Breaking the BetrayalBond

Betrayal Bond, Trauma Bond and Stockholm Syndrome all describe the same thing: a deep, inexplicable bond with someone who has abused. The word hurt is an understatement. This is caused when a target of abuse feels a strong bond to their abuser, develop compassion and loyalty to their abusers, whether that abuse be physical, psychological, emotional, verbal, or a combination thereof. They tend to see the lack of abuse or periods between abuse as kindness, as proof of their abusers humanity.

A trauma bond is where an intense, traumatic experience or betrayal of trust takes place, forming an equally intense relationship/bond with the abuser.

Trying to understand why there was betrayal is futile. Trying to figure out "why do I feel so sick constantly?" "Why am I having these panic attacks?" "Why cant I stop thinking about the abuser?" "Why didnt the abuser still want to be friends?"

Ultimately, "why" doesnt matter. The target must practice acceptance and just let go of the reason why. Perhaps as targets we feel that if we could just know our abusers motives or thoughts or reasons, we might be able to understand the betrayal, after all we are nurturing, compassionate people. But we wouldnt understand, because there is no excuse or valid explanation for abuse, for deception, for betrayal. Ever.

"The moment of betrayal is the worst, the moment when you know beyond any doubt that youve been betrayed: that some other human being has wished you that much evil." (Atwood)

In fact, its traumatic. The betrayal of a friendship or a lover (or worse, both) is highly traumatic, and your body (and mind) will likely respond as if you have been traumatised. Because you have been traumatised. The level of the abuse related to the impact of the abuse varies, as we all have different capacities for dealing with stress, anxiety, and pain.

As to what betrayal does to a relationship, and ultimately, a person, its a constant war between illusion and reality, between believing in love and explaining away lies. There are those people who excel at causing this type of betrayal and bond, especially (but not limited to) those who have disorders which are characterised by a lack of empathy hidden behind a charmer's mask.
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The path to betrayal (so called 'dosing'):

Validation The victimiser validated the promise in some way so that you believed things are actually the way they were presented. [Regains confidence]

First betrayal The real intention becomes clear in early abuse or exploitation. What really happened.

New seduction The victimiser adds an explanation to the story so that the abuse is understandable. [New promise or explanation]

More betrayal The abuse and exploitation continue in a number of forms. [Now the target starts to examine their own sanity, value, and costs for having stayed.

Reframing The abuser interpreted costs as minimal and reframed them as necessary for the good of the relationship.

Crisis/Spellbreak Ultimately, reality asserts itself and the target realises no more abuse

Yet the bond remains even after the relationship is severed and contact has ceased.

The path was one of betrayal and exploitation and a harsh form of abandonment, which is connected to the core of addictions and shame. It is worse than neglect, being purposeful and cruel. And if severe enough, it is traumatic, creating a mind numbing, highly addictive attachment to the abuser, leading to self-distrust and self-abandonment.

The target experiences symptoms of PTSD like nightmares, flashbacks, and panic attacks. Even before the relationship is over, the body knows first. Post trauma there can be daily panic attacks and this is common to those abused.

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How it feels to be abused post crisis
Targets who have had no history of an anxiety disorder or panic attacks have:

ADs just to make it through the day.
Constant nausea.
Inability to eat.
Weight loss.
An internal emptiness creating hunger which can't be satisfied
Liquid tummy
Infections of all kinds
Cold sores
Headaches
Depression and anxiety
Dry mouth
Ageing
Inability to relax
Tearfulness and dry sobbing
Chest pains
Achy joints
Hair loss
Indulgence and craving
Exhaustion and poor sleep

The body knows that it has encountered a poison, and its trying to purge. Its thrown into a survival fight or flight mode, and it remains there day after day. Its exhausting. And that is not the worst.
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Continued attachment to the abuser

The worst is a mind-numbing, highly addictive attachment to the abuser, trying to convert the abuser into non-abusers. The target may blame themselves as a defects and failure as efforts are futile. The target strives to do better as life slips away in the swirl of the intensity. This attachment causes the target to distrust their judgement, distorted realities and even greater risk. To protect against further hurt. The result? A guarantee of more pain. This attachment to the abuser is called betrayal bonds.

And of pain, or the remnants of the pain, the fading scars that never seem to go away

But who can remember pain, once its over? All that remains of it is a shadow, not in the mind even, in the flesh. Pain marks and scars the psyche, but too deep to see. Out of sight, out of mind.

The target keeps asking unending circular questions,

"Why would I want to be friends?" and "Why would I go back into a situation of abuse?"

But those questions, as logical as they are, dont have answers because the betrayal bond is not broken. Some part of the target is still empathising with the abuser, rationalising his/her behaviour, wondering if its something that the target had done wrong. The wound can not be healed without dealing with the betrayal bond, ultimately it will put you back. You cannot walk away from it. Time will not heal it. Burying yourself in compulsive and addictive behaviours will bring no relief, just more pain. No drink, drugs or behavioural distractions. Walk into the pain and stay away from the abuser. Slowly heal.

Suffer the withdrawal.

Post created from several Internet sources plus Vs diary.

V


Freedom is just another word for nothing left to loose.
V 64, WAW