18 thoughts on “9 Signs Of Traumatic Emotional Bonding – part 2

  • May 31, 2018 at 3:17 am

    Hi Tamara,
    It feels like a long time since I’ve commented. Life has kind of gotten in the way lately.
    I have obviously heard the term “trauma bond/ing” but only fairly recently believe it or not. So it was very helpful to learn about it in your posts.
    I didn’t really think it fit my situation as far as having survived years of sexual and verbal/emotional abuse by my former stepfather but I now think it might have to some degree.
    The most recent? I went to his graveside funeral service on the 20th of this month. I told myself and others that I was going solely to support my (half) siblings and their kids. What I couldn’t really acknowledge is that a part of me felt I owed him that because he helped my mom raise me, he provided a home, food, yearly school clothes, Christmas gifts and a few good memories here and there. So I went, and I think I disassociated but then again, I don’t know. Maybe I had simply done enough healing to be able to tolerate it? I didn’t shed a single tear–and I felt no need to. However, a video taken that day shows a quick glimpse of me–pensive look on my face, as a minister is speaking and I am looking not at the speaker but at a tree a short distance ahead, sort of looking towards God.
    I do remember it seemed hypocritical to me that given what he put me through, HIS adult brother, sister in law, and my sister arranged for a pastor to speak. The pastor never even MET “J,” and “J” never went to church or told us he believed in God but maybe He got right with God in the moments before he died because prior to that, his life did not reflect a love for Jesus.
    I feel long ago forgave “J” for the years of abuse. Because I am not a person who hates and also, I believe it’s what my faith requires. Yet tonight I wonder, is that really forgiveness or is that part of a trauma bond?

    • June 3, 2018 at 10:19 pm

      Hi Lori,
      I feel like I’ve been MIA (missing in action) myself! Glad you could comment.
      Very interesting story and perspective. You post the same question I get from clients all the time. The question is “how do I know that my connection to my abuser isn’t because of a level of forgiveness or because I truly do care about the person?” I even have clients ask me this. So I typically clarify by stating that a traumatic bond almost always results in the victim being lied to, harmed, or misused in some way by the abuser. It’s like being dupped over and over again by the abuser person. This is a harsh, repetitive pattern of behavior the victim experiences.

      I think what you describe may be forgiveness. Perhaps you have grown in such a way that you are able to see things better and be at peace with your decision.

      Take good care

  • June 5, 2018 at 3:43 am

    Hi Tamara,
    Yes, I THOUGHT you’d been kind of “missing in action” as well–thanks for saying that so I know it wasn’t just my imagination or a skewed perception lol! I hope you are okay!!
    Thanks also for your thoughtful response. I think you are right and that it is likely due to growth and forgiveness.

  • June 6, 2018 at 9:58 am

    Tyvm for the insight information. It totally described me in my marital situation.

    • June 6, 2018 at 8:12 pm

      Hi Yolanda,
      You’re welcome and thank you for the kind comment.
      Take care

  • June 6, 2018 at 10:16 am

    I am living it and can’t find help anywhere. It’s exactly as you say, except that behind an abuser there is an abuser. My mother is narcissist, age 90, with a horrible childhood. How not feel empathy for somebody in her predicament. She lives alone, abroad, just lost her house, no family. I have NC, but suffer 24/7 with guilt, shame, codependency, etc.

    Lately they talk of oxytocin and estrogen as fuel for trauma bonding in women. In one thing you are right, we need help. Blaming the abuser is too easy. If things were so bad, why are we so willing to have them back?

    • June 6, 2018 at 8:17 pm

      Hi Susan,
      Thanks for your comment and great question. I think it is a combination of neuro-biology and spiritual connection that makes it difficult to let go. We’re all spiritual as humans and when we have a spiritual connection with someone (a parent, another adult, etc) intermixed with the biology and neurology of human existence, we get traumatic bonding. At a purely psychological level, a person who is nice and charming one minute and then abusive the next makes for a very confusing experience.

