Why we stay: trauma bonding

Great blog post on Trauma Bonding. I am sharing because I feel it is important for others to know that this applies to children and teens also not just spouses. Especially in cases where children are placed with abusive fathers who are alienating their children from their mothers. My now 13 year old daughter was kidnapped out of school 18 months ago by a father that she feared and has now oddly aligned with him against me. To me, this is very similar to the psychology of Stockholm Syndrome. Also, please know that domestic violence does not mean that you have to have black eyes and broken bones. My ex-husband – a police officer – did and still does everything BUT beat me. The isolation, the control, the emotional abuse and everything else that you see on the wheel of domestic violence fits him to a tee. I truly believe if he thought he could have gotten away with slamming me to the ground and beating me to a pulp while not losing his precious career in law enforcement then he would. He has pushed me using his body to back me up and things of that nature which is very mild compared to what other women deal with, however, it is abuse. It is intimidation and control. I want people to understand the psychology behind domestic violence and it does not always mean you need to have the black eyes so typically seen in the domestic violence awareness photos and ads. There are many forms of abuse! I grew up in a very emotionally and verbally abusive home environment with some physical abuse as well. I know now, in hindsight, that this affected my self-esteem and confidence and played a huge part in the decisions I made for myself including my choice of a husband. Despite the fact that I worked in social services for the majority of my career, had a very abusive boyfriend in my early 20’s (he was arrested and sentenced to jail for beating me) and was educated about domestic violence, I still never related it back to myself regarding my child hood or my marriage. Until now. Denial? I do not want my daughter and other alienated mom’s daughters to suffer the way I did as a child and to make the bad choices later in life that I did when choosing partners. I want them to be educated. I want them to have self-confidence to not settle and/or choose abusive men. I want them to be happy and free. That is what I want for my daughter and all of the other mom’s daughters. I love you, KJ ❤

Avalanche of the soul

During my abusive relationship, I refused to leave more times than I can count. When I did leave, I soon returned. The justification that I gave to myself, and others, for this? Well, I loved him, of course!

I really didn’t feel capable of living without him. I was miserable, frightened, and angry at myself – and him – every time I let it go. I didn’t understand how I could love someone who treated me so appallingly. What was wrong with me, I wanted to know? Was I really so crazy I thought this was a normal expression of love? Why was I seemingly prepared to sacrifice so much – my hopes, dreams, financial security, and sense of self – to stay in what I knew was a destructive relationship?

It is only after getting out – struggling with feelings of grief and missing him so madly I thought…

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