Emotional injuries (wounds) that are caused by parental neglect and abuse, can cause the formation of a toxic parent child relationship. The child is helpless to escape the abuse inflicted on him/her on a daily, consistent, repetitive basis. Instead of learning to relate to others in a loving, fear-free way, the child is forced into a toxic relationship that is in actuality, a trauma bond. The child needs the parents to supply some of his/her needs, but the relationship is abusive and devoid of love. The result of trauma-bonding relationships are excruciating and can be life-long without intervention.
As the child matures into an adult, he/she continues to experience on-going relationship conflicts. They have no concept of what a normal, loving, supportive relationship looks like, so how can they be expected to know how to form a normal, loving and supportive relationship themselves? Very often, abused children grow up to participate in abusive, unloving relationships where they remain very guarded emotionally and suspect their partners of being ready to attack them or criticise them at any time. They build solid walls around themselves emotionally so that they are 'safe' and isolated from attack by their partner. The walls of emotional isolation are thought to be protective and in the case of an abusive partner, this might still be the only option available to the victim, however in a relationship with a loving partner, the walls are counter-productive. The loving partner will often be emotionally abused by verbal and or physical attacks which are launched over his/her impenatrable walls in a desperate attempt at self-defense. The loving partner is bewildered why he/she is being locked out, pushed back and rejected when they have only loving intentions and have not purposely inflicted any damage. The scenario when repeated so frequently, eventually destroys the loving partner's heart and he/she must retreat and withdraw from the relationship for their own emotional safety. This withdrawal however, is interpreted by the originally traumatised partner as if they are being abandoned and rejected once again. It is in reality a self-sabotage strategy designed to keep the person safe from all possible emotional attacks. If a person is not in a relationship, they can't be hurt. If a person doesn't have to rely on another person, they can't be hurt. If a person doesn't have emotional needs, they can't be hurt. These thoughts are created from an intense need to feel emotionall safe, but they are the complete opposite of how to avoid being emotionally injured.
The secret to being emotionally safe, is to learn how to identify emotionally safe people; to learn how to choose emotionally safe people to associate with; to learn that it is safe to surround yourself with emotionally safe people and to develop emotionally safe relationships. It is not healthy relationships that cause problems and pain; it is being in abusive, unloving relationships that cause emotional devastation.
Since the injured person doesn't know what 'normal' looks like, they very often find that they are unable to develop and pattern their relationship into a normal, loving and supportive relationship. In a self-defense strategy, much of the pain and anger caused by the abusive parents is transferred onto the partner who is unknowingly is cast as the 'new' parent, or the 'new' mother, or the 'new' father. The victim's childhood pain is still very much alive and is protected like a raw wound is protected. Threats (mostly imaginary) to the wound are encountered constantly and the victim's vigilence is high. The adult-child still tries to protect the raw wound from 'attack' by the partner. In reality, the 'attack' is non-existent. The thick, isolating emotional walls that have been erected around the victim's heart, block out any love that is offered by the partner while the same walls lock the victim's pain inside where it grows stronger.
As human beings, we need to receive love first, then we are enabled to give love. When we don't receive love as infants, psychological changes occur. When abuse is also received, further psychological changes occur that dominate the developing mind. Love truly is the only life-giving power and it is essential to human beings in order for them to function well.
All emotional wounds appear to have the same source - loss of value of the Self. Trauma bonding originates from this same source.
The cause of Complex Post Traumatic Bonding is the absence of Love. (The absence of Love = Fear).
Love provides safety but when love is absent, fear results. Fear is the absence of Love. Trauma induces fear and when that trauma has been anchored to sexual abuse, neglect or abandonment, the developing mind is devastated. Many trauma responses can be seen mirrored in the psychology of prostitutes and porn performers.
Childhood sexual abuse, abandonment, rejection are powerful ways that prepare the child's mind to accept abuse even as adults.
