Trauma Bond Relationships: Signs, Stages and Recovery

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Trauma Bond Relationships: Signs, Stages and Recovery

Trauma is anything that overwhelms the brain's ability to cope. It's a highly charged emotional or psychological response to specific events. You are trauma bonded if it feels like losing your sense of self and feeling off-centered. You might also push away helpful people because you are scared and feel no one can understand you and your life.

A trauma bond is as addictive as drugs. The person who makes you feel low is also the person who can make you feel high. One person abuses, and the second keeps fearing detachment. There are trauma bonds that occur not just in romantic relationships but also between family members, friends, and even co-workers.

To understand why people have trouble leaving painful relationships, it's important to understand trauma bonding - identifying abusive and distressing relationships with brief positive reinforcement.

Signs & Symptoms of Trauma Bonding 

Do not take all abusive situations as trauma bonding. There is a certain process to identify whether it is trauma bonding or something else. If you are seeing these red flags 🚩

1. Intimidation
2. Emotional abuse, possible physical abuse
3. Isolation from friends and family
4. Denial, Minimization, and Blaming
5. Control over decisions and/or finances
6. Threats and Coercion
7. Poor boundaries
8. Mistrust

It's time to stop and think. Seeing one's own coping mechanisms realistically and objectively can be challenging. It's not that you don't know something isn't right. As a matter of fact, you know it well and feel it intensely. What you can't do alone is separate the emotion from the behavior. Your emotional attachment to it is too strong. That's where we can help.

You can do a reality training and break the confusion or cognitive dissonance with these checks below 👇

Is the other person:

❌Minimizing denying and blaming in case of bad behavior
❌Isolating you
❌Using threats & coercion
❌Using children or friends against you
❌Economic and emotional abuse
❌Coercion or physical harm
❌Using privilege to keep you under their thumb

7 Stages of Trauma Bonding 

Stage 1: Love bombing
Stage 2: Get you hooked and gain your trust
Stage 3: Shift to criticism and devaluation
Stage 4: Gaslighting
Stage 5: Resignation & submission
Stage 6: Loss of sense of self
Stage 7: Emotional Addiction

How to Break a Trauma Bond? 

Though it may be difficult, there are ways to break free from a trauma bond.
Try following specialized therapies

1. Join support groups
2. Share problems with supportive & trustworthy peers
3. Accept being paranoid
4. Learn to forgive others
5. Stop blaming yourself
6. Disconnect with the specific abuser(s)
7. Make yourself understand this relationship will not work anymore

If you feel weak, don’t mentally berate yourself; speak to yourself in compassionate, understanding, and reflective ways. Remember that you are a work in progress and that life is a journey. Allow us to assist you in reclaiming your voice and finding your way forward by booking a relationship therapy right away. 

Solh Wellness experienced and trained therapists will assist you in identifying the underlying causes of your problems and developing healthy coping mechanisms.