Do you feel like your devotion to someone is continuously taken advantage of? Does your relationship often feel toxic and oppressive? Do you feel like your emotions are stretched to breaking point because of the frequent highs and lows?

That’s a lot of questions, but perhaps the most important one you should be focusing on right now is:

How Do You Break Free of a Trauma Bond?Couple lying on the floor

Traumatic bonding occurs when we find ourselves in an abusive relationship but feel trapped and unable to leave. A trauma bond is typically shaped by unpredictable and deceptive patterns. Promises are made but never kept. Periods of calm are short-lived and quickly followed by intense negative outbursts. Life feels chaotic and overly complex. Anxiety frequently interjects itself into every confrontation.

You can tell if you are entangled in a trauma bond by recognizing the signals.

How Can You Tell If You Are In a Trauma Bond?

The quickest route to exiting a trauma bond is to understand what you are up against. When you recognize the signs, you will be more inclined to practice self-care and untangle yourself from the toxic emotional bonds.

Do you recognize any of the following indicators?

  • Promises mean nothing. They say they will change, but it’s not long before they fail to live up to the standards they set for themselves.
  • People are stunned by the appalling behavior: You have managed to pull the wool over your eyes about what’s happening, but you still notice the reactions of shock and dismay in others.
  • Leaving seems too hard: Strong attachments to the other person make you feel powerless to escape, regardless of how aware you are about how damaging the relationship is becoming.
  • You satisfy yourself with tidbits of positive attention: You’ve conditioned yourself to accept the rare morsels of positivity in the relationship as if they are enough. You tell yourself the good makes the bad worth it.
  • You keep to yourself and try not to rock the boat. You bottle your emotions and tell yourself it’s all your fault for upsetting them when they do explode.
  • It’s the same old story. You constantly find yourself in the same argument, there’s no resolution in sight, and each time feels even more pointless and overwhelming than the last.
  • You keep re-investing yourself into the relationship. Each time you manage to claw a bit of distance from the relationship, the pain you feel is unbearable. You miss them intensely and always crawl back to mend the relationship as if you are to blame.

Create Healthy Connections By

Prioritizing Yourself and Accepting Reality

Try to uncloud your mind and see the reality. Stop pretending that the relationship isn’t precarious and emotionally draining.

Become more mindful of your circumstance. People living in a trauma bond adopt a habit of living in the future because of a strong belief that tomorrow will be better. Focus on what’s happening right now? Do you feel anxious, upset, or trapped?

Be aware of your feelings. Being disrespected by a condescending partner hurts your self-image. If you are going to recover, you need to understand how these feelings affect you. A journal can help you confront and work through your feelings and lift the delusional fog.

woman on top of mountainTake time to grieve. There’s a good chance that breaking the trauma bond will have an emotional toll. Take this as a sign to grieve while moving forward, not as an excuse to go running back.

You may value and cling tightly to your relationship, but that doesn’t mean it’s healthy to continue with it. It’s okay to feel pain when saying goodbye to a significant part of your life. Just don’t let your feelings mire you in a toxic relationship.

Your self-care is what’s most important right now, and you will need time to recover from your emotional wounds. Only then will you be able to grow. Focus on activities, self-talk, and behaviors that put you first and positively impact your life. Exercise, eat healthy, hydrate, and get plenty of sleep.

Release the anxiety trapped inside you with deep breathing exercises and relaxation techniques. Meditation and mantras can help support your newly formed positive emotional state.

Set some goals that are your own and have no connection to your trauma bond. Surround yourself with positive people.

Could you return to school or enroll in a course.?

Are there any interests you didn’t pursue because of your relationship?

Are there any volunteer organizations you are interested in helping?

Start exploring your options, and work on forming positive relationships free from drama.

Find a Supportive Shoulder to Lean On

You will need support to break a trauma bond. Cast aside the shame, the guilt, and the regret. They have no place in your life now. Embrace your self-awareness and seek the support you deserve.

Your therapist can help you reveal the truth, forge your own path, confront negative thoughts, and cast them aside. Therapy will help your recovery.

Techniques like EMDR therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy have proven incredibly helpful for breaking trauma bonds.

For more information about how to put yourself on the road to recovery, learn more here: Trauma Treatment