Do you have a trauma bond?
Have you heard this term before? If you haven’t, you’re not alone.
I didn’t know what a trauma bond was until earlier this year. But once I did, it completely blew my mind.
Trauma bonds are the connections that we have with our abuser.
These are really powerful connections our brain has that keep us from letting go and moving on.
If you’ve ever felt like you’re in a relationship that you want to leave but you can’t, or you left and you feel guilty, this is why. It’s a normal, albeit unhealthy response, that our brain has to the continued to cycle of abuse.
So how do you know if you have a trauma bond?
Below I’m going to share the signs and symptoms. If you relate, you’re probably trauma bonded.
Constant pattern of non performance.
They have proven time and time and time again that they’re not going to change.
There is so much proof that nothing is ever going to happen. But you still believe they will anyway.
You want to believe down in your core that they really will change and that they really do care about you enough to change.
Others are disturbed by what’s happening, but you’re not.
It’s that situation where your friend comes up and says, “Oh my gosh, why do you let him talk to you like that?”
Or you’re telling your girlfriend a story, she looks at you and says, “Wait a minute, he’s controlling what you wear?”
And your response is, “Well, that’s just how it is. He doesn’t want anyone to look at me.”
You justifying away the abusive behavior that clearly bothers others. But you don’t understand why it’s a bad thing or that big of a deal.
You feel stuck because the other person is being destructive
You feel like you can’t leave because they’re your responsibility and that it’s your job to make sure they don’t destroy everything. You’re worried that if you leave, they’ll only get worse. That they’ll hurt themselves or others.
Their destruction becomes our responsibility.
If I go to a restaurant, and my son breaks a vase, I’m mortified. I would take responsibility and pay for that vase because it was my son that broke it.
It’s a very similar reaction we have with our abuser.
We feel like we are required to clean up after them. Not only that, we feel like it’s our responsibility to make them less destructive. We feel like we have to respond in a certain way to make the world around them happier because they won’t change.
So you’re trying to do everything you can to make the change happen yourself. You’re trying to reduce chaos around the house because you don’t want them to go off.
You are begging and pleading with them to stop being destructive. You have thrown away your own mental health, maybe your own physical health, in a pursuit of making a better person.
Repetitive damaging fights with this person.
You are just fighting in circles and nothing ever happens. It just becomes a screaming match or a fighting match or may lead to an abusive outburst. But no progress ever gets made. You fight about the same things over and over and over and over again. And you can’t seem to get anything that change and you can’t seem to get the cycle to stop.
You feel physically unable to detach from them.
You can’t even fathom a life without them. You can’t even seem to bring together a world where they’re not with you.
Even if you kind of want to leave, you feel like you can’t.
You try to leave but it causes you physical pain.
It hurts so badly you feel like your heart is about to rip out of your chest. By leaving, it’s like someone’s trying to rip your arm out of its socket, you feel like you’re losing a part of you by walking away. It hurts so badly that you don’t eat, you don’t sleep, you don’t live your life because you are so caught up in this attachment to them.
So if you’re feeling guilty about leaving your abuser, this is why.
If you left your abuser a week ago, a month ago, a year ago and you still feel guilty for leaving, you’re probably trauma bonded.
There is nothing wrong with you. You are not broken, your brain is responding in a normal way to abuse as sad as that is.
But that doesn’t mean healing is a possible.
I had to do this myself on more than one occasion,
One of the most important parts of recovery is awareness.
Once you become aware, you get your life back.
Once I realized why my brain was doing this it gave me so much relief.
It felt so freeing to look at all this and go, “Oh my gosh, I’m not stupid. My brain is just reacting this way because of the trauma experience.”
I want you to have that relief. If you resonate with it, I want you to release some of that guilt. You’re not crazy.
There’s nothing wrong with you. You deserve healing and freedom. You deserve to experience life without feeling guilty for it.
Now girl, if this resonated with you, the next step is break that bond.
The second week of November I’m hosting my first ever Recovery Bootcamp.
This is a free five day challenge where I’ll be coaching you every day for five days through concepts like trauma bonding and recovery.
I’ll be walking you through the exact framework I walk my clients through completely free.
I’m so excited about it and I KNOW it will change your life.
Click here to grab your spot!