The title of the article isPOST-TRAUMATIC STRESS, SEXUAL TRAUMA AND DISSOCIATIVE DISORDER: ISSUES RELATED TO INTIMACY AND SEXUALITY. The auuthors describe the dyfunctional development of mental/emotionally responses in a child when love is withheld and when trauma, especially sexual trauma is inflicted. The Authors are: Mark F. Schwartz, SC.D. Lori D. Galperin, L.C.S.W. William H. Masters, M.D. Co-Directors: Masters and Johnson Sexual Trauma, Compulsivity and Dissociative Disorders Program
Recognising the Trauma that Wounded You
Wounded people might need to consider their early childhood to understand when and how they were emotionally injured and when they first felt unloved. Perhaps you would like some assistance recognising your injury.
Trauma Attracts Trauma
Why do people pleasers/co-dependents become trapped in relationships with narcissists?
People pleasers seem to have the opposite personality to that of narcissists - but both types of people are wounded and focused on finding reassurance of their personal value from others. They both have a deep need to receive confirmation of their value as expressed by others.
Injured people stop evaluating their own worth on the fact that they exist. They transfer and misplace their focus onto their appearance, their action, their behaviour. This is a works 'gospel' which is not healthy. God doesn't love us because we are good, but because we exist as part of His exquisite creation.
When you find that you are either a people pleaser or a narcissist you might find it helpful to examine your childhood history and experiences.
Identify the wound that caused you to think that you don't have value? What caused you to think you aren't worthy of being treated with respect? Why do you think it's acceptable for others to ignore your needs or for you to ignore the needs of others?
Usually our acceptance of abuse comes from bad experiences during our childhood. When parents or authority figures withhold that value from us, we become wounded. Many adults can trace back their own feelings of 'not being good enough' to their abusive childhood. The abuse caused them to become confused about their true value. They soon learned that they were 'never good enough' and that if they wanted adults to accept them, they needed to 'do' something to 'earn' their value. This warped system that exists in dysfunctional families and institutions, is how abused children are robbed of the knowledge of their true value.
The devalued child's needs were neglected. The child was ignored, abandoned or rejected. The child was unable to defend themselves from abuse and so the message was learned and internalised - "I'm not worth anything." "No-one cares when I hurt." "I need to be someone else so I better act like someone else who is more popular or powerful than me."
Some children endure abuse from one parent, while the other parent provides some love and comfort. Some children endure abuse from both parents and never experience being loved by anyone. Some children endure an abusive family and then also are victims of abuse and rejection outside the home in the form of racism, bullying and being teased. Some endure sexism. These are the wounds of rejection, abandonment, neglect or abuse. These wounds are caused because we realise that we are not valued. We are devalued and/or stripped of our value. This is the wound that causes the catastrophic emotional devastation that drives us to seek affirmations from others, of our value.
Psychologist Specialising in Narcissism and Family Court Issues in Australia - Dr Travis Gee For anyone suffering the effects of trying to live or survive a relationship involving narcissism, it is recommended you read the article titled Narcissism available by pressing the button below. The article was written by Dr Travis Gee, highly regarded and experienced psychologist, an expert witness in the Family Court in Australia. The article is also available on Dr Gee's website. https://www.drtravisgee.com/coping-with-narcissism.html
Narcissism When we are unvalued, we are 'sitting ducks' to be used by a narcissistic person. There are people who have narcissistic personality disorder (a Type B personality disorder) but there are other injured people who are not true narcissists, but who use similar protective strategies that narcissists use. Narcissists (and those who act like narcissists) are wounded but they disguise their own perceived lack of value by manipulating and using others in order to try to receive reassurance of their value. This strategy however, appears to their partners as a push/pull type of relationship.
The narcissistic person wants validation from their partner (and others). This is vital to them as they failed to receive this validation from their parents. Children as infants are helpless, powerless and dependant on their parents. Normal parents love the child for no other reason other than they are their child. The infant can not do any works, or good deeds to earn its value. In fact, the infant makes a lot of work for the parents. The parent, particularly the mother, does an enormous amount of work to care for the infant. The mother gives her infant unconditional love. This is how a secure attachment develops in the infant. All the infant's needs are met - lovingly, freely met by the parents. This is normal, however when a mother withholds support from the infant, or begrudges that support, or abandons the child, or is indifferent to the child, that child develops insecurities and its need to know that it is valued is tragically skewed. As the parents refuse to acknowledge the baby's worth and value, just for being their child, the child internalises the 'fact' that it is worthless and without value. Many children grow up believing that their value is based on their 'works.' Girls often believe they only have worth for what they can 'do' for men sexually. If they wear scanty clothes, they will be rewarded with male attention. That sexualised attention tells the girls that they have some value, if only as a sexualised object. They fall prey to pimps who exploit them for their works - their sexual availability. Boys learn that they have to be athletic, or a brilliant entrepreneur in order to gain praise/value from others. They fall prey to 'treasure hunters' who exploit them for their works - their income-earning ability. It is very sad, but as these injured people grow older, they continue to seek validation of their value/worth from others. They need to have reassurance of their value, expressed to them.
