Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Trauma Bonding, Betrayal Bonds & Stockholm Syndrom

Hold up y'all. Things are about to get real. As you know, I am a child abuse survivor and I've been through a lot of difficult times in my life. Thankfully I've worked hard and have attained a high level of healing, however, I will never forget where I came from or the path it took to get here. I will always remember and always have a soft spot for people who are stuck in abusive situations. My heart breaks for victims of abuse.

Here are typical questions of victims of abuse.
  • This guy just spit on me. Why do I still want to be with him?
  • This woman just cheated on me and still I can't find the strength to let her go.
  • I hurt so badly. All I want to do is text or call him--even though he beats me up.
 These questions are hard-core. It's painful to even think for a moment that someone would actually want to protect someone who abuses them. Right? But it happens every day. It has happened to me too. Why? The answer is: TRAUMA BONDING.

Trauma Bonding, also known as Stockholm Syndrome and Betrayal Bonding is a phenomenon whereby a person who is abused BONDS WITH the abuser. It doesn't make sense does it? Very difficult to understand, however, this is a very common occurrence. My goal with this article is not to tell you about the Trauma Bond so much as to help you get released from the bond if you are in this situation, and to help you understand why you keep wanting to go back to someone who is an evil monster.

The more aware you are of how your mind works, the better equipped you are to make decisions in your best interest. The goal is to get away from the abusive person and never look back. The goal is to get out of bad relationships and get healthy so you can attract a healthy mate. The goal is to live a peaceful, calm, delicious life so that you can express your truth and live to your full potential. I believe this is possible for each and every one of us. Yes, even you. ((Hugs))

According to my research, here's what happens when you are abused (experience trauma):
  • Trauma causes memory disturbances that reroute memories causing forgetfulness of what is really happening. Your mind goes into overload and starts processing things differently. You can dissociate (forget what is going on).
  • Trauma causes your hormones to flow. Women produce Oxytocin after traumatic experiences. Oxytocin is a bonding hormone, thus, if a woman is abused, she will bond with her abuser.
  • Trauma entails intermittent reinforcement meaning that the perpetrator is sometimes nice, sometimes abusive. This behavior is highly addictive and can cause the victim to become obsessed with the abuser. 
  • Trauma can be a form of "repetition compulsion" whereby a person is trying to right the wrongs of childhood abuse, or who feels comfortable in abusive situations. 
  • Trauma can cause "cognitive dissonance"
According to the theory of "traumatic bonding" by Dutton and Painter, powerful emotional attachments often develop from two features of abusive relationships: intermittent (sweet/mean cycle) reinforcement and power imbalance.

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