Breaking the Trauma Bond
Trauma bonds are something I recently just learned about. Seems odd, I know, given the fact that I am forty-three years old and have been diving into self-help since my early twenties.
On my path to self-regulation and self-actualization, I have engaged with (and paid for) therapists, counselors, treatment facilities, yoga retreats, women studies, and countless coaches.
Unfortunately, not one of these professional services broke down some of the basic essentials for navigating this world that is wrought with negative forces, corrupt activities, and dark shadows lurking around every corner.
The Invisible Cord
When our role in these situations isn’t defined, we get thrown into the wolves’ den without warning. We have no idea that we’ll be the meat for tonight’s dinner. If we’re lucky and there is anything left over of us by morning, we lick our wounds and try to figure out what we did wrong “this time,” to deserve being eaten up.
We may reach out to our community, but not make too much of a stir, because we feel our weaknesses shouldn’t be another person’s problem. That’s when the bond to our trauma sneaks back in.
Well, in actuality, it doesn’t even need to sneak, because the invisible energetic cord hasn’t been broken, and we are still longing for our abuser’s forgiveness, kindness, and love.
Trauma bonds run deep
Just when we are becoming clear enough and feel as though we are getting our strength back, the predators strike again.
Swiftly, we are reminded of the danger of feeling too powerful or knowledgeable. We are attacked by looks, remarks, comments, and/or anything that will keep us unstable. Our reflections on our dreams, purpose, and responsibilities to ourselves are met with laughs and sneers.
It’s as though the external world is constantly telling us that we shouldn’t get our hopes up and that recovery is never going to happen. Just as we begin to trust ourselves again, we are served up on an abuse platter for someone else to sink their teeth into.
Trauma bonds run deep. They are like umbilical cords to our hosts: our providers of pain. My bonds ran long and deep with my father, my mother, my wicked stepmother, my siblings, my shitty friends, and my asshole bosses.
I was so addicted to the trauma—it’s actually all that I really knew.
Just like a shark smells blood in the water, abusive people inhale the foul vulnerability of one who was once ruined by another. They circle you silently, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. Once they tear into you, dine from your soul, and like a vampire, suck your energy—they will leave you there ripped to shreds all alone.
It is up to you, and only you, to slowly heal yourself again.
When you do, when you’ve licked those wounds, sought help, asked for advice, and read books and articles on what happened—another shark will be waiting to strike again. This chaos and destruction will happen as many times as you allow it.
Holding Space: Being present with others
I went back to these trauma bonds day after day, and year after year—until one day, I stopped. It halted when I met someone on my same frequency, with a similar background, and a parallel understanding of abuse and pain.
Suddenly, I was finally being treated right. This person allowed me to speak openly about my abusers, and he did not pass judgment. Instead, he related his own experiences to mine, and together we decided WE wouldn’t stand for it any longer. Together WE decided to find ways to change these old patterns and remove these trauma bonds from our lives once and for all.
I dove more and more into higher consciousness studies and energetic boundaries, while he dove further into self-reflection and meditation in nature. Together, we held space for one another, to bring our observations into awareness and discuss what was working and what needed to be addressed and eliminated. Next, we started cutting those bonds.
How do you cut an energetic bond to an old source of pain?
Simple. You start by talking about it. You start by telling yourself and the people who do love you, that you are done. They may not know what is about to change, but you do. You won’t allow the abuse any longer.
You find ways (or the Universe will find ways for you) to say ENOUGH.
You research your specific abuse, find community, make healthy connections, and learn to say NO MORE. You go full no contact, kids. That’s what you have to do.
You let go and grieve what should have been.
You understand that your abusers are in pain and that it’s their pain they are inflicting on you, but you also realize that you are not responsible for fixing these people. You finally comprehend that labels like “father,” “sibling,” and “family,” do not define love. You realize that your abusers can have lovely titles, but still treat you like shit.
When you cut those bonds or the Universe cuts them for you, get ready for an upheaval of new emotions. It may feel like the pain is leaving your body. It may feel like you will never stop crying. It may feel that no one will ever love you like them.
Life After Trauma Bonding
I’m here to tell you that there is life after trauma bonding. While it feels like you are getting your heart ripped out of your chest and punched in the gut at the same time, you will recover from these blows.
When you do, you will have a more courageous heart, and a more in tune warrior-strong-gut that will better serve you moving forward.
Fuck those people. Fuck their trauma. You do YOU.
Live with less drama.