Trauma Bonds that are developed in a narcissistic relationship:

Trauma bonds are a biological and emotional trap as it produces chemicals in the body such as cortisol and dopamine.  A trauma bond is made by the highs of the love-bombing stage and abruptly changing to the devaluation stage, creating a serious low. This continued cycle causes and imbalance to the bodies system. The inconsistency keeps people off balance and seeking to regain the high by going back to their abuser.

Hormones being released into the body help form the addiction.  High levels of cortisol a stress hormone is released into the body when the affection ends and then dopamine is released when affection is returned.  Seeking to regain the high the victim will try to win back the affection of their abuser.  People become addicted to the cycles of the chaos and drama which creates a bonding effect.  If this type of bonding occurred during childhood, you may find that these people choose partners as a adults that mirror the environments they had growing up.  If drama is absent both parties can feel unloved as they have been conditioned from an early age to believe this is how real love feels.  The mind will believe you love this person once bonded however, it is actually an addiction caused by the chemical process within the body.

 People must be able to heal the trauma bond in order to completely move on from the toxic relationship.  This bond can keep a person stuck in a cycle as the conditioning is so strong that it is confused with feeling like love.  This can happen in any type of relationship and confusing for the person entangled and the supporters of the victims. Trauma bonds are hard to break.  It keeps people in relationships that are toxic even if they understand they should leave.  

A victim will seek to reconnect with their abuser to relieve their pain in the moment,  just like an alcoholic will crave their alcohol and break sobriety.   This is one of the toughest things for victims and their supporters to understand when trying to break free from a toxic relationship. They may feel a sense of relief one day and have severe anxiety the next.  They will feel a strong pull to reach out to their abuser to release the anxiety they feel for that high to return. It  is no different from a drug addict going through the withdrawal process and why difficult for victims and supporters to understand.  Accepting this is an addiction for the victims and their support system can help with the recovery process.  Recognizing this is not love but an addiction to a chaotic lifestyle that is toxic is a step toward the healing process.  This will take time.  Understanding this and not reaching out to the abuser will help the body to regulate itself.  Victims can then begin to heal and move toward a healthier mindset.

 A victim can feel shame, guilt, and low self-esteem when repeating the push-pull pattern with their abuser.  They understand it isn’t healthy logically but the pull is so strong to go back that they feel a sense of powerlessness.  The victim will begin to lose a sense of self and can become enmeshed with their abuser as their boundaries have been ignored or not kept in place.  This causes the victim to lose confidence in themselves and lose trust in their own judgement.  Victims are likely to blame themselves for all the problems as they have been gaslit along with other manipulative tactics.

 Whether the abuser has discarded their victim or the victim is trying to leave a toxic relationship, you (the victim) must go and stay NO CONTACT.  Going NO CONTACT is a step needed to heal from the trauma bond.  Many people don’t understand what NO CONTACT actually means.  It isn’t easy but necessary as emotional thinking can convince you to go back.

NO CONTACT IS: BLOCKING THE ABUSER FROM CONTACTING YOU IN ANY WAY:

This means:

NO PHONE CALLS, NO TEXT, NO EMAILS, NOT SHOWING UP WHERE THEY MIGHT BE, LEAVNG IF THEY SHOW UP, BLOCKING ON ALL SOCIAL MEDIA and CHANGING JOBS OR PLACE OF RESIDENCE IF NECESSARY.  This seems unfair yet, if you truly want to heal you will do whatever steps it takes to do so.  If you don’t follow the NO CONTACT rules, you can be drawn back in to the relationship or chaos by allowing your emotional thinking to over-ride your logic. 

Once in No Contact give the victim or yourself as the victim,  some compassion as it’s not easy to break an addiction.  If the victim reverts back one day forgive that and try again.  This will be frustrating as it is a process as the victim will feel the urge to reach out for that high.  Getting through the lows is difficult so allow the time and space to do it.  Acknowledge feelings as they arise as they are valid. The victim will feel crazy as they are in a fog and can’t process things when in an emotional state.

Finding ways to help handle these feelings can be helpful.  Journaling can be one way to express emotions by purging them out mentally and emotionally on paper. Returning to the  journal after a few months, can show the progress made and will feel validating for the victim.

 Clarity of what the victim has been dealing with will help them rediscover themselves.  As the victim, Be kind to yourself as you head into a healthier place.  Being in a non-toxic pattern may seem boring at first as there was conditioning to the chaotic lifestyle.  Understanding this and committing to happiness will be worth the struggle it takes to get through this.

 This information is important for the supporters and the victims of those in unhealthy relationships.  Recovering from a trauma bond that is an addiction takes time and patience.  You can’t rush the process and heal over-night.  It will be different for each victim and understanding this is important for everyone involved.

