What’s the difference between break-ups when you are trauma bonded and break-ups in healthy relationships?
Well, all relationships can be painful when they end, but the difference in a trauma bonded relationship is the breakup is similar to an addict coming off a hard drug, literally.
Unlike healthy relationships, trauma bonded relationships have an abuse cycle and the victim is actually addicted to this abuse cycle, so when they try to leave the relationship, they will get withdraws just like an addict would, they will get intense cravings to make contact with their abuser, and they will feel like they are dying without this person in their life.
These intense feelings can be mistaken for love. Often victims believe this person is their soul mate, dispite the abuse. And many times, they have not even acknoledge the relationship as abusive.
Because, in their early childhood, they were conditioned for abuse. They may not even see the red flags or the abuse like a healthy person would because it’s feels so fimilar. Their abusers behaviors can actaully feel like love they know. And this bond they have with their abuser strengths over time, so everytime they go through the abuse cycle it’s getting stronger.
People will often ask the victims, why didn’t you just leave, why did you keep returning to the relationship if it was abusive, why can’t you just forget about your ex and move forward.
And this makes the victim feel very shameful, because logically, they may know they needed to leave and they may know this relationship is not good for them, even if they have not accepted it as abusive.
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard I don’t want to love this person anymore, I don’t wan to go back to the relationship, I feel trapped, I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I know I need to leave but I just can’t. I can’t say no to this person.
Just like most people, the victims themselves don’t understand it. They don’t understand how our early childhood experiences can have such an impact on our choices and experiences in our adult life.
So, trauma bonded breakups are nothing like healthy relationhips, period.