The injured person will draw close to their partner and perhaps say something endearing, or give a gift or do a kind act. The partner responds by feeling loved and then naturally moves toward their injured partner to express their love and appreciation. The injured person has learned however, that intimacy is dangerous. Letting someone get close to them has always caused them pain. Showing another intimate person that they are actually vulnerable and needy is fraught with danger. The injured person believes and predicts that their partner will surely turn on them, criticise them, reject them, mock them, humilate them, discard them just as their parent did to them when they were a dependent, powerless child. As an adult, the injured person still fears he/she will be punished for being vulnerable and they ensure that they will never be dependent or in a powerless position again. They try to protect their inner self from being injured, so they feel compelled to rebuff or chase away their intimte partner. The partner is taken off-guard and perplexed. Why are they rejected? It is the push me/pull me syndrome of loving an injured person.
Some injured people become narcissists and build a solid wall around their inner core so that it is impenetrable by anyone else. They try to force others to give them value by demanding it from them by the use of various strategies. They 'strut their stuff' and demand approval from others by promoting their intelligence, their sexuality, their income-earning potential, their possessions etc. Other wounded people become co-dependent people pleasers and they constantly give of themselves in order to win the approval of the other person.
Narcissists use force to demand evidence that others value them, whereas people-pleasers plead that others value them and perform acts of service in an effort to provoke that evidence from their withholding partners.
In contrast, emotionally healthy people who know their value in God's eyes, They don't need others to confirm that they have value. Healthy people know their own value is equal to that of all other human beings. Secure adults can appreciate being complimented, but they don't need to be complimented in order to know their own worth.
Our value can't be removed from us. We need to stop thinking it can be.
The only thing that narcissistic mothers care about is how others see them through their children so that if her child makes any mistake in public, she belittles the child - because the child has made HER "look bad." (1:55) A narcissistic mother will be full of praise when the child makes HER look good. This is the push/pull emotional effect of so called 'conditional love.' Real love has no conditions. You are worthy to receive love JUST BECAUSE YOU EXIST. You are worthy of a parent's love, just because you are their child. Any attempt to rob you of your birthright - your intinsic value - is not love. It is selfishness, disguised as love. Selfishness is the absence of love.
This video outlines the characteristics of a narcissistic mother. 1. She sees her children as her trophy or her pawn 1:36 2. She likes to keep control 2:33 3. She uses manipulation to get what she wants 2:56 4. Her love is conditional rather than unconditional 3:23 (conditional love is a misnomer. Love is not conditional. Love does not use force. Love has no conditions. So called "conditional love" should be called "pseudo-love," 'fake love' or "pretence of love"). 5. She often diverts the conversation to focus on herself 3:54 6. She lacks empathy 4:14 7. She is unpredictable 4:44 8. She carries grudges 5:05 9. She is emotionally volatile 5:33 10. She will never want to let you go 5:51
Video Highlights 02:00 The narcissistic mother aims to keep their sons dependent on them . They want their sons to always need them and be there for them so from a tender age their every motive and agenda behind the nurture and care is to group that child to be their advocate and a major source of supply.
03:33 The son will being growing and independence will be knocking soon and she fears his departure so she will start planting ideas in his head. To try and keep him around she would use guilt also to try and get him to stay. She has invested too much to let him go which is very sad but it happens every day. Unfortunately the ideal scenario for a narcissistic mother is that her son remains her lifetime confidant (pseudo-partner) and a major source of supply.
04:21 Any romantic interest is frowned upon but allowed provided that the mother remains the number one priority. Ideally the mother would want to choose a mate for the son - one that will submit not only to her son but to her also. This (submission) keeps the control intact.