Continue reading “Trauma Bonds that are developed in a narcissistic relationship:”

My light doesn’t dim anymore, it just flickers sometimes:

I was a little girl who saw the world through rose-colored glasses.  I had so many dreams and little fears.  I saw light and darkness was far from me.  I shone so bright and delighted in all things beautiful.  I noticed beauty all around me.  I enjoyed moments where I would sit alone and just let it all sink in.  I soaked up the sunshine and delighted in the way it made me feel.

I was so carefree, so trusting, believed in God and in people.  I was in my own bubble and I lived life to the fullest.  Happy to talk to the person walking by with a smile on my face, content  to go to a neighbor’s house and play, and full of dreams as I knew I had great things to do in my life.  I didn’t know then what an old soul I had or what my purpose was.  As life progressed and many things changed,  I held onto those hopes and dreams of mine.

I recall as a child, all the times I would lie on my back in the yard on sunny days looking out into the sky.  Magnificent it was and I felt a greater sense of self even then.  What a wonderful peace I had about things.  I paid attention to how the grass felt, the June bugs as they would land on me, the breeze that came across me and the way the warmth felt on my skin from the sun.

I was just a kid with a huge imagination and I had so much love.  I remember how I cared for my cat and even the baby birds that were in the bush outside my bedroom window.  I knew not to touch them but I was there each day.  I recall hugging my sister when her cat died.  I wanted to protect her from the pain I knew she felt when I revealed this to her.  I recollect the times in class how I would comfort other children when they were sad.  I had a gift to give and it was instinctive.  I was empathic.

As I grew into a more mature adult I began to remember that little girl more.  Life had many twists and turns and I had attained what emotional darkness was in others. This was not in all people but many around me. I tried with all my might to lighten the darkness in those times.  I tried to love more or be better for those that were dark inside.  I felt those instances changed me.

I was lost on occasions and I needed something.  I would look in the mirror as a young adult and ask myself, “where are you?” “Who are you?”  I felt alone.  I did not know how to express to anyone how I felt or why.  I was broken inside as I had been hurt .  I felt it was my fault and that no one understood.  How could they? I hid so much that had happened. I carried shame and guilt.  I had no boundaries in place and let people walk all over me.  I was trying to please and they were exploiting this.

I had been disappointed, betrayed, and abandoned at different stages.  I didn’t know what I had done wrong to have these things happen to me.  I found myself asking why more times than I can multiply.  I woud hide how I would feel to protect the people who showed darkness.  It would take more than most could handle for me to break outwardly.  Nobody understood that I had been concealing what was going on behind the scenes for a long-time.  I would isolate myself during these times, until I gathered strength to come out again.  If you saw the sadness it was after a long battle of fighting off other’s darkness.  My light would dim and I would accept defeat as I couldn’t heal others.  I needed to heal me.  Through my healing I was shown how to help support others and myself.  The lessons were hard but the rewards so great.  It took most my life and I am grounded with purpose.

My first memory of hate was from a bus driver I had when I was in kindergarten.  He was probably in his teens and he for some reason disliked me.  It was the first time I felt someone’s contempt for me.  I remember feeling like I was cowering from him.  He was heinous to me each time I entered the bus.  He would walk back to where I sat and peer down into my face with dark eyes. He would kick my small feet if in the aisle even just a little.  He towered over me and I felt miniature.  I felt ashamed as others looked on.  I was afraid of him and had never felt this way before.  I was terrified to tell my parents yet I don’t know why.  Maybe I felt they would look at me the way he did.

Each day,  I entered the bus he would torment me.  I tried to be pleasing.  The problem was I didn’t know how to be as I thought I was acceptable.  I was confused.  No matter how excellent I was he found fault in me .   He would threaten me and I grew more petrified of him each time.  I knew the things he said weren’t true about me but I sat very still.  He would say he was going to tell the principal on me but I dared not say a word to him.  He was full of rage and I didn’t know what to expect so I sat silent, head down.

Each and every day I would enter the bus insecure.  I would look down and not towards his angry eyes.  It hurt to notice the hate he had for me.  It made me feel dejected .  I was just a child and felt solitary in my fear and shame.  I did not know how to express those emotions then.  If he told me not to move in my seat,  I tried to improve.   I didn’t want him displeased with me.  I wanted him to be friendly the way I was used to others treating me.  I became compliant out of terror.

