People, especially, the child and then adult-child of a parent or parents, in relationship to or with someone with Borderline Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder or Anti Social Personality Disorder, are often unknowingly trauma-bonded to their abuser. This type of bond, a trauma bond or betrayal bond is not at all a healthy bond or healthy attachment. People do feel attached, however. Often those who are trauma-bonded to a person with BPD, NPD, or ASPD, anyone with a Cluster B Personality Disorder, are codependent and find it very painful and difficult to leave, or take space, or go low to to no contact. There is a severe missing of the Cluster B abusers that creates a strong longing for the borderline, narcissist or psychopath that feels so strong and so painful that it feels like it will destroy you. Clients have often described this to me as feeling that something broke and that they are so broken now. This can bring about strong feelings of need for the Cluster B abuser in spite of the high conflict, the pain, and the often used tactic, among others, of intermittent reinforcement that fools you back into biting a hook again, if even for a short time. Trauma bonds are often played out not only by the Cluster B personality disordered but people who have unresolved issues from their own childhoods that cause them to feel needy or want to fix the other person no matter what and cause them to not really know how to detach and take care of themselves.
Trauma bonds are also known as betrayal bonds. It is sadly, what many people get conditioned to because as children needs are so great one needs that Cluster B parent. In adulthood, for adult-children or for others the commonality is the way that you were bait-bombed or hook-bombed – commonly called “love-bombed” and you thought that this person who was in total pleasing you mode is who the person is. You love them. You care for them. You want to help or change them at the first sign of conflict or fighting. And, yet, within a trauma bond it is a situation where you are experiencing it, perhaps coming to know it but not really “getting it” or seeing it because you feel stuck caring about this Cluster B personality disordered person so much so that the idea of being without them, feels like it just intolerable. It’s important not to blame yourself because a trauma bond is a difficult and formidable connection, unhealthy as it is that is very painful to recognize and take the necessary steps to detach from this person.
© A.J. Mahari, October 15, 2016 – All rights reserved.