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    • #7282

      He ended a 15 year relationship in a five minute conversation, and then walked out of my life. When it happened I was in pieces – crying uncontrollably, being physically sick, unable to eat or sleep, unable to see how I could even exist without him. In therapy, I told the counsellor that I couldn’t understand how I’d come to love him unconditionally, there were so many cruel manipulative things he’d done (and boy oh boy was that a relief to say – I’ve been holding it in for years), so I couldn’t understand why I was so shattered to loose him.

      I ended up suicidal, and under the care of rage crisis team. They probed a lot into the relationship, and they told me that I needed to get past thinking he was wonderful and I’d driven him away by being terrible to him; he was being emotionally abusive (I’ve been under community care before, unbeknownst to me there was a suspicion this was going on). I was completely shocked and initially wouldn’t accept it. Gradually I came around to agreeing with them.

      I was really angry with myself for feeling so attached to him. I told a friend – I said I felt so silly about loving him so much and feeling that he’s the air I breathe. She said that if hostages got Stockholm syndrome, then it wasn’t so hard to explain.

      I then started to look at Stockholm syndrome to understand why hostages have even been known to marry their captors. I came across the term trauma bond. I found a blog written by a psychologist that listed some of the features of trauma bonds. It floored me. It was so familiar to how I felt. I immediately implemented no contact, and then I started to challenge some of the beliefs I held about him, me and the relationship.

      After about two weeks he broke it and I had to see him. I felt nothing whatsoever. I was really surprised. It’s got me thinking – people who love their husbands and have been with them for as long as I have are devastated for months when they leave. They are plagued by anger and obsess about what their husbands are doing. I am almost free of all that.

      Instead, I have crippling attacks of anxiety. I shake. It’s uncontrollable and intrusive. It’s embarrassing because it can happen when I’m having a nice cup of tea with my friend. It freaks them out. When I’m sad, it’s because I’m sad that I never had what I thought I had. I had a terrible anxiety attack when someone tried to reassure me that it’s just a midlife crisis and he’ll come back.

      Could it really be that I don’t love him at all, in fact I’ve probably been hating him for a while? Does this sound more like a trauma bond than love?

    • #7284

      Hi Foggy,

      What you are describing ( panicky feeling ) is typical of the effects of trauma and very much like PTSD.

      When we are in the relationship, even though damage is being done to us, we can’t reflect on it, as all our energies are going on surviving.

      When we are out of that atmosphere, our mind begins to process what happened and our bodies react accordingly.

      I can identify. Being out in public places would trigger me. Even if they were nice places. I got agoraphobia for the first time in my life.

      Do t push yourself too hard. Do t try to do too much too soon.

      It is important to keep connecting and talking it out with people at this stage. Do things every day that make you feel secure and comforted, too.

      If the anxiety gets worse or continues, have a chat with your GP.

      In terms of your question, have you hated him for a while, this is such a complex one to answer.i believe that we hooked up with our abusers because they chatted us and promised us the world, but they soon began acting in ways that were in fact the opposite of love, that didn’t sit well in our gut. We ha e spend many years trying to reconcile the person we met with the person we have come to know them to be.

      Even if they are superficially still charming, their actions towards us don’t display real concern or a real interest for our own individual well-being or development. We are in survival mode, but something in our gut tells us that something isn’t right: we don’t feel safe, or encouraged, etc.

      Of course, how the abuser keeps us there is by doing apparently nice things for us from time to time ( intermittent gifts etc) and of course, by telling us that any problems are our fault. They are very good at lying and brainwashing, and we ostensibly believe them. But something in our gut is crying out for us to recognise the truth: deep down, we know that we aren’t being treated right and don’t deserve it. The abuse and control we suffer are in fact acts of violence. I think under it all, we know this. Our minds and bodies begin to process that it isn’t purr, safe love and trust we feel for our a user: it is fear, obligation and guilt, those things he wa to us to feel to keep us with him.

      Our moral sensibility and our sense of justice starts to feel offended. How dare he treat me like this, etc. What I call justifiable anger. It starts to rise, ever so slowly. However, we don’t know how to get out, because we are groped by so many things.