I tried feeling secure as many were kind to me.  It was just him and I have memories of not sleeping and fearing the next day.  I began believing maybe I was just faulty.  Why would this person hate me if I wasn’t deficient?  I questioned my personality and appearance.  I felt others not wanting to talk to me in fear he would turn on them.  I felt overwhelmed and I could feel I might burst with these hidden emotions.  I was afraid if I did it would be worse for me.  I was isolated and I needed not to cry.  I needed to be good in my mindset so he would treat me well.  I just didn’t know what good meant to him. Nothing pleased him.  He seemed to enjoy my fear.  I would cry at night wondering, why?

One day I began to cry and he got angrier with me.  I just sat in the aisle seat and cried as he stood over me and barked words at me.  He kicked my foot out of the aisle and into place then yelled he was sending me to get paddled for misbehaving.  I cried and begged  asking him what I did wrong, as he seethed and grew angrier.  It seems so displaced. I now know he was projecting onto me.

When we got to the school, he furiously took me to a bench in the hallway to await being paddled by the principle.  I was left alone to sit in complete terror.  I wanted to run away yet sat and waited in fear.  I would look at the door to the office and tried to prepare myself for what was to come.  I was fightened they would believe him because he was older than me.  I was afraid to say what he had done because of the same reason.  I waited  on that bench for a long time and noone came for me. The bus driver saw me later as he was walking the hall.  Witnessing I was seated where he left me he yelled, “Why haven’t you gone in to tell them what you have done”?!  He jerked me up from that bench and started dragging me to the office.  I began to scream, cry and plead.  He had me by the arm and I exposed all my fear.  He wasn’t concerned by this and handled me like a rag doll.

The principle and others came out of the office to see about the chaos in the hallway .  I don’t remember what happened much after that except compassion was given to me from the principle.  I sobbed and told my story of torment.  I did not get paddled and I never saw that horrible bus driver again.  I don’t know if my parents ever found out.  I don’t remember going to class and I don’t remember riding the bus anymore that year.  Its gone, Erased.  I just recall changing and it was the face of hate that changed that little girl.  I had to be good.  I had to try harder so that face of hate would never come again. I didn’t realize this consciously.  I was afraid of the shame , guilt, and anxiety I had when someone didn’t approve of me.

I had forgotten that monsterous bus driver as I was a young child when he entered my life. Erased for a time until I was an adult.  I recollected this moment in my life as he reminded me of the people who had hurt me that I tried to love and please.

I was in kindergarten when I saw the face of hate.  All that love inside me and I saw the power hate had.  This is my earliest memory of abuse.  I thought I had to be better to stop it and I hid the abuse out of fear.  There were more lessons in my life around this and I would bounce back to sunshine each time.  Yet, there were times I  hated myself for feeling  unworthy,  if treated poorly.

Now I protect that little girl.  She’s inside me still.   I have the sunshine all around me again.  It took years to feel it the way I once did.  Now,  I know my purpose to the question, why?  I am thankful as I share my stories and hope it helps gives victims their voice again.

When I look in the mirror,  I don’t ask those same questions.  I found me.  I was there all along but I had work to do.  I needed to believe in myself and see there are those that have darkness and not light.  I saw my light scared them in a way I didn’t understand.  They wanted my sparkle.  They wanted to steal it from me as they were jealous of it.  God,  helped me to have empathy for them as they had their own pain.  I needed to understand I couldn’t fix them and needed to love myself enough to create boundaries.  I needed the skills to handle these tough situations.  I just learned a different way.  I found  my PURPOSE.  I now know me, and care for myself. I got the skills to handle these situations when they appear. It is still difficult but I know what I need to do. I take care of my needs and set boundaries.

There will be no kicking of my feet under a seat anymore.  I am not afraid and I protect myself with that same light I had as a child, before the abuse occurred.  I didn’t do anything wrong.  I don’t let people get away with treating me poorly or allow them to project their hate on me.  I speak up.  I walk away or they do.  I am not a child anymore yet for so long on a deeper level I felt like that child on the bus.  She was still there that little girl, waiting to be protected.   I eventually rose to the occasion when I saw with new eyes what I needed to see. I was letting others control me with my emotions.

When fearful things come my way,  I look at it with brightness.  I react differently and take care of my needs.  We may not understand when horrible things happen but it is through those difficult times we get wisdom.  It is when we give this to others we give another perspective for them to see.  Love conquers all and I believe this. It is through faith and lessons we begin to see this.

I once was a girl who saw life through rose-colored glasses.  I am now a women who remembers those glasses and the way the grass felt beneath me.  I am grounded and I was never alone as God is with me.  The sun still shines and the sky still looks magnificent.  That little girl now knows she is ok as I saw how to protect her.  I was taught unconditional love for myself.  I am worthy to sit on the bus and with my head held high and eyes opened.  I hope the bus driver found his light in life.  He deserves it too.  He didnt have the skills then to handle his tormented feelings.  He projected them onto me.

I am good enough and so are you.

Jennifer