Signs You Are Experiencing a Trauma Bond?

Signs You Are Experiencing a Trauma Bond?
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The two words, trauma and bonding seem to be something that shouldn’t go together but they do. What is trauma bonding? According to Choosing Therapy, trauma bonding can be when a manipulative person or abuser uses their tactics to make the victim feel dependent on them for care, which can cause an attachment. Some people use a shared traumatic experience with another person as an anchoring point to create a false sense of security and acceptance. 

Look out for these signs:

  • Love Bombing – fostering positive feelings and providing validation for the other person while also manipulating the situation or relationship to mold to their needs and desires
  • Criticism – do they pick apart some of your qualities and word them as problematic? It may not be noticeable at first or in disagreements, but you may notice taking on blame or over-apologizing when it is not your fault. 
  • Loss of self – a progressive loss of self can occur when you are experiencing pain and feeling isolated from important people or activities you used to do, which can slowly make you doubt yourself or become more passive towards that person to avoid further conflict

It is only natural to develop a bond with a person who treats you with kindness and gentleness, but if there are attempts to manipulate one person in particular, then a cycle of reassurances or affection with a sprinkle of unbalanced power dynamic or love bombing can be concerning. 

When you are trying to break free from an abusive situation or trauma bond, it is ideal to access your support system or a mental health professional to be able to manage the confusing moments. It may be time to be introspective and possibly write down some patterns or behaviors you have noticed and speak in a safe place of understanding. Therapy can assist with putting the pieces of the puzzle back together and finding out other sides you may have overlooked.

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