A trauma bond develops between an abuser and their victim. During it, the victim forms a trauma bonding addiction and can not get out of it. We define a trauma bond with a narcissist as a strong emotional connection between two people who have hurt each other. The victim and the abuser may have any type of relationship. It can be romantic, family-related, or professional. This blog aims to explain how this happens, why it’s so damaging, and what you can do about it if it happens to you.
Understanding trauma bonding addiction
We also know trauma bonding as Trauma Stockholm Syndrome. It is an event that can happen in cases of very mean and unfair treatment. It happens when victims of serious harm form a strong bond with their abusers. They lose their ability to see violent behavior for what it is. The effects of trauma bonding can be long-lasting. They will continue to support their abusers, even if all proofs go against them. You can now see we call it trauma bonding addiction and how dangerous it is.
Forming a trauma bond with a narcissist is not your fault. We should remember that it can happen to us or another person. It can feel like a punishment for being alive in this world, but it is not your fault. Both parties involved in the bond often felt the effects of trauma bonds. So both of them must talk about their experiences. They must work together on healing themselves and each other. In trauma-bonded child, they can go as far as defending their parents. It happens because the child has learned to depend on their abuser for survival. They need them to provide food, shelter, and emotional support. They form a bond with their abuser to survive.
Why trauma bonding addiction forms?
Trauma bonds form when you feel you have no other options. Suppose you are in a situation with only one choice available. You can save someone’s life or let them die. It is exactly the type of situation in which trauma bonding addiction will happen. It can happen in plenty of ways:
- A person can get trapped in an area with no way out if an animal attacks them. Or he can get trapped on their property while trying to defend himself from intruders. The formation of a trauma bond with a narcissist becomes necessary for survival if there are only two options available. They include survival or death.
- Trauma bonding is powerful, and it can be very hard for someone to break out of. It is because the deep need to stay alive kicks in when a person experiences trauma. This need will cause them to bond with whoever is around them.
Trauma bonding is an event in which hostages develop deeply caring feelings for the people who capture them. A trauma bonding addiction can happen in relationships where there is too much or too little power. A trauma bond with a narcissist can also form when one person is emotionally controlling another.
The following are some examples:
- A violent partner who separates you from friends and family so that you feel alone.
- A parent who is mean to his children. He makes them feel worthless through mean, unfair verbal treatment or physical violence.
- A boss embarrasses his workers through speech in front of many people at work every day.
- Trauma bonding in children raised by cruel parents. These children may feel intense loyalty to their parents. They may defend them in any situation, even knowing that what they are saying or doing is wrong.
As explained earlier, If you are in a trauma bond with a narcissist many signs can help you identify it. Some of the most common include:
The trauma bonding addiction makes you feel that your life is not complete without your partner.
- Constantly thinking about them. You cannot think about other things or people in your life.
- Feeling the need to be with your partner.
- Not being able to leave the relationship, even when it’s not good for you.
- Feeling you can’t live without your partner. Although they’re causing problems in your life, you feel helpless.
- You feel like if anyone hurts your partner, they’ll do something bad back to them. It can be violence or acting unfairly.
- It doesn’t fit into typical domestic violence stereotypes. So you might refuse to deal with it or refuse to believe that what is happening is a mean treatment. Although people have told them, victims will have a hard time believing in the abuse. They can only believe the abuse is real if they see proof through personal experience. They might also talk with other survivors who have experienced the same situations.
If left untreated, this denial of trauma bond with a narcissist will cause serious health problems, such as depression. The trauma bonding addiction occurs because of a lack of self-worth that develops from unfair treatment. Although the mean treatment was happening for a long time, they could not stop it. Get help fast enough before it’s too late to act. Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviors using threats or force. People use it to establish power and control over another person. It can be physical, emotional, mental, sexual, or related to money. Whatever the reason, it always involves a misuse of power by a partner that he tries to maintain.
Ways Of Healing
Many people who have experienced trauma bond with a narcissist don’t know how to ask for help. If you are in this situation, it is important to remember that:
- Get professional help. Ask your friends or family members if they can refer a therapist or counselor.
- Understand that the trauma bonding addiction is not your fault.
- Find new ways to deal with stress and fear.
- Understand that your partner will not change. But you can learn how to communicate better with them. You can do it so they feel heard and understood (even if they never change).
- Find out what types of therapy are available in your area. Try to find if any groups might be helpful to you (such as support groups).
- Find a support group where people with similar experiences can offer opinions. It can help you learn what you could do about a situation. You can also learn how they did it differently. Or what others in their situation have done before them.
Even if the therapist isn’t right for you, it may still be worth meeting with them. You can learn what kind of person (or group) is attending their sessions. You can then make a smart choice based on information about the person/group.
Written by: Dr Tahira Rubab Hafeez
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