trauma bonding

Breaking the Toxic Cycle of Trauma Bonding

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When people think of unconditional love, they tend to imagine positive images of nurturing mothers or life-long friends. In these situations, the relationships have a healthy bond based on qualities like trust, loyalty, and most of all: compassion for each other.

But not all unconditional love formed through bonding is healthy – when a narcissist is involved, this unconditional love becomes destructive and toxic.

Why do people remain in the cycle of abuse with narcissists?

Why can’t you just leave?

A big part of the answer lies in trauma bonding: forming an unconditional love you don’t share with anyone else on the planet.

This is the chain keeping you from going “No Contact.”

It’s not your fault and there’s nothing wrong with you, but you can take control of the situation. Here’s how traumatic bonding works and how to begin your trauma bonding recovery.


[Before you read on, I wanted to thank everyone for helping my narcissistic abuse recovery program, The Break Free Program, to become a big bestseller. To check it out, click here. ]

Why Do People Stay in Abusive Relationships with Narcissists?

It’s easy to identify trauma bonding when you’re on the outside looking in.

“Tell your abusive mother you don’t need her anymore,” you yell at the TV character. “Get over him and find someone who appreciates you,” you say about the protagonist in the movie.

We watch physical abuse from the sidelines and ask ourselves “why do people stay in abusive relationships” even while we are in emotionally and psychologically abusive relationships with narcissists ourselves.

We believe that no matter how toxic the relationship becomes, we cannot leave because we have already formed a strong emotional bond with this person. In many cases, this bond feels so intense that relations with other people – even close friends – pale in comparison.

It’s very scary to watch a friend or loved one experience traumatic bonding because the level of vulnerability and possibility for danger is so high.

What is Trauma Bonding?

Narcissists thrive on fights for a few reasons. For one, you’re providing the narcissist with undivided attention, emotional capacity, and energy – all of which feeds their addiction.

But the psychological effects go deeper than that. Although the narcissist may not objectively realize it, they instinctively know that fighting actually brings you two closer together.

This is known as “trauma bonding.”

Now, traumatic bonding isn’t necessarily toxic.

Let’s say you and a friend experienced a traumatic event together – such as another friend passing or suffering a chronic illness. You all come out of that hardship with a stronger bond, right?

For the narcissist, however, trauma is just another tool that allows them to entangle another person – biologically and mentally.

The Difference Between Trauma Bonding and Love Addiction

Love addiction and traumatic bonding occur simultaneously so often that most people can’t pick them apart.

People with a love addiction crave an emotional bond so badly they’re willing to put up with extreme abuse and unhealthy situations – even for a meager payoff.

Just like a person suffering from substance abuse, a person suffering from a love addiction ignores personal boundaries they’ve set for other people. They might manufacture situations to gain attention from the abuser, feel needy and desperate, and put up with anything to avoid loneliness.

You can share a traumatic bond with someone without feeling compelled to put up with their abuse. Why do people stay in abusive relationships?

Love addiction plays another large part.

How Intermittent Reinforcement Keeps You Hooked

Intermittent reinforcement is another dangerous tool the narcissist uses to exploit your love addiction and cement traumatic bonding.

Studies show that when people receive a reward at consistent intervals, they start to expect the reward and work less intensively. If people don’t know when a reward will pop up, they tend to work harder than they would (or should) in hopes of receiving a reward.

Even in healthy relationships, people start to take each other for granted due to consistent reinforcement. In these cases, people communicate their feelings and work together to improve the situation.

But a narcissist does not process feelings and emotions the same way. A narcissist uses your feelings of inadequacy, desperation, and worthlessness as an opportunity to hold their own affection hostage. It’s the carrot and stick approach.

You confront the narcissist for hurting you. They ignore your feelings. By the end of the argument, you’re apologizing to them. Then, for a fleeting moment, they also apologize and tell you how much they value you.

That’s your reward and it’s completely void of any actual intention or real emotion – don’t buy it for a second.

Trauma Bonding is the Chain Keeping You Linked to the Narcissist

The narcissist thrives on your need for approval and love while manufacturing traumatic situations to enforce bonding.

