Healing Trauma Bonds After Narcissistic Abuse

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Understanding Trauma Bonds in Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

So, you’re trying to wrap your head around why it’s so darn hard to break free from that toxic relationship? Navigating the aftermath of a toxic relationship or dealing with narcissistic manipulation is overwhelming. One aspect that often keeps you entangled in these destructive dynamics is the phenomenon of trauma bonding. In simple terms, trauma bonding occurs when the intense emotional highs and lows experienced in abusive relationships create a skewed sense of attachment and loyalty. It also creates a feeling of unexplainable addiction to the narcissist. You may be feeling how hurtful they are and know they are not good for your life but continue to want to reach back to them for a resolution to those feelings. And it can be intense!

Recognizing the Signs of Trauma Bonding

Imagine this: one moment, you’re floating on cloud nine with your partner showering you with love and affection. The next, you’re plummeting into self-doubt and confusion as they tear you down. Or the complicated dynamics of life after growing up with a narcissistic parent has you feeling conflicted between loyalty and wanting to block them from your life. It could even be a situation where someone you work with, a friend, a family member seems to have controlled the relationship so much that there is unexplainable guilt and shame when you try to break free from them. It’s like being caught in a mind game you never signed up for, and finding your way out seems impossible. Trauma bonding can look and feel like a deep-seated attachment to an abusive person, despite the harmful nature of the relationship. You may find yourself unable to break free, trapped in a cycle of love bombing, devaluation, and intermittent reinforcement. This emotional chaos leaves you questioning your self-worth and unable to make decisions on your own. Confused, conflicted, heartbroken, powerless, isolated, betrayed… are you with me? OK, keep reading.

The Emotional Toll of Trauma Bonding

When you are trauma-bonded, you will experience a profound loss of self, agency, and autonomy. Being trauma-bonded feels like losing bits of yourself with every passing day. You’re stuck in a loop of trying to please a narcissist or other toxic person at any cost, even if it means sacrificing your own well-being. The thought of breaking free? Utterly terrifying. It’s like your entire universe revolves around them, even though you know they’re toxic. Guess what? It was designed this way! It is likely that the entire relationship with a narcissist no matter who they are in your life was centered around pleasing them, walking on eggshells to avoid their upset or making sure their narrative was kept intact so they didn’t break down into a narcissistic fit of rage.

Breaking Free and Healing

There’s a glimmer of hope amidst the chaos. Escaping the grip of trauma bonding is tough, but it’s absolutely within your reach. Reach out to a coach or therapist who truly gets it, seek connection with supportive friends, and start laying down those boundaries like the truly amazing person that you really are. Here is an important tip, embracing self-care like your favorite comfort ritual and setting boundaries akin to drawing lines in the sand are vital steps toward reclaiming your power and nurturing your self-esteem. Remember, healing from trauma bonding is like planting seeds in a garden—it requires time, patience, and a little TLC. But with your determination and a supportive community cheering you on, your journey to healing is not just a distant dream but an attainable reality. Remember, healing is a journey, not a sprint. Take it one step at a time, and trust that brighter days lie ahead. You’ve got this!

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