people, such as friends and relatives, is limited can also help you keep your distance from your abusive partner.
Try to stay present and alert. Spend time with friends and go out every weekend, if possible.
· Consciously recognize the truth
If you want to recover from a trauma bond, do not put the burden of a failing relationship on yourself by thinking that it was all your fault.
It is essential to design tools and strategies to educate yourself. List the reasons you want to leave; analyze what your partner and relationship lack, and convince yourself that you deserve something better.
Trauma bonds are formed in extreme situations, such as abusive partnerships, violent confrontations, and family conflicts. Such connections have a profound effect on a person’s life and mind.
For a quieter and peaceful life, it is best to let go of such relationships. It will take time for you to do so and heal, but it will be worth it.
Keep in touch with counselors, support services, therapists, and trusted close relatives, friends, and others who have been in the same situation. All of them will support you through your journey towards a better life.
Best of luck!