In healthy relationships, people bond with each other through positive experiences. But the narcissist is different. To them, emotions exist to manipulate and control others.

That breaking point where the narcissist finally changes will never happen because they honestly believe they are in the right. That’s why psychological experts admit that it’s almost impossible for narcissists to change – even through comprehensive therapy.

Keep in mind: these concepts of intermittent reinforcement, trauma bonding, and love addiction take many forms and many narcissists will enter your life. Imagine a mother-in-law or mother you can never seem to please no matter how hard you try. Think of a boss dangling a raise over your head.Stockholm Syndrome

How Trauma Bonding Skews Your Sense of Normal Intimacy

When you’re relying on traumatic bonding to maintain a relationship with a narcissist, it changes how you perceive normal intimacy.

You’ve probably opened yourself up to the narcissist more than you have to anyone else in your life. We tell the narcissist things we’ve never said to anyone. We kick boundaries to the curb. We make ourselves completely vulnerable and call it bonding.

It’s pretty intense and in the beginning, it feels really good.

Letting someone go through your phone feels like building trust.

Who cares if your friends say it’s a toxic behavior? Your relationship with the narcissist feels so connected that you’ll never share that intimacy with anyone else.

No one understands.

Much like a person newly sober, other relationships and experiences seem boring because they lack such a deep intimacy and excitement.

But this is a false intimacy.

10 Signs You’re Suffering Traumatic Bonding with a Narcissist

A co-dependency formed through trauma bonding can become extremely dangerous – both physically and physiologically – when a narcissist is involved.  Trauma bonding is basically Stockholm Syndrome inside of a relationship with someone you know and care for.

It’s already very difficult to leave relationships when we’ve formed a strong bond with someone. Keep an eye out for these signs.

  1. You have trouble relating to other people – even long-time friends or friendly coworkers.
  2. You constantly feel burned out.
  3. You routinely check each other’s phones and pick fights over small things.
  4. You’re afraid that you’ve exposed too much of yourself to the narcissist.
  5. You think that your relationship with the narcissist is misunderstood by friends and family.
  6. You feel like nothing you do or say is enough to please the narcissist.
  7. You prioritize responding to the narcissist’s texts over work, eating, or other important activities.
  8. You’re convinced you’ll never have such a deep relationship with anyone else.
  9. When you try to leave, you are tormented by such longing to get back with your partner you feel it might destroy you.
  10. You know this person will cause you more pain, yet you constantly give them the benefit of the doubt and expect them to follow through on their promises, even though they never do.

Recovering from Trauma Bonding

Why do people stay in abusive relationships? Why are you so drawn to people who seem physically incapable of providing love and genuine affection?

There’s no broad-brush reason here: I’d have to type a different answer for everyone reading this post. In order to figure out why you’re using trauma bonding as a crutch, you need to examine your own disposition.

How have you been conditioned over the years to form relationships? How have you been conditioned to bond with people and express intimacy?

Not to get too Freudian, but think back to your childhood and how you learned to receive love or approval from parents or family members.

It takes quite a bit of self-reflection and isn’t easy to do without some third-party perspective from a therapist, counselor, or qualified mentor. Although friends are great (and necessary), their support and advice are still subjective.

As humans, we seek out situations and experiences that feel familiar.

After all, change is scary and uncomfortable. This also means that we’re more likely to find ourselves in toxic relationships (especially if abuse feels familiar) and less likely to leave the relationship once we’re in it.

Breaking Free is the Only Answer

Although you’ve formed a trauma bond – possibly over the course of many years – with a narcissist, No Contact is the only solution.

Much like kicking a drug, you can’t recover from trauma bonding and narcissistic abuse with the narcissist remaining in your life. At the same time, like substance abuse recovery, love addiction recovery and breaking your bond with the narcissist require healthy support structures, inflection, and planning.

But you can rid yourself of the abuse.

You can and will form healthy and meaningful relationships with other people. And you’ll come out stronger and happier than you ever thought possible.

Originally written for and published on Psych Central.

If you’re ready to break free and get started on the stages of healing after narcissistic abuse NOW, there’s only ONE way to do it: Let me show you how to forget the narcissist and move on

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Leave a Comment:

Shaletha says March 28, 2021

I have gone through this with my mom for as long as I can remember, 45 years, but only recently realized it after also realizing I am going through this with my boyfriend of 5 years….I need help!!!

