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  • Trapped in a Trauma Bond. Why Victims Become Attached to Their Abuser.

    Trauma BondWhat is a Trauma Bond?

    A trauma bond is the emotional attachment a victim forms with an abuser. In a trauma bond, one person inflicts abuse onto another person followed by intermittent positive reinforcement. This cycle of abuse makes the victim dependent on the abuser for survival and grateful for any acts of kindness the abuser shows them. Trauma bonds cause the victim to sympathize with and seek approval from the abuser.

    Many people struggle to understand why a victim may defend or return to their abuser. The popular Netflix show, Baby Reindeer, is an excellent portrayal of how a victim develops confusing feelings for their perpetrator. Victims themselves are confused by the feelings elicited in a trauma bond and experience intense shame as a result. It is important to note that individuals who experienced a trauma bond in childhood are more susceptible to being trauma bonded in adulthood.

    Examples of Trauma Bonded Relationships

    Some examples of trauma bonds include but are not limited to:

    • Child being abused by any adult.
    • Adult being abused by their partner or spouse.
    • A child or adult who experiences any type of sexual assault or abuse.
    • An adult being abused by a person in a position of power such as a cult member, religious figure, or work/industry superior.
    • A hostage with a kidnapper.
    • Any type of relationship with an extreme power imbalance.  

    Signs You May Be in a Trauma Bond:

    The below signs apply to any situation with a caregiver, partner, colleague, abuser, perpetrator, family member, or friend.

    • Preoccupation with the person
    • Blaming yourself for the abuse
    • Making excuses for or covering for the person
    • Having confusing and conflicting feelings about the person
    • Inability to leave the person
    • Temptation to return to the person
    • Isolating others from your relationship with the person
    • Feeling indebted to the person
    • Having an imbalance of power in your relationship with the person
    • Wanting to help or feeling bad for the person
    • Your self-esteem is dependent on what the person thinks of you
    • Believing the person is the only one who can make your situation better
    • Feeling protective and defensive of the person

    Therapy for Help with a Trauma Bond in Georgia and Tennessee

    Trauma bonds are psychologically confusing and difficult to break on your own. Psychotherapy can help you develop the self-worth necessary to break the cycle of abuse. I offer therapy online for individuals in Tennessee and Georgia. Contact me to learn more about breaking a Trauma Bond through therapy.

    Online Locations: Nashville, Tennessee – Brentwood, Tennessee – Atlanta, Georgia – Sandy Springs, Georgia – Greater Tennessee and Georgia Area

    Mailing Addresses: 1604 Westgate Circle, Brentwood TN. 37027 – 5887 Glenridge Dr. Sandy Springs, GA. 30328

    Request an appointment!