We saw the internet go into an uproar about Jada and August, one word that was passed around and seems like it became even more popular overnight is the idea of trauma bonding.
What is trauma bonding, well for anyone that has been in an unhealthy relationship (toxic), may have experienced the pull and push theory.
The person calls you names, tell you they don’t love or need you and within a very short time, they are back saying they can’t live without you. I’ve personally experienced and witnessed so many others fall victim to trauma bonding. So how do you break free of such a volatile cycle?
First step is admitting and recognizing that the current bond isn’t healthy? Easier said then done, I know for me keeping an accurate account in my journal the things and the way I was being treated, help me move forward and disconnected from this so-called bond. I kept account of statements that were made about me and wrote next to them how I deserved to be treated and the things I would no longer allow. This broke the fantasy of things would get better if…. because they never got better when the if came around.
Next learn to sit in your emotions, start to track how you ended up in the relationship and accepting those behaviors. Ask yourself first what need is this person meeting? Identifying the need will help you move forward.
Start a selflove journey. I am a Christian so for me first love was Christ and I started to affirm myself in what Christ said about me, what he has called me to be and from there I can continue to build myself up. Spend time with yourself and learn to enjoy your own company, it sounds simple and cliché, but you really will not settle in love, when you put a value and a worth on yourself. As you spend alone time, do things that help you grow, whatever that looks like for you. I worked out and I love to read, I wanted to know everything there was to know about maintaining healthy relationships…my purpose was born in this season. Whatever that looks like for you in this season do it.
Seek professional help, I think talking to a counselor can reveal and make connections with specific things that sometimes we can’t see on our own in addition to that learning how to be accountable for your own actions and create healthy boundaries. This is a sure way for you to prevent getting caught in yet another toxic relationship, that type of self-discovery isn’t easy and doesn’t happen overnight, so setting yourself up with a good mental health provider is essential for your total healing.
Grieve the person. I’m giving you feel permission, it sounds weird but you may have spent years loving this person, so it is ok, to miss them or want to talk. I recommend journaling or putting your emotions in your notes. Tell them what you are thinking without directly telling them but after the release of feelings. Create your I deserve list: I will accept this type of treatment, be as detailed as possible, this will encourage you to not fall back in the trap of the abusive cycle of treatment.
Finally start creating a new life without this person. As I stated earlier my purpose was born, so I went back to school, I wrote a book and even started blogging, worked on becoming the healthiest version of myself physically, mentally and spiritually. Start new hobbies, join a church that has small groups or find a community of like minded individuals online or in person. As you start to love on yourself and create healthy interactions and connections with others. Trauma bonding will become a thing of your past.
God my prayer this morning, is for anyone that maybe experiencing a bond with someone who isn’t bringing purpose and unconditional love into their life. Please build up their spirit despite any feelings of rejection or lack of self worth. Remind them they are precious in your sight, a jewel, and that you can break them from any shackles that may be holding them back, guide them on this new path, show them your love is greater and you will direct their every footstep even in love. It is your name we trust, amen.
Your Sista On the Sofa,