Mae says March 8, 2021

I was a victim of narc abuse since birth. An overt narc sibling who hated me and wanted me dead. I had to share not only a room with her but a bed. I couldn’t get away from her. I was abused physically, mentally and emotionally with no help from my parents. Only told me to”stick up for yourself!” This plus so many other traumatic experiences in childhood set me up for CPTSD. I’m sure my brain is damaged from this.
I went on to be love bombed and tricked by a covert narcissist who destroyed me emotionally with triangulation, silent treatment, gaslighting. I’m so thankful for your help and the validation because it’s been a long painful life but I’m starting to set boundaries and heal since I understand the disorder and I’m now using the gray rock method which has been a huge help until I can move on.

Summer says January 26, 2021

I was definitely trauma bonded to my narc. Everything you said rang true especially about his constant need to argue every little point and always having to be right. The only thing that was different for me was that I stopped apologizing in the third year of our relationship. I knew I wasn’t the problem and adamantly refused to apologize for his insane behaviour. Oddly enough as well, most times I wouldn’t chase him either, we never lived together in the 12 years we were in a relationship (thank God above!!!) He would always come knocking at my door at strange hours wanting to “talk.” But that’s where I caved in, and let the madness continue. He was always the first to call or come running back and I let him. It’s embarrassing to even admit to the number of times we “broke up” it never lasted longer than a couple weeks. It has been 3 months since we or I decided that I had had enough and went no contact. Honestly I feel like a junkie craving the next hit so badly that I have come very close to calling him. It’s left me feeling so despondent and desperate that most days are just downright unbearable! But I started re-reading your articles Kim and they helped to remind me of what I don’t want anymore! Thank you for your insight and your amazing program. I know I have a ways to go yet but I am determined to get there!???

Kimberly Keene says January 23, 2021

Kim, this is more question than comment. By the time you realized that your life was nothing like anyone else that you knew, it was already too late right? I don’t know how long we’ve been together when I realized there was something wrong with him. It took a good deal longer for its dawn on me how isolated I had become from the outside world. I’m an intelligent person with a great deal of insight, how did this happen to me? Why have I let it continue for 10 years?

kristine says December 18, 2020

I am beyond GRATEFUL for all of the information you have forwarded or I have found from you when googling the buzz word. I am a professional with a BS Degree w/a double major graduating cum laude. I’ve been lucky enough to successfully run my own business, excel in big time sales positions including medical AND …….I too was basically caught in a cage with the “socially attractive” animal holding the keys. The animal who often managed me with passive behavior that had me continually feeling sorry for him.

I feel like it needs be said over and over – I think they know we are “brighter and shinnier” than they are & they know ( whether its an intentional thought or instinctual ) that if they can keep us they will get to shine bright too. I do not feel you’ve gone down this road but other articles have wavered on it for sure …….. We – I believe – are actually much healthier than the sick one. I had a friend who got messed up with a “gangster” type dude ( she is at least 70 years old now so this is when the mafia was really rolling along under the radar ) she explained to the SHOCKED me that many of these bad guys had significant others who were nothing like that side of the tracks and her explanation was …… that the significant other actually pulled them out of the darkness where they really wanted to be – but could not wiggle free from for a variety of reasons. Soooooo again – I truly believe the narcissists/sociopaths or even psychopaths want to consume the bright lighted ones to possibly get to live in the positive light too – but then when the dust settles and smoke clears they CAN NOT CHANGE – as you have helped cement in my head ? ( Thank You )‼️.

Strangely I was not sure IF mine was the narcissist or was it his mother and ex wife⁉️ It took your articles to get me to connect the dots and then Whola – I see it constantly without any more continuous confusion. I also LOVE that we were instructed somewhere along the lines of articles that I swear just 3 years ago were SUPER hard to locate – NOT to call them out on WHAT they really are. Looking back I can see how doing so with others in his world ended opening up a portal of constant arrows at my head of darkness.

