Trauma Bond

moth-to-a-flameI heard the phrase “trauma bond” recently. It apparently refers to the type of bond that develops between an abused person and the abuser, and which keeps the abused person going back for more. That’s not quite my definition. For me, a “trauma bond” is the bond I seek out with certain men. When I first meet these men I don’t know them very well – sometimes I don’t know them at all – but I can tell instinctively that they share a similar kind of pain to mine. And that dangerous knowledge draws me to them like a moth to a fucking flame. I suppose in a way that first definition I mentioned above is accurate for me, too. Although I know that men with whom I share a “trauma bond” are no good, I keep going for the same type of man again and again although I know they’ll end up hurting me.

I’m not quite sure why I seek out a “trauma bond” in my relationships. But I think it’s because there is this huge void and so much pain inside of me, and, honestly, a healthy man would never be able to understand that. I can’t imagine being with somebody who hasn’t gone to the same dark places that I have. I’m not saying that I want my future partner to be floundering about in the gutter when I meet him; but I don’t see how somebody who hasn’t done so at some point could understand me. I don’t mean that to sound pretentious, like “ooooohhhh, I’m so complicated”. All I mean is that I want to be understood. That’s all. I just want somebody to understand me, and not judge me for where I’ve been and what I’ve done.

I mention this because I’ve been emailing back and forth all day with my client. I said last night that i had nipped it in the bud, and I thought I had, but….well, the best laid schemes o’ mice n men etc. I emailed him again last night, he responded this morning, and that was it. These haven’t been sleazy emails at all. In fact, it’s just been nice witty and smart “getting to know you” emails. He hasn’t been inappropriate or creepy at all. And yet…..he’s the kind of guy who gets handjobs from an erotic masseuse. This is not good.

I don’t think he’s a sleazebag, or some kind of sexist, misogynistic asshole. What I think is that I’ve met my fucking male equivalent. He told me about his childhood, and his experiences, but he didn’t need to because I already knew. The trauma bond was there.

I’m not really sure what’s going to happen now. All I know is that something will.


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4 thoughts on “Trauma Bond

  1. Pandora Viltis April 22, 2013 at 9:15 am Reply

    Given how you grew up, of ourselves you seek out the familiar. Either to understand you or to confirm what you already “know” about yourself.

    • petrichoric April 24, 2013 at 7:22 pm Reply

      I thought I was being so smart this time around because I thought I had recognized my “trauma bonding” pattern, and that I would be OK if I recognized it. I had no idea that I was dealing with a fucking manipulative and highly-intelligent sociopath who was just telling me what I needed to hear.

  2. arekino April 22, 2013 at 12:14 pm Reply

    “Man braucht nicht Cäsar zu sein, um Cäsar zu verstehen” — Max Weber

    • petrichoric April 24, 2013 at 7:20 pm Reply

      The funny (and horrible) thing about this post is that I was totally fucking wrong. We weren’t “trauma bonding” at all. This dude just knew that I was the type of chick who is attracted to sensitive men who had a difficult life, so he knew all the right things to say to hook me in.

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