      I wish there was a way to heal this type of trauma but I don’t think there is. We certainly need more knowledge specifically on traumatic bonding.
      Take good care

      • June 7, 2018 at 6:05 pm

        Your comment is really great!! I love all of them and they are all right and make sense. I personally have experienced this and id have to write a book to explain. So, im just going to make it short. I hope. My mother was the mental, verbal and physical abuser, she was also abused as a child but she she molested also. My 1st marriage was to an abuser the sane as her. I thankfully got out 17 yrs. Ago. I am now married to a great guy. My mother passed away on October 1st,2017. It may sound bad but her passing has actually helped me move on. Theres more but i just wanted to say this, theres one more thing but i dont want to type my whole life. Thankyou for all of this information. Its something ive been through, but reading this, it makes soooo much sense to me and helps me move on even more. ♡♡

      • June 16, 2018 at 9:23 pm

        Hi Gina,
        Thanks so much. 🙂
        Glad you found the article and my comment helpful. It’s such a terrible thing to experience. Once you are set free, you are set free. Never return!
        I wish you all the best

  • June 6, 2018 at 11:00 am

    Hi, What treatment would be recommeded for an abused patient from a Therapist ?

    • June 6, 2018 at 8:14 pm

      Hi Rosemary,
      Thanks for your question. I would say trauma focused cognitive behavior therapy if you are referring to a child or adolescent. For adults, I would suggest looking for a therapist who has a specific trauma-focused treatment approach. You’d want to make sure they are certified by asking about education or “scanning” the office for a trauma certification.
      Take care

      • June 8, 2018 at 5:10 pm

        Hi, Not sure you understood my question… the Abuse was by a Therapist… so how does one find the proper help… after all it was a Therapist who Abused the patient?

      • June 16, 2018 at 9:30 pm

        Hi Rosemary,
        I suppose I didn’t!
        This is a tricky question. I’m not sure I have the answer but I would suggest a 2-fold approach. I would seek out another therapist who could help you explore what happened and then grow and heal from that. I would also consider the “abuse” by the therapist an ethical and legal issue. Further research into this may be of help.

  • June 6, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    sick of it! lol

  • June 6, 2018 at 7:49 pm

    if you went thru it, you know that somehow abuse “doesn’t hurt” at the moment. Even remember it, I feel numb. It was easy to forgive a narcissist mother, who had been severely abused herself, who did so many nice “sandwiched” things for me. Parental abuse, depending of the degree, I guess, does not hurt the same way. That’s why we care for them and even protect them. We knew that something good was going to come out of it. I just ordered your recommended book. Thank you.

  • June 8, 2018 at 12:06 am

    Hello there, thank you 4 sharing. I was also abused by both my parents. Sexually, emotionally, physically. My husband Did all of the same for 23 years and to me and my children. I have such guilt. My local domestic violence helps me w counseling, free and a free lawyer, God bless them.

    ~~My question, how can u get past all the guilt, toward the abusers? Its twisted, my daughter suffers from guilt toward her dad as I do.

    I pray I will move to a place of forgivness for my well being, but right now I Hate my parents and espically Loathe my soon to be ex husband.
    (just being honest)

    • June 16, 2018 at 9:25 pm

      Hi Elizabeth,
      Thanks for sharing your story.
      Forgiveness really is difficult for a lot of people to wrap their heart and mind around. It’s an act of full selflessness. For most people, as I’m sure you are aware, they feel forgiveness lets the “perpetrator” off the hook. But in a lot of ways it lets your mind and heart “off the hook.” You are freed when the act of forgiveness occurs. Until then, you remain a prisoner of your heart and mind. I’ve been there and it isn’t easy. But once you come through it, you’ll see where you couldn’t fly with the baggage.

      Take good care

  • April 15, 2019 at 7:38 am

    Hello – i have just come across this article. It is true for me..except the person i allow myself to be treated emotionally abused by is profoundly physically and emotionally disabled. I see no escape..they said they will give up if i ever left- and i couldn’t be responsible for causing another person to die. Sometimes i wish for my own end. Yet i get a sense of fulfilment from being there and supporting. My feelings are so mixed. I yearn for a way out yet also feel petrified of their end. There is no answer.


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