I have multiple restraining orders approved QUICKLY where he is to simply leave me alone & he has found a way to crash through them all. What IS hard is that the police seem to constantly let him off the hook and help him out. He is a master of disguise for sure but coming from money, driving a luxury car and living in a large home MUST be part of what allows him to “hide”. Again, it is your articles and expertise that has given me the air to fly further now. Up until I magically fell into your help I was always confused and uncertain as to WHAT I felt was happening. My family, friends, protective services and even police ALL said a few of your keys but not as clearly as you. They never helped me feel understood or the SAINE one they usually made me feel small, weak and …….. silly. I am sure most of them never meant too but until you named it – calling it what is was – It always felt like the help was all leaning that this is my fault.

I DO “get” you see a reason we do attract them that comes from our own personal “human experiences” & I finally feel like I have gotten a better handle on that too. Mine is again hard to see: I come from solid, honest, wonderful & loving parents …… who always ALWAYS make me feel like I AM different and that I get way too much attention and that I have been blessed in ways others haven’t soooooo let’s make sure she doesn’t get a big head and think she is better than others. ? Something I know I could NEVER be & something they seem destined to never truly understand ……. being blessed is also work to manage and mange well. I needed their emotional support, unconditional love and pride in WHO I authentically was – they were unable to do that and I am certain they are not even aware of that bummer. Gratefully it has helped me be a better parent – very careful to make sure my children know they are amazing fantastic beautiful humans just because they are mine – nothing else is needed for them to know for absolute certainty they can count on me to try hard to understand their perspective and give them what will help them feel 10ft tall and bullet proof.

Again, Thank You for this – I look forward to having a support system now I have never had prior. As mentioned, I just found you and within days the puzzles started to come together – freeing my mind & soul to keep working hard to get away from this…. and that I MUST. We need each other – we need to help each other because in my experience these kine of people ARE really skilled at this game and in truth have a few “flying monkeys” on their side to continue the darkness and keep you double guessing wtf‼️. Thank You to the moon & back – I for the first time feel like I have some real life magic on my side too now combined with the power of prayer. Amen❤️??

Zamora says July 10, 2020

I am really learn the reasons why my ex has that behavior… He is a first class narcissistic person

Kerstin Gigi Ott says July 7, 2020

I believe this is the best thing I have ever read anywhere online about narcissistic abuse trauma bonding. Again as a reminder, I am deep in this shit while I thought I was getting over it. Because of you and reading this I have now called a lawyer to go through with a divorce. I’m scared but I will be brave and do it. 26 years is enough. Thank you Kim a million.

Aminu says April 30, 2020

Many thx,this information has enlightened and helped me a lot,how do i help my siblings who are still victims of narc abuse

Mimi DiTommaso says April 5, 2020

I am learning so much- thank you. Your advice seems to be geared toward a spousal/significant other relationship, but what about parents/adult child(the narcissist) whose children are your beloved grandchildren… do you protect yourself and still keep a relationship with them? They are young~ages 12 and 6 – AND a special needs newborn.

    Jan says May 10, 2021

    I would like this question answered also. I can find little in the literature and the relationship is different than a partner you have chosen.

Anonymous says March 12, 2020

I felt like I was in prison and there was no way out. I never thought I would have him out of my house and life. Lasted so long because I didn’t understand at first and believed he was sorry and going to get help. No Way. Never happened. I don’t wish anything bad for him as he is my kid’s dad. Lots of prayers that he no longer drags them in the middle and turns them against me. My prayers are working so far and Kim is a God send..

Carroll laneulie says March 12, 2020

Kim…. you are splendid!!
I have a very interesting story covering a no: of years… I would love to share if possible

Kay says March 12, 2020

I spent 27-years with an narcissistic abuser. He had affairs, was emotionally abusive, brainwashed our children and in general destroyed our family. Of course he made it all out to be my fault. I finally got out. Went to school, got 2 BS degrees, 8 MS degrees and a Psy.D. all in counseling. It took me for ever to heal. But heal I did. When I was with this evil person I was physically sick all the time. I now have my health back. The only thing I haven’t done after 38 years of being free, is date again or remarry. I am now ready and am looking forward to moving on with what God has for me. It took me a long time to heal but I am now whole and better than I ever was before. Keep up the good work and keep putting the word out. Kay

