Trauma Bonding with a Cluster B, Psychopath, Narcissist or Sociopath (Part 1/3)

What the Hell Was This?

You may have just started your separation or divorce from a Cluster B, Psychopath, Narcissist or Sociopath, and you feel like you’re just waking up from a horrible nightmare. In some ways, you are. You have no idea what the hell “it” was that you went through. As an adult, you’ve had your share of breakups and heartache, but nothing came close to this experience. Most likely, you realized you were being abused, but it happened so insidiously, and the abuse occurred incrementally.

Many times, as in my case, you may have suffered physical abuse, but you didn’t realize how bad it really was until the end, and at this point, from the years of emotional abuse, gaslighting, crazy making and other completely bizarre behaviors and circular arguments created by the narcissist/psychopath, you feel traumatized and most likely, suffering from C-PTSD or narcissistic victim syndrome.

Why Can’t I Leave this Drama Queen/King/Toxic Person?

You wanted to leave so many times before, and maybe you tried, and you just couldn’t, or you were somehow hoovered/sucked back into the dysfunctional dynamics with the crazy-maker. It was difficult to leave and if you were discarded/abandoned like me, you pined for this psychopath for many weeks, almost in a catatonic state. Welcome to addiction, also known as trauma bonding, also known as betrayal bonding, also known as Stockholm syndrome.

Trauma Bonding/Betrayal Bonding/Stockholm Syndrome Equals Addiction to the Cluster B

Coined by Patrick J. Carnes, PH.D., in his landmark book, “The Betrayal Bond (Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships)”, a trauma bond occurs when there is betrayal, fear, exploitation, and abandonment. The abuser betrays your goodwill and trust by instilling fear, using a variety of methods, including lying, intermittent reinforcement (watered-down love-bombing), fear and keeping you “off-balance.” By creating a “smoke and mirrors” illusion, the narcissist abandons you during the devaluation and discarding phases, and uses fear to keep you tied to this toxic relationship.

You may have a deep-seated fear of abandonment, fear of rejection, or fear of shame. Every normal human being will experience shock, fear, sadness, and deep rejection when suddenly discarded or abandoned by the abnormal narcissist. Normal people simply aren’t wired to deal with rejection and sudden abandonment without experiencing immense confusion and sadness. However, the narcissist is a survivalist, and he/she has defense mechanisms that do not allow feelings of sadness, empathy, and love. Without an authentic core self, the thick outer armor of the narcissist is impenetrable to normal, human feelings.

The psychopath is not capable of love or intimacy. It was all just manipulation to keep you hooked for narcissistic supply, typically, adulation, financial resources, a family structure, a hiding place, sex, etc. As a non-pathologically disordered partner, intimately relating to a conscienceless sociopath is a long-term impossibility. The sociopath will lie, manipulate, abandon and threaten abandonment. Each time, your boundaries will become further eroded and your self-esteem further diminished. He picked you because he has a certain type he perceives will be easier prey. In my case, it was that I was a single mother. I guarantee that his next target will be another single mother.

In the next blog, I’ll cover signs of trauma bonding.

Part Two

Part Three