We’re going to tackle a hard topic for our 100th episode today: trauma bonding.
Many women don’t realize they’re either in trauma bonds themselves or they know someone who is. It’s a lot more prevalent than most of us expect. Let’s get some clarity around the term ‘trauma bonding’ and what it means, so we can better understand our relationships and experiences.
What is a trauma bond?
To quote Jourdan Travers, LCSW, “Trauma bonds are the attachments we have with our abusers. It’s when we have fond feelings or miss individuals who have abused us because we’ve developed a connection to them. One minute things are good, and then the next, they’re not.”
Trauma bonding occurs because the trauma of the abuse literally changes your brain. As you start to release the neuropeptides that bond you to your partner, you become addicted to the unhealthy patterns that trigger that release, and it gets harder and harder to objectively see the abuse happen.
You can become trauma bonded to a parent or any other person in your life. But we’re focusing on trauma bonding in romantic relationships, where the most dynamic power imbalances can happen and the person that you want to console you the most is the one hurting you.
Potential signs of a trauma bond
You might have started your relationship after being continuously love-bombed.
Your abuser may lash out towards you, inflicting verbal or physical abuse, and you end up consoling them when they feel remorse or pain.
You may feel good (getting a chemical reward from your brain) about helping your abuser hide your own abuse.
You may defend your partner’s bad behaviors, or filter abusive events in the retelling because of how it sounds when you say it out loud.
There are so many nuances and complications around this topic. But we want this episode to serve as a starting point for you to get curious about your own experiences, and decide if and how you want to create different experiences moving forward.
- Why trauma bonds happen, why they’re hard to break, and how to start noticing them
- Tools to help you gain clarity around trauma bonding experiences in your life
- Techniques for breaking unhealthy patterns and begin your healing from a trauma bond
Meet the Faces Behind the Voices
Choose To Be is focused on women healing from infidelity, betrayal trauma, or from the sexual acting out of their spouse. We are a Christian based company, committed to helping women heal. Come be part of the conversation as we interview experts, others who have gone through this journey, as well as gain tools to help you move forward.