9 thoughts on “Narcissists Use Trauma Bonding and Intermittent Reinforcement To Get You Addicted To Them: Why Abuse Survivors Stay

  • March 31, 2019 at 11:30 pm

    Thank you for your article,I understanding now why I am having a hard time letting the past go and move on.I have been married 56 years now,my husband is in a nursing home that is when I was able to get away ,my body but not my mind.He is causing me and our kids really bad now ,I don’t talk to him his calls go to voice mail.He was diagnosed with dementia, I got p.o.a. and guardianship on him,yes so now I am in control and he is in a locked place.Yes I am in pain and trying to find a way to heal.He does understand a lot and now I believe he knows I have control over him where all these years he had control,it is a real change,I am sure real hard for him but I have suffered much as our kids have also.Thank you,mary

  • March 31, 2019 at 11:40 pm

    “…or the kind words an abusive mother gives to her child after a particularly harsh silent treatment.” I have only in the past few years realised that this was emotional abuse by my mother, my sister and then finally my brother. There was never an apology for this mistreatment, only the stony cold silent treatment from people who were in some way displeased or disapproved of some perceived slight from me. It was the withdrawal of all love and acceptance and is probably one of the most insidious forms of emotional abuse I have ever encountered. The victim thinks they are at fault or just aren’t good enough to receive the love and attention from people who are their family. They think in some way they are flawed. Not only was this behaviour deemed “normal” in our household, nobody did a thing about it. Thank goodness I’ve finally become aware that it was never my fault and now have the tools to process what has been done to me.

  • April 1, 2019 at 10:59 pm

    Such excellent information, and very well-described. If I were a person currently involved in an abusive relationship, it is Shahida’s writing, books and YouTube channel that I would hope to find first. You have helped so many Shahida. Thank you

  • April 6, 2019 at 9:37 am

    These words help so much to explain why my brain doesn’t match up. I am starved for the poison that was killing me. Even though I know now not to trust his perspective, I just want to gain his approval. Deep down I still have the hope that he will decide that I’m good enough. I write to help ground me in what is truth, but there still are roots deep down that confuse me. Over time it will diminish, but I don’t know if it will ever fully go away. I will just continue on, each day. Each day hurting that he doesn’t love me. Each day learning that many others, including myself, love me.

  • April 14, 2019 at 9:49 pm

    I agree with the article, it describes what I endured and how I feel,even today I wish to have a loving husband that stays faithful,doesn’t life to me or about me.As for leaving I had no where to go,no one to help me,not even the women’s center would help me.My mom an alcoholic had my husband’s baby and she hit me and called me names when I told her I was pregnant, that is when I found out she was carrying my husband’s kid.I am in pain ever day and I want to go back to my husband but I can be thankful that he got diagnosed with Dementia and tried to kill the Nurse at the Hospital.Now I read all i can and am trying to heal but i don’t think i will have a full healings i have been abused all my life.I am reading Power by Shahida Arabi,a truly good book and explained everything so well.Thank you,mary

  • April 30, 2019 at 12:53 pm

    Thank you for that explanation – a friend recommended your blog to me, and it helped me a lot to understand why I put up with so much abuse for so long, living on hope….but looking at it from the outside it is completely insane to even tolerate it for a day….Even though I understand it intellectually I do not understand it emotionally, in the sense that emotionally I still don’t understand how it could happen. I only know that I did research on Narcissism over a year ago, and I still somehow could not believe that this was happening to me. I consulted a Psychotherapist who explained that what I was describing looked like a combination of Narcissism and Borderline Personality disorder – you are talking about a man who does not remember that he ever said this to me, denies it and seems to believe his own ‘truth’. I would like to share that this particular person figured out eventually that his manipulations did not work anymore, and started to step it up, got louder, more aggressive, talked about how he would like to kill people, how he could physically hurt me and how lucky I am that he didn’t. He started to laugh when I got upset – my pain seemed to amuse him tremendously. He said that yelling at people makes him feel better, and that he knows he is like that, and that he can’t help it. I would propose to step carefully here, because depending how far up the spectrum somebody actually is, the person can get quite dangerous, and I think it is better to leave them in the illusion that they can manipulate and upset you with words and make a good escape plan and then vanish, rather than let the situation escalate too far. Stay safe and love yourself! You need to be your own best friend to scramble out of this kind of situation emotionally, and you may have forgotten what it is like to have a really true good friend, but it is a good way to restore a sense of self-worth and eventually a sense of normality…Being with a Narcissist means being brainwashed until you believe you are a terrible person and completely worthless, and only his generous forgiveness gives you a chance to be loved at all – you end up thinking a completely crazy situation is normality, and the other normality is an island you can never reach, no matter how long you swim. Convince yourself that you deserve the best, and keep that truth to yourself until you are out of the abusers reach. x

  • May 25, 2019 at 1:13 am

    I suffered 23 years from the Narcissistic Hilter!! He died and now I am free!!!!!

  • May 31, 2019 at 8:16 am

    Doesn’t help when you describe your life in the toxic relationship, thinking at last I can talk about this, your therapist grills you on why you stayed and tells you you wasted you life. No duh. I had to pay for that. Will keep it to myself from now on and spend the money on something I enjoy.

  • July 5, 2019 at 6:36 pm

    My N of a year and a half was a real PRO!
    Now that I know what I was dealing with, I am getting better mentally. I was definitely Trauma Bonded.. I remember so many times that he verbally and physically abused me and then would get back in my good graces by telling me things like… “ I love you, you’re mine “ “ baby you are not going anywhere “ “ look I miss you baby, don’t be mad at me “, “ we always keep coming back to each other”….. every time I would feel sorry for him and go back to being his door mat hoping he would change once he gets how much he is hurting me. Boy was I wrong he did not love ME , what he absolutely loved was HURTING ME And causing me gut wrenching pain and sorrow…..
    I don’t think they can change because they love being who they are…. what I refuse to do as a VICTIM is allow them to change me from being the loving giving person I am BUT I will run like FLO-JO in the OPPOSITE direction if I get the smallest whiff that the next man or men I date are in fact a Narcissist…. they will visibly see my dust kicking up as I fade away lol


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