Jeanette svensson says March 12, 2020

Hello Kim, you have been so generous in emailing me for a long time but I have never replied before. But I want to tell you I have been in a very toxic friendship/relationship with a narcissist male for 3 years and just managed to escape December 2019. It was your constant contact that gave me the courage to get out. I use to sit many days looking on my phone to see if there were new messages from you, while tears were streaming down my face, and nearly always you were there. So Thankyou so much, you are one wonderful lady.
But my journey is not quite done as I am going to court for a hearing. He is very angry because I disclosed to family and friends “my story”,of what happened and how much money he got from me, so he has taken this coarse, which I recognise is retaliation. I chose to disclose because myself and family are the second family in our very small town to have this happen, so my attempt is/was hopefully making others aware how easy it is to get into this trap.
I have support from family, friends, my GP, therapists, here in NZ but felt the need to let you know that I am another human you have been able to help in such a special way. Reading your material just kept me moving forward and growing in confidence. An amusing thing is I am a college trained Counsellor and yet I did not recognise that I was under the spell of a narcissist. But yes I am free and strong and once this last bit is done, completed closure, from 3 very distressing years.
Thankyou for all you do. You are so far away but you still could touch my heart and mind with your grace, and caring heart. With all my love to you and your team. Jeanette.

Anonymous says March 11, 2020

This is an excellent video. It explains a lot of what is going on in the abusive situation I was in.

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Anonymous says January 29, 2020

Thanks for all your information, i have and is currently experiencing most what you posted

HYACINTH Powell says January 29, 2020

Lord please help! Me, it’s almost 5yrs since I’m going through this tormenting rollercoaster of a relationship. I didn’t know that God created such a monster?

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Francaise says January 7, 2020

Reading this made me cry. It really hurts so much knowing someone could do this to you when all you ever wanted to do was love the person and be real with them. Hmmm

    Peter says January 26, 2020

    Is it inherited because my dad is a narcacist and so is my older brother, I left a relationship with a narcacist and my daughter has similar tendencies at age 13. How do you handle co parenting, when a child has similar traits as your ex

Brenda Barton says December 9, 2019

I have narcissistic abuse syndrome but I’ve gotten a bit better since I left the abuser two years ago almost. I don’t miss being so stressed out, walking on egg shells everyday trying to avoid him flying into a rage. I use to chew my fingernails to the bone I lived with so much anxiety. I left him but at first due to things I didn’t understand such as truama bonding and relationship abnesia when moved out at first I was still going back over there, I didn’t even know why , until I started reading about narcassist and abuse on Then I was able to go no contact and haven’t looked back since. Thank You!!!

    Shanna says April 4, 2020

    Hi Brenda. After reading a few of your comments on different articles throughout Kim’s site, I feel like your situation was similar to mine. I am wondering how you are doing today after some time has passed? I am just now starting to get out of my abusive relationship with a narc. Moved out on my own 5 weeks ago but have still been going back over a couple times a week and end up hating myself for it every time. I just want to be free and feel happiness again.

Tami says September 23, 2019

I want the help. I signed up, but my situation is unique, and I have been a prisoner for 30 years…the damage is bad! I am not sure if just reading is going to help. I am so sick because of the abuse. Do you ever talk to anyone to help them?

Louise says September 18, 2019

I am a carer and have realised after months if feeling extremely angry and wtf that the woman I care for who is now paralysed has a narcissist husband constantly in the background. I realised I was stroking his ego to protect myself, something I learned to do well in childhood because of my mother and father. I felt like a prostitute and I was drinking after work. Now I know why.
I have asked work to take me out of there. And I am trying to pull back and be neutral.
Thank you for this website that has /is helping me.

    Mystery says November 13, 2021

    Hi; great analogy about feeling like a prostitute! I hear you; be well, strong, self loving, and starve the evil narcissist of your positive energy so he can’t attach himself to you like a leech & drain you! It’s a job for you, so its most important to find a balance there… tough situation! Sorry to hear about this! He’s nasty!

