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    • #19563

      Please what is trauma bonding. Is this the source of my confused feelings over what happened to me?

    • #19569

      Traumatic Bonding

      Try this link. Trauma bonding and Stockholm syndrome. They were my lightbulb moment.

      Really explains a lot. Also oxytocin in domestic abuse. It’s a bonding hormone women release after childbirth and also after terrifying abuse which bonds us closer to our abusers. Even our bodies conspire against us.

      Not our shame x

    • #19577

      Dear Freedom, Here is a great article on Trauma Bonding, also a book called Why does he do that? has quite a lot on it .

      Myself, & some other women on here that I know of have been suffering to various degrees from this, Millionpieces, Aliceinchains & Escaped not free. It may help you to look at some of their older posts. Each of us have felt the devastation of trauma bonding. You might be referring more to Gaslighting which invovles confused feelings, have a look at this book which explains this more: 30 Covert Manipulation Tactics in Personal Relationships.

    • #19627

      I’m wondering if repeatedly talking about what we have experienced contributes towards trauma bonding. This is what this article says. I have found that I am spending more and more time on this forum talking about my past, i wonder if it would be just as healthy to turn the computer off and go & do something else. The forum seems to have become an addiction.

      Quote from article.
      “Many victims feel the compulsion to tell and retell the events of the trauma in an attempt to come to terms with what happened to them and to try to integrate it, reaching out to others for contact, safety, and stability. Other victims react in an opposite manner, withdrawing into a shell of self-imposed isolation. The trauma bond can persist even after the victim leaves the relationship, with it sometimes taking months, or even years, for them to completely break the bond”.

    • #19663
      Twisted Sister

      I’m not sure whether I think talking about it contributes to it. Things have to become very conscious (like you can’t get them out of your head) before they can be reintegrated, so its a normal part of the process, especially in PTSD, whether you talk it out loud or not its there.

      Personally I found there’s a balance to be struck between paying attention to it and actively working on it/exploring etc, and finding something uplifting/rewarding/interesting/positive/relaxing to do to give myself a break from it. Don’t worry you won’t be on here for the rest of your life, as it becomes less intense, but do give yourself breaks too, routine of sleep and good food and exercise are very important too.

      warmest wishes

      KS xx

    • #19664

      Thanks KS, i’m spending way too much time on this forum i realize that. I think I have an addictive personality, yes your right it should ease off as the time goes on. XXXXX

    • #19666
      Twisted Sister

      try not to label yourself hun x Its going to be intense for a while, learning to live life differently and with our own care higher up the agenda can be a lot of effort to get into the habit of doing 😉

      warmest wishes KS xx

    • #19667
      Peaceful Pig

      Hi HA, I think you are using the forum as a substitute for your ex, but that is a good thing and far, far healthier and safer than succumbing to him. It’s whatever gets you through at this stage so don’t beat yourself up about it. You can’t heal in isolation as that is what led to your dependence on him. Eventually the intensity of your feelings will wane along with the need to talk about it. Processing through talking is necessary. Van der Kolk does talk about loyalty to trauma that can sometimes hold us back long term, but it’s very early days for you. Your trauma and pain deserve to be honoured and heard before you let it go. I have found books by Bessel van der Kolk and Judith Hermann very helpful in understanding the process of recovery from trauma. It’s a process of relearning safety and learning to trust yourself to know what works best for you x*x

    • #19724


      Trauma BOnding is when we become addicted to them and have difficulty breaking the bond even after leaving them or in process of leaving them, we hAVE to be constantly reminded that they are wrong for us and how they hurt us, we have to admit to ourselves they behaviour is wrong and have support to keep away

    • #19773

      Thank you all so much for the support that you have given me. The honest truth is that If if wasn’t for this forum I would not have acted the way that I have since we split up. I think that I was sure it had to end but I most certainly would have crawled, probably begged, pleaded, cried, probably even stalked. I would not even have put it past the police being called and me being arrested. How completely humiliating. I am not this type of person at all. I have never ever been in trouble with the police, nor have I ever chased and pursued anybody to this extent, ever. Its just not me. But, the way that he turned my mind inside out, I was not myself, he had got into the very core of my mind and inner self and he and only he held the key to my life. That is what I believed, he made me believe. This forum has stopped me from contacting him, helped me talk about things and deal with issues in a manner which is respectful to my well being. The truth is still, every single day, not one hour passes where I do not think about him. I am still trying to process and understand what happened and where it went wrong. I would so much love to hear from him, so that I can just say to him, I care for you and I want you to be happy, i want to be your friend. Today i thought that this trauma bonding builds resilience and strength, that is a great thing for anybody. X

    • #20203

      Dear Ladies, i’m nearly (detail removed by Moderator) months out now and my thinking has changed from when I first split with him. Last night I was reading a book, it goes right into detail about how the mind works when trauma bonding is in play, during the relationship and afterwards. It uses phrases such as arousal-jag, intermittment reinforcment & seduce & disgard. I think I read this when we first split but at that time i wasn’t taking it in. Now I have found it extremely helpful in understanding why you are thinking & acting the way that you are when you ex was so horrible and you just wanted rid of him. The book is called N********t Free,a survival guide for the no contact break up, by Zari Ballad. You can get it free or cheaply on Amazon. 👍👍👍👍👍xxxxx

