Trauma Bonds: Breaking Free From Narcissistic Abuse

Why is it So Hard To Leave For Good And Break Free?

Often at the beginning of the relationship, you would have been love-bombed into this false sense of security and made to feel like the most important being in the world. You think you've met the love of your life - the one! They are kind, caring and attentive, then things change. Sometimes the change is evident, and other times it's a lot more subtle. In the case of a covert narcissist, the turn is ever so slightly as they go hidden under the radar.

The person you met months ago is slowly changing into someone else. No longer are they so caring, so attentive, or so kind, or maybe they are? But you start to sense the change. They also sense that you notice this change in them, and you might question what's happening - or if they're ok. It may be a disagreement that you get into that injures the narcissist, and they lash out with their tongue. They may withhold affection whilst they tend to their wounds and soothe the false created self. They now know that you are not who they imagined you to be, which can make them angry or disappointed in their delusional ideas and fantasies.

The narcissist will come back to apologise with a false apology, as they always do with the love-bombing with gifts and kind words to pull you back in. They push you away and pull you back in repeatedly into a cycle. Now you are trained to take this back and forth that creates the trauma bond. Sometimes this is also called the 'push and pull method'.

Then the abuse is introduced. Gaslighting, lying, physical abuse and or psychological abuse to keep you hooked onto them. They may make excuses for their behaviour, such as "I was just angry", then all is forgotten.

The trauma bond is created, with a pattern of systematic abuse such as gaslighting, Playing the victim, victim reversal (also known as DARVO), which stands for Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender. You see, complex and intricately woven techniques and methods are applied to achieve total submission from the target.

Over time, the narcissist knows that you are trauma-bonded to them, and the only way they can get what they want (control) is to play the push and pull game. It weakens you mentally, physically and emotionally. It makes you question your worth whilst you try to figure out what it is that you're doing wrong. They have played the push and pull game of giving you love and attention and swiping it away whenever they feel like it. Over time it can leave you walking on eggshells out of fear of losing them.

You long for the person you met back then. It was like a fairytale dream of you being swept off your feet by this amazing person - it was perfect! But they do not exist, and they never did exist. It was an illusion created to be with you for whatever reason.

Just being bonded over a few months can do a lot of damage as you are constantly taken back and forth into this insanity.

Key Signs You're Bonded by Trauma

  • You hope to change them, or you hold out for them to change themselves.

  • When you try to leave, you experience feeling confused and conflicted.

  • You make excuses for their behaviour or try to keep things a secret from your family and friends.

  • You remember the good days and think deep down that they do care.

  • When you say you're leaving, they make promises to change but never follow through. If they do change, it's only momentarily.

  • Cycles of breaking up and getting back together.

If you feel powerless to leave even though you know it's the right thing to do, this is a good sign of trauma bonding.

I'd love to hear what your experience has been with the trauma bond. Feel free to share in the comment section below.

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