When we approach a relationship, whether it be a friendship, romantic relationship, familial relationship, or professional relationship, we go in with the intention of maintaining trust, kindness, and respect. Despite these intentions, we may find that somewhere along the line we are being continually mistreated or hurt. An outside observer may easily say that the answer is to go, but sometimes when we are in a in a toxic relationship we are unable to see what’s really happening and leaving isn’t so simple.
Even though we may recognize that a person is causing us pain we may still find ourselves continually drawn to them. This is what some would refer to as a trauma bond. A trauma bond is an intense emotional bond between people that usually forms as a result of a toxic or abusive dynamic.
Getting honest with yourself, your needs, your wants, and your limits, is an important step in ending the cycle of trauma, but this can be difficult to do on your own. Seeking guidance from a professional, such as a trauma-focused therapist, can help make these harmful patterns of behavior clear to us and give us the tools we need to break free of toxic bonds.
Read the full feature on Bustle here.