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Trauma bonding isn't only happening in romantic relationships. You can see trauma bonding signs in dynamics that include fraternity hazing, military training, kidnapping, child abuse, political torture, cults, prisoners of war, or concentration camps, Dr. Powell says. “In cases of domestic violence or abuse, a lot of people have difficulty leaving abusers, because they have a strong connection to them that is able to keep them there even when things are very bad...”
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What's key to understand about a trauma bonding relationship is that it can't be healthy because it is not equal. “Oftentimes when folks are trauma bonding, it may look and feel safe for some,” says Eborn. “But there is a lot of inconsistency within the relationship, and ...
While the presence of the above factors, whether in isolation or grouped together, doesn't automatically mean a relationship is bonded by trauma. It can “feel like pieces of you are being ripped out in hugely violent ways,” Dr. Powell says.
Why it is so easy to become attached to anything that helps you get through a traumatic event: your brain associates that thing or person with safety. So, when an abusive person decides to comfort you or apologize—even for a trauma they, themselves, put you through—your brain latches on ...
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