There are many reasons it’s difficult to leave an abusive relationship.

Some of the reasons are of practical nature, fx. Financial or safety worries.

Others are of a more psychological nature.

One of them is the psychological phenomenon of trauma bonding.

Trauma bonding forms in exploitive relationships.

It’s best described as: “The sicker the relationship, the stronger the bond.”

It’s a mind-numbing, highly addictive attachment to the people that hurt you.

You may even try to explain and help them understand what they are doing – convert them into non-abusers.

You blame yourself, your defects, your failed efforts. You strive to do better as your life slips away in the swirl of the intensity.⁣

Some of the signs of trauma bonds include:⁣

– You keep covering up their behaviour from your friends/family⁣

– When others are horrified at something that happened but you are not⁣

– When you cannot detach from someone even though you do not trust, like or care for the person⁣

– When you obsess about people who have hurt you and they are long gone (obsess means being preoccupied, fantasize about and wonder about even though you do not want to)⁣

– When you find yourself missing a relationship, even to the point of nostalgia and longing, for something that was so awful it almost destroyed you⁣
⁣ ⁣

This is a very normal reaction to abuse and is a part of the survival mechanisms of your body. It’s not something to be ashamed of. It’s not your fault.

The good news is, trauma bonds CAN be broken.

Resolving your trauma, establishing healthy boundaries, forming a healthy group of people around you and finding your way back to your authentic self, will help.

It’s work, and it doesn’t happen overnight.

But it’s worth it.