04:43 like all narcissists the narcissistic mum is selfish and controlling and puts her wants and her needs above everyone else. It is true that a son should love and respect his mother but when the mother is a narcissist, who is there to tell the child that his mother is actually not a good role model; that his mother is manipulating and gaslighting him every chance she gets? No one. And so often the son learns and adapts the same narcissistic traits that his beloved mother has demonstrated to him all his life.
Becoming aware of the dynamics of the narcissistic mother is vital for the mental and emotional health of her groomed son. Education about narcissistic parents can be the first step toward becoming free of manipulation and criticism that adult children were subjected to as children, but were unaware of at the time.
Trauma Bonding is often involved in toxic relationships.
People who do not understand trauma bonding might question those who find themselves in abusive relationships. They might ask: 'If your relationship is so bad, why don't you walk away?' Why don't you just tell him/her to "shape up or ship out?" ' "If it's really so abusive, why have you stayed with him/her all these years?' "Why don't you go for counselling?"
Anyone who is involved with an abusive partner, knows what it is like to have their own need for dignity, respect and love to be ignored. They instead learn to accept being denegrated, humiliated, criticised, mocked, set up, having broken promises, perhaps physically assaulted and verbally assaulted. Abusive behaviour is not part of a normal, healthy relationship, but the abused partner seems paralysed and unable to even consider leaving or exiting the toxic situation. This is very much like the poor frog that is placed in a saucepan of cool water that is on the element of a stove. The stove is not switched on and the frog finds it to be a nice cool environment in the pot, so the frog decides to stay there. Then, in a twist of cruelty, the stove is turned on and the element heats up gradually at first. The frog feels the change in temperature but adjusts to the gradual rising heat. Finally however, the poor frog finds the water to become uncomfortably hot, but still remains in the pot, seemingly unable to make the decision to leap out of the pot. As the water temperature increases, the water slowly boils the frog to death. The frog could have decided to leave the pot at any time, but for some reason, it seemed unable to extract itself from the lethal situation. Instead of removing themselves from the toxic situation/relationship, partners with attachment injuries often try to 'manage' the stress by manipulating their partner e.g. they keep the house tidy, keep the children quiet, have the meals ready on time, never argue, choose their words carefully so that the abusive partner is not 'triggered' to become angry. "Walking on eggshells" is a common strategy used to try to keep Mr/Mrs Krakatoa from erupting.
Partners feel constantly feeling on edge. Their foremost aim is to appease and placate their explosive partner, but their most careful strategies are rarely successful. The explosive partner NEEDS to see the co-dependent partner as being at fault, so they will find SOMETHING that is not perfect about which to complain and criticise their partner. The co-dependent lives constantly being emotionally shattered.
That being the case, these co-dependents still can not even consider leaving their partners because they wrongly believe that they love their partner and they can't even consider living life without them. But the co-dependent partners are all living in constant fear of being abandoned. True love, casts out that fear. True love would not encourage lies and deception and abuse to flourish in the relationship. True love would maintain boundaries and call out the abuser (from a safe place). Sadly, this toxic kind of relationship is confused with love. That describes the power of the trauma bond.
Trauma bonding can be as lethal to human beings when they are paralysed and can't seem to extract themselves from toxic and sometimes lethal relationships.
To be constantly robbed of your dignity, gas-lighted, blamed, manipulated, criticised, ignored, controlled, disrespected and verbally assaulted is abuse and it is incredibly stressful and often paralysing. It is also domestic violence. The abuse is toxic and often sufferers do not realise the emotional stress that they are constantly under just living with the explosive equivalent of Krakatoa. Despite the pain, fear and stress that presses on a person's heart, mind and soul, the co-dependent partner can't seem to recognise the abuse and they become unable to even contemplate leaving their partner. This situation is where people are prone to form trauma bonds.
Trauma bonded partners are wounded people who need healing. Only love heals. Fake love is powerless. If a partner declares to love someone, he/she will not denigrate, humiliate, ignore, criticise or abuse their partner. True love is powerfully healing. True love restores dignity and respect. True love places the same value on satisfying their partner's needs as they do on satisfying their own needs. Selfishness is not love. Sacrificing your self to enable another person to use you, is also not love. Love is treating others as you would like to be treated yourself in a healthy way.