No one deserves to be in an abusive relationship. Unfortunately, some people find themselves in these types of relationships because of something called trauma bonding. Trauma bonding is a very real phenomenon that can keep someone in an abusive situation even though they want to leave. Here's what you need to know about trauma bonding and how to get out of an abusive relationship.
What Is Trauma Bonding?
Trauma bonding is a form of attachment that occurs when someone repeatedly experiences a traumatic event with the same person. The trauma could be physical, emotional, or mental abuse. Over time, the victim becomes so attached to their abuser that they start to believe that the abuse is normal. This bond is usually formed because the abuser is also providing positive reinforcement, such as compliments, love, and attention. As a result, the victim starts to equate positive reinforcement with the abuse itself.
How Can I Tell If I'm Trauma Bonded?
If you're not sure whether or not you're trauma bonded, there are a few key signs to look for. For example, do you make excuses for your partner's bad behavior? Do you blame yourself for their abuse? Do you feel like you can't live without them? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it's likely that you've formed a trauma bond with your abuser.
How Do I Break Free From A Trauma Bond?
The first step is acknowledging that you're in an abusive relationship and that you deserve better. It's important to realize that no one deserves to be treated poorly, no matter what they've done wrong. Once you realize this, it will be easier for you to take steps to leave the relationship.
If you're ready to leave, it's important to make a safety plan first. This should include things like creating a support system of friends and family members who can help you emotionally and financially, finding a safe place to stay, and changing your phone number and email address. Once you have a solid plan in place, reach out to a local domestic violence shelter or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for more information on how to get out safely.
No one deserves to be in an abusive relationship—period. If you think you might be trauma bonded with your abuser, it's important to reach out for help so that you can get out of the situation safely. There are people who care about you and want to see you safe and healthy; don't hesitate to reach out to them for help.