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Stephanie says February 5, 2019

Thank you so much for helpful articles that make a lot of sense and give clear advice. I think I may be trauma bonded with a narcissistic neighbour, who has threatened myself and cat, sprayed noxious substances into my garden and now created a rat infestation in the joint boundary hedge and loft from inappropriate and excessive bird feeding that briefly stops and resumes. This gives her energy to feed off. I am so exhausted I just want to sleep all the time. The property requires a lot of repairs. In spite of providing evidence, the abuse continues and being ex-military, she has acquired flying monkey’s in authority and nothing is changing. I want her out of my life but easier said than done. As she is next-door in a semi-detached property, complete no contact is not an option, so I am minimising contact as much as possible. Should I book a clarity session? Clarity is important, as to the best recovery way forward and focus on the solution not the problem. Thus, I have stopped reading about Narcissistic abuse, to turn the focus back onto exit and recovery. The rat problem remains unresolved and is the drama hook. Be grateful for any advice. Thank you so much.

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Brenda Barton says December 3, 2018

I’m glad I started reading your readings on Narcissistic abuse. I never could understand why when he abused me after days of biting my fingernails to the bone why when I left I could never get back the second or third day, I did not understand why I would get panicky attacks afraid I wouldn’t see him again, and despratly kept calling him till I got a hold of him and to try to explain it to someone else was immpossible

    Angel says November 13, 2021

    Yes, narcissists know this; do not allow him to alienate your family & friends. That is definitely one of their goals…it IS impossible to explain the insanity they put us through to another person who is not familiar with what we’ve dealt with and sound sane! I’ve met a lot of crazy people in my life, (good crazy is cool with me; but the behavior I’ve witnessed by this guy is beyond logic & words! The gaslighting especially… he denies things that he does like they never occurred and always tries the obviously bullshit reply of “it’s all in your mind.” I’m glad I studied abnormal psych (I was diagnosed with ptsd, bpd, a.d.d.) I’m not all there myself but I’m definitely not out to intentionally hurt this guy. I genuinely loved him. I told him my darkest secrets of past traumas and he used them all against me in the cruelest ways then would deny it ever happened then play the victim. Sick. Evil. Bastard.

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    Bridget says May 3, 2020

    You said it best. I’ve experienced this since day one of my marriage. I regret ever getting involved, and I’m ready to walk away. I’m more frustrated with myself for even loving this man because I know he’s the one with the problem.

EnnVee says October 18, 2018

Medicine ????Thanks

Deb says October 9, 2018

Thanks Kim
You clarify everything so well to enable us to get perspective and understand what is happening to us x

Sarah says September 3, 2018

22 days no contact. Yesterday anger brought tears so I let them flow. I want to move on but I have saved proof of abuse and feel the need to document all aspects of the proof (as a result of gaslighting) before I can move on.

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Grant Vincent says August 11, 2018

I’ve been thru this and starting to get better but it’s taken a year of strict o contact and some study.

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Donia says July 22, 2018

This is a very good description and explanation and was my experience too. Thanks so much!

Monika Becker says July 19, 2018

It is all so very very true and the road out of denial the rockiest and most painfull one i ever had to walk ….. Education is the key to open the first lock!! Knowledge is and gives power!

Shirley Akpelu says July 16, 2018

I appreciate your help and insight Kim. I am learning from my past mistakes. I want to move forward and become a better person. I deserve genuine love and affection not a pretending wolf in sheep clothing.

Jen says July 16, 2018

Kim, Thank you for your revised article. Could you consider writing more articles on co-parenting with a narcissist and hybrid no-contact? This would speak more to my situation and I know by following you for some time, that you too had to implement a similar no contact outline. Thank you.

