How to Free Yourself From Trauma Bond

It is not impossible to break a trauma bond.
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How to Free Yourself From Trauma Bonds (Abusive Relationship)

From the outside, it appears like leaving an abusive relationship is simple. We've all said something along the lines of, "If it were up to me, I'd dump them." I'd never placed myself in such a predicament.”

Of course, when you're in an abusive relationship, all of this is much easier said than done. As strange as it may sound, abuse may be the reason many people stay.


What Is Trauma Bonding and How Does It Work?

To characterize this phenomenon, Patrick J. Carnes, PhD created the phrase "trauma bonding." Trauma ties are formed when a victim forms a bond with someone who is harmful to them.

Trauma attachments are addictive loops, according to Carnes. The abuser traps the victim by misusing fear, excitement, and sexual sensations. The victim is completely unaware of the relationship by the time it has been established.

The CPTSD Foundation goes into greater detail about these ties. We go through phases of strong love and enthusiasm with a person followed by periods of mistreatment.

The site states,

"The cycle of being devalued and then rewarded works to create a strong chemical and hormonal bond."


Victims of abuse may feel closer to their abusers than to those who treat them kindly.

Relationship Signs Of Abusive Or Toxic Dynamics

First and first, it's critical to consider the big picture. In abusive or toxic circumstances, trauma attachments form. To recognize a trauma bond, you must first recognize the abuse.

Domestic violence is frequently associated with physical violence. Abuse can take various forms in reality. Some people are more subdued than others.

Jealousy, controlling conduct, and unrealistic expectations are all warning indicators of an abusive relationship. Abuse can take many forms, including verbal, emotional, sexual, and physical.

There's fire where there's smoke. You may be trauma bonded if you recognize any of these themes in your relationships.

Signs That You're In A Trauma Bond

A trauma bond can appear in a variety of ways, just like indicators of abuse. A partner's tendency to excuse, defend, and protect their abuser is a huge red signal.

Out of fear, victims may defend their partners. They may, nevertheless, feel obligated to their abuser. An abuser, for example, can hold a mistake made by the victim early in the relationship over the victim's head.

As a result, the victim is too ashamed to leave. Worse, the victim may believe that they are deserving of the abuse.

Other indicators include victims severing links with loved ones like as family and friends. A victim of a trauma bond may feel insecure or reliant on their abusive partner. Another warning flag is hiding negative feelings.

Victims of trauma bonds are also more likely to take on various “roles” for their spouses. They are a friend, therapist, father, teacher, and babysitter in addition to being their abuser's lover.

What Is The Purpose Of Your Trauma Bond?

In this blog post from February 2021, David Mandel, executive director of the Safe & Together Institute, makes an interesting case. Mandel provides four reasons why trauma bonding serves to blame the victims in his blog article.

So, at this point, I believe it is vital to state that trauma bonding is not your fault.

Trauma ties are more likely to form as a result of a number of causes. Poor mental health, low self-esteem, and financial troubles are all risk factors. Bullying history, a lack of support system, and a lack of personal identity all raise the risk.

A history of abuse is perhaps the most significant risk factor. “[Previous abuse victims’] nervous systems are already wired to respond to the up-down cycle of intermittent reinforcement that is so characteristic of toxic and abusive relationships,” according to the CPTSD Foundation.

Disorganized attachment styles can result from past maltreatment, particularly in childhood. As a result, according to Health.com, abuse victims would "seek protection and safety from the same person who is instigating their need for safety or who is the source of their anxieties."

To put it clearly, if you're in a trauma bond, it's entirely your abuser's fault. Domestic abuse victims are never to blame for the abuse they are subjected to.

How to Forever Break Trauma Bonds

It is not impossible to break a trauma bond. And in other situations, it might be the difference between life and death. As a result, it's critical to act as soon as feasible.

According to medical authorities on Health.com, the first step is to re-establish contact with family and friends. If you're unable to do so, try making new friends. It is critical to have a strong support system.

Then, attempt to reclaim as much autonomy as possible. Get a job, particularly if you're financially reliant on your abuser. Separate yourself from your abuser by pursuing outside activities.

Consult a support group or a mental health professional for assistance. The National Domestic Violence Hotline can help you if you don't know of any in your region.

Remember that while trauma links are strong, you are much stronger.