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Author Topic: Trauma Bond  (Read 1237 times)
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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Parent
Posts: 79

« on: July 23, 2014, 03:12:32 AM »

Hi everyone 

I found this on intensity versus intimacy on a thread recommended by 2010. I found it helpful. Hope you do too.

"A trauma bond is where an intense, traumatic experience or betrayal of trust takes place, forming an equally intense relationship/bond.

Some signs of a trauma bond:

.When you obsess about people who have hurt you though they are long gone from your life (To obsess means to be preoccupied, fantasize about, and wonder about something/someone even though you do not want to.)

.When you continue to seek contact with people whom you know will cause you further pain.

.When you go "overboard" to help people who have been destructive to you.

.When you continue to be a "team" member when obviously things are becoming destructive.

.When you continue attempts to get people who are clearly using you to like you.

.When you again and again trust people who have proved to be unreliable.

.When you are unable to distance yourself from unhealthy relationships.

.When you want to be understood by those who clearly do not care.

.When you choose to stay in conflict with others when it would cost you nothing to walk away.

.When you persist in trying to convince people that there is a problem and they are not willing to listen.

.When you are loyal to people who have betrayed you.

.When you are attached to untrustworthy people.

.When you keep damaging secrets about exploitation or abuse.

.When you continue contact with an abuser who acknowledges no responsibility.

"The brain pathways actually change due to the intermittent re-inforcement of good times mixed in with periods of trauma. It's the hardest type of behaviour for the brain to stop, hence the " trauma repetition behavior.

It's one reason why a "no contact" period is so helpful, it allows the brain to heal - and then our hearts."  Skip

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 2892

« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2014, 03:39:23 AM »

Thanks for posting this

I've been thinking and feeling this subject out recently and have been realizing that in my BPD relationship the relationship between the trauma bonding and my own narcissism.  

All those times where we are being strong for our BPD partner in distress forms a part of the trauma bond but my own narcissism was what sealed it.  Being strong for them activates an vulnerable narcissism that our love can comfort them, while we Surpress our own vulnerability and fear, and when they calm  down it is reinforced. When we look back on are what were actually terrible moments we see them as good because our narcissism was activated.

Also when we are being mistreated one might hide how much pain they are really in surpressing traumatic emotions that go down to our core while we hide behind a narcissistic mask more inline with the fantasy we have projected. A fantasy that was reinforced all those times that our vulnerable narcissistic idea that our love can prevail was reinforced throughout the relationship when soothing them in times of distress.

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Posts: 79

« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2014, 03:41:35 AM »

intensity versus intimacy

From Patrick J. Carnes, Ph.D

1) High intensity is often mistaken for intimacy.

When you come from a family in which members showed little emotion or affection, and you meet someone around whom there are lots of feelings, you might perceive this as intimacy. At least there are feelings. But if the feelings are about high drama, betrayal, and passionate reconciliations, it is not intimacy. It is intensity. And it is both absorbing and addictive. The addiction is about high arousal and high risk.

2) Intensity exists in relationships when there is betrayal and drama triangles.

Intensity thrives on fear and arousal- especially sexual arousal or the fear of sexual betrayal (did this person cheat on you?) You're likely to believe that they will cheat again.

Intense relationships often have one person pushing while the other is pulling. There is always the prospect of more betrayal and abandonment to come. The anxiety that this causes is so unbearable, that the only way to control it is to *create drama* to keep it at the surface, where people think it can be resolved- but instead, they feel it. High drama becomes a way to manage anxiety.

Dramatic exits, whether slamming of doors or jumping out of cars, or leaving people in the middle of nowhere- act out the anxiety. Rather than using the tension as a way to constructively resolve the conflict, it serves to bond two people traumatically. There is no soothing calm. There is no way to resolve the conflict either, because the conflict is what both people feel keeps the anxiety under control. Episode after episode means that the drama is the bulk of the relationship. *This is called a Trauma Bond.*

Trauma Bond: Consists of victim/victimizer, fear and arousal, push/pull, threats of betrayal and abandonment, high drama, no structure or rules, high distraction, built on secrecy, escalation, episode after episode.

Fear intensifies all human attachment. Fear escalates the reactivity of the body, which in turn escalates all the survival options; arousal, blocking, splitting, abstinence, shame, repetition and bonding. (Who wouldn't look like a Borderline at this point?)

"Intimacy, in contrast, starts with mutuality and respect. There is neither exploitation by abuse of power, nor betrayal of trust. Passion flows from vulnerability and care- and it is a function of the soul. Intimacy relies on safety and patience. Healthy intimacy usually has no secrets. *Intensity require secrecy and develops from it.*

Intimacy pushes partners to grow. Conflicts that arise in intimacy result in negotiation and a clear understanding about fair fighting. Absent are the fear and anxiety of intensity. Constancy and vulnerability create more of the epic rather than the episodic."

~ The Betrayal Bond. Patrick J. Carnes, Ph.D
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« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2014, 03:58:37 AM »

Caramel, thank you much for posting this.

It resonates very well with my personal experience.


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« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2014, 10:26:49 AM »

I found this very interesting.

Most of these were present when I was in the relationship.  The others have come into play since.

I guess I am definately trauma bonded.
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« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2014, 10:33:35 AM »

I also found this very interesting.  I am also trauma bonded, although right now for the first time since I met her I feel that I am breaking the bond.  NC was 100% the key to me this time around.  It allowed me time to process (and continue to process).  I am slowly removing the toxins from my body.
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: Divorce in progress
Posts: 162

« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2014, 10:40:44 AM »

Thank you for this. Offered me some new insight, and I will read up on it more.

Much appreciated!
seeking balance
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Relationship status: divorced
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« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2014, 10:52:21 AM »


Thanks for bringing this back around on the Leaving Board.  Have you had a chance to finish, The Betrayal Bond?

I found this book a very insightful, not for the weak to read.  There are patterns of behavior that I had that I had no idea were results of trauma bonds.  The worksheets were important in processing emotions and in putting things into context.

I read it early on in my process and again about 6 months ago - no matter what stage some really valuable tools.




Faith does not grow in the house of certainty - The Shack
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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 227

« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2014, 10:36:20 PM »

Her abandoned child stabbed a big knife into my lonely childs back. Since then i have been working on the death of the lonely child.
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