How to Tell The Difference Between True Love and a Trauma Bond
It's not true love, it's a trauma bond.
Ahh, that crazy making high where every part of your soul has run towards this person. It’s not true love, dear one. It’s a trauma bond. Trauma has the by-product of creating an extremely strong bond with our Narcissist or Abuser. The sort of bond that makes it hard to leave and even harder to stay gone. Cut those ties now, my love and set your self free for real love. The sort of love that doesn’t allow for abuse.
You're Not Crazy
The first sign of a trauma bond? Feeling like you are might be crazy. Let's take a look at what this looked like when it happened to Jade*.
Jade* was 34 years old, had a previously successful relationship of 8 years which had ended when they wanted different things in life. She met Josh* at a great point in her life. On a career high, with a busy social life, Jade was casually dating but too focused on her career to really worry about it. Until she met Josh.
They met through mutual friends and went on a few casual dates before they were finally intimate. Jade wasn't looking for anything serious at the time but the sex was off the charts and highly addictive. She began to crave Josh's company and they started spending more and more time together. They had their first fight after three months of dating when she found out Josh had lied to her about his relationship with his ex and they were still sleeping with each other.
Jade immediately called it off even though they had never agreed to be exclusive. What they agreed on, was to be honest with each other and Josh had previously always said his relationship was well and truly over and had been for a year. At first, Jade, was certain she had made the right decision. She didn't want to be involved in any kind of triangle with an ex-partner and she expected honestly as a bare minimum in her sexual relationships.
Josh wasn't keen on letting Jade go and kept texting her and telling her that they needed to talk it over. She agreed to meet with him and he told her how this was all a terrible mistake. That he had feelings for Jade but thought she didn't have feelings for him which was why he was still seeing his ex. When Jade brought up that he had previously told her that him and his ex were completely over and had been for a year, Josh denied every saying that and told her that she must have misread what he had said and that he would never lie to her. Jade started to feel confused. Had she misread what he had said? Did she just assume they were over? Starting to doubt her own memory, she agreed to keep seeing Josh, provided the relationship with his ex really was over now.
Four years later, Jade finally left the relationship after she found out that Josh had been not only cheating on her with a family member, but also had a secret child and was dating another women long distance who believed that Jade was his ex despite the fact that they lived together. The pattern of feeling confused, and like she was going crazy had continued for the whole relationship and Jade had been diagnosed with anxiety for the first time in her life as a direct result of the constant gas-lighting she was exposed to over the four years.
In a normal relationship you don't feel confused or crazy. If your relationship makes you feel crazy, it's a trauma bond.
Your Relationship Shouldn't Drain You
People either drain you or fill your cup. They either drain your battery or charge your battery. You do not need to keep the people that drain your battery in your life. It’s your battery and if you want to live your life fully charged, that means surrounding yourself with people that fill your cup, not empty it.
Repeat after me. It is not your job in life to charge other people up at the expense of yourself. Real relationships are a blend of give and take. This means you have the capacity to help your friends and relationships out when they need because they have given enough that you have the spare charge.
By the end of her relationship, Jade was a shadow of her former self. She had no energy for her career and had reduced her hours to part-time because she was so fatigued from the constant relationship drama that she she couldn't function anymore. Josh constantly needed something from her constantly and became combative when he didn't get it. He expected Jade to meet all his physical, social, emotional needs and would berate her for weeks on end if she didn't meet them. This included sex six times per day, driving him around so he could drink, cleaning, cooking and anything else he needed at the time.
If your relationship drains you, it's a trauma bond, babe.
What is for you won’t lower your vibration
What is meant for you won’t lower your vibration. You won’t feel tired, sick, run down, anxious, depressed, or heavy. What’s meant for you will raise you higher. Not in the unstainable whirlwind rocket launcher way but in the way that a nice cool breeze on a summer’s day allows the butterfly to take flight with the barest of effort. Ask yourself. Is this raising or lowering my vibration? Let go of anything that lowers it.
If you feel you are vibing at a lower level, this relationship is a trauma bond, not a soul mate.
You can’t ignore the bad in someone just because you love them.
You have had your hand in the sand for too long my love. Burying the abuse and mistreatment and pretending it didn’t happen or gaslighting yourself into thinking it wasn’t that bad. It really was that bad. You can’t ignore the bad in someone just because you love them. Real love holds others accountable and implements boundaries and consequences for their own protection. Reread your journal, undertake meditation or participate in any other practice that allows you to safely access and release these memories now.