Hello dear friends. This is an extremely complicated and difficult subject we are about to enter into. Instead of a trigger warning, I am offering a new perspective and an outstretched hand.
I am a practitioner of liberation work. Part of that work involved finding the light in the pitch black of the soul. Liberation is the pinnacle of the indomitable human spirit. We all possess a part of the great spirit imbued with the water of life to cleanse the material world. To be a human is to know what it is to experience trauma, however do we know how to safely heal with one another without pouring our pain into another’s wound just for an audience? Are we bound to the fear of existence itself that we eat it alive and then vomit the results all over ourselves and each other?
That is what it means to be a humanist. To figure this s*** out.
If there is anything I know, it’s trauma bonding. Instead of sharing the terrible things that happened to me, I share these gems of truth that spirit has guided me to discover from the depths of my own war-torn darkness.
It is by deeply studying the social world that have paved the way to the life of my dreams as a healer on scar tissue alone. I am a recovering serial monogamist with an agenda to help others learn how to receive love by drawing attention to our inward knots and tapping roots of self-awareness. This is how we protect our energy against trauma bonds. Know thyself, protect your sovereignty.
Therefore, all of us are here as a collective for conscious liberation work. No one is excluded. We are a great, knotted tree with bound roots in space, time, thought. Ya know, the tree of life!
So, let's reveal the beautiful gnarls.
Understanding The Great Trauma Bond
The big bang was the very first trauma bond of self-realization. The birth of the self-meaning:
Holy hell, I created life! What have I done? I must destroy this immediately… or perhaps explore.
“Mind is consciousness that puts on limitations. You are originally unlimited and perfect. Later, you become limitations and put on the mind." - Rhama Maharshi, emphasis mine.
So, in choosing the path to be human at this time we all share, it is our purpose to work through the original trauma bond, duality, and the nature of creation and destruction. The best place to observe from a safe distance is the social world.
Social Upheaval and The Collective Trauma Bond
There is no shortage of secrets and shame within human bonds. For a species who can both kill with just a glance or the use of an automatic weapon, we are only in our infancy of consciousness. We need to have a timeout. Let's work on this puzzle together.
The Four Noble Truths:
- All things are of the nature to grow old.
- All things are of the nature to fall ill.
- All things are of the nature to die.
- All things are of the nature to change.
Our vibrational consistency begins with emotion management. As a 30-year practitioner of stoicism and Zen-Insight Meditation, I can safely say that the key to stronger intuition and boundaries for an empath is emotion management. Existing means we are naturally aware of these truths; however, it is the human body occupying the present moment that is new in this experience and needs to learn how to process and connect.
In the process of experiencing existence, we also experience opposite extremes like attachment and aversion. These emotional judgments are what tie us into the material experience, sometimes making us feel separate from everything, taking us to bottomless futures or worse, repeating patterns of bad-miracle type manifestations of soul puzzle boxes.
When we wish to escape, rather than coexist, the macrocosm becomes smaller. We see human atrocities before our eyes in another handheld infinite reality. This constant tension we feel is the same tension that was just as strong as the day I AM was born.
The cyclical nature of our material world is called the wheel of samsara, a constant flow of experience through the tying and untying the trauma bonds of birth and death, causing a continuum of intergenerational bonds within bloodlines and interdimensional trauma bonds with others.
What Are Trauma Bonds?
By definition, a trauma bond is one that forms from unhealed wounds. The connections that are born out of unhealed wounds can spawn repeated trauma and patterns of abuse until they are properly healed.
Five Signs of Trauma Bonding
- False Sense of Intimacy - They are the surface-level feelings of attachment and intimacy that can result from an abusive cycle. In a trauma bond, partners think they have true love or connection even though the relationship is harmful. E.g. Love Bombing.
- False Sense of Trust - People who do not understand how to build trust will inevitably build a trauma bond because at the center of their pain lies fear. That fear is a motivating factor to quickly build trust bonds in any way possible. What comes up first? Pain. Bonding through pain without solutions is a breeding ground for spiritual pathogens such as addiction, narcissistic abuse, and trauma bonding.
- Destabilization - This is the turning point of control in interpersonal trauma bonded relationships. Criticism can come in the form of gaslighting. Additionally, it is important to note that step two can only make step three possible. When you confide in someone too soon that does not love themselves or you, you will experience them using your vulnerabilities against you.
