Trauma bonding looks a lot like love in the early days of a relationship due to the intense affection and "love-bombing" techniques used early in a relationship.
But how can you tell if it's love or trauma bonding? One of the 8 ways to identify trauma bonding is the love-abuse-love cycle that an abuser uses.
Another way to identify this is when you start making excuses for their behavior and claiming that you did something to bring on that behavior.
You're walking on eggshells to avoid conflict, and you just don't know who you are anymore.
If this sounds familiar, you most likely have a trauma bond with your abuser. Keep reading to learn more.
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Another way to identify trauma bonding is when you experience a love-abuse-love cycle.Things are going great, you're having a great time, and you're thinking, "Wow. They really have changed."
In a healthy relationship, conflicts are dealt with civilly and with love and understanding. Bad moods or upsetting things aren't a trigger for abuse.
But if you're in an unhealthy relationship and have a trauma bond with an abusive person, a bad mood is a trigger for abuse.
So if you feel like you're constantly watching your moods or avoiding saying the wrong thing so you don't trigger abuse, you're walking on eggshells.
In a trauma-bonded relationship, a victim constantly monitors their partner's moods to avoid abuse. If this is how your relationship feels, it might be time to seek a counselor to help you.
Continuing the last point, a trauma bond victim consistently makes excuses for their abuser's behavior, which might look like the following:
"He wouldn't have had to hit me if I didn't talk back to him."
"I know she didn't mean it. She's having a rough time right now."
"If I would have just had sex with him, he wouldn't have raped me."
The trauma bond keeps victims from fully blaming their abuser and instead makes them blame themselves for the abuse.
A trauma bond messes with your mind because you don't see the abuse as abuse. So you rationalize the bad things that happen and blame yourself for not avoiding them.
Or you might think that if you were better at the finances, or housekeeping, or whatever, then you wouldn't have been yelled at or hit.
The abuser blames you for everything, and instead of rejecting that blame, you accept and believe it.
This allows the abuser to be justified in their behavior towards you.
Part of a trauma bond is that there are not always bad times. The good times are great, which is what bonds you to the person.Loving attention gives you a high similar to a cocaine or heroin addiction, and increases your dopamine production, making it much more difficult to leave the relationship.
So if you feel ashamed or unable to talk or spend time with them, you might have a trauma bond.
If you feel like you've lost your identity and you have no idea who you are anymore because of the relationship, you might have a trauma bond.
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