Trauma Bonds and Relationships, aka “Why Do I Miss Him?”

Trauma Bonds

 

After a relationship with a Narcissist comes to a screeching halt either due to the Narcissist discarding the victim, or the victim leaving, the victim often has a hard time letting go.  If a victim has been in a volatile relationship with a Narcissist for any length of time, then they’ve probably gone through many cycles of making up and breaking up, and are experiencing what is known as “trauma bonding”.  Simply put, trauma bonding is when the victim wants to go back to the person that has caused the pain, with the irrational thinking that if they caused the pain, then they can take it away.  (Trauma bonding is similar to Stockholm Syndrome, in that the victim’s sympathize with their abusers. ) 

Personally, I didn’t have any ups and downs, or obvious manipulation in either of my two main relationships with Narcissists. These relationships were wonderful up until I found out about all the deceit and lies with one, and the sudden discard with the other.  I don’t think I had a trauma bond or Stockholm Syndrome, but I do think I was in shock, and my brain had trouble processing what had just happened.   It was like there was this lag time between my heart catching up to my head.  I really missed everything we had, and I really missed him, but I’d never experienced such a malicious level of deceit before. It took about two or three weeks for them to get in synch, and it wasn’t easy.

I felt like I was going through withdrawal, and in many ways I was.  I often refer to the ending of my relationships, as a “detox period”, because really that’s what it was.  I tried to prepare myself as best as possible for “withdrawals”, by setting myself up to succeed in as many ways as possible. I stayed busy with work and friends, I deleted his info out of my phone, I blocked him on social media, and set it up to where his emails went straight to the trash.  I knew I had to really make an effort to focus on why I had left, and why I would never go back. Quite possibly, the biggest thing that helped me during this time was to make a list called, “For when you miss him”.  In my list was every hurt he’d ever caused me, written in bullet point format, so I could just skim through it anytime I felt myself missing him and wanting to reopen contact. I’d get angry enough that I’d lose all desire to contact him.  Doing so really helped to stave off the nostalgia of how great the illusion was, and instead helped me to focus on how bad the truth was now.

So, if you catch yourself missing him (or her) don’t feel about it.  It’s normal, and it will pass.  The relationship (illusion) that they created was a powerful one, and it’s hard to get past that, and see if for the manipulation it was.  If you just broke up, or are thinking about breaking up, then try and plan for how you are going to handle the “withdrawals”, because they will be there. Support groups are great for this, as are staying busy, and reaching out to supportive friends and family.  You just went through hell, and it will take some time to heal, so be extra good to yourself right now, and try to ride out the withdrawals as best as you can.

 

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Dana

I am a self-help junkie, former advocate for victims of domestic violence, current psychiatric RN, as well as being a recovering victim of Narcissistic abuse.

My goal is to educate, empower, and inspire other abuse victims in understanding more about what happened to them (and how to prevent it from happening again), as well as how to go on and rebuild an amazing life.

Even though I have had a lot of "in the trenches" experience with highly manipulative people of all kinds, I consider myself to be a student of Narcissism, mindset, motivation, healing, and life in general, and am by no means an expert on any of these topics.

It's for these reasons, that when you are reading my information that I encourage you to hold to what helps, and let the rest go.
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About Dana 308 Articles
I am a self-help junkie, former advocate for victims of domestic violence, current psychiatric RN, as well as being a recovering victim of Narcissistic abuse. My goal is to educate, empower, and inspire other abuse victims in understanding more about what happened to them (and how to prevent it from happening again), as well as how to go on and rebuild an amazing life. Even though I have had a lot of "in the trenches" experience with highly manipulative people of all kinds, I consider myself to be a student of Narcissism, mindset, motivation, healing, and life in general, and am by no means an expert on any of these topics. It's for these reasons, that when you are reading my information that I encourage you to hold to what helps, and let the rest go.

3 Comments

  1. Thank you Dana.Your videos are a wonderful resource and you really get the pain that we experience.My story sounds unbelievable to anyone that listens to me and of course that’s what defines this relationship….the confusion so you talk and talk to your friends and family until they say no more…you exhaust everyone and yourself as you can’t discuss it with the person you should be talking to as you get no validation.I have been on the crazy train for 10 years and last year I discovered psychopath free but now I have discovered your YouTube videos and am addicted.
    Mine is still in my life, I have helped him so much but luckily we don’t live together.i have gone through so many cycles of breakups, I thought it was just we were both stubborn people, that’s how he explains our breaks after hes hoovered me but really it’s because I’ve caught him texting other women.I would love you to do a video on the games they play with their phones or their relationships with female coworkers as mine seems to be a total different character at work but has only me as a friend outside of work and has no male friends.He has an elderly mum who drives 1 hour to clean his house and shes 80 and he doesn’t talk to his brother.He doesn’t speak to his ex wife.
    He is a classic covert narcissist but what I don’t get is he displays signs of cheating…secretive, texting other women, flirting in front of me so why doesn’t he leave me alone and be a free agent and then he can choose whoever he wants.I also don’t understand why no one has ever contacted me or warned me as I know some of his work colleagues? Do they just pretend other women are interested so you desire them more?

  2. You ask a lot of great questions. So why do they stay in relationships if they want to have a bunch of girlfriends? It’s because they are getting something out of it. Maybe they want someone to come home to, but they don’t want to give up the thrill of someone new. Maybe they are using the long time wife or girlfriend for shelter, money, a sense of stability, or public image. Or maybe they are just too lazy to move out and don’t want to put their stuff in storage. Regardless of their motivation, one thing is for certain, if he has a pattern of cheating and lying and he has no sincere or lasting desire to change, he will continue cheating and lying. As far as why no one from work tries to warn you–my guess is they figure you probably already know anyhow, and even if they did try, they probably feel it would do no good since you continue to go back. …He doesn’t leave you alone, because he doesn’t have to. He can get whatever he wants from you as long as he gives you enough crumbs to stay. He’ll leave you alone once you realize that you deserve more and kick him out of your life.

    I know how hard it is to walk away from these relationships. I know how much you want to cling to hope that he will change, or that things aren’t that bad, or that no one is perfect. I know all the lies that you are telling yourself, because I told them to myself once too.

    But the truth is that you can’t change him. None of us can. Only he can change him, and he doesn’t sound motivated at all to change–so the only thing you can do is to change what you can–and that is you being in a relationship with him. Here is a video that I did that I think might be a good start: http://www.thriveafterabuse.com/dating-a-narcissist/

    (((hugs)))

    P.S. Thank you for the kind words, I’m glad my videos are helping. <3

  3. Reading that another had my questions really helped me. I often asked why did you even come home? e got adivorce andthen remarriedwith his promises it would be different. It was like he only came back to punish me. Yet here I sit alone with the 2 dogs of our’s who bit him , missing him. We were together almost 24 years and my whole existance was based around him. Needlessto say I’m totally lost.

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