      We begin to hate them for their repeated onslaughts and covert acts of cruelty and control. We begin to see the relationship for what it is, and it isn’t pretty. We realise how our interests haven’t been our partner’s priority: his own interests have!

      What you call ‘hate’ is, I think, a mix of deep hurt, justifiable anger, psychological terror and a yearning to escape. Plus, we have slowly begun to see our abusers for what they are- cowardly, conniving and selfish bullies, and we have lost all respect and admiration for them.

      This isn’t a clear cut process: the effects of abuse are confused and messy in our minds and psyche X

    • #7285

      Typing error: trapped, not groped!

    • #7286

      Typing error:
      Charmed not chatted!
      Pure not purr!

    • #7287

      PS I also think his method of ending it, which like mine sounds very hard and unfeeling and callous ( the n**********c discard) in itself sends us into shock: how could someone we gave so much to be so u feeling a clinical? It is a shock, because for the first time we can clearly see who they are.

    • #7341
      one day at a time

      Thank you foggy for posting. It’s hard to confront the reality of our abuser. Your story is so very similar to mine. My abuser was removed by the police after nearly (removed by moderator) of being together. I went no contact and it was only then I could clearly see how controlling and manipulative he had been.
      Yet like you I still had feelings for him that didn’t make sense. Even though I found out he had lied to me from day one, I felt a bond to him.
      I also went through days of despair and panic. Any little thing can trigger me. And I have days when nothing makes sense at all. I don’t want to make this all about me, just want you to know you are not alone in your trauma bonding.
      Hate is a very strong emotion and it’s confusing to feel that level of negativity towards someone you loved. I think you can love the person they pretended to be but hate the person they actually were. You can hate their actions and words, but at the same time show yourself enough love to realise you weren’t to blame.
      The shock when they leave isn’t a one off event. There are lots more shocks as you realise what you’ve survived.
      Well done for your courage to stay away. Keep strong. Take care. Xx

    • #7379

      I keep questioning whether he’s just a really sensitive man who I hurt and then lashed out by withdrawing his love and affection, instead of it being is way of shutting down so that I don’t disagree with him. I ended up just telling my therapist the straight facts. I really trust this therapist, and he said the behaviour was very odd, especially given he resisted therapy to sort out the root issue, most likely the root issue has nothing to do with me.

      I also told the therapist I felt bad talking to you ladies, because he hasn’t knocked me about. My therapists response floored me “emotionally, he has knocked you about. You are a wonderful woman, who has occupied so many different roles”. I just broke down and sobbed. He said if that was hard to hear, then it was because I needed to focus more on myself. I keep telling myself I need to leave what I told the therapist with the therapist, and move on to working on the future.

    • #7380

      Hi Foggy,

      You say that you wonder whether he was just a sensitive man.

      But this is the crux of it. Abusers have fragile egos and cannot bear any criticism- even if it is justifiable.

      However, if truly is a case of one rule for them, and another for other people : they most often have a chip on their shoulder, are mistrustful and envious of other people, quick to judge and to defame others.

      We, however, are meant to overlook their behaviour, however bad.

      A relationship with an abuser is not an equal one x

    • #69891

      Omg this is me I think no matter how rotten he is to me bad company is better than no company. Currently we are in separate room I just want to get a cuddle off him. When he treats me bad shouting abuse about how bad s person I am all I want is for him to be nice. Why can’t I walk away?

    • #69900

      Google oxytocin in domestic abuse. It’s a bonding hormone. Our own chemistry works against us. Once you educate yourself on the chemistry and psychology you will see it’s not love. How can you love someone who hurts you? Love doesn’t hurt x we crave that bonding. Even after a rape I just wanted that cuddle and for him to make it all right again. It’s mind blowing dysfunction. They push us off a cliff then come and rescue us x

    • #69913

      Hi all, I have a question; so if this is recurrent in us does this apply to our children who witness this? and are still with our abusers? ive just had my elderly dad asking me why ive cut my own daughter off and ive explained it as she has a trauma bond with regards to her dad. im sorry to digress a little but would this be correct? xx diy

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