Anonymous says July 15, 2018

I have adhered to no contacts since the beginning of May. The other day I was driving across town to mail a letter down town. We passed each other on the street. I had my sun glasses on so I peeked sideways and it was her. I continued driving towards down town and when I looked in the rear view mirror, she had turned around and followed me. I was maneuvering for a parking space then decided to go farther as I’m having trouble walking. She passed me and then took a spot a little farther on the street. I didn’t stop and passed her right on the street and continued on. Perhaps she got the message that I’m avoiding her. It felt good that I got past that. When I saw her approaching me on the street earlier she looked really depressed…just as you said. She’s feeling the squeeze of being avoided. Once in a while my phone rings and there’s no one on the other end. I think that’s
her checking to see if I haven’t gone anywhere. Actually I’m just staying home. I have R.A. And it has been very painful for months. Can’t walk or even ride my bicycle. Hopefully this new drug will help me, as well as ridding the stress in my life, some of which I can’t avoid. The ridding of a narcissist so far seems the easiest. I’m taking care of myself trying to keep myself in the objective field and avoiding the emotion. That helps a lot. Kim, you know how it goes and what is subtly happening fits the characteristic behaviors. Thanks.

StellA says July 15, 2018

Hi Kim,
My trauma bonding was so horrific I didn’t realise how it effected my children.
Kim one of my children as much as I try to never compare them to my perpetrator they have a lot of traits similar.
I love my child but now they are 16 it shows more of the common narcissistic ways.
I feel failure and guilty as they are only like that due to their environment.
How do I deal with this because escaped g is one hurdle but the aftermath is deep and lasting.
My child effects all dynamics in the house with his siblings but always acts like a victim or is blatant to you with no remorse.
Sometimes I think maybe I deserve this or wonder am I the narcissistic but cannot see my faults.I take one step forward and two steps back emotionally.
Please could you advice.
Thank you for all your posts it’s the only thing what keeps me sane at times.

Rachel Mcnary says July 15, 2018

This came at the most perfect time for me. I’ve been in no contact with my narcissist since my birthday. How ironic right? Happy birthday to me! He started raging at me over nothing.I literally changed my ticket (we were in Las Vegas)flew home I left without another word. For me it was very abusive things he said to me and awful things about my sick father. I was done. No contact completely on my end -however he had my parents address and started writing me letters apologizing a little bit but mostly blaming me. How I was stressed ,I did this I did that-and every letter he wrote all of a sudden he’s getting nicer and nicer. I moved about 400 miles away from my parents and he finally found out through somebody else. To me that shows I’m moving on. But my long winded question is does the trauma bonding eventually break? I go every day with being angry, being sad ,being strong,being happy .it’s just cycles. And I know it will get better and I really have no desire to ever see him or talk to him again .I think he’s a complete asshole. And is it weird to wish bad things on them? It’s just a fantasy.I would never want somebody to get really sick or anything ,but it almost brings me some kind a pleasure. I feel sort of bad for that. But is the cycling of emotions normal? And I let them happen by the way .I don’t hide them-I have a real issue with expressing grief as I was a paramedic for 20 years so I had to hide my emotions to be able to do that very stressful job. I’m letting it all out now but it’s really getting tiresome of going up and down up and down. Thank you so much for your articles you are so helpful! XO

    Kim Saeed says July 15, 2018

    Very glad to know my article resonated with you, Rachel!

    Kim XoXo

    Banshee1124 says July 15, 2018

    We’re in the same boat with the paramedic thing. I often wonder if this was my downfall. He was a one point my commanding Officer and many years later ended up a patient of mine. He saw my need to help people a mile away.

    Jerry H. says July 19, 2018

    Hi Rachel. Your story sounds eerily similar to mine. I wanted and wished bad things on my narc., but I was just doing more harm to myself and had to let that feeling go. I would drive by her house all the time and try to come up with something to get even with her, like egging her car or throwing paint all over her drive way etc. LOL As time went on however, that anger finally subsided and now I think about it but I no longer drive by her house. It is not worth going to jail over. Good luck and be STRONG.

      Rachel says July 30, 2018

      Thank you so much for the nice words. Anger is getting better… Slowly…

Gregory Seamster says July 15, 2018

Please please help me I am trauma bonded to a narcissist and worse I have a 8 year old daughter with her please help me

Pauline Thomas says July 15, 2018

I have worked with most addictions, and women and men involved with a Narc. are hardest to conquer…you are best at this giving clear direction, over 30 years ago I was married to one, but I attended different groups with people involved and not involved, and I do not hear of him and I do not know where he is, but I have to keep my eye on the ball I am an empathic person, and can be zapped again but I have the tools and no how to move on pauline xx

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