    • #21316

      I,ve just been reading some of my book Invisible Chains by Lisa Aronson Fontes, the chapter Why some women get & stay involved:Trapped by romance, love & confused feelings. ……this is a great book if you are dealing with coercive emotional abuse. X*x

    • #21363

      Hi Ladies, this is an interesting discussion. I think trauma bonding is little understood in the wider world. In the early days of leaving people used to say to me “if he was so bad why do you want him back” they thought because I was so upset and because I really wanted him to sort himself out that the abuse could not have been as bad as I said. The truth is it was that bad, but my feelings were all over the place, feelings of loss, missing the good bits, etc. The truth is I wanted the abuse to stop but I was still in love with him. When I read about Trauma bonding it made sense of that experience. I really did want out, but I was in a bereavement process and drama bonding was a strong pull factor back into the madness. If I had not have read about this I probably would have gone back a number of times and who knows what would have happened to me.
      For me is was and is a slow process, like stretching elastic bands to keep stretching the bond until it breaks. Mainly I feel free now but still occasionally feel like I wish I could get back with him and that there is a gapping hole in my life. I miss intermacy etc. I still have to see him because of child contact and when I see him and he is being normal its like an amnesia, like it was all a bad dream and I could go back to it tomorrow. But I have to remind myself that his normality is just an illusion and a form of denial for the abuse and violence that took place, like saying it does not matter. Well it does matter and I want to be free, so I go through that thought loop and then I get on with my day!
      I used to be on this forum a lot but I am on it less now as my life is moving on slowly and I am trying to get things together and put my energies into life. I would say, dont worry if this forum feels like an addiction. It will pass. This forum as a massive life line for me in the early days. I think it stopped me have a breakdown ! I think that we need to talk about what we have been through and here is a safe place. There is a balance to be struck the more we focus on enriching our lives the better and healthier we will be so constantly looking at the past and being on here 24/7 is probably not great, but if you need it you need it and in the early days of the journey I was on here lots. Someone told me that it takes a year of no contact (even with third parties to break a trauma bond). So its going to take time.

    • #21366

      Dear I Want to Break Free, thank you for your helpful post. I think I am in the same position as yourself, free and out of it, but I have some sadness sometimes and think about him a lot. I know that I wouldn’t wnat to get back together but I havn’t been able to day one free day where I have not thought about him. I love my life now. The book that I have found so helpful recently, it really does get into the psychology of why you feel the way that you do during the break up & after, N********t Free by Zari Ballard. Also Invisible Chains has a chapter on Trauma Bonding. I pray that the women on this forum can work their way through the painful times to come out of the other side. This forum saved me and I cannot really go for an hour every day without coming onto it, its quite an addiction but I hope in time that will pass. Sending my love and best wishes to all of the lovely strong & capable women on this forum. XXXXX

    • #21463

      Hi Healthyarchive thanks for your message. I have not ready either of those books, I will have to add them to my list. I plan to read The Body keeps the score by Bussel Van De Kolk, next as I have heard that is a good book. I remember when he used to occupy all my thoughts. I think I may have days now when I don’t think about it so much, I think it is a slow process of taking our lives back. For me the divorce and all the legal and financial outworking of ending the relationship are still unraveling, so I guess its not realistic to think I might get through the day without thinking about it, but every hour i focus on myself and my new life is a bonus as it is a step towards freedom. Sometimes I do better than others. I am consciously trying to be boundaried about my thinking. I need to think about it sometimes, to mourn to deal with my emotions, to deal with the practical demands of a divorce etc but thenI think to myself “he has had this time but thats enough and I try to do something for myself or my daughter that will enrich our lives. I was such an addict to this forum in the early days and I did the freedom programme, group therapy and counselling all at different points so it was quite full on but now I am feeling like all that happened is dominating my life a lot less. I think its baby steps !

    • #23696

      I have found this quotation, it helps me to manage what I have felt over the last few months, I hope it helps you too.

      ‘The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future unresolved’.

    • #26447

      Thank you, i’m putting this post on to help two ladies who have posted today. X*X

      • #26479

        Lovely true quote Healthyarchive…
        And wow! As I read the posts on this topic started in June I think, I recognise exactly what I am going through at the moment. What I Want to Break Free says would apply to my situation like a glove!
        Last night we shared part of the evening as a family, almost, but I could tell how my children are affected by this weird relationship between my husband and I, especially one of my children, and as I observed their reactions, their body language and posture, the thoughts they were expressing, I wondered how we could have got to this stage. I realised about the effect of trauma bonding, how in one few moments you could choose to go back yet as explained in the above posts a nice moment spent together is a false promise of things to come, their ”normality is an illusion” as I watched my husband act so normal so it seemed only to start again a little while later, this time with our pets, and we all had to ignore him but we all knew what was coming…
        Nothing is ever ”normal” with my husband either, it is all an illusion and like others on the forum, I hold on to mere memories of good times which I wish would be the reality of what my life should have been. But it was not…

    • #26485

      I think the good times are actually part of the abuse cycle, there is a good chapter on this called Intermittent Reinforcment in the book 30 covert manipulation tactics in personal relationships (free to read on Amazon).

      Intermittent Reinforcement is where you get thrown the odd crumb of goodness, a smile, eye contact, an innocent touch on the arm etc. This is among the bad behaviour which is more. Over time the goodness reduces though the crumbs still come at timed intervals and the badness continues. Its designed to confuse you, gas light you and keep you hooked and hoping. X*X

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