It’s almost as if you have an invisible string attached to you and this person. No matter how far you try to get away, they find you or you seem to find your way back to them.
You feel a magnetic pull drawing you in, even when you try to resist it. You know this type of relationship is not good for you. It hasn’t been for a while if you’re being honest with yourself. You’ve told yourself to get up and walk away countless times, but you can’t seem to go through with it. You can’t seem to cut ties.
Let’s learn more about trauma bonds and how you can break them.
What are Trauma Bonds?
Trauma bonding is the attachment that one forms towards someone who may be causing them trauma. No matter what type of abuse has occurred or the length of the abuse, a trauma bond can be formed. In most cases, the abuser will act like they made a mistake, that the abuse won’t happen again, or they’ll express their love for their victim. This combination of positive and negative reinforcement can cause confusion in the victim and can lead to the formation of a trauma bond.
There are suspected reasons why some individuals may experience trauma bonding while others do not. Trauma bonds are formed by the brain trying to protect itself from harm or threats.
Here are some of the most common causes of trauma bonding:
- Childhood abuse
- Domestic abuse
- Elder abuse
- Human trafficking
- Sexual abuse
The Signs of a Trauma Bond
The repeated cycle of positive and negative behaviors and actions from the abuser to the victim creates a trauma bond. These are some of the other most common signs of a trauma bond:
- Feeling stuck in the relationship
- Lack of trust
- The relationship is challenging
- Empty promises
- Attempting to change your partner
- Defending yourself, your partner, and the relationship
- Constantly feeling let down or disappointed
- Trying to focus on the good over all of the bad
How to Break Trauma Bonds
It may feel hard to break a trauma bond, but it is possible. Here are some ways that you can get started on breaking the trauma bond that has formed.
Keep a Record
The constant cycle of being abused versus your partner acting nice can be very confusing. Try keeping a journal or a record of these interactions so you can start to see these cycles and patterns. Having written documentation can help you stay focused and believe in yourself and your own memories despite what your partner may be trying to tell you or convince you otherwise. Make sure you’re keeping your documentation in a safe place where your partner won’t be able to find it. You can keep it at a friend or family member’s house, at work, or even on a note on your phone.
Once you feel ready, cut ties. Cutting ties means fully severing any and all connections and communication. Block their number, delete them on social media platforms, and don’t respond to any of their messages or calls.
Seek Additional Support
If you feel comfortable, lean on your loved ones for additional support. You can also reach out to a local group in your community that may be able to help you cut ties with your abuser. If you’re not sure where to turn to for help, consider speaking with a licensed and trained mental health professional. A therapist will be able to help you identify and recognize these negative patterns in your life. Don’t delay in getting the help you need and deserve. Reach out to us today to set up a consultation for trauma therapy.