How One Unpopular Opinion Can Break Your Trauma Bond To A Narcissist

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I have struggled with a trauma bond for the better part of four years. I really began to struggle when I was still bonded to my previous ex and jumped into a relationship with a more covert type of narcissist.

I never got a chance to break the initial bond, so I jumped right back into a new relationship, trying to escape the bond I wasn’t even aware existed.

I researched, read, watched countless hours of YouTube videos, wrote, and even scheduled an appointment with Meredith Miller of Inner Integrations, desperate for help. I couldn’t stay away.

All I read was you have to go no contact with the person with whom you have the trauma bond. There is no other way. Meredith reassured me, too, that this was the best method.

RELATED: A Love Letter To My Emotionally Abusive Ex

It sounds so easy, right?

No contact. No contact with a person that has cheated, lied and manipulated you for years. Why would you want to associate with such a person!?

But a trauma bond is powerful; it’s explained as, "the attachment an abused person feels for their abuser, specifically in a relationship with a cyclical pattern of abuse. The bond is created due to a cycle of abuse and positive reinforcement." 

If you have experienced a trauma bond or currently are experiencing a trauma bond, you know the strong connection you feel to the person who feels unbearable most of the time.

What has worked for me doesn’t mean it will work for you. But this last go-around with a narcissist has changed something in me. 

I had that “ah-ha” moment, as they say.

At that point, I had gone back at least 50 times and had been trying to break free for the better part of three years.

But what helped me accept her for her finally was that I quit living in the fantasyland of potential, and shifted my thought patterns to reality. And I had to keep going back to get to that reality.

That’s right: Go back until your heart is content. Keep going back so you can finally see that this person who says they love you shows you time and time again how much they don’t. I wanted to believe every word out of her mouth, but her actions were always different; they never aligned with what she was saying.

I believe "no contact" is equivalent to going cold turkey from heroin with no methadone. I have an addictive personality, so my form of methadone was to keep going back until I finally decided to subconsciously accept her for who she was. The relationship was literally killing me.

I say “subconscious” because the wake-up call that I was in a relationship with a true narcissist happened when I least expected it. It's precisely how Meredith Miller said it would happen: One day you will just know and you will become indifferent to the person.

RELATED: 6 Heartbreaking Ways Emotional Abuse Changes You

I was trying hard for three years to break my addiction to this person, but every time I tried no contact, I would fail miserably. If I weren’t chasing her down, she would contact me at a weak time in my life, and I would respond. She knew how to get a response from me.

I can say with 99% certainty that I will never speak to her again. I have begun to put the focus on myself and not the relationship. The issue wasn’t her betrayal and lies; the problem was me.

Why did I feel I deserved to be treated like this?

I have since planned a trip to do a section hike on the Appalachian Trail in July with a friend because sometimes you have to trust your intuition and not look back.

I have focused on my own healing and growth and released the focus from a relationship that has no chance in hell of working out.

You will always question if a narcissist is being honest with you and the trust disappears after a person betrays you 2–3 times. There's no coming back from losing trust and in return, you end up in a relationship based on fear, not love.

I'm not saying this method will work for everyone, but I needed to go back and touch the fire 50+ times before the “break” happened.

I'm finally on a path of real growth. I no longer hate my Ex; I’m indifferent. I wish her the best.

And most of all, I thank her for setting me on this path I would never have found if I had not dated her.

My journey has just begun.

Yours can too when you're ready.

RELATED: 9 Sad Signs You're Letting A Toxic Person Get The Best Of You

Read more of Chris Freyler's writing on Medium.

This article was originally published at Medium. Reprinted with permission from the author.