- Manipulation - Now the snowballing of trauma bonding happens here. This is the stage in which the abuser understands how your mind and emotions work well enough to get what they want from you without having to give it to you. A true manipulator will behave in this way without you ever noticing. This goes beyond having a busy schedule or even wanting solitude. This is a calculating performance art of the shadow self.
- Intimacy Apocalypse - Creating problems, self-sabotage, stonewalling, addictive behaviors, and anything that can stymie true connection and intimacy will be utilized during this stage. This is where people will threaten to push the red button of the relationship (after consistently pushing yours) or threaten to do so to control the other. This is done when people feel insecure about the role they play in your life to the point that they can control you with their actions and presence.
And the cycle repeats until someone says stop. Hopefully if you recognize any of this happening in your life, you have the courage to be the one to stop all of it.
How Did I Get Here? Risk Factors for Trauma Bonding
While it is true that anyone can form a trauma bond, there are particular risk factors for certain populations who have experienced the following:
- Childhood trauma.
- Lack of self-esteem.
- Lack of personal accomplishments.
- Lack of support from social circles.
- Continued exposure to abusive relationships with no “power to walk away.”
How Do I Know if This is Really a Trauma Bond?
Trauma bonding is a disease of power and control. If you find yourself in the following situations, you may be experiencing empathy with your abuser. You may know this term as Stockholm Syndrome. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I make excuses for my partner’s behavior?
- Do I lie to my friends and family about the severity of the abuse?
- Do I believe the abuse is my fault?
- Do I accept my abuser’s empty promises?
- Do I like chaos?
- Does stability scare me?
- Do I give my trust too freely?
- Has my abuser isolated me from my family?
- Am I a lover or a therapist?
- Is there a noticeable cycle with toxic behaviors (pattern of abuse)?
- Can my partner empathize with me?
- Can I empathize with myself?
Untying Knots: Healing Trauma Bonds
It is important not to break, burn, or sever a trauma bond. Fighting only makes it tighter. Here are the six steps you can take now to free yourself from a codependent trauma bond.
Step One: Honesty
Being honest means that we see things as they are not as we wish them to be. Look at your eyes in the mirror. Can you recognize who you are, or have you succumbed to the manipulation so severely that you do not recognize yourself? Trauma bonds invite shared delusions. Your eyes will tell you the truth. You will know what to do.
Step Two: Active Listening
When you are sharing your heart with another person, you both deserve to have equal time with non-judgmental, empathetic, active listening. If your partner cannot repeat back to you the feelings you have shared or your needs that must be met, you are likely in a trauma bond. This means that more trauma spawns as a result of a lack of understanding due to a lack of empathy. Waiting to talk, interrupting, or speaking over a person are all acts of energy violence. Active listening means that a person is engaged, silent, and supportive of your thoughts and feelings. After you have completed sharing, an engaged partner would say: “I heard you say…. And this is what I can or cannot do to support you.”
Step Three: The Power to Walk Away
Boundaries are the most effective way to protect our energy and our love for ourselves and each other. When you find yourself in a situation that is unhealthy, the moment you realize, you can say “no more,” with love and self-respect. However, in a trauma bond, it is hard to let go because of the intensity of the bond. Walking away in the present moment is an act of self-loyalty that essentially goes against immediate feelings of being needed, pleasure, or pain and paves the way for a healthy future.
Step Four: Self-Observance
No one is exempt from hurting themselves and others. Therefore, if we spend time in meditation observing ourselves with open and honest insight, we can accept our toxic traits and make specific plans to alleviate the problem. Once this happens, we begin to be able to discern who is for us, who is not, and grow in personal intimacy and self-trust. Spend time in sacred silence. Sit with your emotions. Sit with your grief. Cry it out. Be your best friend.
Step Five: Self-Acceptance
Self-Observance almost always leads to self-acceptance. The fact that we are free to choose our lives and be who we are is such a gift of humanity. Doing that for ourselves means that we elevate our vibration and we do not attract those who may consider themselves orphans, bent on surviving in a parasitic way on your empathic energy. Self-love is the solvent that dissolves any and all risk factors of trauma bonding. Give yourself affirmations in every way possible to protect yourself from the greatest threat.
Step Six: Dissolve with Gentleness
If there is one thing I love, it is being a soft soul. The world can be a bitterly cruel place without tender corners to rest in. So, when you notice a trauma bond, you may think you have to search and destroy yourself by aggressively trying to change your situation. Proceed with patience, allow consistent and steady warmth and understanding will come as a result of the work you have done. Then, you will be able to reflect, support yourself, and dissolve bonds without making a destructive pattern for the future.
Leading with love and logic is the best way forward.