Trauma Bonds

Day 4….. I’m not feeling so good about my situation today. It’s almost like the anger and fighting were easier to deal with. At least when he was acting like a jerk I could justify being upset with him. Today he came home with romantic country music playing out of his phone. He came upstairs, picked me up and danced with me. He’s talking about how he’s going to change and what he’s going to do. He’s being supportive of my need to work late, he even offered to cook dinner or go pick something up for us to eat. When he does this, it really looks and feels like things will change and get better. My heart and soul want to have hope so badly that it’s seriously making me second guess my judgement. Maybe he isn’t actually narcissistic. Maybe I’ve been overreacting. Maybe, maybe, maybe….

It feels so good when he’s like this and I feel whole again, I feel like I could be happy. He admitted that he has anger issues, he admitted he can’t control it, hell he even admitted that he’s just like his parents. He hit hard this time with the apologies, I mean really hard. It might be that he does actually want to change, or that he really does feel sorry. I can’t tell if he’s low on the spectrum of narcissism where he can recognize his issues or if he’s so high on the spectrum that he knows how to repeat back what I tell him and give me exactly what I want to draw me back in.

I started all of this so confidently, thinking I could do this without getting fooled again and four days in, I’m already doubting myself. I know that this won’t last and things will go back to exactly the way the were before, maybe even worse because I doubted him. I still get this strong emotional feeling to give in and have a good time while it lasts. It would be so much easier, maybe it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was…. I’ve looked this up and from what I can tell, these feeling are due to something called “Trauma Bonding”. After the initial love bombing stage at the beginning, I have dedicated all of my efforts to getting back to that feeling. Every time he show’s me love and attention, I start feeling that we could go back to what it used to be. It’s called intermittent reinforcement, the cycle of abuse and love makes me completely focused on one thing, gaining back his affection.

So this trauma bond is created where he becomes everything to me and all I can think about is how to make him happy. From what I understand, this trauma bond behaves biochemically like addiction which is unfortunate because I have an addictive personality (if that’s even a thing). All I want right now is that high of being happy and loved again, regardless of the ramifications afterwards. The problem with this addiction is that I have nothing left emotionally. I am completely drained and I have very little fight left in me. I mean I am tired, I haven’t slept since I started this, I’m only eating so I don’t feel sick when I drink an energy drink, I feel like I’m actually going through withdrawal.

I honestly can’t believe that I have given someone power over me like this, I used to be so happy and carefree. Even with this emotional longing to feel happy with him I know I can’t. He’s being nice again, but those little jabs are still there. He asked me if I’m cheating on him, he told me that he had all those pretty girls that he could have chose but he chose me, he told me that I was lying about being on my period, he told me my work set up that I posted online was nerdy and stupid. All of these little jabs were said with a smile on his face in between talks of change and love. He also told me he would stop making me angry to the point of rage, just to the point where I started showing a little passion.

I understand sarcasm and joking around with your partner, but these comments are constant and have no boundaries  All of the doubts that I had about him actually being a narcissist are no longer there. Now I have to really come face to face with the reality that I live in and attempt to break the cycle of addiction. I thought the initial fighting back would be the most difficult, but we haven’t even gotten started. 

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