Decoding Trauma Bond Relationships: Signals and Cyclic Patterns

Traumatic bonding is a phenomenon that can occur in any type of relationship but often occurs in romantic relationships and occurs when the abused person develops a sympathetic bond with their abuser and fails to recognize the negative effects of the relationship. In other words, trauma bonding often involves a victim and a perpetrator in a one-way relationship where the victim forms an emotional bond with the perpetrator where it is usually easier to leave a completely bad situation, where the abuser never offers any compassion or concern but in an abusive relationship, your A partner treats you well sometimes – they might bring you a gift, call you their soulmate or take you out.

Decoding Trauma Bond Relationships: Signals and Cyclic Patterns (Photo by Mart Productions on Pexels)
Decoding Trauma Bond Relationships: Signals and Cyclic Patterns (Photo by Mart Productions on Pexels)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr. Consultant Psychiatrist at Manipal Hospital, Sarjapur, Bangalore. Vanashree BN shared, “The abuser may use verbal, physical or sexual abuse and the victim may get used to it, waiting for the moment of love. Care from the abuser. The relationship may be deep and the victim may be afraid to express their true feelings to avoid conflict. They may feel that it is better to live in fear of the abuser than to leave the relationship.”

Highlighting that the cyclical pattern of abuse, followed by love and care, forgiveness and then re-abuse, can be difficult to break, Dr Vanashree BN revealed, “This leads to a pattern of trauma bonding where the victim waits for little love and care. Care from the abuser, which perpetuates the cycle. continues. It is important to recognize that trauma bonding can occur in any type of relationship and that it may be difficult for the person experiencing it to recognize the negative effects of the relationship. Trauma bonding can also lead to post-traumatic stress and other negative effects. Therefore, from a trauma bonding relationship Coming out can be a difficult and complicated process, but it’s essential for your mental and emotional well-being.”

Kolkata-based consultant psychologist Drisha Dey explains, “There are two primary factors involved in establishing a trauma bond: a power imbalance and rewarding good behavior while punishing bad behavior. In general, traumatized victims lack agency and autonomy, nor any individual sense of self. Their self-image is derived from and internalized the concept of their abuser. “

Talking about the symptoms of trauma bond, she pointed out that the signs that a person is in trauma bond can be determined by understanding the following steps that lead to this type of bond:

1. Love Bombing – This is the honeymoon phase where they shower you with love, attention and affection and it seems too good to be true.

2. trust and dependence – The relationship progresses very quickly and the abuser will go to any extent to gain your trust, and make you dependent on them for love and validation.

3. criticism – Soon, the criticism begins. At first, it’s subtly and indirectly blaming you, but it soon escalates into a full-blown attack that no matter what you do, you do something wrong. This is often done under their guise to protect you. It could be about how you’re dressed or who you’re hanging out with. Eventually, you start to think that there is something wrong with you as a person.

4. Gas Light – Gaslighting happens when they try to make you doubt their experiences. For example, you might catch them in a lie based on something they’ve said before, but when confronted, they’ll tell you they never said it. You begin to doubt whether they actually had it. You know something is wrong, but you feel bad for even doubting it. They manipulate you into doubting your own perceptions and believing your story.

5. Resignation control – You don’t know what to believe anymore because you doubt your own thoughts, so give in and let them take control of the relationship and your life.

6. Loss of Self – You don’t know yourself anymore and you have to do whatever it takes to keep the peace and constantly apologize for the inconvenience. You can’t understand how it got to this point.

7. addiction – You feel trapped in this relationship because your nervous system is constantly experiencing stress and thus craves the dopamine it gets from the intermittent highs that your partner designs to show you kindness and love, and you pay the price by enduring the volatile lows. . .

Shinjini Deb, a Kolkata-based clinical psychologist, said, “One can often find this type of relationship surprising. Yet, taking a step towards change becomes the biggest dilemma. Maintaining parental relationships or acquaintances. This toxic behavior reinforces their idea of ​​how things should be. Yes. Lack of self-confidence and vague ideas about personality are also major contributors to it. Common idea. The surprising fact is that often these people feel isolated and unable to feel healthy support from their loved ones.”

According to experts, many times the concept of love is misunderstood – the fine line between being in love and dominating often blurs, questioning the type of partner a person chooses is not what they like. Therefore, the following signs appear:

1. Covering the red flags

2. Justifying unacceptable actions to your partners

3. The familiarity of the relationship is too comfortable to consider leaving

4. Blaming yourself for the way you are being treated

5. Falling prey to false promises from their partners

6. Choosing to break up with friends based on partners’ advice

7. Persist in unhelpful ways of expressing or communicating in the relationship

According to Ishita Goyal, Associate Consultant – Psychologist (Mental Health & Behavioral Sciences) – Max Super Specialty Hospital, Dehradun, MIND, “If you are trauma bound, you may have seen the best and worst of your partner. You have seen them focus on you. have taken care of you the way you want to be cared for and you can feel that you have met your soul mate. You may feel that no one can love and understand you the way your partner can. But when suspicious behavior occurs you don’t know how to respond and understand. They can still show their love, care and understanding, so you are reminded of how wonderful they can be, and hold on to the relationship. If you constantly feel that you love the same person who is hurting you deeply, you are in a trauma bond. can.”

He listed some other signs related to trauma bonding:

1. Believing in false promises – You will find that the moment you want to leave the relationship, your partner will promise to change him/her for the better. But the changes are never quite enough and you want to hold on to hope for a long time.

2. Repetitive compulsion – You find yourself having the same fight without resolution, because your partner has no intention of changing. This is a sign of a lack of empathy and growth from your partner. You’re stuck in a cycle of hope, dealing with the same issues.

3. Fear of leaving – After years of justifying your partner’s behavior, as you come closer to recognizing that this is not the relationship you want to be in, a fear overcomes you. You are full of self-doubt and fear abandonment and the ultimate unknown.

4. Hiding feelings – You don’t think you can share your true feelings with your partner without getting into fights. You think your partner will only accept you if your feelings match his. You deny or minimize your partner’s wrongdoings.

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